Joint ventures the social highlight of the insertion

The hybridization does not work in botany. In economics also, the grafts are fertile, as demonstrated by the alliances between for-profit companies and companies of the social economy and solidarity, which have multiplied over the last fifteen years, notably under the impetus of a new legal form, the joint-venture social (JVS).

Of micro-credit to the joint-venture social

The idea goes back to Muhammad Yunus, Nobel Peace prize in 2006. From its successful experience of microcredit in Bangladesh, he had the idea to use another tool of capitalism, the joint-venture, in one and the same objective of the fight against poverty.

He manages to convince, in particular, of the large French companies – Danone, Credit agricole, Veolia – setting up a business in common, which are cost effective and the service of the poor. In the same way that microcredit was adapted in France by the association for the right to economic initiative (Adie), the concept of joint-venture net has been taken over by social enterprises, such as groups Ares or Vitamin T.

Muhammad Yunus, champion of ” social business “

The first JVS have emerged in France in 2011. Each partner plays on its strong point : control of industrial capacity and ability to find new markets for big business ; the integration of persons permanently removed from the employment insertion enterprises. “Today, there are fifteen in France, estimated Claudine Leclerc, director of Social Cobizz, a think tank which promotes it. Over the last twelve months, we accompanied a dozen of new projects, they come from the associations or large companies. ”

Equal partners

The reconciliations of economic between traditional companies and the SSE are older, from simple sub-contracting in the creation of vocational courses through the structures of the insertion-integrated companies. But the JVS can put both partners on an equal footing and to create new jobs through new markets. To ensure the social purpose of the entity, it is, in general, the social enterprise that is majority. The principle is that the profits stay in the company.

The integration group Ares, which specializes in the recycling and the logistics, is one of the pioneers of joint ventures in social. It has duplicated the model in a number of trades, under the leadership of its former director Thibault Guilluy. “In 2008, we asked ourselves how we could create more jobs and more opportunities for our employees in situation of disability, explains Fabien de Castilla, the current director of Ares. We also wanted to offer them professions are more innovative than those to which they are restricted usually. “

Executives of major companies have been contacted. And XPO Logistics has been the first to respond, giving birth to the JVS Log’ins, a business fit that makes the logistics e-commerce and the preparation of orders in the Ile-de-France and Rhône-Alpes.

Jobs not filled and skills unused

Today, three JVS have been integrated into the group Ares, contributing 10 million euros to its revenue and salariant 230 persons, supervisors and persons in the insertion, that they are in a situation of disability or very distant from the job. To Log’ins, are added to Liva (with Vinci) and Access Inclusive Tech (with Accenture). Repar-Seb is expected to be born this year around small appliances.

Joint ventures the social highlight of the insertion

“We started from the same observation as economic as Ares, highlights Angelina Lamy, general delegate of the Fondation Accenture. There are still a lot of jobs unfilled in the it and there are also many skills that are not used in the structures of insertion. We were convinced from the outset that the partnership could work. From our side, the main difficulty has been to explain to our leaders in the us what is a social enterprise and how one could make sales with it ! ”

TO READ. Eight million euros for the social and solidarity economy

Access Inclusive Tech has been created at the beginning of 2017 and has already seen a hundred people (the maximum duration of the contract in a social enterprise is twenty-four months). The new company carries out services in the field of digital services at Accenture, but also at its competitors, as it is indeed a full-fledged company, is always looking for new markets. Previously, the Foundation Accenture organizes a half-day training on the social and solidarity economy for its own personal.

Bridges fragile

For Log’ins, such as for Access, the gateways between the insert and the ordinary environment, however, remain tenuous. If two-thirds of the employees in insertion have positive exits, as we say in the jargon of administrative, Accenture has so far recruited one employee from Access. But other companies in the digital sector have hired. The others leave to other areas or formations. To open the range of opportunities, Angelina Lamy will open up Access to new professions in it, including artificial intelligence.

→ MAINTENANCE. “We are helping the associations to a change of scale “

Dawn, a great combination of care and accommodation, many of the structures that have been chosen to launch the process of establishment of a joint-venture social, with the help of Social Co-bizz. It should lead to the fall of, its launch having been delayed by the crisis of the Covid-19.

“The continuing decline of grants in the social action requires us to find solutions, “said François Morillon, director of development, Dawn, that accompanies more than 41 000 people. Create the JVS Alibo with a large group of catering will bring us new resources. ” This will also allow you to hire more people integrating around the job to delivery of meals at home for dependent persons, as well as creating one of these new cooperations fertile made by the joint ventures, social.

