Mark this date: On December 4 2013, Coworking has been officially recognized by the European Union!
The European Parliament hosted a conference with the aim of discussing about the concept of coworking, how it contributes to the growth of the EU economy, and how the EU can contribute to the growth of coworking.
Neelie Kroes, Vice President of the EU Commission leading the Digital Agenda, made a statement where she presented coworking as a motor of the future of the EU economy. Coworking and the European Coworking Assembly are now part of the Startup Europe initiative and of the Horizon2020 programme.
This is an historic video!
We are very happy about this, not only because of the positive impact it has on coworking, also because of our contribution to it :)
Ramon Suarez (the founder of Betacowork and author of the Coworking Handbook) started it all on his side over two years ago with a Twitter campaign to bring Neelie to her tech entrepreneurship “backyard”, to see what is going on in Brussels, the siege of the EU Commission. Since then, he has met with EU officials and is now an expert that reviews European projects. We also included coworking as part of a EU call we did not win (our first one). This work has also been supported by others that have been speaking with the Commission about the virtues of coworking, including some of the speakers of the day and the founders of the European Coworking Assembly.
The last few years have seen a very strong commitment in trying to catch the attention of the European Commission. This effort was first rewarded by the visit of Neelie Kroes at Betacowork. After the conference, she also met with a group of Belgian startups to learn about their business and about how the EU could help them.
On this occasion, Ramon was invited to speak about his experience as a coworking entrepreneur, together with other coworking space experts from all around Europe: Christophe Fahle from Betahaus in Berlin, Jean-Yves Huwart from Coworking Net in Namur, Claudio Vandi from Silicon Sentier in Paris, and Panni Klementz from LOFFICE in Budapest.
That same morning the Betacowork hosted a meeting with the coworking saint patrons that have decided to launch the European Coworking Assembly, the voice of coworking spaces in Europe (link coming soon.) So another event to add to a historic date :)
I am relatively new in the coworking world and the more I experience it, the more I love it. It was great to meet all those passionate entrepreneurs willing to drive forward this great idea. Most of them realized at the beginning of their careers that didn’t want to end up working in big corporations, neither being a freelance working from home isolated and unproductive. Until they came across the concept of coworking and became its main promoters in Europe.
Coworking are places where innovation, collaboration, economy, jobs, and ideas are not only words, they are places where things happen and this is what many people need. The voice of coworking has finally been heard :)