August 31, 2016

EVPA contributes to EuSEF Proposal & GECES call to European Commission

The European Commission has surveyed the market for feedback on the EuSEF Regulation’s implementation. EVPA contributed to several of these consultations, highlighting the challenges VP practitioners face in applying for the label. These efforts resulted in an improved Commission proposal and various key policy recommendations by GECES.


EuSEF Proposal

Since the EuSEF Regulation came into force in July 2013, it has seen a limited take-up, with only two fund managers registering for this European label, EVPA members Phitrust and BonVenture.

The European Commission has surveyed the market for feedback on the Regulation’s implementation and EVPA contributed to several of these consultations. In the most recent one, EVPA gathered its members’ concerns and expectations in a comprehensive contribution (see our contribution document and cover letter), highlighting the numerous challenges identified by practitioners in applying for the label (namely the prohibitive costs of setting up a EuSEF-fund, challenging impact measurement requirements, a lack of national ownership among competent authorities, and others.).

Based on the feedback of EVPA and many other stakeholders, the European Commission published on the 14th of July 2016 a new proposal for the EuSEF Regulation, intended to improve existing legislation and boost the take-up of social enterprise funds across Europe (see here for their press release).

On top of removing the existing limitations for larger asset managers (now including those with assets under management of more than €500 million), the Commission also suggests to explicitly prohibit fees imposed by competent authorities of host Member States as well as simplify registration processes.

The proposal will now have to be adopted by the European Parliament and the Council, a process during which EVPA will ensure that the voice of its membership is heard!

EVPA and the GECES

During its last meeting in June this year, the European Commission Expert Group (GECES) decided to call on European Commission President Juncker to make social enterprises and social economy a priority within its 2017 Work Programme.

More specifically it asked the Commission to focus on:

  • reserving a stronger place for social economy and social enterprises in public policies
  • working to develop a European financial eco-system capable of providing effective support for social innovation and social economy
  • constructing an adequate regulatory framework for European social enterprises and social economy so as to open up opportunities for fiscal relief, support and access to public procurement and other markets
  • for the EU to be involved in supporting social economy and social enterprises in their efforts of implementing the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)

Lisa Hehenberger, who represents EVPA within the GECES and leads the Working Group on ‘Improving Access to Finance’ for social enterprises, will follow these developments closely. We will also come back to you after the adoption by the GECES of a series of key policy recommendations at its upcoming meeting in October this year. Stay tuned!

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