Awareness Raising Campaign on Economic Democracy in Light of Increasing Governmental Efforts for Developing the Area

Call for proposals: Micro or “rapid response” projects
Priority area: Increased support for civic education and human rights
Project duration: 1 June 2023–14 February 2024
Project value: EUR 4,980.00

The Institute for Economic Democracy (IED) is a non-profit organization promoting the advancement of economic democracy in Slovenia and the broader region. Since 2018, it has been actively supporting the adoption of new policies that contribute to the development employee ownership with studies, consultations and advocacy. Among the important achievements of the Institute is the eurESOP social innovation – a democratic and sustainable model of employee ownership, which builds on experience and deals away with the challenges with the most successful models of employee ownership (among them is the American ESOP, British EOT and the Spanish Mondragon). eurESOP was also recognized as a good practice in the recent report of the European Commission entitled Transition Pathway for Proximity and Social Economy. It was also awarded the SozialMarie prize for social Innovation.

While the eurESOP model has been successfully implemented by three Slovenian companies in the past year, it remains a fiscally unfavorable solution due to inadequate legislative regulation. As indicated by foreign practices, a suitable supporting environment – especially tax incentives – are a basic prerequisite for the broad implementation of employee ownership models. Aiming to develop such an environment in Slovenia, the IED has joined forces with the Ministry of Solidarity-Based Future and the Ministry of Labor, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities in drawing up a draft bill that would regulate and provide tax incentives for the eurESOP model.

The eurESOP model – which is the result of leading experts on employee ownership working closely together for many years – is already considered a good practice abroad. Yet, in Slovenia, it has become the target of unjustified critique after the bill was announced. This critique largely originates in poor understanding of employee ownership and is based on wide-spread prejudice. The spread of such falsehoods is disrupting the course of public debate on the draft bill and undermining the efforts of civil society, politics and the economy to regulate the field of ​​employee ownership in Slovenia following the example of the most advanced economies in the world.

The objective of the campaign is to ensure that the public and key stakeholders from the economy, social and economic worlds, and politicians – whose support will be essential in ensuring the adoption of the draft bill – are well-informed about the eurESOP model and employee ownership in general. The campaign will involve the publication of informative posts on social media, which will include infographics, explainer videos and interactive posts dealing with economic democracy. At the same time, key stakeholders will also be reached out to with special editions of the IED newsletter, explaining the functioning of the bill.

Contact person: Kosta Marco Juri

Project promoter: Institute for Economic Democracy