Support to territories & local development

Kit departemental ESS N°13

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. 13 addresses the need for and organisation of support to territories and local development in departmental policy.

As leaders of territorial solidarity, the departmental councils provide technical or financial assistance to municipalities and groups of municipalities as part of overall policies to support territorial development, particularly in rural areas.

These territorial support actions, which are part of the territorialization of departmental services, are important means to enable the SSE to be better known and thus to contribute fully to territorial projects.

Several possible levers of action:

Raising awareness in the territories and making SSE actors known

Meurthe-et-Moselle: solidarity territory contracts and territorial managers of the solidarity economy

In 2016, the Meurthe-et-Moselle departmental council set up solidarity territory contracts providing financial support for territorial projects in terms of investment and operation. A toolbox brings together the various support levers for territories that the Department offers around 3 priorities: improving access to services for the public, participating in the ecological transition, cultivating solidarity, social ties and citizenship.

In addition, an organisation that is closer to the territories has been set up with the Territorial Officers for the Solidarity Economy. Their mission is to create an ecosystem in the territories that promotes the development of the SSE through leadership, networking and expertise: to encourage and support the creation of activities and jobs, to promote social innovation and the right to experiment, to provide original responses to identified needs, to structure collective dynamics in connection with departmental policies, etc.

In addition, the department supports local authorities, project managers and companies in implementing integration clauses in their public contracts.

Include the SSE in calls for projects and territorial contracts

Set up territorial contracts based on SSE actors. These tools, which aim to promote balanced development of territories by planning the financing of public facilities, bring together all local actors in a catchment area around a shared project, with a view to mutualisation.

The departmental councils can include SSE actors, especially when it comes to maintaining or developing services and facilities.

Gironde: a « resilient territory » kit

As part of the operational implementation of its territorial resilience strategy, which has been underway since June 2019, the Gironde departmental council is offering associations and local authorities a kit to develop resilient projects, including a practical guide, online training, a test, and a serious game. In line with this strategy of territorial resilience, the department allows territories to benefit from support for their radical transformation projects in the service of the social and ecological transition, within the framework of the Labo’Mobile territorial animation mechanism (see sheet 7).

Developing engineering systems for local authorities

Oise: support for PTCEs and emerging clusters

The Oise departmental council supports the PTCE run by the Maison de l’Économie Solidaire du Pays de Bray and the development of Pôles Emergence (first steps towards PTCEs) in several territories: Beauvaisis, Sud Oise, Compiégnois. The aim is to create employment opportunities through new forms of solidarity, particularly for priority groups, in its social action areas. This support covers the time needed to set up new networks in each of its territories. For the historical PTCE of the Pays de Bray, the department supports the engineering and « companionship » function in the structuring of the various cooperation projects. The Pays de Bray PTCE develops activities around early childhood, services to the population and economic development. The Pôle Emergence du Beauvaisis has, in particular, enabled the creation of a solidarity garage, a youth service cooperative and a producer shop. The Pôle Sud Oise has created a cooperative supermarket and has a project for a third place on a former industrial site. The Pôle du Compiégnois is exploring the development of activities around housing renovation and the circular economy and is working with the Territoire Zéro Chômeur de Longue Durée (Zero Long Term Unemployed) experiment.

Experimenting with and supporting collective territorial dynamics

The departmental councils can support, in complementarity with the CRESS, the local dynamics of actors led by territorial collectives that seek to promote the SSE and support its change of scale. They can thus support the Pôles Territoriaux de Coopération Économique (PTCE) initiatives or the Territoires zéro chômeur de longue durée (zero long-term unemployed) experiments (see sheet n°11).

To go further

  • Territorial development & SSE fact sheets, TRESSONS project, 2020

  • RTES article The actions of the Ille-et-Vilaine departmental council to promote the success of commercial revitalisation projects in rural areas, 2019

  • RepèrESS du RTES The roles of local authorities in the dynamics of PTCEs, 2016