Social Cohesion Research and Early Warning

The Department
Social Cohesion Development and Research  
Social Security
Access to Social Rights
Social Policy for Families and Children


Dialogue platform on ethical and solidarity-based initiatives for combating poverty and social exclusion
Awareness raising seminars
Methodological tool to develop co-responsibility for social cohesion
Annual Forums
Series Trends in social cohesion
Methodological Guides

Project of a Platform for political dialogue and the promotion of ethical, socially responsible and solidarity-based initiatives in the economy

During the Forum 2004 “Socially responsible consumption and finance systems: public authorities’ and citizens’ commitment for social cohesion” and on the basis of its Social Cohesion Strategy, which emphasises the idea of a shared responsibility between public authorities and civil society, the Council of Europe is examining the possibility of setting-up a platform for political dialogue and the promotion of ethical, socially responsible and solidarity-based initiatives in the economy.

The platform should enable:

    - analysis and highlighting of relevant ethical, socially responsible and solidarity-based economic initiatives for social cohesion;
    - pooling experience gained with partnerships and dialogues on various levels, and apply the lessons learned;
    - a more precise definition of the public authorities’ role in providing support, establishing legal frameworks and making action systematic;
    - reception, discussion and preparation of proposals to increase the impact of these initiatives.

The platform should involve the participation of following groups of actors:

    - representatives of public institutions represented within the Council of Europe (Parliamentary Assembly, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, NGOs enjoying participatory status with the Council of Europe);
    - the networks involved in developing socially responsible consumption and finance systems
    - the national authorities responsible for specific domains,
    - researchers and networks of researchers working on these themes, who can clarify particular issues, take appropriate follow-up action, and facilitate dialogue and the definition of objectives,
    - media representatives, who can play a vital role in publicising these new approaches and practices, thus ensuring that the public has a better understanding of the concept of shared responsibility,
    - business representatives, who will be asked to explain their views on shared responsibility for social cohesion and sustainable development at different local and regional levels,
    - trade unions who will present employees’ views on shared responsibility.

It is expected that the platform will help to:

    - show public authorities how they can support ethical, solidarity-based and socially responsible economic initiatives on the part of citizens by running awareness-raising campaigns, pursuing appropriate public procurement policies and creating favourable conditions, particularly in fiscal and legal terms,
    - foster ethical, socially responsible and solidarity-based citizen initiatives, particularly in countries where they are still rare,
    - promote an exchange of views on this theme with other international organisations and institutions, such as the European Union, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the International Labour Office (ILO), other United Nations agencies, the Council of Europe Development Bank, the European Investment Bank, and other development banks.

and, more generally:

    - integrate the social and environmental dimensions more fully into the economy, thanks to increased interaction between public policies and ethical, socially responsible and solidarity-based economic initiatives taken by citizens,
    - ensure greater social cohesion and sustainable development at national, regional and local level.