The Social Economy

Building Inclusive Economies

image of The Social Economy

Social economy -- also known as 'non-profit' or 'third sector' -- organisations have grown in number and relevance, contributing to employment, social inclusion, democratic participation and community building. Much remains to be done, however, to create the necessary enabling environment to support their creation and development and to mainstream the sector in economic and social policies. This publication offers new insights into the economic theory of social economy organisations, their role in an evolving political and economic context, and the links to local development and the empowerment of users. Building on theoretical and empirical developments in OECD member countries, the publication also presents the main challenges for the social economy in Central East and South East Europe. Recommendations for action are included.


The Social Economy in Central East and South East Europe

The chapter explores the evolution of the social economy in Central East and South East Europe and highlights the way in which the development of the contemporary social economy is deeply rooted in the historical traditions established before the Second World War and the effects of the Communist era. Highlighting the impact of the transition, the strengths and weaknesses in the development of the social economy in the region are explained as being embedded in the similar national and international policies that have produced similar paths of developments. The mainstreaming of social inclusion policies and programmes, and decentralisation and local development, can hardly be successful if social economy organisations in the region are not provided with an environment which enables them to fulfil their potential.


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