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Data: 04.03.2011

This baseline study was commissioned from DIESIS by the Polish Ministry of Regional Development, the ESF Managing Authority leading the Learning for Change Network on a
Better Future for the Social Economy (BFSE LfC). The overall objective of the network is to
promote an increased impact of the social economy on society and environment.

The specific objectives of the LfC network are to:
• Improve the quality and efficiency of Structural Fund programmes and their impact on
employment, social inclusion and training across the whole of Europe;
• Promote support for the social economy in participating Member States;
• Identify and disseminate good practices of support measures to countries where social
economy is less developed;
• Develop EU policy and tools (vertical mainstreaming).

It is a learning network.

Therefore the primary outcomes concern officials and key
stakeholders dealing with the social economy and the European Social Fund.
The network has identified five specific strands of work, which are:
1. Community law and social services of general interest in the light of social inclusion
2. measuring social added value and quality standards
3. socially responsible public procurement and public social partnership in the context of
social economy development
4. social franchising
5. financial instruments and mechanisms of fund’s allocation to social economy.
The Managing Authorities involved in the network are: Poland, Flanders, Czech Republic,
Sweden, Lombardy (IT), England and Finland.
The baseline study aims to assess the baseline state of play in order to be able to assess the
changes that the network brings about. The study identifies what the problems are, describes
what solutions are to be attempted, and orients the work of the network.

The first part of the study (Part A) gives a broad overview of the European context of the
social economy and identifies the main stakeholders at European level. Part B analyses for
each strand of work the context, the actions already taken, the state of play, the problems,
the good practices, the proposed solutions and the stakeholders to be involved.
The baseline study has been prepared by DIESIS, a European support service for the social
economy and has been coordinated by Dorotea Daniele. The sections on the specific strands
have been prepared by the following European experts:
• Community law and social services of general interest: Patrick De Bucquois (CEDAG)
• measuring social added value and quality standards: Jeremy Nicholls (EUSROI Network)
• socially responsible public procurement and public social partnership: Francesco De
Rosa (Inforcoop)
• social franchising: Dorotea Daniele and Keith Richardson (ESFN)
• financial instruments and mechanisms of fund’s allocation to social economy: Christophe
Guene (SOFI).
Special thanks go to Toby Johnson, Rocio Nogales (EMES) and Karine Pflüger (Social Economy
Europe) for their precious suggestions and support.

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