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Western Balkans Civil Society Declaration on the Social Economy

With the declaration we are calling the EU and the Western Balkans decision-makers to take necessary actions to further contribute to the development of social economy as a relevant economic model that is centred on social protection and the planet’s resources.

Western Balkans Civil Society Declaration on the Social Economy

Committed to the sustainable development of the region of the Western Balkans, which still faces numerous social, environmental and economic challenges, we are launching the Western Balkans Civil Society Declaration on the Social Economy. With the declaration we are calling the EU and the Western Balkans decision-makers to take necessary actions to further contribute to the development of social economy as a relevant economic model that is centred on social protection and the planet’s resources.

Social economy consists of associations, foundations, social enterprises, cooperatives, mutuals which all provide needed services and goods based on principles of solidarity and participation. Being rooted within societies, those actors assure that processes in which they engage are benefiting the people and the planet.

Previous decades have been marked by efforts of CSOs and its partners to co-creation of enabling policy environments for the development of social economy. They have resulted in several strategies and legal solutions. Moreover, in response to fulfil the needs of social economy actors for more adequate financial support, CSOs and its partners have offered innovative financial instruments. Finally, national and regional programs for capacity building have been initiated helping to build knowledge and to raise awareness among various stakeholders.

Western Balkans Region is an inseparable part of Europe and has been structurally tied to the European Union through the Enlargement policy. The accession process has helped societies through deep reform processes to revive and internalise common values and democratic practices. Relying on various EU initiatives in the field of social economy, CSOs and its partners anchored the social economy into the concept of sustainable development of the Western Balkan societies.

CSOs of the Western Balkans Region have deep and substantial relations with CSOs and support networks to the social economy in the European Union. Our partners from the EU have had a substantial role in shaping the social economy of the Western Balkans by including them in European policies and instruments. In the future, solidarity and structural ties among intermediary organisations and networks from the EU and WB will assure further integration of WB in the EU and assure a significant presence of EU in WB.

Being committed to the EU integration process, we are convinced that the European Commission’s newly adopted Action plan on Social Economy offers a clear direction for all interested parties and especially national governments on how to further develop the social economy. It clearly recognises the role of social economy in contributing to achieve UN Sustainable Development Goals. Through promoting circular economy, tech4good solutions, social inclusion of most vulnerable people and engagement of youth in social economy activities, the social economy plays, according to the Action Plan, a key role to achieve a just, green and digital transition.

As relevant partners, we, the CSOs of the Western Balkan, are encouraging decision-makers in the EU, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Kosovo, Macedonia and Serbia to implement the following actions:

/ Further support cooperation and co-creation of all stakeholders in the SE ecosystem to build a more enabling policy environment for SEs to thrive. By that, we mean, designing laws on SE that correspond to the needs of the sector, adjusting other laws and policies that enable finances and access to market, just taxation and more enablers from the public sector.

/ Adequate finances that recognise the nature of SE and help SE to achieve the most impact. Through joining partnerships of CSOs and private sector, governments should make synergies and multiply resources available to SEs. In that way, governments and SEs are on the joint path to creating a more resilient and inclusive society.

/ Capacity building of SE and its partners is substantial to advancing the impact of all actors in the SE ecosystem. Governments should join the actions of CSOs and its partners in bringing knowledge on business development and policies closer to the people encouraging them to startup SEs, develop support programs to SE and help their work be more visible.

/ Advancing knowledge on the sector is substantial to be deeper rooted within society and making their impact more recognisable. Investing into research and promotion of the sector is investing into a fact-based approach to sector development and in its potential to scale up and influence the development of the society. Governments investing into knowledge-based policies are perceived as more accountable, transparent and democratic.

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    DECLARATION SIGNATORIES

    NoNameogranizationcountry
    1
    Aleksandar Budošan
    Birkoff
    Serbia
    2
    Dina Rakin
    KoRSE
    Serbia
    3
    Dragan Srećković
    Community Foundation Pančevo
    Serbia
    4
    Nenad Krstić
    Evrokontakt
    Srbija
    5
    MIODRAG NEDELJKOVIC
    INITIATIVE FOR DEVELOPMENT AND COOPERATION
    Serbia
    6
    Miroljub Nikolić
    СCaritas Šabac
    Serbia
    7
    Anita Šimundža
    CDP "Globus"
    Bosnia and Herzegovina
    8
    Andrijana Nikolić
    Caritas Šabac
    Serbia
    9
    Verica Jarak
    REFERALNI CENTAR BRANITELJ/BORAC-ZADRUGAR
    Bosna i Hercegovina, Mostar
    10
    Ivana Miletić
    Rural Women Organization
    Serbia
    11
    Sanida Klarić
    BIO IDEA za održivi razvoj
    Srbija
    12
    Žana Alpeza
    Udruga PRAVI PUT
    BiH
    13
    Hasmir Delić
    Udruženje Distrofičara Cazin
    Bosna i Hercegovina
    14
    AMIR TURSUNOVIĆ
    NVO "JEZERO"
    BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
    15
    ur.ruka.ruci@gmail.com
    Kantonalno udruženje osoba sa invaliditetom i borbe protiv ovisnosti „ RUKA RUCI “
    Bihać
    16
    ur.ruka.ruci@gmail.com
    Kantonalno udruženje osoba sa invaliditetom i borbe protiv ovisnosti „ RUKA RUCI “
    Bihać
    17
    Muharem Lipovača
    Kantonalno udruženje osoba sa invaliditetom i borbe protiv ovisnosti „ RUKA RUCI “
    Bosna i Hercegovina
    18
    Mirsad Salkic
    Udruzenje oboljelih od secerne bolesti Buzim
    Bosna i Hercegovina
    19
    Nataša Niškanović
    Udruženje za održivi razvoj i ekonomiju "Nitna"
    Serbia
    20
    Irina Janevska
    ARNO
    N. Macedonia
    21
    Françeska Muço
    Young Professionals Network/Rrjeti i Profesionistëve të Rinj
    Albania
    22
    Aleksandar Nikolov
    Centre for development of the east planning region
    Macedonia