Social innovation as a new tool for creating growth and jobs

This article was published under the 2015-2020 European Committee of the Regions mandate.



Last updated
3 December 2019

11-12 May
Adopted unanimously at CoR Plenary


31 March
Approved in SEDEC commission

31 January
Exchange of views

Innovation for social solutions

Social innovation is a new approach which can be a key instrument for combating youth unemployment, bringing people with greater difficulties into the labour market and revitalising more outlying regions and run-down urban areas.

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The European Union is facing major societal challenges including migration, ageing, unemployment, climate change and the energy transition. Although these challenges call for significant European investment over the longer term, it is important to be alert to everyday issues in cities and regions, and to look for the solutions at grassroots level rather than in a top-down way. These challenges need to be tackled in a different way, since existing approaches are not bringing us any closer to a solution, and the problems continue to accumulate.



April 2018 “Using social innovation policy approaches to help cities and regions realise the potential of the European Pillar of Social Rights” Conference.Cities and regions are among the most fertile contexts for social innovation and experimentation. Many important themes such as collaborative citizenship and collaborative institutions, smart and participatory planning and budgeting have all converged at the city and regional level. Furthermore, cities and regions in Europe have been actively looking for new ways to engage and work with citizens, entrepreneurs, social economy and SI actors to tackle goals as diverse as widening social inclusion, improving employment opportunities for young people, and creating better supports for disadvantaged communities. Rapporteur Marcelle Hendrickx joined this REVES (European Network of Cities & Regions for the Social Economy) event and introduced the topic through her report.


15 May 2017 Univers, the independent news website of Tilburg university, follows rapporteur Hendrickx’ during the plenary of the European Committee of the Regions: Tilburg moves to Europe

13 May 2017 covers the adoption of Hendrickx’ opinion at the plenary: Tilburgers News

12 May 2017 Nieuwsredactie covers Hendrickx’ opinion and interviews her during the European Committee of the Regions plenary: Tilburg meets Brussels: a visit to the European Committee of the Regions

12 May 2017 The organization of Dutch municipalities covers rapporteur Hendrickx’ work: Vereniging van Nederlandse Gemeenten (VNG)

11 May 2017 Discussion with Matthijs van Miltenburg MEP (NL / ALDE), ALDE’s REGI-coordinator, about the importance of social innovation.

31 March 2017 The opinion was approved in SEDEC commission.



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