The International Policy Workshop: sharing details and policy actions for an economic, social and environmental harmonisation

Date: 28.02.2024
By: 3P4SSE

On 16 February 2024, the International Policy Workshop of the project 3P4SSE – Public-private-partnership for Social and Solidarity Economy took place online in order to define joint strategy, priorities and objectives to promote local actions within the project and reduce social disparities among EU member states in Central Europe. 

The 3P4SSE project, financed by the Interreg Central Europe Programme, aims at tackling socioeconomic disparities across the Central European (CE) cooperation area by empowering Social and Solidarity Enterprises (SSEs). The main objective is to achieve this by advocating for multilevel governance frameworks rooted in Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs). Through the implementation of a unified strategy, localised action plans, capacity enhancement initiatives, and formal Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs), the project intends to foster the clustering of governmental bodies, non-governmental organisations (NGOs), and private entities. This collaborative approach will facilitate the exchange of ideas and best practices among diverse institutional stakeholders, thereby fostering integrated development and regional cohesion.

During the online International Workshop, following a brief explanation of the state of the art of the project, each partner reported the results of their local workshops held in the previous months in the countries of Italy, Hungary, Poland, Croatia and Slovenia and the prerogatives that emerged for the development of future action plans.

Each workshop was different and faced peculiar challenges and local needs;

  • In Hungary, the primary objective is to pioneer the establishment of a public-private partnership, currently non-existent, with a grassroots approach aimed at benefiting customers and citizens directly.

  • The outcomes of the Local Policy Workshop in Croatia have resulted in the formulation of a comprehensive Local Action Plan. This plan outlines four distinct phases of action, delineating detailed steps to be executed in the upcoming period. The Action Plan is centred around the policy priority of capacity building, knowledge enhancement, and resource sharing, identified by participants and stakeholders as crucial for Croatia’s SSE landscape. The envisioned phases of the plan aim to establish a Support Center, designed to cater to the needs of SSE entities. This centre will provide a range of services, including training programmes, research initiatives, and advocacy campaigns. Acting as an information hub and resource repository, it will facilitate the dissemination of best practices and contribute significantly to elevating the profile of SSE activities within Croatia.

  • Poland is grappling with challenges such as a shortage of human resources, organisational deficiencies, and financial constraints within the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE). To address these issues, Poland aims to enhance the competence of local governments in supporting clusters and SSE entities. They also seek to implement mechanisms mandating local governments to involve SSE entities in providing social services, drawing inspiration from Trentino’s model of social inclusion outlined in l.p. 13/2007.

  • In Slovenia, discussions revolve around integrating target groups into SSE activities. One proposed solution involves leveraging existing networks to establish social services in rural municipalities. Slovenian partners are exploring the social economic district model to ensure SSE sustainability in rural areas and forge strategic collaborations with municipalities.

  • In Trentino, SSE entities face a notable absence of involvement from for-profit businesses, necessitating greater engagement. There’s a recognised need to bolster skills within the DES for more coordinated and efficient management. Establishing institutional contacts, organising periodic meetings, regulating the DES, and enhancing visibility within the community are identified strategies. Additionally, there’s a call for convening regular gatherings to attract companies unfamiliar with the social and solidarity economy in Trentino. Common obstacles and issues faced by all DESs underscore the importance of sharing success stories and practical solutions for collective advancement.


Through a significant cross-country comparison, the meeting identified some local deficits such as the shortage of human resources, the limited inclusiveness of the target group, the reduction of building capacities, and the lack of profit business to involve. On the other hand, some possible solutions were showcased, including the sharing of practical responses for collective benefit, the increasing competence of local governments or the need to expand institutional contacts to strengthen engagement.

Furthermore, the workshop discussions focused on the pivotal role of the main actors needed to implement the project, with local authorities, NGOs and informal platforms/networks as primary players. All of this summarises what is desirable in the field of political vision, environmental sustainability, and social and economic values of the 3P4SSE project.

To realise the action plan, the approach adopted was the backcasting methodology, a planning method which starts by defining a desirable future and then works backwards to identify the policies and programmes that will interconnect with that specified future to the present.

The next step will be the ratification of the joint strategy between partners in the upcoming meeting and this further implementation in order to create the bases for positive change, fostering collaboration, knowledge sharing, and innovation to enhance social and economic ecosystems across the region.