An open letter from Anna Hidalgo to the leaders of the social and solidarity economy

Dear employees, employers, volunteers, drivers of the social and solidarity economy (ESS) in France!

I am guided by the conviction that the SWF should become the reference model of our economy in our country. It is truly at the crossroads of the pressing challenges of today, with companies that are at the same time pioneers of the ecological transition, laboratories of new citizenship, rooted in our territories and bearers of universal values!

Throughout France, SSE invents solutions in strategic areas of solidarity with our most vulnerable fellow citizens, empowering everyone to grow through popular education, culture, sports…

SSE remained a minor issue during this mandate, while today it represents just over 10% of GDP.

SSE also represents hope for the younger generation. Knowing the challenges we face, they want to work for organizations that put values ​​at the heart of their project. Everywhere I meet them, they talk to me about SSE!

Let’s be clear: SSE remained a minor issue during this mandate, while today it represents just over 10% of GDP. I have ambitions in the near future to overcome the threshold of 25% of the French economy, so that its values ​​and methods will irrigate our society.

It’s possible!

To achieve this goal, I want to develop an ambitious plan that will operate on three levels.

The first lever will be continuous public action. Thus, one of my first actions will be to appoint a full-fledged minister in charge of the social economy and the economy of solidarity, in order to reconnect with the momentum of progress driven by the 2014 Hamon law at the time.

I will provide funds to this ministry to support initiatives and place it as the arbiter of all government policy: food and agriculture policy, education, health, transportation, trade, parity, anti-discrimination. I will ask all government members to nominate an SSE Desk Officer in their immediate teams because I hope the government will draw inspiration from the SSE’s democratic practice to guide public policy, as many mayors have already done.

Environmental and social articles

The second lever is public procurement. It is imperative that large investments, procurement and delegation of public services include mandatory items not only of an environmental but also of a social nature.

During the nomination of Paris for the Olympic and Paralympic Games, I aimed to reach 25% of the contracts executed by the VSE/SME and SSE structures. With the creation of the ESS2024 platform supported by Paris 2024 and Les Canaux, the results are already in place, with over 200 ESS companies winning contracts for the Games.

I find it simply outrageous that no significant action has been taken in this direction regarding the 100 billion euro investment in the France Relance plan.

How could we, in providing government bailouts to large companies, ignore minimum conditions, such as guarantees not to use tax havens, cost-sharing in favor of the former, or even a trajectory compatible with the Paris Agreement?

How, in the same vein, has the executive been able to despise social innovation to the point of excluding it from research in major investment plans?

Thus, the third lever will be funds.

For an SSE to expand, it must have access to the same funding opportunities as a digital or industry one.

For an SSE to expand, it must have access to the same funding opportunities as a digital or industry one. I am reforming the Research Tax Credit (CIR) and mobilizing a public bank to fund social innovation. The state will make sure that the extraordinary melting pot of initiatives that are born and develop in our rural and urban areas is supported by regional funds. The latter, provided by the state, will finance the relocation of activities, the transition to SSE, the expansion of territorial poles of economic cooperation and territories with zero long-term unemployment, as well as companies for the disabled and integration, since, in accordance with my mandate, the state will support the creation of 250,000 inclusive jobs, especially in the new professions of ecological transition and social connections.

I do not forget the SSE staff and volunteers on the front lines during the pandemic, they need to be appreciated and supported. I will contribute to the implementation of the salary increase, training and development plan. This will be the great plan for the associative world, which will embody the recognition of the nation.

educational problem

Finally, in order to educate future generations and show them that our ways of producing, sharing and consuming are the way to regain control over our personal and collective destiny, I hope that the school will allow us to discover and experience SES. This training will be the main project that will bring the school and education participants together. Higher education must also change to better integrate SSE, especially in economics and political science. Finally, mass education will be supported as it allows all citizens to expand their knowledge and acquire new skills to change their lives.

Thanks to ESS, France has developed a business model based on sharing values ​​and caring for the planet: it combines concern for human dignity and our “common home”. This new, more responsible and resilient economy must take a prominent place in the global economy.

The current European reform of sustainable finance can finally take into account the social and environmental impacts of business activity, it can outline a new common framework that gives citizens the opportunity to influence the economy. In addition, I will personally carry this voice at the European level and at the United Nations to defend the new world economic order that the SSE protects.

As you already understood, my goal will be to gradually shift the economy and our entire society towards more cohesive practices, true to the values ​​​​of SSE, in France, in Europe and in the world!

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