Social Economy in Greece: from childhood to adolescent. Social economy - laying the groundwork for innovative solutions to today’s challenges (Paris, 10-11 December 2012)

Comment paper Greece Peer Review on the social economy, France 2012

Dionyssis Balourdos, Konstantinos Geormas, 2012

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Summary :

Contrary to the situation in other European countries, where social economy has a significant contribution to the creation of new jobs and the sustainable development of local economies and societies, in Greece, social economy is not particularly developed, as the implementation of policies and practices is still on a basic level. As it is stated in the ‘European Social Innovation Research’ (2012)2: “Today, there is a great need for Greece to reinforce its social economy. The high rates of unemployment, the austerity measures, and the reductions in wages, pensions and social services have created the need for the enhancement of social economy and social innovation that can offer alternative solutions to the Greek society.”

Kotalakides and Parlalis (2010), state that while a substantial effort has been made on scientific level, the design and implementation of policies and practices on social economy is on an elementary level. Awareness and visibility of the sector is low, both on the civil society level as well as on the level of public administration, and that any further development is more connected to the support by the EU Structural Funds.

However, an increased focus on the social economy is expected in the following years. In September 2011 a law for Social Economy and Social Entrepreneurship was passed by the parliament and the distinct legal form of Co-operative Social Enterprises was created. Prior to this legislation, the lack of an institutional framework created serious problems in the sector development.