Social Economy


The social economy unites a diverse group of different types of entities present in all sectors of society which are gathered around shared values of solidarity, social responsibility, democracy and the primacy of people.

This reflects the current European Commission’s agenda of “an economy that works for people”.

These principles resonate with AMICE members, for whom the values of the social economy are at the heart of their activities.

The concept of social economy differs among Member States according to national legislation for economic or historical reasons. However, it is commonly accepted to comprise of cooperatives, mutuals, associations, foundations and social enterprises. Within the social economy sector, these four families are represented by AMICE and AIM for the mutual sector, Cooperatives Europe for cooperatives, CEDAG for associations and EFC for foundations. Overall, social economy enterprises are represented in Europe by Social Economy Europe, of which AMICE is a member.

Europe’s social economy encompasses 2.8 million enterprises and organisations, employing 13.6 million people and accounting for 8% of the EU’s GDP.

The European Parliament Social Economy Intergroup, originally created in 1990, was renewed in December 2019, and is an important element in mainstreaming the social economy perspective into the legislative and non-legislative work of the European Parliament.

Following proposals from Social Economy Europe to which AMICE actively contributed, the European Commission announced the development of the EU action plan for social economy. It was published in December 2021.

Position Papers