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Definitions

Joint venture social : it is created by a profit-making business and a company, non-profit, that share of the capital but also of competences and complementary resources (social, financial, technical, etc). The structure thus created fixed, in its articles, a social purpose or societal.

Société coopérative de production (Scop) : it is a cooperative society with the status of SA, SARL or SAS, in which the employees are associated in the majority. It can be created in all sectors of activity.

The cooperative society of collective interest (Scic) is a co-operative enterprise incorporated in the form of SARL, SAS or SA, which has for object ” the production or supply of goods and services of collective interest, which present a character of social utility.”

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At Ventimiglia, a solidarity over the border

Five. Ismail throws the arm with an open hand to indicate how many times it has been discharged in five days by the border police in French. By train or on foot, he has never been able to reach Garavan area of Menton located in front of Ventimiglia, Italy.

The young man was 22 years ago. He landed in Italy at the age of 14 years, arriving from Somalia. “I am from Mogadishu, there is the war out theresums up there. I want to work and send money to my mother. I lived in Rome until my 18 years. Then I went to Stuttgart in Germany. I have worked in the black for four years, for 2 000 € per month. But the police sent me back in Italy. Here, I am in a regular situation, but it is not working. In Germany, I earn the money, but I don’t exist. I want to go to France. “

The border italo-French closed during the pandemic

We meet Ismail in the court of the Caritas in Ventimiglia, where volunteers hidden distribute food and clothing to those who try to cross illegally the border. Near him, a score of Somali and Sudanese just landed in Italy from Libya. There are also Algerians, Afghans, Pakistanis and iraqi Kurds.

During the outbreak of coronavirus, the border italo-French has been closed in both directions. But when Italy has re-opened the passage on 3 June, a crowd formed to enter France, the most to travel to the United Kingdom or in the northern countries of the european Union (EU). Those who have 200 € can pay a smuggler who takes them on a truck. Other trying to make Nice by train. Still others try their luck on foot, even on the very dangerous path dubbed “passage of death “at Grimaldi.

The summer promises to be hot to Ventimiglia. “Since the beginning of June arrived refugees who have crossed the Mediterranean, others who come from the Balkan route, via Bosnia and Croatia, others who simply want to leave Italy “observes Serena Regazzoni, operator of Caritas. The centre counts an average of twenty arrivals per day, and estimates the number of refusals at the border by the French police to 250 per week. “Even the Italian police returned to search the trains and check the documents “note Maurizio Marmo, director of the diocesan Caritas.

The NGOS of the two countries organize themselves

By 2017, about 50 000 migrants have passed through the roads, railways and trails in the area, according to unofficial estimates. By 2018, the number dropped to 30 000, then 20 000 in 2019. In April, the transit camp, Roja, which has 500 spaces and is managed by the Red Cross, has been temporarily closed by the prefect, after two cases of covid-19. Today it houses 95 people, but 250 people are sleeping on the beach or along the river Roja.

During all these years in which the relations between Rome and Paris have experienced many low and few high, a unique collaboration was established between the NGOS of the two countries. Ventimiglia has become a border of solidarity. The spark was the crisis of may 2016, when hundreds of migrants have been blocked by the Italian police on their way to France.

“Hundreds of people slept in the streetsays Maurizio Marmo. After having heard the bishop of Ventimiglia and the parish priest Don Rito Alvarez, we opened the courtyard and the rooms under the church of Sant Antonio to the families and minors only. We have hosted up to 1,200 guests. There has been an extraordinary demonstration of solidarity. From everywhere came the volunteers, food assistance, clothing. Of France also. This has lasted for a year. Thus was born the collaboration with the associations Italian terrain, such as Diaconia Valdese and WeWorld, and the French associations. “

Denounce references to illegal

On the other side of the border, in Nice, Agnès Lerolle anime the Cafi, a program that brings together Amnesty International, The Cimade, Médecins du monde, Doctors without borders and Secours catholique-Caritas France. “With the data collected in Italy, we began to monitor the border and to denounce the unlawful discharge of unaccompanied minors carried out by the French police, sometimes by changing the identity documents, as it should, on the contrary, protect, “she explains. We also follow the families. We have denounced the abuses, as these refugees locked up in containers without food or water to the Chin for 24 hours. References illegal, have decreased. “

To the north of Ventimiglia, the Val Roja becomes French. At the top of the mountains is located the farm of Cedric Herrou, who has been accused of “offence of solidarity “ for helping refugees (including some of Sant Antonio) to enter in France and ask for asylum. Half the world has heard of this peasant defender of migrants, including the use of up to the constitutional Council have made changes to the French law and led the State to recognize the constitutional principle of fraternity and the freedom to help others in a humanitarian aim. “It is not a question of being for or against the migrants, but to meet the people “, he insists.

