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Across the world this year, almost half of the world’s population will go to the polls which understandably has led to 2024 being labelled a crucial year for global democracy. While some elections may be receiving more attention than others, in the European Union (EU) 2024 is the year where citizens have the chance to have their voice heard by policy makers in Brussels and Strasbourg. This year the future of Europe is on the ballot and for social enterprises, more is at stake than ever. With recent progress in policy and funding frameworks from the EU and some Member States, coupled with a strong emphasis on the need to consider social and environmental impact, a strong momentum can be felt across the ecosystem. The European Parliament and Commission from 2024-2029 has a difficult job to continue living up to the ambitions and targets set in the past five year mandate.

Since 2019, the EU has seen a number of developments that have been crucial for the social economy. These include most notably the European Green Deal, the Social Economy Action Plan, Transition Pathway and Council Recommendation amongst others. Of course, beyond Europe the world has changed fundamentally with a global pandemic, war on the European continent and increasing tensions around the world. The next mandate for the European Parliament and Commission will take us within touching distance of 2030 – the big year that marks the end of so many critical deadlines. Despite the changing context that social enterprises operate in and the numerous challenges facing policy makers, it is essential that the progress made on achieving social and environmental targets continues to be made regardless of the changing geo-political context.

Maintaining the momentum that has been achieved and delivering on already established targets will not be enough. More action is needed in the next five years, building upon the work that has already been undertaken and that puts considerations for social and environmental impact at the heart of decision making. For this reason, Euclid Network is proud to be a member of the coalition supporting the Business for a Better Tomorrow manifesto. This manifesto contains five key action areas for continued and expanded action in the next Parliament and Commission that will help existing social enterprises as well as encouraging the transformation of existing enterprises to those who can contribute to an economy that puts people and planet first.

It is essential that European citizens across the continent vote between the 6th-9th June to have their voice heard and help to secure a continued mandate from the EU to support social enterprises until 2029.

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