The president of the republic has announced the appointment of a prime minister with responsibility for “ecological planning”, supported by two full-time ministers for “energy planning” and “territorial ecological planning”.
Inspired by the ecological planning proposal of the “third man” of the presidential elections, Jean-Luc Mélenchon, this orientation influences it to make the ecological transition coincide with the mobilization of the territories. It thus promises to be at the center of the parliamentary election campaign, which will be conducted at the local level. The social and solidarity economy (ESS) will have to play its full role.
In the first place, this means that a minister is appointed who is responsible for the SSE. But the mistake of 2017 must be avoided. Entrusted to a humble High Commissioner attached to the Minister for Ecological and Inclusive Transition, the ESS lost the position it acquired at Bercy in 2012 and with it any ability to influence the direction of the economy.
The appointment in 2020 of Olivia Grégoire as State Secretary to the Minister of Economy and Finance, in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis, had made it possible to rectify the situation. The actors of the SSE today express strong expectations for the renewal of the ministry, whose place in the government hierarchy will have to be strengthened.
The time of half measures is indeed over, we need radical reforms. The Orpéa affair has illustrated this in recent weeks. A champion of socially responsible investment before the scandal, the Ehpad group now wants to take on the quality of a company with a mission to rebuild its reputation.
The reform of the company, desired by Emmanuel Macron through the adoption of the Pacte law and the creation of companies with a mission in 2019, has allowed to question the raison d’être of companies and to take into account the social and environmental aspects of their activity. But beyond the issue of sharing power and value, it will not prevent new abuses.
Shared governance and profit framing are the new frontiers of corporate social responsibility
We need to go further in the hybridization of models and make the SSE the standard of tomorrow’s economy. Shared governance and profit framing are the new frontiers of corporate social responsibility.
Inspired by acquisitions in Scop in its advocacy, ESS France proposes the creation of a “conversion fund” to support the transformation of private companies in SSE structures through member purchase assistance and technical support, in particular around issues of governance and democracy.
The ecological and solidarity transition of the economy
This conversion fund could become a powerful tool at the service of “territorial ecological planning” by also supporting the creation of new activities that contribute to the ecological transition. The switch would therefore not only affect the business models, but also the type of activities being developed.
Territorial ecological planning would leverage the formation of local ecosystems composed of public actors, responsible companies and actors of the social and solidarity economy, as experienced by the Territorial Centers for Economic Cooperation (PTCE).
“Territorial Ecological Planning” would thus be designed as a tool to mobilize territorial actors to enhance and even strengthen the acceptability of the ecological transition. Tomorrow’s lifestyle will not be decided in Paris, on pain of provoking resistance that leads to indolence or the demand for authoritarian power.
It will be necessary to go beyond the ambition of the President of the Republic, which for the time being limits territorial ecological planning to household support policies.
While protests are brewing in the areas, the rift created by the yellow vest crisis not yet closed, proactive action in favor of their reindustrialization and their agricultural transition is urgent. This is all the more so as the post-pandemic war in Ukraine has exposed the fragility of our economic sovereignty. The development of renewable energy sources, housing renovation, sustainable mobility, the circular economy or food resilience is therefore of strategic importance.
It will therefore be necessary to go beyond the ambition of the President of the Republic, which for the time being limits territorial ecological planning to domestic support policies such as bonuses for vehicle conversions or aid for thermal renovation of housing. A break with centralized planning, which favors major projects such as nuclear energy development, which the government has integrated into the European Union’s “low-carbon” strategy, is essential to create the new ecological society.
Economic development can no longer be guided by the CAME mythology – competitiveness, attractiveness, metropolation, excellence. Rather, it will have to rebalance the territories, mobilize their resources and use them soberly. It should also be inclusive and provide decent jobs for the locals. But faced with the long-term unemployment that has devastated the de-industrialized areas, this will have to be accompanied by a territorialized employment guarantee through the sustainability of the “Zero Long-Term Unemployed Areas” (TZCLD) experiment, which allows voluntary areas to develop socially useful activities in the areas.
The commitment to a third law aimed at developing and perpetuating it was supported during the presidential elections by Emmanuel Macron, Yannick Jadot and Anne Hidalgo, while Jean-Luc Mélenchon and Fabien Roussel registered the right of use in their proposals.
The SSE is a solution to successive crises, an important partner in government intervention. Candidates for the country’s leadership have every interest in calling on her to build tomorrow’s economy. Let us hope that this is reflected in the ministerial organization charts as well as in the parliamentary election programmes.