Assistance to migrants : Cedric Herrou eventually acquitted

Back at the mouth of the Roja, among the migrants who camped, Maurizio Marmo evokes simple stories and dreams performed by many migrants who have passed through here and have integrated into the EU. With a tightness in his voice, he remembers three young Sudanese past in 2017 with a small child who could barely stand up. “In Libya, at the time of boarding, her mother has not been able to get on the boat and threw him in their arms, begging him to lead them to her father, who was already in France. I never knew how it ended. “

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Mentoring, a track to reduce the fracture school

Ultimate session before the resumption of school, Monday, June 22,… Installed in the family lounge, in social housing in paris, Malick has an appointment with Aela. This student of CP performs a part of the duties of the week, a series of additions, with the remote help of this young girl, a student of double degree in philosophy and sociology at the Sorbonne and that since the beginning of the containment is returned to live with his parents, in Brittany. Both of you have never seen it “for real” but since April, spend two hours per week to be exchanged via the application WhatsApp.

“Hosted by the equal opportunity “

Today, Aela also helps Malick to read a text peppered with words containing a ‘W’, interview with kiwi through Ottawa… A text that gives him a hard time. Aboubakary, the father of the young boy is sitting on the couch, next to his son, he does not cease to encourage. He salutes “the invaluable assistance “ that brings the young girl, a volunteer at the Association foundation student for the city (Afev). Him who has stopped the studies in the terminal shortly before his departure to the Ivory Coast to France was largely the level to work with Malick in his duties. But he has two jobs in cleaning companies, with schedules that require multiple trips, including the weekend. “There are some days when I work in the morning and in the evening, I don’t have the time to do the homework to Malick. And the delay accumulates “, he says.

→ LONG FORMAT. Containment : in search of the lost children of the school

Also, when the teacher of Malick asked him to put his son in contact with Aela, Aboubakry did not hesitate a second. It is also hoped that the young student, 18 years of age, will continue to support Malick after the resumption, and even next year. It is good, Aela, who has already worked in the animation and said “hosted by the equal opportunity “does not stop in so good way. “I can’t wait to really meet Malick, to go beyond the school, to play with him, to do cultural exits… “

Open horizons

Because it is the same principle of “mentoring” proposed by the Afev : combine homework assistance to support wider, which opens up horizons, and bring down the mental barriers.
Other actors involved in this field, for example by offering assets to become sponsors.

“We allow the creation of a strong social tie that would not have been able to see the light of day in another frame “stresses Laure Dethomas, director of the association Proxité. “We start from the needs and aspirations of the young person to put it in relationship with the suitable person, that will help him gain self-confidence, work on his career, his orientation, building bridges between the school and the company. “

22 000 sponsors and as many of the young people helped

Proxité part, with the Afev, and six other associations or foundations, of the Collective Mentorship mobilized to children and families in difficulty who has launched, at the end of April, a coaching with a remote aimed at students of primary, middle school and high school who were at-risk of dropping out. “Our group is also allied companies to provide 3 000 computers with connections to students previously identified as at risk a rupture educational lack of digital tools to keep track of their distance learning courses “, full Laure Dethomas.

Convinced that the support of students weak or deserving makes even more sense after the crisis of the Covid, which has tended to widen inequality, the Collective mentorship intends to continue its lobbying with the public authorities. To this day, the structures that he brings together total 22 000 sponsors.

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“It was also necessary to help the most fragile in France “

The Cross : What has been your response to the coronavirus ?

Renaud Surface Ground : At the beginning of April, the six NGOS (1) that constitute the Alliance Emergency are met, as they do now every month. Each of us was impacted by this crisis. We had challenges in terms of human resources, with teams who could not return to France, which were to be confined, often far away from the capitals. We also had to adapt our programmes, for example by establishing safety distances for the food distributions. Our six NGOS are established in fifty countries, half of which is part of the countries with the most fragile of the planet.

→ REPORT. In the street with the homeless, by the time of coronavirus

In this context, in the face of the emergency, Alliance Emergency has decided to launch an appeal for donations from the public to fight against the coronavirus, at the international level, but also in France. Doctors of the world has been working since 40 years in France, Action contre la Faim for the past two years and Solidarités International in the last few months. We felt that it was also necessary to help the most vulnerable – the homeless, refugees and Roma – who live on our territory.

How have you done for your campaign ?

