The concept of the “social economy” has gained attention and momentum in recent years although the degree of recognition varies largely from one Member State to another. Spain is an example where the social economy benefits from wide recognition. It is the first European country to enact a law on the social economy concept in 2011. In view of the EMPL delegation visit to Madrid, this briefing elaborates first on the concept applied in the SEAP – presented by the Commission on 9 December 2021 – and on the historical development of the social economy concept across Europe. The second part of the briefing focuses on the social economy’s historical and legal evolution in Spain. Key aspects of the implementation of legal provisions in practice are presented and discussed. Inter alia, we look at factors that either enable or constrain the proper development of the Spanish social economy sector and draw some conclusions for creating a European social economy framework.
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