France Active and the European Union: building a more inclusive and sustainable economy

The European Union celebrates Europe Day on May 9th. This occasion is an opportunity to recall the crucial role held by the European Union for the preservation of both employment and social cohesion, as well as its cooperation with France Active on these matters. In the particular context of the health and economic crisis linked to COVID-19, the continuity of this support is more than ever essential to give us the possibility to keep supporting socially committed entrepreneurs on their path to recovery and relaunch.

A long-standing support

France Active has been working with Europe for more than 20 years, to develop social cohesion in our territories, and ease the access to employment through entrepreneurship.
In order to do so, France Active has benefitted from European funding, through the mobilization of the European Social Fund, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) but also the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD). It has also benefitted from the support of the European Investment Fund for its financial structures, France Active Investissement and France Active Garantie. The EIF supports their activity through guarantee and counter-guarantee agreements and even strengthened its support during the Covid19 crisis by adopting specific measures. These have enabled FAG and FAI to further strengthen their support to entrepreneurs facing difficulties. Furthermore, the European Commission granted financial support to France Active’s Seed Fund launched in February 2020, which has supported some thirty entrepreneurs in launching their projects with a strong social and environmental impact.

In addition, France Active contributes as much as possible to the prefiguration of the next European programming 21-27 in order to defend the inclusion of issues related to the development of the social and solidarity economy in Europe

Plan for Social Economy

Social economy organisations have demonstrated their capacity to contribute to the strengthening and building of resilient communities. This is more apparent today than ever, as they propose solutions that respond to the challenges and expectations raised by the Covid-19 crisis (local solidarity, social care, relocation of supply sustainable food chains…).

With the future action plan for Social Economy, Europe affirms its support to social economy and its ambition to create enabling conditions for social economy to fulfil its potential to contribute to sustainable and inclusive growth.

France Active will host two online sessions during the European Social Economy Summit the 27th may, jointly organized by the European Commission and the City of Mannheim. This summit will be an important milestone towards the European action plan for Social Economy. It is an opportunity to discuss how social economy can help reshape the economy post-COVID by promoting inclusive, sustainable economic models.

This long-standing trust between France Active and European Union takes on particular resonance in the current context. France Active is working alongside the European institutions to implement specific measures to respond to the crisis and to guarantee the access of social economy actors to the economic rescue measures planned by the European Union.

Encouraging post-crisis recovery

France Active mobilizes with its partners solutions to enable social entrepreneurs to resist the loss of activity they might encounter in the current period, and to prepare the relaunch of their activity in the aftermath of the crisis, as per its current motto: “Today we face, tomorrow we restart!”.
With the support of the French public financial institution Caisse des Dépôts, private partners, as well as some French Regions, France Active also created under its Turnaround Pact a new offer to provide dedicated support and funding to entrepreneurs with high social, environmental and job impact. It consists in a zero-rate loan which aims at helping those enterprises address their urgent liquidity needs and giving them time to work out a financial restructuring plan. This could enable them to mobilize later on France Active’s usual funding solutions.
Continuing this successful cooperation should enable us to pursue the following goals:

  • To support all kinds of committed entrepreneurship, and more specifically the model of social and solidarity-based companies.
  • To promote solidarity finance in Europe based upon the search of a strong and sustainable social and environmental impact.

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