R. D. : We often work together on the field. Alliance Emergency is a translation of the joint action. We shared the work between us six to make it as visible as possible and to give elements of understanding to the public. We have used and adapted the spot that we had achieved free agency Publicis for the launch of the Alliance Emergencies.

One of the six NGOS are in charge of the telephone platform for receiving calls from donors, another is in charge of press relations, another of the seo on the Internet, yet another of the Internet page of the call. He then had to go and collect all the spaces possible that media groups could give us free of charge. I have to say that our strike force six has been effective and that the media have responded to the call. We’ve got spaces for the equivalent of two million euros, by spending less than 15 000 €.

What is the first assessment of the campaign ?

R. D. : This was our second campaign since the creation of Alliance Emergency department, the first having been in favour of refugees Rohingyas at the beginning of the year. This has enabled to collect 200 000 € to the public and it continues because the crisis is unpredictable and may be long. We have also been successful in mobilizing businesses. Canal + Africa has organized an evening for our benefit.

→ TO READ. Six NGOS unite for the Rohingyas

The money raised by our campaign is distributed to the six NGOS according to a distribution key that we set between us in the beginning of the year. It is a function of the share of emergency response in the activity of each of the partners and the percentage of funds collected from the public or to institutional donors.

(1) Doctors of the world, Solidarités International, Action against Hunger, Plan International, Care France, Handicap International

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During the confinement, the seniors in the heart of the solidarity between neighbours

Help his neighbor to do the grocery shopping, cleaning, or going out to walk his dog : one could believe that these services rendered are to be multiplied for the confinement related to the pandemic Covid-19.

But this is not the case, according to a study by the national Institute of demographic studies (Ined), entitled, “How nearby there in France to be confined ?” and published Wednesday, June 10. “Contrary to popular belief and magic, there has been no outpouring of solidarity. The number of services traded remains stable “notes Anne Lambert, a sociologist and responsible of the investigation Coconel (1), which was attended by seven researchers.

The more than 75 years have received more services

The study, which compares the first month of confinement with the preceding measure the services rendered or received between neighbors, friends or members of the same family, in a one-kilometre radius around the home. Almost one French person in two says and have exchanged a service, before as well as during the confinement. “The exchange of services has not increased, because a lot of people have continued to work and there has been a decline in self-related health conditions, analysis Anne Lambert. But seniors have more benefited at the expense of more young people and families. “

The more than 75 years have received more services : 46 % said they receive during the containment, compared to 30 % in the previous month. A solidarity oriented towards the oldest due to health reasons. “These people were the first target of the safety instructions and the massively respected “, notes the sociologist, who pointed out that those older people were therefore less proposed services to close friends and family.

Families have less shared services

But this is not the young people who helped the older. During the health crisis, the face of the solidarity of the neighborhood is found in people aged 60 to 74 years. If they received more services, they have especially given a lot. “This is a pivotal generation in the welfare district, emphasizes the researcher Ined, director of the unit Housing, spatial inequality, and paths. These are people still in good health, less at risk than their elders, with a high standard of living. They have been a driving force. “

On the contrary, families have less exchanged for services during the confinement : a quarter of them received a service, compared to 34 % before. “Due to the closure of schools, they have had to deal with the overload of domestic tasks without being able to rely on the network of relatives and parents, at the same time that their needs for care have been reduced by the restriction of output “, details the newsletter of the Ined. The young and the more precarious is further folded on themselves. “Some have lost a portion of their income because of the crisis. The more one is poor, and the less one asks for help “, is Anne Lambert.

The sense of isolation that has more than doubled

The solidarity of the neighborhood has not prevented the French feel more isolated ; on the contrary. During the confinement, the isolation has more than doubled, from 16% to 38 %. A further increase among those who exchanged services. “It may seem counter-intuitive, but they are highly active people who helped already before. The containment has profoundly altered the conditions of their lives and destabilized their benchmarks daily “pointe Anne Lambert.

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Aid to migrants: Cédric Herrou finally released

It was the match point. First fined and then suspended, then retried, Cédric Herrou, a leading figure in aid to migrants, is “Dismissed from all proceedings” against him, decided on Wednesday May 13, the Lyon Court of Appeal.

→ READ. Will Cédric Herrou be finally condemned?

“It is the triumph of law and reason, said Sabrina Goldman, one of her lawyers. Of the right because the Constitutional Council had already recognized that one cannot be punished when one acts with a humanitarian aim, and of the reason because the relentlessness to prosecute someone who does nothing but help others was completely unreasonable. “

Facts that date back to October 2016

The facts in question date back to October 2016. Cédric Herrou, farmer from the Roya valley (Alpes-Maritimes) who shelters migrants in the garden of his farm who have just crossed the Franco-Italian border, decides, with the association Roya Citizen, to install around fifty people in a former disused SNCF holiday center.

