Ireland signs the Toledo Declaration on Social Enterprise

EU Member States recognise Social Enterprise as a key driver of an inclusive and sustainable recovery

 Minister for Rural and Community Development, Heather Humphreys TD, (04 December 2020) announced that Ireland has signed the “Toledo Declaration on Social Enterprise”.

The Declaration is a recognition and a commitment to strengthening the decisive role that Social Enterprises can play as the EU emerges from the health, economic, and social crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It was signed at a high-level meeting on the social and solidary economy in the EU, organised by the Spanish Ministry of Labour and Social Economy.

The event was attended by representatives from EU member states, as well as by Nicolas Schmit, EU Commissioner for Jobs and Social Rights, Ángel Gurría, Secretary-General of the OECD, and Guy Ryder, Director General of the International Labour Organisation.

Announcing the signing of the Declaration, Minister Humphreys said:

 “The past few months have brought into sharp focus the critical role of social enterprises to Irish society, demonstrated by their responses to the challenges of COVID-19.

 “Our Social Enterprises put their communities in which they serve to the forefront and showed an incredible ability to adapt and innovate for the benefit of society.


“It is important that we support Social Enterprises to ensure that our economic and social recovery is a sustainable one that leaves no one behind.”

 “Today I am announcing Ireland’s signature of the Toledo Declaration which is a further articulation of Ireland’s firm commitment to Social Enterprise.

 My message is simple, I want Ireland to become a European leader in the area of social enterprise. To achieve this, national and international partnerships such as this are crucial.”


The Minister added:

“This Declaration will add to the significant momentum we have seen develop in recent years, driven in a large part by Ireland’s National Social Enterprise Policy which seeks to create an enabling ecosystem for social enterprise to grow in terms of scale and impact.


“Ireland’s dynamic and diverse social economy sector will continue to play an essential role in a variety of areas such as health and social care, social inclusion, and indeed in climate action and the circular economy. The Toledo Declaration is an important milestone as it brings like-minded EU countries together, with a commitment to developing social enterprises for the benefit of our economies and our societies, creating meaningful, impactful jobs including for the most marginalised in society. The Irish Government is committed to working with all who wish to create a more inclusive and sustainable future.

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