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The plan for the social and solidarity economy finally revealed

The SSE Growth Pact must be presented on November 29, with the aim of enabling the sector to "Change of scale".

It was a campaign promise by Emmanuel Macron, taken over by Christophe Itier in his appointment as High Commissioner for Social and Solidarity Economy (ESS) in September 2017: " create a "Social Business Act" that brings together all fiscal, regulatory and legislative measures to accelerate economic performance and social impact »Structures of the ESS.

This extensive program – that the cross reveals in exclusivity – to be presented on November 29 by Christophe Itier and his Minister of Guardianship, François de Rugy. Renamed "Growth Pact", this document is in accordance with the Hamon Act of 2014, which defined the contours of this sector. "It is now about helping him scale up and increase his influenceto become the armed arm of the social and ecological transformation of the rewards ", explains Christophe Itier.

For the high commissioner it is also – perhaps – to restore a climate of trust for the least eroded between the executive and the world of the SSE. Although Emmanuel Macron could seduce part of the sector during the campaign, this start of five years annoyed. "Between the reform of the ISF, resulting in a fall in donations and the elimination of subsidized contracts, we were subjected to a number of negative measures", regrets Philippe Jahshan, chairman of the associative movement.

The expectation of the pact has been added, repeatedly announced and rejected. In addition "This plan has been developed without consultation, I do not know what's in it," regretted on November 28th Roger Belot, president of ESS France, the organization that brings together all the families of the sector. Finally, Christophe Itier himself had expressed criticism, feeling that he was interested in priority social enterprises, which is only one of the five families of the ESS.

Will this pact probably pick up the pieces? In any case, the High Commissioner presents him as follows "comprehensive, the first comprehensive government strategy for SSE ". Specifically, it includes a series of measures divided into three axes.

The first objective is to support the actors in their development and integrates various measures, sometimes technically, but highly expected. The turnover ceiling that associations can achieve without questioning their non-profit character will therefore be raised above the current 60,000 € per year. A fresh wind for many associations, faced with lower subsidies, who want to diversify their resources.

Another provision, the sponsorship of small businesses, is a favorite. They will be able to give organizations of general interest up to € 10,000, while benefiting from the tax reduction (until now the ceiling was set at 0.5% of their turnover). The pact also contains a strong component to finance start-up companies. The Social Innovation Fund, which was launched by Bpifrance in 2014 and has already supported 200 projects, will increase from 10 to 21 million euros. In addition, three other funds will be launched with the aim of raising a total of more than 100 million euros.

Another long-awaited measure is the creation by 2020 of a reference system that defines social innovation, so that ESS has access to funding mechanisms specifically aimed at technological innovation (Young Innovative Enterprise, Research Tax Credit). Finally, the plan provides for a classification of the administrations based on the share of public markets that is targeted at the companies of the ESS (logic of the "Name and shame").

The second axis aims to expand the influence of the SSE so that its interests are better integrated before any reform. The counterexample: the CICE, which did not have access to SSE companies until the state finally corrected the situation, three years after its entry into force.

To this end, the government intends to hold an annual interministerial meeting, chaired by the Prime Minister, in which the effects of the ongoing reforms are expected. He also wants to unite the representative bodies of the sector by 2020, so that they can finally speak with one voice and make it sound better. "Nobody disputes the interest of this approach, but it is really up to the government to tell us how to organize? "asks one of the actors.

The last axis is European and aims to promote the integration of SSE into Community policies.

Even if everything is not discussed (nothing about the role of the ESS in the ecological transition or the redefinition of notions of general interest and "non-profit"), this plan undoubtedly provides answers to the main concerns that express. Will they live up to expectations? First elements of answers this afternoon, as the pact must be presented to the actors, who will give an opinion in January.

Séverin Husson

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