Legal and Political Recognition of the Social Solidarity Economy: An overview on SSE public policies and guidelines

International network for the promotion of social solidarity economy (RIPESS)

Author +
Yvon Poirier

Year: 2016

This document is a tool for governments, public services, SSE organizations, development organizations, researchers and other people interested in the development of public policies that recognize SSE.

For several years, countries have adopted laws, policies, and various other measures in order to promote the development of solidarity economy, social economy or social solidarity economy. These measures are often accompanied by the modernization of legislation of historical social economy dating back to the 19th century like cooperatives and mutuals.

Most of the following information are a synthesis of documents that we can find on the RELIESS website, a Resource Centre and International Liaison on public policies in social economy, and also in the section of legislation on the SOCIOECO website.

This overview explores the following different types of recognition :

  1. Constitutional recognition
  2. Framework law or general laws
  3. Public policies
  4. Specific laws
  5. Local authorities

For the purposes of this paper, the concepts of social economy, solidarity economy, social and solidarity economy, or social solidarity economy, have some relationship, but also have some differences within countries and contexts. In general, social economy refers to economic activities by collective enterprises such as cooperatives and mutuals. For its part, solidarity economy, while integrating the social economy notion, includes, in most cases, a political vision of a development model change that is an alternative development model.