Five projects and 20 proposals to change the model with RIO+20 Document adopted during the International Forum Of Social Economy leaders. Mont Blanc Meetings – November 2011 The International Forum for the Social Economy, known as the Mont Blanc Meetings drafted a background document, following their meeting of 10, 11 and 12 November 2011, a summary of which will be sent to all the Heads of State taking part in the Rio 2012 summit on sustainable development. It will also be distributed internationally in order to contribute to the positioning of the Social Economy as a major, vital player in the changes underway in globalisation.
Our collective identity Freedom of membership, democratic management (one person, one vote), fair distribution of proﬁts, personal fulﬁlment, independence from governments, are the principles which have forged the identity of the social economy. Guided by these strong values, this section of the economy, which represents 10 % of GDP, 10 % of jobs and 10 % ﬁnance worldwide, acts on the market in virtually all areas of business. The participants at the Mont Blanc Meetings wanted to show that the social economy, by respecting both people and the environment, is capable of responding to the issues raised by globalisation by bringing the idea of “living together better”..
Our legitimacy in appealing to you: The purpose of the various families of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) go well beyond the economic ﬁeld. Since its origins, it has strived for a fairer, more democratic society, with more solidarity through the implementation of long-term projects taking the environment into account. It cannot be separated from its economic purpose (associating for entrepreneurship), from its social purpose (justice and democracy), and therefore it is not possible to reduce its role, its weight and its contribution to economic indicators of wealth alone, to the number of companies it has created and to the number of jobs created. In short, its economic weight is far from sufficing to deﬁne it. The SSE is a stakeholder in the construction of a credible alternative to the dominant economy, through its social and ecological role and the impact of its project, its ethic, its governance, its achievements and its inﬂuence on other players in the economic world (public enterprises or enterprises in the market sector). The current economic context is increasingly showing its limits from North to South, encouraging the emergence of the
social economy as a vehicle for possible alternatives and solutions; companies and organisations from the SSE are going to take an enhanced position on the worldwide economic scene proving that the strategies for the implementation of the revised model put forward are inevitable. The SSE’s actions, and the scope of these actions, show the determination to change the scale. Without wanting to take the place of the dominant model, the SSE can contribute to going beyond it and inﬂuence the economy as a whole by showing through its practices, values and policies, its ability to handle the challenges of sustainable development, i.e. economically viable, socially equitable and ecologically sustainable development, creating quality jobs in an economy serving wellbeing in today’s world. We have decided to move into the ﬁeld of political representation, by federating solidly on both the national and the international fronts. Our organisation proposes 20 commitments for Heads of State and public authorities, with which it wants to be a partner in collaboration with other players, notably international institutions and other economic players. Based on an analysis of the current crisis, available on request from the “Mont Blanc Meetings”, developed with researchers from around the world who have observed our respective projects in various areas of business, our contributions are inspired by the best practices of the international experience of the SSE around ﬁve projects translating in operational terms ways of getting out of the crisis: 1) democratising the economy and regulating ﬁnance; 2) promoting shared governance; 3) providing new social choices; 4) better feeding the planet; 5) changing the direction of globalisation to make it more human. Our proposals are all focused on a common theme: creating movement through federative political action in alliance with other organisations and institutions.
