The social and solidarity economy is campaigning

The least that can be said is that the actors in the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) have fought to ensure that this sector is present in the presidential campaign. In it 1uh March, Mutualité française convinced five candidates for the Elysée – Anne Hidalgo, Yannick Jadot, Valérie Pécresse and Fabien Roussel – to come and take their Grand oral de la santé and defend their projects there.

The association movement was not left out. It gathered six representatives of the candidates for the presidential election to hear them about their proposals for community life and more generally about issues of solidarity, health, ecological conversion or the power to live.

Finally, let us mention the long process that ESS France has carried out, which brings together national organizations representing the various statutory forms of ESS (mutual funds, cooperatives, associations, etc.), as well as the regional chambers of ESS. Named the Republic of SSE, it began in the spring of 2021 to lead on December 10, after various speeches and debates, to concrete proposals.

ESS is particularly present in left-wing programs. It is hardly mentioned by the right and extreme right

Despite all these efforts to make its voice heard, SSE is not particularly present in the campaign. “Its actors do not make weapons”, joker Timothée Duverger, associate professor at Sciences Po Bordeaux and specialist in the subject. But even before the war, and despite calls to build the “world after” pandemic, the SSE was rarely mentioned in the debates. The fault of a left wing “historically weak”the researcher continues.

Because ESS is particularly present in left-wing programs. It is hardly mentioned by the right and extreme right. “Emmanuel Macron is not talking about it. Neither does Marine Le Pen ”, notes Timothée Duverger. Valérie Pécresse simply states that reciprocity should “take responsibility for sports health and that we need to better recognize volunteering”.

As for Eric Zemmour, he declares that he wants to sanction structures that fight discrimination, such as feminist and anti-racist associations. Could he go so far as to ban them? This is a serious possibility, according to the researcher, as the polemicist proposes to prevent militant associations from taking legal action to put an end to “harassment they inflict”.

On the left side

The left-wing parties, for their part, are all proposing to strengthen the SSE by increasing subsidies and opening up its access to public markets. However, there is a great division around the role of mediators and the state. Subordinate France really wants to nationalize some of the mutual insurance companies in the idea of ​​a large social security system that reimburses health costs by 100%.

The Communist Party plans to put an end to the possibility opened up by the 2014 law to obtain the approval of a social utility company (Esus) for commercial entities belonging to the area of ​​social entrepreneurship. . When Jean-Luc Mélenchon proposes strong support for cooperatives – Scop, Scic and activity and employment cooperatives (CAE) – and popular education associations, Fabien Roussel emphasizes the takeover of companies in cooperatives.

The programs of the Socialist Party and Europe Ecology-The Greens are the most ambitious in terms of social and solidarity-based economy. Anne Hidalgo intends to allocate a full-fledged ministry to the SSE and to promote access to public procurement and “for funding in general”, in particular through the public investment bank and a social innovation credit in the image of the research tax deduction – idea proposed by ESS France. It also proposes to generalize “zero long-term unemployed territories” (TZCLD) and to develop the circular economy.

Yannick Jadot, for his part, emphasizes SSE’s contribution to ecological change. It also wants to promote the development of public procurement and public funding, “as fundraising performed by Railcoop”the first railway company with cooperative status, says Timothée Duverger.

Another originality of the ecologist’s program, he wants to develop spaces between the home and Ehpad in the form of collaboration – an idea that also takes up a proposal from ESS France.

What SSE actors want

While the issues related to SSE are easier to bring to the regional and local level, the actors are not demobilized. The Associative Movement did not fail to ask the six candidates it questioned whether they were ready to rescind the Republican engagement contract. This financial support, created by Emmanuel Macron, accompanied by a training course for young people under 26, jeopardizes the associative initiative, recalls its president Claire Thoury.

Associations must now sign this contract with the state to benefit from public subsidies or be approved. They thus undertake to respect the principles of the Republic. But the Association Movement indirectly fears effects for those associations that, in order to challenge public opinion, play with the codes by sometimes being on the verge of legality, for example with occupations of places that could possibly be interpreted as a disturbance of public order. .

“All left-wing candidates are ready to repeal it, but not Les Républicains and La République en Marche”, she sums up. Five of the six movements (Socialist Party, Europe Ecology-Greens, French Communist Party, Les Républicains and LREM) have also committed to developing civic services, while La France insoumise instead proposes to establish a system closer to the Emplois- young people. And they have all promised to preserve the donation regime with its tax deduction.

ESS France calls for the creation of a conversion fund and the strengthening of the tax deduction for social innovation

ESS France, for its part, formulated concrete proposals grouped under six key directions. That is why the organization insists, first and foremost, on the need for “a cross-cutting consideration of the sector”, as its President Jérôme Saddier reminds us. This involves the appointment of a Ministerial Delegate or State Secretary to the next Minister of Economic Affairs and Finance in continuation of Olivia Grégoire’s current status.

Another orientation: support the civic initiatives necessary for democracy and “strengthening the accountability of public action”. Jérôme Saddier also insists it would be necessary “promote the conversion of the economy towards the SSE”especially by transforming traditional companies.

To this end, ESS France calls for the creation of a conversion fund and the strengthening of the tax deduction for social innovation. “by giving it a stabilized fiscal definition of social innovation in line with that laid down by the law of 31 July 2014”. As this system can only be used by companies that pay taxes, all those who are not taxed must be able to benefit from direct support systems to support them in their social innovation initiatives.

ESS France is also working to strengthen “the power to live by the greatest number” and especially young people “that it is urgent to support”, reminds Jérôme Saddier, especially by opening up RSA to them. In addition, the organization insists on the right to employment, also dependent on TZCDL and ecological transition. She would like a European definition of SSE to be finally adopted.

As Jérôme Saddier notes, the 2020 recovery plan has not lived up to the promises made during the pandemic to build “the world after” and transform the economy. It’s not too late.

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