The newly released “European Green Deal” contains a palpable sense of support for improved social inclusion in a green and just transition but lacks urgency and detail on exactly how the EU proposes to implement such change. The deal, referring to “new business models”, fails to explicitly mention the role of existing sustainable entities such as social enterprises active in re-use and repair already providing up-skilling, jobs and training to vulnerable populations. This week alone, the European Council adopted conclusions on inclusive labour markets, recognising the value of social enterprises as improving the employment of people in a vulnerable position in the labour market.
Michal Len, Director of RREUSE insisted that “Explicitly recognising and supporting thousands of social enterprises already delivering significant environmental and social impact within their communities is essential in future measures under the Green Deal”.
While it’s promising to see support for designing durable, repairable and re-useable goods, the Green Deal also falls short in terms of product re-use with no explicit backing for second-hand, albeit mentioning the importance of adopting “sustainable behaviours”.
In light of this, Michal Len noted that “Positive words supporting a circular transition are welcome but the Green Deal gives precious little insight on specific measures to boost support for the re-use sector”. Moving forward, specific and explicit support measures for re-use and second-hand practices should be made essential.
With references to shifting tax burdens from labour to pollution and overall support for “sustainable and job-intensive economic activity”, RREUSE hopes that other initiatives such as the future Social Economy Action Plan will help guide concrete inclusive measures proposed under the Green Deal”.
RREUSE appreciates that this Communication presents an initial roadmap wherein future needs and policies will be integrated.
Kelly Piron, Communication and Advocacy Officer, firstname.lastname@example.org