The debate on the future of EU policies and budgets post-2020 is hotting up. A new policy brief from SIMRA, makes a contribution in the context of the European Commission’s Communication on the Common Agricultural Policy post-2020, “The Future of Food and Farming”.
The policy brief stresses that social innovation is a powerful manifestation of the principle of Community Led Local Development (CLLD). Social innovation is defined as “the reconfiguring of social practices in response to societal challenges which seeks to enhance outcomes on societal wellbeing and necessarily includes the engagement of third sector actors.” Social innovation can take many forms, from social enterprises, to multi-service centres, to environmental partnerships to enhance water quality or biodiversity, to local level development trusts and community owned bodies which have sought to fill gaps left by public or private sector withdrawal or to exploit opportunities. It provides a powerful means to address social exclusion and disadvantage, can strengthen social capital, and drive place-based development.
The policy brief concludes that social innovation can provide a highly valuable means for delivering the objectives for the future CAP, but stress that its role needs stronger recognition, mandatory inclusion and targeted policy support. It recommends that a mandatory cross-cutting principle for social innovation to be applied in relation to any Member States’ suite of measures in their RDPs, alongside the wider application of CLLD.
The SIMRA project (Social Innovation in Marginalised Rural Areas) is funded under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme. The authors of the policy brief are Bill Slee, Marie Clotteau, Robert Lukesch, Gerhard Weiss and Alice Ludvig. To read the full brief click below.