Twelve Greek national and international institutions participated in the event to debate on ways to achieve MedTOWN’s goals as meeting the real needs of the local economy; highlighting approaches and solutions of social innovation and coproduction; or the cooperation of public and private bodies, knowledge carriers and entities of the 3rd sector and social & solidarity economy (SSE) at local level.
In MedTOWN we believe that policy dialogue is one of the most important aspects of our project, and that we can make a difference by bringing to the same table people with different approaches to address together issues such as local economy, social inclusion and public-private collaboration.
The Scientific Society for Social Cohesion and Development (EPEKSA), Greek partner of MedTOWN project, hosted the first online national round table in Greece “Active employment policies and development of the local economy” on 13th December 2021, with representatives of public institutions, local actors from Paggaio (where MedTOWN’s Greek demonstrative action is taking place), SSE actors, social policies’ experts, and academics.
The high level discussion focused on the co-production and social innovation as important elements of the activities of SSE actors that have positive impact in local communities, with a special approach for the active employment policies. From the debate, three main ideas were extracted:
- It is a common finding that the efficiency of funded programs that support new entrepreneurship and employment is often limited and does not adequately meet the real needs of the local economy (the local enterprises and the employees).
- The cooperation of public and private bodies, knowledge carriers and entities of the third sector at local level, is highlighting approaches and solutions of social innovation and co-production, based on the specific needs and priorities of the local economy, the growth assets of the area and the trends that deploy in the markets.
- The objective is to increase employment in local enterprises in positions that could upgrade the provided services and/or products and enhance the local economy (e.g. through the development of tools that increase the consumption of products and services in those enterprises).
The fifteen participants exchanged opinions and proposals for the utilization of funding instruments for the optimization of the planning and effective implementation of the related programs that support and enforce new entrepreneurship and employment, on the basis of the real needs of the local economy. The main topics and conclusions to keep improving discussed during the national round table can be seen here.
MedTOWN project is developing in Greece a Demonstrative Action focusing on the co-production of public employment services, with the participation of social services and SSE actors to support people excluded from the labour market. The main aim is to develop a local action plan to confront unemployment and enhance the local economy, supporting the survival of small local businesses, while increasing the employment & entrepreneurship of vulnerable people.
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