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Interne Markt, Industrie, Ondernemerschap en Midden- en Kleinbedrijf

Deadline 2023/04/06 - European social economy regions (ESER) 2023: Call for Expression of Interest

The European social economy regions (ESER) initiative is a community network with over 100 members. It supports Commission social economy policies and was actively involved in the co-creation process of the transition pathway for the proximity and social economy ecosystem.

European Social Economy Regions 2023 banner


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many ESER activities were postponed, cancelled, or transformed into a digital setting, reducing the dynamic character of peer-learning activities among ESER members.

This call for expression of interest aims to revitalise the ESER network and open it to new members.

Eligibility criteria

Regional/local public authorities can become part of the ESER network. We also invite local and regional authorities and other local and regional stakeholders that took part in previous ESER Mission calls to join the ESER network and bring along their relevant expertise.

Selection criteria

The Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs will select ESER 2023 events through an ad-hoc selection committee. It will be based on the selection criteria and the geographical balance of the event organisers. The Commission has sole and absolute discretion to select the regional and local events based on the criteria.

 We invite applicants to

  • show local or regional competence in social economy or express the ambition to develop local or regional competence on the topic
  • demonstrate knowledge and links to local or regional social economy stakeholder networks, federations, associations or relevant business support organisations
  • express willingness to take part in regular (online and physical) ESER exchange events organised by the European Commission
  • organise a (policy, stakeholder, capacity building) event on social economy, social entrepreneurship or social innovation (preferably with a link to one of the 14 action areas mentioned below under thematic areas).

We invite stakeholders to briefly address the above-mentioned elements in the application.

ESER 2023 thematic area

In 2023, ESER activities could focus in particular, but not exclusively, on the following thematic area.

Cooperation for the social economy ecosystem transition pathway implementation

Activities will bring together interested ESER partners in expert discussions and dialogue in view of implementing the proximity and social economy ecosystem transition pathway in their regions and developing ‘pledges’. Envisaged activities can address one or more of the identified ‘green’ and ‘digital’ action areas reported below.

Green action areas

  • Reinforcing business to business collaboration for greener and circular value chains
  • Creating financial incentives and supportive regulation for green and circular social economy business models
  • Certification, labelling and self-regulation  
  • Innovation as enabler for green transition and business development in the social economy
  • Greening infrastructures and business operations
  • Local Green Deals, green business communities and citizens’ initiatives
  • Addressing capacity and skills gap 

Digital action areas

  • New business models – the platform economy 
  • Data maturity and data driven business models
  • Public and private tech partnerships and support
  • Data sharing, data management & code of conduct
  • Supporting digital social innovation & Tech for Good entrepreneurship
  • Access to technology
  • Boosting digital skills by - and in the social economy

Application process

Please email a filled-in template (see the annex) to by 6 April 2023, 23:59.

Please address questions to our social economy team via the same email address.


By June 2023, all the applicants will be informed by email about results of the selection procedure.

The regional/local public authority selected as an event organiser, will become part of the ESER network.

More information

Annex: ESER Application form