France

We are collecting here messages, articles, stories and references of Solidarity economy initiatives in response to the Covid19 pandemic crisis and its consequences all over Europe, to share and exchange experiences and efforts from member networks and other organisations. If you wish to contribute, please write to : info@ripess.eu

Message from Jason Nardi, General Delegate of RIPESS Europe :

“Never as today can we say we’re all in the same boat in a stormy sea. The Corona virus pandemic crisis is spreading rapidly throughout the world, with an impact that is in many ways unpredictable and without discrimination, although unfortunately it is always the most vulnerable people who suffer the most. The climate and environmental crisis is also global, but it affects us in different ways. The sum of the two and the economic and social consequences that are already occurring and looming ahead are potentially enormous.

Extract from the letter by Nicolas Schmit, Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights (European Commission) to the French government

“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a deep crisis. The extent of its consequences affect not only health, but also the economy and society more generally. We need to fight this crisis effectively in order to avoid any risk of further divergence, which would undermine social cohesion and ultimately present a risk for our democracies and for the European project.

This crisis therefore calls for a strong response, leading to solid economic and social progress. More than ever, we must pursue the objective of combating inequalities and put in place an inclusive and resilient economic and social model, based on the values of cooperation, solidarity and responsibility, that is to say, on an economy at the service of human beings.

[…] In conclusion, I urge you to ensure that social economy organisations have the necessary means and support to fully play their crucial role in managing and resolving the current crisis.
The social economy has unique assets to help us jointly address the health and social dimensions of the crisis and to help us emerge from it with an inclusive, sustainable and resilient economic and social model.”

Contribution of the Movement for the Solidarity Economy France to the end of the crisis COVID-19

This contribution from the Board of Directors of the Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire France was written by Patricia Colers (UFISC) and Josette Combes, Co-Presidents of MES France, Bérénice Dondeyne, MES Occitanie, Luc de Larminat (Opale, CNAR Culture), Alexane Hérédia (administrator) and Bruno Lasnier (national delegate), in response to the referral to the SSE High Council by the High Commissioner for SSE and Social Innovation to prepare the SSE crisis recovery plan COVID-19.

The crisis generated by the COVID-19 pandemic drastically questions our socio-economic models and shatters the illusions of infinite growth, in the capacity to prevent such a health catastrophe as well as to take care of society here and now. On the contrary, this pandemic is increasingly revealing social inequalities, the inadequacy of public infrastructures to meet basic needs, and the weakness of public policies based on budgetary restrictions and not on the interests of all. At times of major economic and social crises, the question of the general interest always arises in a fundamental way.

The responses are multiple and in their deployment, the social/solidarity-based economy has an important place to play as a model of society, but with the requirement that the State fully assumes its responsibilities as guarantor of the general interest. The following proposals go in this direction: they combine public responsibility, the involvement of civil society and an orientation towards an economy committed to an ecological transition, i.e. a crisis resolution, bearing solutions for a common, more just and solidarity-based future.

The Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire (Movement for a Solidarity Economy) is today sending a series of 19 proposals to the public authorities, organised around 3 main themes :

  • – emergency measures for SSE structures,
  • – strengthening social protections and human rights
  • – towards an ecological and solidarity-based transition.

COVID-19 CRISIS: EDITORIAL BY MAHEL COPPEY, PRESIDENT OF THE RTES (French Network of Local Authorities for a Solidarity Economy)

RTES

Beyond the urgency, however, we must not refrain from taking a step back and taking the time, especially now to consider, to reinvent the future. What will be the main lessons of the Coronavirus crisis?

The first lesson is that in this ordeal we now know that it is possible, in a few weeks, to simultaneously suspend simultaneously and everywhere in the world an economic system that we were told until now was impossible to slow down or to redirect, despite a more or less general consensus on the changes needed in the light of the climate challenges.

Would the electroshock of Covid-19 finally be beneficial? In any case, it would force us to go back to our fundamentals, to understand that we are in the process of changing era, and that we cannot continue our lifestyles without linking them to the limit of the planet’s resources and the climatic and environmental challenge. The time for waste and hoarding is over.

I hope that this crisis will finally convince us all of the absurdity of a past and outdated world. A world that continues to deplete the workers and the resources of the planet. Bruno Latour tells us, “This pandemic, by the void it creates, offers us the opportunity to land, to reflect on the healing of the world and to bring about that which is not yet proven. In the losses it generates and the abyss (social, economic, financial, etc.) it creates are the conditions for a profound renewal. »

The last thing to do would therefore be to start all over again as before… no, it wasn’t “better before”.

Let’s take the time in this emergency, let’s take advantage of the confinement to re-examine everything, our eating habits, our production methods, and the overflow of our consumer societies. The project is huge and exciting. It is a question of writing the rest of the world together.

The good news is that this “continuation of the world” has already started and has been going on for a long time with the social and solidarity economy. The questions of social and ecological utility are at the heart of the SSE.”

The world of “After Tomorrow” by Jean-Louis Laville and Michèle Riot-Sarcey

“A symptom of dysfunctions of all kinds, due to the excessive exploitation of nature and human beings, the current pandemic is serious enough to prompt us to reflect collectively on the future of societies. Throughout the world, recent uprisings have reflected growing exasperation, while the alerts of scientists, with their calls for civil disobedience, have shown the urgency of global change.

