Local Employment and Economic Development (LEED Programme)

Conference on The Social Economy in Central, East and South-East Europe: Emerging Trends of Social Innovation and Local Development


This conference took place on 22-23 September 2005 in Trento, Italy.  It built on the interest registered at the Capacity Building Seminar in November 2004 to further explore the trends, opportunities and challenges that social economy actors face in countries of the Baltic States, Central, East and South-East Europe (see draft agenda). This event was organised by the LEED Programme of the OECD and its Centre for Local Development based in Trento.

The conference aimed to increase understanding of the issues and policy options in terms of how best to leverage the advantages of social economy organisation in fostering social cohesion at both local and regional levels. The conference also aimed to strengthen international co-operation, identify “best practices”, develop policy recommendations and agree on policy initiatives in support of social economy development.

Debates and discussions focused on two main themes: First, participants debated the rationale and legal frameworks underlining social economy models: how do social economy organisations combine economic and social objective, how do legal frameworks support social economy development; how local best practices are identified, and how these inform policy processes. Second, they analysed the tools and strategies that the social economy employs: what are the key factors that define good practices in labour market integration and social inclusion, what is the role of partnerships and networking in developing social innovation.

The conference participants worked together to agree on a statement of policy recommendations on how to develop social innovation and social cohesion by supporting the development of social economy potential. These recommendations will be included in a major OECD publication containing the key papers prepared for the conference and a synthesis of the major conclusions of the discussions, which will appear in 2006.

For more information, please contact Ms. Paola Babos ([email protected]) or by fax +39 0461 277 650.

For access to the final agenda and to download speaker's presenations, please click here.

Download the call for papers