A unified call from ENSIE, RREUSE, Social Firms Europe – CEFEC and CEC.

To the attention of the Presidents and representatives of the European Institutions and Members of the

European Parliament,

To the attention of the representatives of the Governments,

For several weeks now, Europe has been undergoing a period of lockdown in order to combat the spread of the Coronavirus. As you know, the restriction of population movements has resulted in the slowing down and even closure of many businesses, putting a stop to the economies of the countries. The inclusive associations and businesses that we represent are also heavily affected in their activities and a majority of them are forced to stop working. The fate of the people our structures accompany every day is also worrying. These include the low-skilled, the young, the long-term unemployed, the over-50s and disadvantaged minorities. We must also consider those who are otherwise socially marginalised, including women and migrants. Integration Social Enterprises (ISE) and their employees, particularly the most vulnerable, are deeply concerned about the current situation. Together with the various networks representing the ISE, we call for the following actions to alleviate the weight of the crisis on this already sensitive sector.

We welcome the announcements made by the European Commission last week. However, we ask that the following actions be taken into consideration:

  • Ensure and monitor that Member States take into account and support ISEs and their employees.
  • Ensure that the most vulnerable are directly affected by the European Commission’s proposal in its fight against the Coronavirus Investment Initiative to facilitate the deployment of the “European Social Fund to temporarily support national short-term work schemes that help cushion the impact of the shock” and actually benefit from it.
  • Develop a flexible framework for State aid: allow higher thresholds for employment aid and ‘de minimis’ aid for ‘disadvantaged workers and severely disadvantaged workers’.
  • Develop a flexible fiscal framework for the suspension of payments of corporate and value added tax and social contributions .

See the rest of the call here (in French).