Anniversary of the Social Economy Law

Anniversary of the Social Economy Law

This legislation has been a key factor since its approval used to promote the Social Economy Promotion Plan, the Spanish Social Economy Strategy and the creation of a ministry dedicated to social economy.

In 2001, the Congress of Deputies aunanimously passed the Social Ecoomy Law, a pioneer legislation in Europe. After over ten years of application, the law has been a key factor in the progress of public policies aimed at promoting social economy, with milestones such as the approval of the Social Economy Promotion Plan in 2015, the start up of the Spanish Social Economy Strategy during the 2017-2020 period or the creation of a ministry dedicated, along with work, to social economy.

The pandemic prevented the tenth anniversary of this law from being celebrated at the time, but the Spanish Confederation of Social Economy Companies, Cepes, did not want to pass up the occasion. Over 500 people met up in Madrid to emphasise the socio-economic impact of Spanish social economy companies and to commemorate ten years of the law.  

Defence of the model

The Minister of Work and Social Economy, Yolanda Diaz took part in the event, who firmly defended this business model. Diaz qualified it as resilient, supportive and cooperative, emphasising its efficiency in times of crisis and its capacity to generate stable employment. The Second Vice-president also congratulated the sector, formed by over 42,000 companies, because it provides employment to over 2.3 million people and she announced that Social Economy is going to be one of the priorities on the agenda of the Spanish European Union Presidency in 2023.

The employers’ association of social economy also wanted to acknowledge the work carried out by the former ministers Celestino Corbacho, Valeriano Gómez, Fatima Bañez and Magdalena Valerio, who, since the passing of the law, have contributed to the development and promotion of this business model.

The celebration also had an international dimension with the intervention of ministers from the sector from Portugal, France and Italy, who emphasised the importance of the social economy when faced with Europe’s current challenges.

Some firm values

The principles that guide Social Economy in Spain are:

• The primacy of people and social purpose over capital.

• Application of the results obtained from the economic activity to the social purpose that entails the entity’s object.

• Promotion of internal and society solidarity that favours a commitment to local development, equal opportunities between men and women, social cohesion, the insertion of people at risk of social exclusion, the generation of stable, quality employment, the conciliation of personal, family and work life and sustainability.

• Independence with regard to public powers.