Social innovation: the progressive approach

Friday 7 September 2018

Social innovation: the progressive approach

Extraordinary meeting
14.00 - 17.00
Centre de Congrès Le Dôme 18 Rue des 3 Couronnes 11000 Carcassonne
from: EN, FR, DE, IT, ES, RO, EL
to: EN, FR, DE, IT, ES, RO

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The financial crisis and subsequent austerity measures that have dramatically curtailed public investments in social welfare have created the pressing need for social innovation. By social innovation, we mean new ideas that meet social needs, create social networks and test new policy frameworks. These innovations can be policy actions, products, services or models addressing unmet needs more effectively.   

Social innovation can address poverty and generate sustainable wealth and well-being while promoting a learning and participative society. With this in mind, the role of local and regional authorities is crucial in the effective governance of social innovation, which cannot thrive if constricted by a top-down, heavily centralised model.

In order for social innovation to reach its objectives, it is important to ensure effective information sharing across the EU, the support to innovative entrepreneurs and the mobilisation of investors and public organisations so as to encourage market uptake of innovative solutions and stimulate employment.

14.00 - 14.15

Registration and Coffee

14.15 - 14.30

Welcome Address

Catiuscia Marini, President of the PES Group in the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) and President of the Umbria Region, Italy

André Viola, President of the Departmental Council of Aude, France, and CoR Member

14.30 - 15.30

Social Innovation Illustrated

Impact of social innovation and best practices

Moderated by Virginie Herz, journalist at France 24

Micaela Fanelli, Regional Councillor of Molise Region, Italy

Basílio Horta, Mayor of Sintra, Portugal, and CoR Member

Andreas Klimek, Project manager, Bürgermarkt Systemzentrale GmbH, Germany

Debate with participants

15.30 - 16.30

The EU's tools addressing social innovation

Funding opportunities and the creation of social innovation ecosystems

Moderated by Virginie Herz, journalist at France 24

Susana Díaz Pacheco, President of the Region of Andalusia, Spain, and CoR Rapporteur on the ESF+

Gabriele Bischoff, President of the Workers' Group of the European Economic and Social Committee

Lieve Fransen, Member of the European Commission High Level Task Force on Investing in Social Infrastructure in Europe

Debate with participants

16.30 - 17.00


Carole Delga, President of the Region of Occitanie, France

Karl-Heinz Lambertz, President of the European Committee of the Regions

Video report

Photo gallery

Social innovation, the progressive approach

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Activities organised alongside the meeting

Study visits

On 7 September, from 9.30 to 12.30, participants will have the opportunity to visit the following projects:

  •  "Mobil'Activ platform, Alzonne", an initiative of the Aude Department, supported by the ESF, providing mobility services to citizens with limited incomes in rural areas not easily accessible by public transport;
  • "Second Chance School, Carcassonne", an initiative of the Occitanie Region, also supported by the ESF, helping youngsters aged 18 to 25 who are not in training and have dropped out of school, to get back to active life and look for a job;
  • "Experiment Colvadem, Carcassonne", a project of the Aude Department, due to be included in the 2019 programming period of the ESF. Experiment Colvadem is a platform that collects objects intended to be thrown away, refurbishes them in its"Recydrive" and sells them to citizens with limited incomes in a store called "le Grenier" (the Attic).


The PES Group extraordinary meeting will be followed by a citizens' debate on "Our fight for social progress - Let's act Together!", starting at 17.30 and organised in cooperation with the European Parliament's S&D Group within the framework of the TOGETHER initiative. More info on this event here.


If you are interested in taking part in these activities, please mention it on the registration form.