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X First project:
democratising the economy, encouraging territorialisation and regulating finance For a long time international institutions have been prisoners of an over-restrictive deďŹ nition of development, which has often been associated solely with growth. Rethinking the economy is ďŹ rstly, in our opinion, focusing on the types of company which favour a territory and the particular environment of populations: companies which are in private and collective ownership. In other words the strengthening of a non-capitalist economy must be strengthened. That is why we are asking Heads of State and government: tUPFODPVSBHF CZBMMNFBOTOFDFTTBSZ UIFEFWFMPQNFOU PGBWBTUOPODBQJUBMJTUTFDUPSPG44&FOUFSQSJTFT operating democratically on the challenges of the global crisis that we are going through the universal affirmation of the plurality of forms of entrepreneurship through the recognition in law of the statues of co-operatives, mutuals, associations and foundations through the adoption of framework laws on the SEE through and a means of recognising the SSE with a label, the deďŹ nition of indicators and criteria for belonging to the SSE. (proposal 1) tUPTVQQPSUUIFUBLJOH PSUBLJOHCBDL PGDPOUSPMPG DPNNPOTUISPVHIDPMMFDUJWFNBOBHFNFOUNFUIPET(water, land, natural resourcesâ€Ś) by communities and States, in particular through the development of co-operatives, mutuals and associations. The social economy can evolve and has the ability to create new forms of enterprise and organisations, in forms of ownership which are both collective and private, ensuring better sustainability for enterprises and organisations (co-operatives, associations, mutuals) and access to goods and services (free seed, open software, etcâ€Ś). (proposal 2) tUPTVQQPSUXJUIHSFBUFSGPSDFUIFCJPEJWFSTJUZPGUIF FDPOPNZ DPMMFDUJWFFOUSFQSFOFVSTIJQBOETVTUBJOBCMFBOE TPMJEBSJUZUFSSJUPSJBMEFWFMPQNFOU, through policies and legislation which are relevant. We will strengthen together, on the basis of common objectives, links between the SSE, the State and local authorities, by forging close local and national partnerships, using the local footholds that co-operatives, mutuals, associations and foundations have, to help young people access jobs or support the development of responses suited to new needs. (proposal 3) tUPDPNNJUSFTPMVUFMZUPTUSFOHUIFOJOHUIFSFHVMBUJPO PGmOBODFUISPVHIUIFBEPQUJPOPGBDPNNPOQPTJUJPOPO MBXTPOUBYJOHmOBODJBMUSBOTBDUJPOT XJUIUIFTVQQPSUPG PVSFYQFSJFODFPOUIFJTTVFFor a number of years now, we have been focusing on developing a ďŹ nance system for the SSE, or favourable to it, in the support of the development of new collective enterprises (workersâ€™ funds, orientation of SSE investment towards the SSE thanks to social, environmental and governance criteria, public and international support programmes for collective enterprises starting up, SSE ďŹ nancing institutesâ€Ś). (proposalÂ 4) To assist you, we are calling on co-operative, mutualist and alternative banks to provide local support to business, solidarity-
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based environmental initiatives in the SSE and create common tools to ďŹ nance continental and international SSE projects. We are also calling on Governments and major international banks to set up partnerships with them with this aim in mind. tUPDIPPTF FBDIUJNFUIFDPNNPOHPPEEFNBOETJU BOPUIFSXBZ UIBUPGUIF44& as your possibilities related to the strategic and/or sensitive areas are not reduced to a bipolar choice (privatisation v. nationalisation). (proposal 5)
X Second project:
promoting shared governance The generations of recent decades have been mobilised by the social ecology and international solidarity. However, the basic equation which has emerged in the history of the workersâ€™ movement has not lost its relevance: we must constantly combine social justice, economic efficiency and democracy to deal with the challenges of the coming period. That is why we are asking Heads of State and government: tUPSFRVJSFFOUFSQSJTFT QVCMJD NBSLFU DPMMFDUJWF UP CFBDDPVOUBCMFOPUPOMZGPSUIFJSDSFBUJPOPGXFBMUIPOBO FDPOPNJDGSPOU CVUBMTPPOUIFJSTPDJBMVUJMJUZBOEUIFJS DBSCPOGPPUQSJOU so as to direct all activities towards a responsible economy. For our part, we will be involved, as companies and organisations in the SSE, by continuing, with others, research work enabling wealth indicators to be set up and we want to generalise use of performance evaluation tools which are no longer limited only to economic aspects, but which also look at social and environmental issues (social balances). This is something to be done within our own structures, and