Article from the Newsletter of the Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire (MES, France)

10 years after its promulgation, the representative organisations of the SSE contribute to the evaluation of the law of 31 July 2014 on SSE. Among them, the MES France (see below):

[…] Even though this work has been nourished by numerous studies and contributions, it has nevertheless been deplored on many occasions the lack of data to specify the current dynamics and the evolutions of the SSE; This weakness of the statistics specific to the SSE is in fact a failure to implement an objective of the law.

Overall, the content of the draft opinion is based on an exhaustive and precise analysis of the legislative provisions, which has not only made it possible to confront the realities of the initial ambitions set by the legislator, but also to outline the future actions to be taken to initiate the next stages of development of the SSE.

On the major points of the law relating to the transversal provisions to the SSE, the content of the draft opinion is in accordance with the orientations expressed by the actors of the SSE, and adopted during the board of directors of ESS France.

Thus, the draft opinion expresses first of all the overall satisfaction of stakeholders with regard to the law, which remains the most successful French legislative work in the field of SSE, and which is even a model in Europe and in the world. This law has made it possible to recognise SSE as a “mode of entrepreneurship and economic development”, to define common and innovative principles of management and corporate governance, and to make it a real subject of public policy.

However, while the opinion rightly notes that “the awareness of the SSE seems to have increased”, particularly among representatives of the public authorities, the opinion also indicates that the objectives for the development of the SSE set in 2014 by the Legislator have not been achieved: “The ambition of the change in scale of the SSE announced in 2014 has therefore not yet been translated into reality, for lack of proactive public policies and resources commensurate with such an ambition. ». These elements tend to confirm the analysis produced by ESS France in this area, which regrets the lack of consistency in the political will, in the administrative organization and in the financial means of the State, allowing to deploy a genuine strategy for the development of the SSE.

The opinion recommends that Parliament vote on a programming law to honour the ambitions of the 2014 law: “a programming law would settle the main question left open by the 2014 law, which is that of the resources allocated to the SSE institutions to carry out their legislative and regulatory missions and dialogue with the public authorities, insufficient at present, and the development of the SSE in all its components, with the prospect of an ambition of change of scale not honored so far”, position also adopted by the Board of Directors of ESS France, which considers this programming law priority over any other legislative ambition, although some legitimate proposals for legislative changes have been made.

Regarding the definition of the scope of the SSE, the draft opinion expresses the overall satisfaction of the actors with the drafting of Article 1, and considers that it does not require a more in-depth assessment, especially since this scope inspires the dynamics of recognition of the SSE in Europe and internationally: this is particularly the case of the recent UN resolution on the recognition of the SSE, and the draft recommendation of the European Council.

This position is in line with the guidelines voted by the SSE France bodies, which had recalled the essential nature of the common principles of management and governance of SSE companies. These ensure that the SSE is:

  • motivated not by profit-making but by the sharing of wealth and value, as well as by the collective or general interest;
  • driven by the involvement of people through, most often through collective ownership;
  • and organized according to democratic governance modalities.

These principles, forged by the various statutory forms of the SSE, are more modern than ever at a time when many companies and entrepreneurs wish to adopt operating rules adapted to the challenges of ecological, social and democratic transition.

As far as the territorial ecosystem is concerned, it should unfortunately be noted that the missions granted to the CRESS have not been followed by appropriate funding, which remains penalizing in view of the overall incomplete and unclear nature of the service offer. Above all, placed in a deteriorated situation compared to the ecosystem of “conventional” companies, the SSE ecosystem is de facto at a disadvantage in its development with regard to the public resources committed.

[…] Finally, ESS France calls for this opinion, which has benefited from the collaboration of networks of SSE actors, to serve as a support for any future evaluation work that will be undertaken by parliamentarians.

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This article is taken from : Opinion of the CSESS on the assessment of the SSE law of 2014