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European Economic and Social Committee, Information Memo (new referral)

8 February 2012

Subject: Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on European Social Entrepreneurship Funds.

Ref.: COM(2011) 862 final - 2011/0418 (COD)

doc.gifDownload file.doc (51 KB)

  1. Procedure

Council referral:

20 January 2012

European Parliament referral:


Legal basis:

Article 114 of the TFEU

Committee Bureau decision:

17 January 2012

Section responsible:

Single Market, Production and Consumption

Section president:

Mr Cassidy (UK-I)

Organisation of section work:

1 February 2012

Study Group on


Ms Rondinelli (IT-II)

European Social Entrepreneurship Funds


Ms Rodert (SE-III)


Mr Cabra de Luna (ES-III)
Mr Farrugia (MT-I)
Mr Guerini (IT-III)
Mr Manoliu (RO-I) (Rule 62 - Mr Varfalvi)
Mr Mitov (BG-II)
Mr Polyzogopoulos (EL-II)
Ms Sharma (UK-I) (Rule 62 - Mr Burns)

To the members of the

European Economic and Social Committee


Mr Hahn (for the rapporteur)

  1. Gist of the Commission document

The proposed regulation presented by the Commission lays the foundations for a strong European market for social investment funds.

While they often receive public support, specialised social investment funds are still rare or not large enough. Moreover, cross-border investment in such funds is unnecessarily complicated and expensive.

There are five key elements to the Commission proposal.

  • A recognised EU brand for social entrepreneurship funds: Currently, investors can find it difficult to identify funds that are investing in social businesses and this can undermine trust in the social business market.

  • Improved investor information: Just as investors can find it difficult to identify funds investing in social businesses, the information available about these funds and what they are doing can be difficult to compare and use. Setting a common EU framework for this information is therefore vital.

  • Better performance measures: The projected impact is an important factor for investors in choosing between various social investment funds. The proposed measures will set out clear requirements for funds to inform investors on how they will go about monitoring and reporting on impacts.

  • Break down barriers to fundraising across Europe: Rules targeting social investment funds differ per Member State and are often onerous and complex. For this reason, the new proposals will simplify rules. For example, a European passport would ensure that social entrepreneurship funds could raise funds across Europe.

  • Availability to investors: Because investing in social businesses can be risky, the "European Social Entrepreneurship Funds" label would initially only be available to professional investors. Once the framework is up and running, the Commission will examine possible measures to make such investments also available to retail customers.

  1. Draft timetable




21 March 2012

First study group

Commission document, working document

17 April 2012


Draft opinion

23-24 May 2012

Plenary session

Section opinion