A new step for a European Mutual Statute: European Commission launches impact assessment
12th July 2013
On 10th July 2013, the preliminary results of the public consultation on the current situation and prospects of mutual societies in Europe were released. Following this, it was announced that an impact assessment would be launched prior to a legislative proposal on the Statute for a European Mutual Society.
Following the announcement of the launch of this impact assessment, the Association Internationale de Mutualite (AIM) – which benenden health is a member of - have responded with the below release:
“AIM thanks the European Commission for this step forward and calls for a draft proposal in good time before the end of this mandate. AIM reminds the Commission that the situation and the environment are totally different nowadays compared to 2004 and that mutuals in Europe need a proposal urgently, to avoid demutualisation and enable cross-border activities.
- The crisis hits the vast majority of the Member States. In this sense, mutual societies, as social enterprises play an essential role in the protection of European citizens in their social, health and insurance needs. They support inclusion, introduce social innovations and reinforce the confidence of citizens. In this period of crisis, citizens need, more than ever, stable enterprises which act for the long-run.
- Mutual societies are dynamic and develop many social innovation initiatives. More and more mutual societies want to develop cross border activities, and several mutuals have tried or are in the course of doing so. But the current legal instruments do not make it possible for mutual societies to develop, as mutual societies, at the European level.
- Mutual societies in Europe are under pressure, and are pushed more and more in the direction of commercial enterprises. Mutual societies do not want to give up their values and principles. A Statute for a European Mutual Society would create an optional reference framework, common to the whole of the mutual societies wishing to adopt it.
Acknowledging this situation, the European Parliament unanimously voted in favour of a Statute for a European Mutual Society by the adoption in March 2013 of MEP Berlinguer’s own-initiative report on the statute, supported by a European Added Value Assessment. Yesterday MEPs reminded the Commission of the need for a draft proposal before the end of their mandate.
Mutual societies play a major role in the European Union's economy by providing affordable access to healthcare, social and insurance servicesto more than 230 million European citizens and by employing over 350,000 people. AIM assures the Commission of its full commitment to help produce the impact assessment and the future proposal of a Statute in good time.”
Lawrence Christensen, Marketing Director at benenden health said in response to this: “As a UK-based mutual, benenden health is an active supporter of the introduction of a European Mutual Statute, which we believe will greatly help secure the future of mutuals in Europe.
“We welcome the launch of the impact assessment by the European Commission as step forward to a full legislative proposal and we fully support the call made by AIM for this draft proposal to be submitted as soon as possible.
“The introduction of a Statute for a European Mutual Society would encourage cross-border opportunities and allow for mutuals to develop and expand. It would be a good move forward in fostering solidarity between mutuals, thereby enabling them to join together to provide services and extend their reach to more people.”
Further information on the European Mutual Statute and benenden health’s support for it.