Definition: Social economy

General concept

The main characteristics of the Social Economy are:

Co-operatives;
- voluntary and open membership
- equal voting rights, resolutions carried by majority
- members contribute to the capital
- autonomy and independence
- major co-operatives operating in agriculture, manufacturing, banking, retailing and services
Mutual Societies;
- voluntary and open membership
- equal voting rights, resolutions carried by majority
- members' fees based on insurance calculations (where relevant), no capital contributions
- autonomy and independence
- medical, life and property insurance; guarantee schemes; home mortgages
Associations / Voluntary Organisations;
- voluntary and open membership
- equal voting rights, resolutions carried by majority
- members' fees, no capital contributions
- autonomy and independence
- service providers, voluntary work, sports and advocacy/representative
- important providers in health care, care for elderly and children and social services
Foundations;
- run by appointed trustees
- capital supplied through donations and gifts
- financing of research, supporting international, national and local projects; providing grants to relieve the needs of individuals, funding voluntary work, health and elderly care etc.
Source:
DG XXIII
Created:
Updated:

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