also, as ďŹ nanciers, in the processes we use when deciding on investments. (proposal 6) tUPBDUUPQSPUFDUPVSTQFDJmDHPWFSOBODFNPEFM XIFOFWFSJUFYJTUT UPNBLFTVSFJUJTSFTQFDUFEPOBOJOUFS OBUJPOBMTDBMFFor our part, we will encourage your commitment by actively involving stakeholders (employees, consumers, etc.) in the management of our SSE enterprises and structures, by strengthening and modernising it, adapting it to new realities and thus ensuring the participative functioning of our organisations. Our method of democratic governance of SSE companies integrates social, civic and environmental criteria above and beyond the rules of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). (proposalÂ 7) tUPTZTUFNBUJDBMMZFODPVSBHFUIFEFWFMPQNFOUPGUIF SFTQPOTJCMFDPOTVNQUJPOBOEGBJSUSBEFNPWFNFOU by public policies and international agreements. (proposal 8)
X Third project:
providing new social choices The Social State, in countries in the North in general, has partially gone into crisis because it has not proved able to relieve the 20 % of its working population who are in a precarious situation, because it has excluded the great majority of its citizens and workers from the construction processes of major public services aimed at communities and regions (education, heath, training the workforce, etc.). At the same time, the Social State, in a number of countries in the South, has literally collapsed under the impact of structural adjustment programmes. Today â€œmarket fundamentalismâ€? is a failure because it cannot show that it can do better than the State in many areas through the privatisation of health, through targeting social protection, through encouraging private insurance. That is why we are asking Heads of State and government: tUPTVQQPSU JOUIF4PVUI UIFSFGPSHJOHPGTPDJBM TUBUFT by working with initiatives of the SSE which contribute to solidifying endogenous developments, particularly in the ďŹ elds of agriculture, savings and credit, healthcare and housing. (proposal 9) tUPSFDPOOFDUXJUIBTPDJBMTUBUFJOUIF/PSUICPVOE UPJUTSFHJPOTBOEJUTDPNNVOJUJFTUISPVHIDJUJ[FOQBSUJ DJQBUJPOPSHBOJTFE in deliberations on the choices in local and regional priorities (in terms of healthcare, education, housing, social services, etc.) respecting the pluralism and diversity which is at the heart of human relations. (proposal 10) t5PTVQQPSU FWFSZXIFSFBOEXJUIVT ÂŚBTTPDJBUJPOT which produce social relations which are vital particularly in creating new collective services, such as social co-operatives, in areas including healthcare, education, housing, etc., and that these must emerge from an active cohabitation with Governments and citizensâ€™ initiatives: delegation of public services, etc.; ÂŚUIFEFWFMPQNFOUPGDPMMFDUJWFDFOUSFTGPSTPDJBM EFWFMPQNFOU (co-operative business nurseries, craft co-operatives, structures for integration through businessâ€Ś), to systematise the building of bridges between the economic world and the social world, between the market sector and the non-market sector, ÂŚJOJUJBUJWFTUPNBLFUIF44&BOBSFBGPSFODPVOUFST and producing partnership agreements. (proposal 11) tUPTUSFOHUIFOJOUFSHFOFSBUJPOBMTPMJEBSJUZXJUIJO ZPVSDPVOUSJFT to be strengthened with the support provided to the SSE enterprises and organisation, including indivisible equity, ensuring sustainability (cannot be bought out, cannot be off-shored). (proposal 12) tUPTVQQPSUPVS44&JOJUJBUJWFTGPSJODSFBTJOHUIF USBJOJOHPGGVUVSFQMBZFSTJOPVSEFWFMPQNFOU JODMPTF DPMMBCPSBUJPOXJUIUIFBDBEFNJDXPSME particularly through the setting up of international training centres for leaders in the SSE. In effect, the SSE should enable future generations to take
part in the management of the socio-economic system, in that it can be a point of entry to positions of responsibility. (proposalÂ 13) tUPFTUBCMJTIXPSMEXJEFSFDPHOJUJPOPGUIFVOJWFSTBM QSJODJQMFPGTFYVBMFRVBMJUZBOEJNQMFNFOUDPODSFUFQVCMJD QPMJDJFTfostering the right to education, training, health, employmentâ€Ś, to consecrating the budgets required for their implementation and ensure their evaluation. On our side, we pledge that players in the SSE will strengthen their efforts and systems in favour of gender equality, in the sharing of responsibilities and the wealth created, particularly through the development of solidarity between organisations in the SSE. (proposalÂ 14)
X Fourth project:
