A positive outcome for the FRESS 2020

From our member Bérénice Dondeyne, MES Occitanie

The FRESS took place despite the current global pandemic context and the measures taken by the government. We managed to hold the event in a period of lock-down. As mentioned above, the FRESS is part of the SSE Month, a project carried by CRESS to highlight SSE initiatives, but also the Republic of SSE; a collaborative project launched by ESS France where citizens and SSE actors can write their proposals for the 2022 presidential elections. The FRESS obviously asked Jason Nardi to come and close the event by presenting the main conclusions of the WSFTE 2020 and in particular the Agenda for Transformative Economies.

Two highlights were devoted to public policies and cooperation with SSE actors. One on the theme of Urban Policy, the Precarity and French Impact Plan and the SSE Development Plan for Toulouse Metropole. The other one in partnership with the Haute-Garonne Departmental Council on the idea of “Meeting the Precarity Challenge! Coopérer pour Zéro Précarité”, in the presence of Jean -Yves Pineau from Localos https://www.localos.fr/ and Timothée Duverger, lecturer at Sciences Po Bordeaux, where the following were honoured: the Régies de territoire of Rodez and Lectoure, Territoire Zéro Chomeurs de Longue durée of Grauhlet, the PTCE of Seignanx in the Landes, the SCOP Acthar.

One of the conclusions is certainly to revisit our views on unemployment in a guilt-free way, to put citizen values back into an ethical accompaniment of people, to bring a more transforming vision on our territories and for that, to initiate more bottom-up cooperation processes, taking a long time to build trust between actors and citizens, to create solutions that last over time.

At the international level, the FRESS led a round table on the international challenge posed by precarity with the participation of Gassim Cherif, a journalist from the Chadian diaspora. As a reminder, congratulated by the Committee of the Nobel Peace Prize 2020, for its World Food Programme, the UN had as a project to eradicate poverty by 2030. But the Covid-19 Crisis has upset the plans by aggravating the situation, particularly in the emerging countries. Olivier De Schutter, UN rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, recently explained: “The catastrophic record of the international community in the fight against poverty, inequality and contempt for human life precedes the pandemic”. This record will become even more catastrophic with the economic impact of the health crisis, as the UN report “From reflection to action: Gender equality in the wake of Covid-19” highlights that the pandemic will push 96 million people into extreme poverty, below $1.90 a day. Among those most affected are women, migrant workers and refugees.

Thus, for Olivier De Schutter, “eradicating poverty means building inclusive societies that move from a charity approach to a rights-based empowerment approach”. The main question was “What role can we play in the fight against precarity in emerging countries”, and two other challenges were taken up. Youth with actors such as the Collectif Rivages, Ufisc and its Ajiter programme, the Acthar scop, the ERASME Social Work Institute, and food. On the eve of the big collect Food Bank, the FRESS made it possible to launch joint work on local, quality food supplies for people in precarity situations. This work will continue in 2021. The objectives are to improve the supply chain by creating links with local producers, to create jobs and activities of social and civic utility, and through food to create more social links and inter-cultural exchanges.

This is worked with MI2S, Ressources Solidaires, the Banque Alimentaire, Secours Populaire, the Vrac Association. During the first lock-down, nationwide, 1.3 million people benefited from Secours Populaire’s services, 45% of these beneficiaries had never claimed this food aid before. An average 50% increase in needs can be observed in Toulouse or Montpellier. In rural areas, needs have also increased. Many students today are without any resources due to the disappearance of small “jobs”. For the MES, social justice is at the centre of future actions. The issue of human rights and economic democracy is the roadmap to be followed.