In an interview with online platform Nonprofit TSI coordinator Bernard Enjolras describes the relevance of the four working areas of the TSI project, concept, measurement, impact and barriers. “Because of the lack of a common definition the third sector is invisible and powerless, compared to other sectors of activity”, he says, thus underlining the need to adopt a joint official conceptualisation of the third sector that not only allows collecting statistical data on its various components but also generates some sense of common identity of people working and engaging in foundations, associations, cooperatives, mutuals, social enterprises and civil society.
As the project is moving into its final stages there is a precise list of policy recommendations to enhance working conditions of the sector, which will be promoted during the final event on 9 November 2016. The big question for research projets like Third Sector Impact is how to influence developments after the end of funding. “We hope that the Third sector Impact project will contribute to enhancing the visibility and legitimacy of the sector. Statistical standards for the third sector remain to be adopted by the European statistical authorities. The sector needs a common methodology and better data in order to better assess its socio-economic impact. Most of all, a renewed culture of government-TSO relations – recognizing the specificities of TSOs and their distinctive contributions – and a policy environment favorable to TSOs have to be promoted across Europe.”