By Jordi Estivil
Indeed, the solidarity economy, sometimes hand in hand with the social economy, sometimes independently, sometimes jointly, begins to poke its nose in the arena of socio-economic actors. And how could it be otherwise, this generates stimulating debates, which are worth echoing. For some, the solidarity economy should be much stronger to enter this scene with guarantees. For others, there are too many concessions to be made, the costs too high and the integration risks too great. For those from beyond, it is an inevitable process that requires reinforcing their own signs of identity. For those of more here, it is necessary to maintain an opacity in front of the gaze of power, while the growing emergency allows reaching more people and maturing as a movement. Finally, there is no shortage of those who see, in possible institutional recognition, an opportunity to obtain more resources and secure professional workplaces. This debate, which is taking place at all territorial levels, from some consultative commissions of the specialized organizations of the United Nations to the state bodies and in the local public administration, is far from over.
Precisely, the round table convened by the Popular and Citizen University, held in Paris on April 10, was held under the slogan “towards the recognition of the social and solidarity economy”. The place, the impressive building of the National Center of Arts and Crafts (CNAM), in the heart of Paris and the presence of the General Administrator of this peculiar university could not be more institutional. In addition, the French Minister, Delegate of the social and solidarity economy, was scheduled to attend. He could not attend since a few days before he had ceased to be, due to the reorganization of the government, now chaired by Manuel Valls. The new minister, coming from the associative world, could not participate either, having been appointed a day before. In any case, their absences were replaced by the director of the French Laboratory for Social and Solidarity Economy, which was defined by her character as a Think Tank of the same.
She argued in favor of the recently passed law. He placed it in the process of renewal and coordination, the culminating moment of which was the General Statements of the social and solidarity economy held last year and which brought together more than 5,000 people. Not without admitting certain limits, in his opinion, this law allows one to go from a phase dominated by the restorative economy to another that inscribes the social and solidarity economy in a transformative economic policy.
The director of the Department of Law, Social Intervention, Health and Work of the CNAM showed the connections between the different modes of social intervention and more particularly those of social work and the social and solidarity economy. Tonino Perna, active animator of the Italian “solidarity” economy and professor at the University of Messina, explained the dynamics of these initiatives in the transalpine peninsula and more particularly in the South of this country where there is a growing involvement of the authorities municipal. Antonio David Cattani, professor at the University of Porto Alegre in Brazil and coordinator of an itinerant dictionary of "Outra Economia" already published in his country, Argentina, Portugal, France and now in England, referred to the census of more than 20,000 units of the solidarity economy in a country where there would be no tradition of social economy, the presence of a Secretary of State within the Federal Government, the Forum and the large number of state regulations that promote the solidarity economy. He hinted that this, after its considerable expansionary phase, would now enter a certain stagnation.