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France commemorates 10 years since the adoption of the Social and Solidarity Economy Law

France commemorated the 10th anniversary of the adoption of the Social and Solidarity Economy Law. This was done at a major congress, held on June 12 and 13 at the International Conference Center of the Sorbonne University, on the initiative of ESS-France, the French Chamber of Social and Solidarity Economy, with the participation of more than 1,000 people.

In the context of the dissolution of the French National Assembly, the 6 plenary sessions provided an opportunity for SSE actors to warn of the social project defended by the SSE with the postulates of the far-right, which won the European elections in France, and the need to block it.

During the Congress, the appointment of former minister Benoit Hamon as the new president of ESS-France was also made official, and the outgoing president, Jerome Saddier, was thanked for his contribution to the unity and visibility of the French social economy.

Among the participants, the interventions of Bruno Le Maire, Minister of Economy, Finance and Industry of the French Republic; Olivia Grégoire, Minister Delegate for Enterprise, Tourism, and Consumption; and Juan Antonio Pedreño, President of Social Economy Europe, stood out.

Declaration and new roadmap to strengthen the SSE and democracy

The Congress concluded with the reading of a manifesto, which became a declaration of principles and a roadmap to strengthen the SSE, by promoting a fair, inclusive, and sustainable economy that responds to current political, social, and environmental challenges.

Through this manifesto, French SSE organizations and enterprises aim to build a society where human dignity and respect for the environment are priorities. The importance of democracy, solidarity, and sustainability is highlighted as central axes of their action.

The document emphasizes the need for economic models that prioritize collective well-being over financial profit. The SSE commits to reducing its ecological footprint and promoting sectors such as the circular economy, decarbonized mobility, and citizen energy. In addition, it advocates for inclusive and fair business models that respect diversity and combat discrimination.

The protection of fundamental rights and the creation of territorial alliances between public and private actors are also emphasized. The SSE also positions itself as a defender of gender equality and the inclusion of migrants. The manifesto calls for collective action to integrate the SSE into public and sectoral programs, improve taxation adapted to its models, and establish long-term financing mechanisms.

Mobilization for the Republic: call to commitment

In addition to the Manifesto, the social and solidarity economy enterprises and organizations within ESS-France have also called for a mobilization for the Republic. Faced of the far-right, SSE actors call for commitment.

For ESS-France, “in the worrying context created by the unexpected dissolution decided by the President of the Republic, it is not the time for indifference.” And it warns: “wherever the far-right has taken power, organized civil society has been attacked to weaken those who embody daily in their commitment, work, and philosophy, the equality in rights and dignity of human beings, democracy, social justice, and ecology. No one in the social and solidarity economy can consider themselves safe, as we offer concrete solutions of positive alternatives that demonstrate the capacity of our organizations to integrate, insert and respond to social, climate, and territorial urgencies.”

ESS-France also warns that the normalization of far-right ideas “does not lead to their disappearance in the polls nor to their political weakening. The republican reflex of defending individual and collective freedoms, and fighting against racism and anti-Semitism, must prevail over any other consideration.”

The SSE therefore calls to participate in mobilizations, to join the election campaigns of the republican camp, “to play an active role in alerting people” and reject the choice of an “arbitrary, unequal, and hateful” society project.

And concludes: “The legislative elections on 30 June and 7 July must be the elections in which the extreme right is defeated at the polls, but also the elections in which our republican democracy is reborn”.

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CIRIEC-International CIRIEC-España Social Economy Europe Ministerio de Trabajo y Economía Social Unión Europea