FEBEA represents its members to the institutions of the European Union and other financial and political organizations. It plays a lobbying role with them to promote and raise awareness on the role of ethical finance. As such, it is regularly consulted on matters that concern the sector.
EU PROGRAMMES AND INITIATIVES
- COSME, an EU programme for the Competitiveness of Enterprises and SMEs;
- INTERREG, a programme to improve the implementation of regional development policies;
- EaSI, part of the new EU programme for Employment and Social Policy;
- HORIZON2020, the largest programme of research and innovation in the European Union that actively supports SMEs.
- EaSI Guarantee Instrument funded from the EaSI Programme and specifically dedicated to microfinance and social entrepreneurship;
- EuSEF, the European label for Funds targeting social entrepreneurship;
- SIA, Social Impact Accelerator, a fund managed by the EIF, which invests in social enterprises across Europe.
GECES: Group of Experts of the Commission on Social Economy
2015 saw the President of FEBEA successfully apply to becoming part of GECES, the Group of Experts of the Commission on Social Economy. The Communication on the Social Business Initiative states that “the Commission … shall … set up a consultative multi-stakeholder group on social business to examine the progress of the measures envisaged in this Communication… this group could be made up of representatives of the Member States, local authorities, social entrepreneurs' organisations, the banking and finance sector and the academic and university sector.” The group (GECES) was therefore set up for six years (2012 – 2017), and will be consulted by the Commission on the development, setting-up and implementation of all the actions mentioned in the SBI, or further development of social entrepreneurship and social economy. At the moment, the GECES group is composed of 40 people.
In order to promote a “highly competitive social market economy”, the Commission has placed social enterprises, social economy and social innovation at the heart of its concerns. This is in terms of both territorial cohesion and the search for new solutions to societal problems. They are key to boosting job creation and reinforcing social cohesion. Gender equality is a horizontal issue and so can be mentioned in this context.
The goal of GECES is to tackle certain issues, divided in thematic areas, and draft recommendations for the Commission. Given the role and expertise of Mr. Salviato and FEBEA, the working group in which he works is called Improving access to funding for social enterprises.
Geces report endorsed the 14th October 2016.
The GECES was renewed for the period 2018 - 2024 under the name of "Expert Group on Social Economy and Social Enterprises": our Vice-President Wlodzimierz Grudzinski is appointed as expert for the financial sector.
EESC: European Economic and Social Committee
In 2015 the Federation has been mentioned in the Opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) on the “Role of cooperative and savings banks in territorial cohesion - proposals for an adapted financial regulation framework”, drafted by Mr. Trias Pinto. FEBEA was among the organisations that were consulted for the drafting the Opinion, and, thanks also to the contributions offered by some of its members, it was specifically mentioned in the text (art. 7.5), as a reference actor for ethical and transparent financing in Europe, in particular in the field of social economy.
Two events were organised in collaboration with our local members to promote the Opinion:
FEBEA is member of Social Economy Europe and collaborates with several other EU Networks in the field of social economy and ethical finance in Europe.