The legal and institutional recognition of SSE

Facilitate the co-construction of public policies

 

What are we talking about? What are the challenges?

 

Several national, regional and local governments have adopted legislation and public policies that support Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) in recent decades. Legal recognition and institutional support for SSE entities – that is known by different names depending on the region – can take on diverse forms and intervene at several different levels in the way in which it recognises the transformative potential of SSE and provides support for the actors.

In most cases, the legislation and policy on SSE was the outcome of deep work by grassroots and local and national SSE networks. By developing institutional support instruments with SSE actors in a perspective of dialogue and joint development of policies, these processes have enabled the creation of tools that are adapted to the various socio-economic, cultural and organisational contexts.

Both legislation and diversified policies are necessary to support the development of SSE as a holistic institutional environment. Various kinds of legal and political recognition can be used, ranging from constitutional recognition to framework legislation or more general public policies, specific laws, support from local authorities etc.

Recent years have seen a multiplication of governmental and city initiatives that support and promote social and solidarity economy at territorial level. One of the challenges is the make these initiatives visible and inspire other territories to commit to similar policies.

 

What international strategies?

 

Highlight public policies that support SSE and the importance of their co-construction between public and SSE actors by:

  • Compiling case-studies and mapping policies that contribute to creating territorial eco-systems that support the development of SSE:
    • Establishing financial practice and public procurement and fiscal, legal and legislative mechanisms as well as audits etc.
    • Providing hands-on support for SSE actors at territorial level
    • Encouraging contacts, exchange and networking of actors
    • Relocalising activities linked to food, transport and energy
    • Thus creating sustainable relocalised employment
    • Showcasing good practice
    • Creating new spaces of dialogue and joint elaboration and co-construction of these policies with citizens.

This work will enable municipalities/regions/countries to use these public policies as a source of inspiration on all continents, and also learn from the conditions and specificities of the respective policies, their successes and challenges they might face.

They will provide SSE actors with a framework for analysis and know-how on how to proceed, with which actors and on what aspects and geographical level. Criteria and methods of evaluation should further enable comparative analyses to be carried out and to define the positions of RIPESS in terms of proposals, methodological guide or other production in various countries and continents.

  • Parallel to this, there is on-going advocacy to international institutions in various different international arenas, especially:
    • The working group of the UN Inter-Agency Task Force on Social and Solidarity Economy (UNTFSSE) where the main international SSE networks have observer status
    • The international Leading Group on SSE (ILGSSE) that brings together certain States and SSE networks
    • Bilateral relations in certain specific sectors (for example with the FAO on food sovereignty)
    • Other international spaces such as the GSEF that brings together “SSE cities” and SSE networks, the Global Platform for the Right to the City (GPR2C), etc

 

Important outcomes

 

The partnership between Socioeco, RELIESS and RIPESS includes on-going mapping of existing or emerging public policies. This is a work in progress that geo-localises and describes public policies that support SSE throughout the world in French, English and Spanish. Four filters allow information to be selection according to four criteria:

  • Public policies at territorial level (municipal, national, international)
  • The type of policy: is it a policy that supports a specific target group or economic sector? Is it the fruit of cooperation and/or co-construction with citizens?
  • The structure that was responsible for creating the document
  • An icon allows the visualisation of the field of application of the public policy: (food, healthcare, culture etc.)

 

Resources references

See resources in French and Spanish

 

 

Documents on public policies at continental level

 

Document on co-construction of public policies

  • Examples of co-construction of public policies in this file

 

Reference Organisations Websites