2006-2016 Report : Supporting Social and solidarity economy for the benefit of populations

Published : Friday 20 May 2016

In the face of challenges such us unemployment, new forms of poverty and environmental degradation, States are often helpless. This is the reason why it is necessary to imagine other types of employment than in the public and private sectors. The third sector emerges in the production sphere, like in Scandinavian countries where SSE accounts for 20% of GDP. With the third industrial revolution, the apparition of local distribution channels and collective goods, SSE appears as a promising sector, both in the North and in the South.

 3rd component along with market economy and the public sector

 Two obligations result from this observation: promoting an inclusive growth that benefits the greatest number of people and an economy closer to populations’ needs, favouring a solidarity-based system. In addition to the fact that SSE offers “another way to deal with the economy”, the multiple forms it can take is an asset. It gathers associations, cooperatives, mutual funds, etc. as well as social and solidarity companies conducting activities such as insertion via economic activities, solidarity finance and faire trade.

 SSE between formal and informal economy is SEMCs

 Given its employment potential in the South, in 2013, IPEMED carried out a study comprising three SSE monographs (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia). It turned out that this sector could win part of the informal economy. With simple and flexible regulations, the SSE could attract some of these workers by offering them the benefits of formal economy (unemployment benefits, pension, etc.) while offering them a more flexible framework than the private sector.

 Other recommendations were made in favour of:

  • the structuring of an integrated sector in order to pool means and risks;
  • a circular economy based on proximity relationships and demand reciprocity;
  • the development of social entrepreneurship and SSE as levers in favour of a territorial balanced development model.

 Clear and simple legal frameworks

 The implementation of an institutional, legal and financial ecosystem is necessary to strengthen and boost the sector, especially to help the young working for the informal economy. In its report, IPEMED recommended to work on the standardization of legal frameworks. Several countries in the region - especially in the North - adopted global regulations to favour the sector’s visibility and provide social structures and cooperatives with the appropriate means to act. In the South, only Morocco is planning on adopting a law to boost this sector, which needs to be more structured to enable the shift from regulation SSE to finality SSE. 

 Birth of SSE in the Mediterranean

 The 1st Euro-Mediterranean Conference of the SSE (MedESS) was held in Tunis in May 2013. It gathered major representatives of the sector and lay the foundations of a regional ecosystem in favour of social and solidarity companies. Later on, the MedESS association was created in order to federate actions favouring the emergence of a trans-Mediterranean sector. In November 2015, the APMedESS actively took part in the 5th edition of the Assises marocaines de l’ESS by highlighting the benefits of a reinforced Euro-Mediterranean cooperation in this sector.


“In 2011, several Mediterranean countries demanded more freedom and social justice. Even though North African countries and Egypt implemented structural transformations, the economy is not sufficiently inclusive yet. The Mediterranean construction is slowly moving forward and requires a vision based on a more united and inclusive economy. IPEMED is convinced that the SSE can be a great contribution. The efforts of the Institute reinforce the idea that relations with SEMCs must be reviewed under a new paradigm: partnership and the sharing of added value.”

 Gérard ANDRECK, MACIF Honorary administrator, IPEMED supporting member


Associate experts  : Touhami Abdelkhalek, Malika Ahmed Zaïd, Zied Ouelhazi

 Main publications

  • Construire la Méditerranée, « L’économie sociale et solidaire au Maghreb : quelles réalités pour quel avenir? », November 2013

Key figures

4 events involving over 600 actors

1 forum MedESS

1 hearing at the Moroccan EESC


To reach the entire activity report, please click here.


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