GSEF 2017 Europe Policy Dialogue

GSEF hosted the Europe Policy Dialogue (EPD) as a by invitation only event on the 5th Dec in Archamps, France In conjunction with the 8th MBM meeting organised by the GSEF Steering Committee ESSFI (ESS Forum International). The EPD was attended by 22 policy makers, researchers, local authorities and representatives of SSE networks from 8 different countries. The central goal of the dialogue was to discuss main public policy issues of Europe and the role of SSE. Below is a brief discussion presented by participating organisations. 


KOSEA - Korea’s efforts of promoting SSE such as policy support and establishment of a legal basis in the context of exacerbating social problems in the aftermath of 1997 and 2008 financial crisis. Also, current government’s work on establishing 5 year master SSE plan and introducing SSE framework laws.

REVES - Brescia City (Italy)’s unique social welfare provision structures and the city level efforts of establishing participatory governance for social welfare design.

RTES - France’s recognition of SSE since 1980s and the Lyon’s efforts of promoting SSE as a strategic tool for urban development.

Liverpool City - Liverpool VS6 (network of intermediary supporting organisations’ initiatives for including social values and community oriented policies in city development strategies.  

Kampala City - Kampala’s urban problems such as transport, housing and urban wastes and the role of SSE initiatives, notably community based cooperatives and establishment of NGO platforms in tackling the issues.

RIPESS Europe - Underlining economic shifts in Europe, such as Thatcherism in the 80s and austerity measures and emerging EU central bank’s role in the aftermath of financial crisis in 2008. And EU wide efforts of countering neo-liberal oriented policies based on the SSE principles and solidarity.

LKS Mondragon - Defining 15 future challenges, notably widening inequality, growth without employment, replacement of labour by technology and ways of leveraging innovation for the challenges.

Locality - UK policy landscapes in the context of public spending cuts, devolution and Brexit. And how community centred approaches such as community trusts, community ownership can contribute to the sustainable and inclusive local development.

University of Liverpool - Contribution of SSE in the development of Liverpool’s economy and its 3G promotion approaches; enhancing the representation of SE in the Government, establishing network platform in Governance and innovative funding models for economic Growth.

UNRISD - SSE can be a key to the localization of SDGs and for transformative changes, we should identify three inherent biases namely 1) translation bias (ignoring the local specificity) 2) structure bias (less attention to the actors and empowerment) 3) subsidiarity bias (ignoring solidarity) 4) monopolizing bias (lack of holistic approach).

* Full ppt presentation notes and bio of presenters are available here

Based on the presentations by both city side and SSE network’s perspectives, participants freely engaged in dicussions moderated by EURICSE. One of the main points of the discussion was that SSE should not limit itself as a mere negative outcome of current capitalism, but could go beyond the system by expanding into policy levels and politics; foundation for this change, should be built upon communities and social trusts. And one of the traits of the SSE, can be a constant tension  that enables its evolution and to go beyond the status quo.  

Along with the EPD, GSEF also hosted its Steering Committee meeting during the 8th Mont-Blanc Meetings and Laurence Kwark, Secretary General of GSEF also participated in the MBM 8th meeting by giving a presentation at the session on collective actions: innovation, synergies and partnership where she presented the efforts of Seoul in establishing SSE ecosystem in its 25 boroughs and the importance of localising the SDGs through SSE. During the 8th Mont-blanc Meetings, Laurence kwark also moderated the plenary session III ‘the efficiency of the SSE: role and impacts in territorial development’. For further details of the sessions presented during the 8th MBM, please visit its homepage