In Europe, despite the denunciations of employees, long and repeated strikes, despite the counter-proposals of trade unions, doctors and nurses, despite the threats of resignations from various leaders, the fight against the policies of dismantling public services has been lost. All these realistic demands, however, have come up against a refusal by the authorities, in the name of international competition. And rather than public debate, the governments of most countries have chosen to repress protest movements.”

Réserve civique – Faced with the Covid-19 epidemic, the French Government calls for the general mobilization of solidarity.

“This space of commitment is open to all. Whether you are a volunteer at heart, or have always been used to associative missions. Or if you want to give a little time and energy for the first time. Because this health war is unprecedented, because it concerns us all and because we want to win it.” Together. #jeveuxaider”

Press release from MIRAMAP, the inter-regional movement of French AMAPs

“The health crisis and the confinement that we are going through are currently prompting us all to question the meaning of life, the relationship to work, our basic needs, including our food.
We realize that our globalized economic, agricultural, food and leisure systems are leading us into growing insecurity. In times of crisis, everyone feels the need for security; returning to a local scale, understandable by all, could make this possible.
The AMAP system restores meaning to our disoriented lives. It has spread quickly because it is open to others, creative, supportive and collective.”

Covid-entraide France – To face the pandemic crisis, let’s turn the “shock strategy” upside down with a wave of solidarity!

In the last week, France has entered a dizzying new reality. Covid-19 is no longer a “little flu”, according to our rulers, but the “worst health crisis in a century”. An intimate shock that makes us tremble for our loved ones and all those who are particularly fragile. A geopolitical jolt that makes neo-liberal globalization collapse like a house of cards. 2019 had been a year of devastating fires in Australia, the Amazon and elsewhere, and huge popular uprisings. 2020 already has the features of total paralysis, a major systemic crisis.

The SSE Lab – Living and resisting

“In the post-Coronavirus era, we, SSE, and actors of transformations, will have the legitimacy of those who have long questioned hyper-financialization, hyper-consumption, hyper-competition, unregulated globalization, etc.”. Our duty tomorrow will not be to say “we were right, we told you so”, but to answer present on the ways and means to do otherwise.”

Message from UFISC, Union Fédérale d’Intervention des Structures Culturelles: Mobilization and cooperation – art and culture against Covid-19

“The exceptional nature of the crisis we are experiencing, its scale, the uncertainties and distress it engenders, the considerable impact in the short but also medium term, commit each of us to work collectively, making solidarity the cornerstone of our commitments. While the disparity of situations calls for a benevolent and concerted search for solutions adapted to individual cases, these solutions cannot, however, avoid a systemic and coherent vision. We reaffirm that it is collectively and in synergy that we will be able to ensure the protection of the social rights of professionals as well as of all the activities of creative, production and distribution structures. Solidarity cannot be an option.”

The unbearable lightness of capitalism towards our health, by Eva Illouz

Eva Illouz, intellectuelle et universitaire israélienne spécialisée dans la sociologie des sentiments et de la culture, photographiée le 13 janvier 2019 à Paris par Mathieu Zazzo

(Eva Illouz, Israeli intellectual and academic specializing in the sociology of feelings and culture, photographed on January 13, 2019 in Paris by Mathieu Zazzo.)

TRIBUNE. In this brilliant text, which underlines the close link between health and the economy, the great French-Israeli sociologist analyses the global coronavirus crisis. She denounces the “imposture” of neo-liberalism which, by depriving the State of its resources, has sacrificed the world on which it feeds.

“The coronavirus is a planetary event of a magnitude that we are struggling to grasp, not only because of its global scale, not only because of the rapidity of the contamination, but also because institutions whose colossal power we had never questioned were brought to their knees in the space of a few weeks. The archaic world of devastating epidemics suddenly erupted into the sanitized and advanced world of nuclear power, laser surgery and virtual technology. Even in times of war, underground cinemas and bars continued to operate, but here the bustling cities of Europe we love have become sinister ghost towns, their inhabitants forced to hole up in their homes. As Albert Camus wrote in “The Plague”, “all these changes, in a sense, were so extraordinary and so quickly accomplished, that it was not easy to consider them normal and lasting. »

Call for referencing of COVID-19 initiatives by the Hub for Social Innovations (France)

Territories committed : #AllMobilized against coronavirus

“In response to the COVID-19 crisis, our community of the Carrefour des innovations sociales is committed to developing mutual aid within the framework of the Territoires Engagés program. Throughout France, local authorities, associations and companies are innovating and mobilising to meet the needs of territories, provide aid to fragile populations and fight together against the coronavirus. The need for referencing initiatives has never been greater. Let us participate together in this great chain of solidarity. Let’s facilitate the spreading and dissemination of good practices.”

Information COVID-19 and Questionnaire of the Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire (MES France)

“Members and companies of the Solidarity Economy, the crisis of the COVID-19 leads us to solicit you to evaluate the problems and needs that you are currently encountering. Thank you for filling out our online questionnaire :
Questionnaire COVID-19 Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire (in French – Movement for Solidarity Economy)

This questionnaire is also an opportunity to send us your proposals, ideas and innovations for organising more resilient and robust systems of cooperation and solidarity in your territories”.

…More to come!

This post is also available in / aussi en: French Spanish