feeding the world better The question of the environment is imposing itself in the democratic debate, both nationally and internationally. The responses to the ecological emergency are an integral part of the core SSE proposal to get out of the crisis. That is why we are asking Heads of State and governments: tUPTFUJOQMBDF BTBQSJPSJUZ BOBQQSPQSJBUFFDPUBY TZTUFN UIFFDPMPHJDBMDPOWFSTJPOPGZPVSFDPOPNJFT in housing (energy efficiency) and in transport (collective and public) in collaboration with SSE organisations and enterprises, CZ GPDVTJOHBTBQSJPSJUZPOSFOFXBCMFFOFSHJFT as a priority (wind, biomass, solar, geothermal, etc.) and the withdrawal, or control, of fossil fuels (shale gas, oil, etc.) in collaboration with ESS organisations and companies. (proposal 15) tUPDSFBUFBOEJNQMFNFOUQPMJDJFTGPSiFDPMPHJDBMMZ JOUFOTJWFBHSJDVMUVSFwBOEJOUFHSBUFENBOBHFNFOUPG GPSFTUT which should be linked to farmers organisations and agricultural and forestry co-operatives innovating in those ďŹ elds (biomass, reforestation, etc.). We will support your policies in this direction calling on our co-operatives and peasant organisations to collaborate and place innovation at the centre of their activities while ensuring their independence from national and local government. (proposalÂ 16) tUPSFTPMVUFMZTVQQPSU BMPOHXJUIJOUFSOBUJPOBMPSHB OJTBUJPOT QFPQMFTSJHIUTUPGPPETPWFSFJHOUZ removing food and forestry from the international â€œall marketâ€? rules of which they are prisoners. (proposal 17) tUPESJWFGPSXBSEQPMJDJFTGPSQSPUFDUJOHUIFFDPTZTUFN - by recognising and protecting the various forms of managing natural, material and immaterial resources, all of which making up the range of common goods. - by supporting and promoting the SSE to move from an economy based on maximum proďŹ ts to a sustainable economy; - by leading, with citizens, the â€œblue revolutionâ€?, through the promotion of a â€œblue economyâ€? looking to preserve water resources, using the precautionary principle in terms of their use. (proposalÂ 18)
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X Fifth project:
changing the direction of globalisation to make it more human These many initiatives might not seem to amount to a major transformation at ďŹ rst sight, but put end to end they open up the way for an economy serving society and for getting out, even if only partially, from the phenomenon of capitalism, the â€œall marketâ€?, while protecting us, through participative democracy, from the â€œall Stateâ€?. These alternatives, which are already present in tens of thousands of experiences at a local, national or transnational level, should be noted. That is why we are asking Heads of State and government tUPJOUFOTJGZUIFJSFODPVSBHFNFOUTPGJOUFSOBUJPOBM TPMJEBSJUZ particularly North-South and South-South solidarity, which fosters the development of new partnerships between co-operatives, mutuals, workersâ€™ funds, associations, unionsâ€Ś In effect, the SSE is a vehicle for integrating the popular economy, of informal economy as it is sometimes called, in the global economic system. Its principles and values enable the changes in informal structures in the social economy (co-operatives, mutuals, associations, etc.). States must encourage this switch. (proposal 19) tUPFODPVSBHFUIFEFWFMPQNFOUPGTUSBUFHJFTGPS TUSFOHUIFOJOHDPOUJOFOUBMBOEJOUFSOBUJPOBM44&DFOUSFT
AtÂ this level the International Forum of Leaders from the Social Economy are working with the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA), the Association Internationale de la MutualitĂŠ (AIM) and other continental networks of the SSE, which must combine and interconnect existing national, regional, transnational and continental networks of the SSE. (proposal 20)
To implement these projects and achieve these proposals: we will create a movement through federative political action To help in taking and implementing the decisions above, we believe it all the more necessary today than yesterday, to have a strong presence in the public space and take a stand on questions of society (this document is proof of this, as are the Mont Blanc Meetings that we have been organising since 2004). That is why we will give more support to the international confederative dimension of organisations in the SSE, to give it more political weight (ICA, AIM), we will encourage the comparing of experiences on a worldwide scale, to provide these networks with the tools they need to develop transnational projects, because the internationalisation of these practices must be increased. With this purpose, we express our desire to create a movement in the next decade with other unions, environmental and farmersâ€™ organisations, among others, by creating a permanent debate around the platform of social, economic and ecological proposals as part of the major international meeting embodied in RIO+20.
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Document adopted during the International Forum Of Social Economy leaders. Mont Blanc Meetings – November 2011