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Reviving social economy in Romania – between emerging social enterprises in all sectors, surviving communist coops, and subsidiaries of globalization actors

4th CIRIEC International Research Conference on Social Economy University of Antwerp, 24-26 October 2013

Cristina Barna, Ancuţa Vameşu, October 2013

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Summary :

Social economy could be considered a response to the current eco – socio – economic crisis, in fact the first crisis of the globalization era. Developing social economy could mean sustainable, largely nonexportable jobs, social inclusion, improvement of local social services, and territorial cohesion. Maybe the tensions between „global” and „local” show a new wave of globalization system whose pre-condition is a sustainable territorial development. Romania in particular has faced a fast-paced transition from a closed society and economy to a country acting in a global market, including an open, global labor market. This meant dramatic changes in property regime and work, employment conditions, a context in which solutions from the top did no longer work and generated a framework for new organizational and entrepreneurial forms of social economy to play a role. Can institutions of the social economy create the path towards territorial, locally-based development in Romania? Could these territories become anchors in the context of the structural changes we live, for a real „globalization with human face” and for the ambitious objectives to be reached by 2020 by Europe in the five main areas: employment, innovation, climate change, education and poverty? We face a paradigm shift in a changing Europe, we have to unlock the potential of social enterprises – the emerging types, but also the past surviving coops.