This study was requested by the European Parliament’s Committee on Legal
Affairs and commissioned, overseen and published by the Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs.
Social enterprises (SE) are subject to ad hoc legislation in an increasing number of EU jurisdictions and legislative initiatives in this field are under consideration by EU institutions. This paper explains why tailor-made legislation on SE is essential for the development of this unconventional form of business organization. It describes and compares existing models of SE regulation and discusses the core elements of an SE’s legal identity, with the aim of providing recommendations on the potential forms and contents of an EU legal statute on this subject.