On the 30th August 2023, ImpactFrance gathered the French Impact Ecosystem at the International University of Paris for their annual ‘Les Universités d’été de l’économie de demain’ (UEED). This year saw more attendees than ever join the bustling day of workshops, roundtables and masterclasses with over x impact driven people attending physically in Paris. Among the around 2000 attendees were not just stakeholders from the French Impact Ecosystem – this year a dedicated stage on the European ecosystem and the upcoming European Parliament elections attracted a number of stakeholders from around Europe.
Euclid Network (EN) was delighted to attend the UEED, not just to feel the pulse of the French ecosystem but also to participate in a roundtable discussion on what is at stake in the next European elections. EN’s Policy Lead, Toby Gazeley, spoke alongside Roberto Randazzo from Assobenefit (Italy) and Benoit Quittre from Kaya-Ecopreneur (Belgium) in a session moderated by Philippe Zaouati from Mirova Sustainable Finance. Philippe is also the leader of ImpactFrance’s Task Force focussing on preparing for the European Parliament elections with the ambition of bringing together the relevant national and European stakeholders to develop a common ‘impact deal’ for Europe that can be put to candidates ahead of the elections in June.
The discussions in Paris ranged across a number of issues including the situation and challenges facing social entrepreneurs and companies respecting the environment at the national and European levels. While there was positivity expressed by some about the current state of the European Ecosystem, there was caution over where this momentum might lead or if it will result in a real long term impact for social entrepreneurs. Indeed, while there is action being undertaken to support social and sustainable enterprises, there was a considerable concern raised by Mr Quittre that even though there are new policies and momentum, it is still not enough to address the serious damage being done to the environment and society by the current economic system.
This was the first meeting hosted by ImpactFrance on the topic of the European elections and more meetings will be arranged over the coming months. Bringing the ecosystem and relevant stakeholders across Europe together is a key element of the Task Force’s ambition so please do get in touch if you are interested to find out more or get involved.
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