Cooperative Societies of Collective Interest

Kit departementalESS N°6

June 2021

Réseau des collectivités Territoriales pour une Economie Solidaire (RTES)

In connection with the renewal of departmental and regional executives in June 2021, the RTES is proposing a DepartmentalESS kit to raise awareness among candidates and provide tools for future teams wishing to support the social and solidarity economy (SSE).

This kit will include about twenty practical sheets, based on the principle of the MunicipalESS Kit published in 2020, illustrated with examples, and presenting in a synthetic and concrete way how a regional council can include the SSE in its policies.

Sheet No. 6 presents cooperative societies of collective interest.

Characteristics of SCICs :

A recent form of company (July 2001), the SCIC is characterised by

the principle of 1 member = 1 vote, with the possibility of weighting votes by forming colleges.

The 2014 SSE law allows local authorities and their groupings to hold up to 50% of the capital of a SCIC (previously 20%).

Key figures (2020)

1060 SCICs registered in France, representing approximately 9,700 jobs 40% of SCICs have at least a local authority in their capital

Why and how can a department support a SCIC?

democratic debate, citizenship training, collective decision-making, etc.

The departmental councils can support or even enter into the capital of a SCIC as long as at least one of the SCIC’s activities falls within the department’s field of competence as defined by the NOTRe law (see sheet n°3).

There are several possible levers to encourage the emergence and development of SCICs:

Define a policy to support the development of SCICs

The départements can define a support framework for the development of SCICs in their territory, and participate in their capital, in order to become directly involved in their governance. They can also develop calls for projects or specific expressions of interest to encourage the development of SCICs.

The strategy for supporting SCICs in the Pas-de-Calais

The Pas-de-Calais Departmental Council adopted its strategy for supporting SCICs in March 2021. It provides a framework for the department’s participation in the capital of SCICs by detailing its validation process (sourcing, feasibility studies, commitment committee, etc.). This strategy will be consolidated by the local SSE players represented on the Departmental SSE Council.

Covid-19 : The Ille-et-Vilaine department is a member of the Coop des Masques

19 local authorities are members of the SCIC, including the Departments of Ille-et-Vilaine and Côtes d’Armor, as well as the Brittany Region and Guingamp-Paimpol Agglomération. The Coop des Masques aims to revive the manufacture of surgical masks and FPP2 in Brittany.

Building an ecosystem favourable to the emergence of SCICs, particularly in fragile territories

The departments can raise awareness and provide tools for local players, and in particular local authorities, by publicising the status, organising meetings and training courses, and supporting networks and incubators that help structure economic cooperation in the form of SCICs.

The SCIC, because it can bring together inhabitants, associations, local authorities, etc. around an economic project, is an important tool for maintaining or recreating economic, social or cultural activity, in rural areas for example.

Supporting the structuring of local sectors through the deployment of SCICs

The SCIC is an entrepreneurial form that is particularly well suited to the structuring of sectors and to changes in certain production methods. It can bring together the various actors in a sector, for example: producers, processors, catering professionals and consumers in the context of structuring a local organic sector.

Calling on the services of SCICs in your area

Whether or not they are shareholders in SCICs, local authorities can call on the economic services offered by SCICs, for example in the context of public contracts.

The Val de Marne department, for example, uses the SCIC Coop Bio Île-de-France for its food supply contracts for collective catering (see sheet 7).

A housing project for Travellers carried out by the SCIC Habitats Solidaires

The departmental council of Seine-Saint-Denis called on the SCIC Habitats Solidaires for a housing project for 7 Traveller families in Saint-Denis.

On a plot of land owned by the department, the SCIC designed this project combining sedentarisation and preservation of lifestyles with permanent housing and spaces for motor homes. The families, who have been living there since 2015, took part in the construction site and benefit from a subsidised integration loan (PLAI) and pay rent to Habitats Solidaires, which has become their social landlord.

To go further

  • Points de RepèrESS du RTES n°3 SCIC & collectivités, updated in July 2019

  • Feedback on the online conference SCIC & collectivities - legal issues organised by RTES, October 2020 - The CG SCOP resource website on SCICs and the contact details of the Unions régionales des SCOP

  • The SCIC & collectivités survey: key figures, CGSCOP, 2016

  • The practical guide Accompagner les acteurs du sport dans le développement d’une SCIC, Ministry of Sports, 2019