European Commission highlights the important social role of mutuals in Europe
21st November 2012
On 15th November 2012, the European Commission published their report on“the current situation and prospects of mutual in Europe”- the findings of which are particularly significant to Benenden Healthcare as a leading mutual healthcare organisation.
Please see the below release from the Association Internationale de la Mutualite (AIM) outlining the key conclusions of the report.
The report published on 15th November 2012 by the European Commission is warmly welcomed by the Association Internationale de la Mutualite (AIM). By making an inventory in thirty countries, this study completes the report issued by the European Parliament on the “role of mutual societies in the 21st Century” in 2011.
The recognition of the added value of mutual societies is clearly acknowledged by the study. Indeed, besides their long history in Europe, in particular being the foundation of modern social protection systems, mutuals play an important role in the European society and economy. The study provides a large variety of examples.
The report also recognizes mutuals’ diversity, their resilience to the crisis, their answer to the core problems of the citizens, as well as their member-focused approach and their democratic governance. In the current context, it highlights their role in helping Europe to recover from the economic and social crisis.
The conclusions of the study stressed several proposals for action which could remove barriers which currently hamper the mutuals’ development in Europe.
AIM welcomes the fact that the study does recognize that a Statute for Mutuals in Europe “could help mutuals to gain recognition, to increase the understanding concerning mutuals in the countries and to better respect mutual interests at European level”.
AIM reiterates its strong advocacy for a Statute of a European Mutual, which will be optional, in order to respect the need of diversity in the entrepreneurship, to better recognize mutuals and to be able to work cross-border, particularly in countries where mutuals have limited activities or do not exist at all.
Clearly, the European Union cannot and must not ignore the voice of one third of the European population who are members of a mutual.
The Association Internationale de la Mutualité (AIM) is a grouping of autonomous health insurance and social protection bodies operating according to the principles of solidarity and non-profit-making orientation. Currently, AIM’s membership consists of 45 national federations representing 26 countries. In Europe, they provide social coverage against sickness and other risks to more than 160 million people. AIM strives via its network to make an active contribution to the preservation and improvement of access to healthcare for everyone.