Article by Reas, Red de Redes
This December, the document laying the foundations for a future SSE Law in Catalonia was presented, which will serve to promote a regulatory framework that recognises the social and solidarity-based economy and its desire for transformation
On 11 December, the Catalan Minister of Labour, Social Affairs and Families, Chakir lo Homrani, and the President of AESCAT, Guillem Llorens, presented the document on the agreed bases for promoting the Social and Solidarity Economy Act in Catalonia.
The objectives of the future SSE Law must be to recognise and promote the social and solidarity-based economy as an integral part of a plural economy in Catalonia, with the aim of advancing towards economic democratisation, and to contribute to the consolidation and qualitative and quantitative growth. Therefore, the objectives of the law that sets out the basic document are to establish a legal framework for the social and solidarity economy; to encourage and promote this economic model, and to achieve its recognition and institutional representation.
On the process of processing the future law, which will already be in the next legislature, El Homrani explained that it is now time to “draft the law in a consensual manner, as has been worked on up to now, and to deploy it. That is why we have already met with the parliamentary groups”. “If the social and solidarity economy sector has carried out this exercise of work and consensus from very different points of view, we must also be able to do so from the political sphere. We need this law to go ahead without blurring the basic document”, he said.
Specifically, it has to be inclusive, respecting the unique nature of the different legal and business forms; social, prioritising people and life; transformative, allowing progress towards a sustainable, pluralistic, democratic, solidarity-based, equitable and feminist economic system; flexible, with an eye to recognising new social and community realities; and in line with the various legislative proposals being promoted at European level.
In this way, with the basic document of the SSE Law, the aim is to advance towards a Catalan model of a plural economy. At a time when the economy is exclusively subordinated to the logic of profits controlled by large corporations, the organisations of the social and solidarity economy have contributed to building a type of globalisation related to people and communities.
Participation of the XES
During the last Extraordinary General Assembly of the Solidarity Economy Network of Catalonia held in the BiciHub space, the document with the bases of the future Social and Solidarity Economy Law in Catalonia was discussed and approved. During the meeting, the starting point was a provisional document that has been worked on in recent months by a working group of the XES law, created with this objective. Both this working group and the members and the permanent commission of the XES have incorporated amendments to the text initially proposed; so that during the meeting it has been possible to directly influence the specific amendments.
It should be remembered that the Government Plan of the Government of Catalonia considers the drafting of the Catalan Social and Solidarity Economy Act to be a major action of the current legislature. Along these lines, the Government of Catalonia called on the actors that form part of the AESC to participate in the articulation of the future Social and Solidarity Economy Act in Catalonia.
SSE entities: recognition process
The future SSE Law must define the concept of social and solidarity-based economy and must define what is understood as SSE and clearly differentiate it from that which cannot be considered.
In addition to the entities constituted in accordance with the legal forms that are normally associated with the SSE (mutual benefit societies, cooperatives, labour companies, foundations and associations, special work centres and insertion companies, agricultural processing companies and fishermen’s associations), the basic document establishes that it must be open to include other entities and initiatives that use other legal forms, provided that they comply with the principles and values of the SSE in their daily practice. Entities wishing to be recognised as SSE will have to pass a recognition process, prove that they are in line with the principles and values set out in the definition and be incorporated into a publicly owned register.
Creation of a favourable environment for the Social and Solidarity Economy
The base document defends that the Law must serve to put in value the social and solidarity economy, and to highlight the transforming commitment and the positive impact of its activities, as well as to facilitate its knowledge and recognition by the citizens. In this respect, it states that it will be necessary to work to establish a strategy for the mainstreaming of public policies in favour of the SSE, with the aim of enabling other public bodies to promote programmes that will make it possible to resolve the socio-economic needs of the country by promoting diversity, social justice and equal opportunities.
Recognition of the SSE as a socio-economic agent
The basic document establishes that one of the objectives of the Law is the recognition of the organisations representing the SSE as interlocutors with the administrations, as well as to encourage this at the different levels of public administration. It must also provide for the creation of a space for dialogue and governance of the SSE with the Administration of a joint and transversal nature. It is considered that the function of this space should be carried out by the Catalan Council of the SSE, which should be made up of the different actors in the SSE and the public administrations involved in its development.
Public-social and community collaboration
The agreed background document underlines that measures to promote the SSE will have to be established in order to access public procurement of goods and services, and to promote frameworks of relationships beyond procurement that prioritise quality of services over price.