Reflections on a solidarity economy

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned report


Following the Walloon Social Economy Council initial definition in 1990, successive attempts, including the Charter of Principles of the Social Economy in 2005 and the Manual for Drawing Up the Satellite Accounts of Companies in the Social Economy in 2006, served to align these structures more closely with mainstream commercial businesses. Accordingly, contributions by Monzon and Chaves and Arnsperger are more appropriate for the concept of a Solidarity Economy outlined in this paper. (Monzon, Chaves 2008, Arnsperger 2013)

Development of European Union Employment and Social Protection Strategies

The European Union during the 1980s and 1990s promoted Active Labour Market Policies for so-cial protection and inclusion. The EU Social Charter made greater progress in employment than social protection matters, which have now been subsumed within National Reform Programmes. Since negotiations with the European Commission have been conducted by Westminster and Whitehall, for more than 20 years Scotland has been effectively excluded from discussions on the full benefits of EU Membership, despite its greater interest in their subject matter.

Scotland’s Exclusion from EU Policy Making Process

For the UK, development of these EU and other policies were channelled through a Westminster New Labour approach to issues of social inclusion and social protection guided by Blairite urban managerialism, with a business approach encouraged for third sector structures. This approach was fundamentally at variance from policies developed by a newly devolved Scottish Government.

Theoretical Basis for Solidarity Economy

Based on extensive research, examples are offered from academic literature, which demonstrate effective alternative structures which could form the basis for a Solidarity Economy. These explain the processes involved in combating social exclusion in local communities. As an earlier precedent in England against a Blairite Third Way, Greater London Enterprise developed a Social Economy Framework for London.

Scottish Government Funding for Social Enterprise

The Scottish Government plays an invaluable role in funding much of the infrastructure for social enterprise development, which offers the basis of a Solidarity Economy in Scotland.

EU Moves towards Private Investment

Following the Social Business Initiative in October 2011 to the EU Capital Markets Union Green Paper in February 2015, various EU structures, including the European Securities and Markets Association, have sought to promote private social investment, without much concern about the structure of its investment vehicles. This has culminated in the preparation of a draft Social Impact Statute for the Government of Luxembourg by Bells, Waites and Braithwaite, London solicitors, which are closely associated with the development of a social investment market in the UK.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationMadrid
PublisherComplutense University of Madrid - Universidad Complutense de Madrid
Number of pages21
Publication statusUnpublished - 3 Jul 2015


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