→ REPORTAGE. In the Roya Valley, migrants find refuge

After three days of occupation, Cédric Herrou is arrested. “During his police custody, he was questioned about these facts but also about an article in the New york times where it is said that he transported 200 migrants from Ventimiglia and on a France 3 report where he is seen getting black people into his car “, explained in March to The cross, another of his lawyers, Zia Oloumi. “The investigators, presumably because they had nothing on entry aid, he adds, have attached for information a procedure dating from August 2016, concerning an arrest at the La Turbie toll booth with Eritreans on board. However, this procedure had been dismissed for humanitarian immunity. “ After his police custody, Cédric Herrou is prosecuted for illegal occupation but also for assistance with the entry, movement and illegal stay of foreigners in France.

A first trial in March 2017

For these facts, Cédric Herrou was first tried in March 2017 by the court of Nice, which had opted for a fine of € 3,000. The prosecution had appealed. In August 2017, the Aix-en-Provence appeals court increased the sentence and sentenced him to a four-month suspended prison sentence. The farmer then applied to the Constitutional Council for a decision on the principle of brotherhood. And, on July 6, 2018, the fraternity was raised to the constitutional rank. It is to take account of this new right that the case is then brought before the Court of Cassation which, in December 2018, set aside the conviction, while asking to be tried again at the Lyon Court of Appeal. She heard the case on March 11. The public prosecutor’s office had then requested 8 to 10 months suspended prison sentence against the farmer.

→ INVESTIGATION. “Solidarity crime” is always punished

In its decision of May 11, the Lyon Court of Appeal therefore took into account the latest advances in law. Now, in fact, the law exempts prosecution of residence assistance as soon as it “Has not given rise to any direct or indirect consideration” and made “For an exclusively humanitarian purpose”. On February 25, a decision of the Court of Cassation clarified matters by setting aside the conviction of a young man who had transported migrants in an association setting. Taking into account this jurisprudence, the Lyon Court of Appeal therefore considered that being an activist, as Cédric Herrou claims, does not call into question humanitarian immunity.

Relaxed including on entry assistance

On the other hand, the new law does not provide for humanitarian immunity from entry aid, which is still punishable by five years’ imprisonment and a fine of € 30,000. As such, Cédric Herrou could therefore be sentenced. But the defense argued that “The facts have not been established”, according to Zia Oloumi, because, on the one hand, the August 2016 procedure had been closed without follow-up, and on the other hand, “If Cédric Herrou did not deny having transported people in distress, he never asked them for their papers. The prosecution therefore does not prove that it brought in illegal immigrants. ” The Court therefore appears to have followed the argument.

Finally, while Cédric Herrou had been sentenced for the facts of“Installation in a meeting on land belonging to others without authorization”, for the occupation of the SNCF premises, the court of appeal exempted him from punishment.

If this judgment puts an end to this lawsuit, it does not erase the others in progress. The farmer is expected to be tried on June 16 for defamation of MP LR Éric Ciotti. Finally, an investigation is underway to assist entry, stay and traffic for events dating back to July 2017.

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The Cannes festival in 2020 was canceled due to coronavirus :: Society :: RBC

In early June, the organizers will announce a list of films that will be screened at autumn festivals in seven other cities.

The holding of the Cannes Film Festival in its traditional format in 2020 will most likely not take place, Variety reports citing the organizers of the event.

Instead, a list of films selected for viewing at the festival, which will be called Cannes 2020, will be announced. Films from this list will be shown at fall festivals in Toronto, Deauville, Angouleme, San Sebastian, New York, Busan and Lyon. The shows will last until the spring of 2021.

“Today, the organization of the physical festival seems difficult to us, so we will announce films from the (initial official) section in early June,” the representative of the festival told the publication.

Oscars from COVID-19 for the first time allowed online films to be released

Cannes Film Festival director Thierry Fremaux previously told Variety that the film industry is at risk. “We will have to restore it, and also once again confirm its importance with the help of energy, unity and solidarity,” he noted.

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News x 24 hours .. Health: The number of people recovering from the Corona virus increased to 1,381 cases – the seventh day

News x 24 hours .. Health: The number of people recovering from the Corona virus increased to 1381 cases on the seventh day.

Europe in search of a solidarity mechanism

The European Union, which has become a mess in the health crisis, will seek to emerge from it more united. On Thursday, April 23, the 27 heads of state and government will meet by videoconference to work on the creation of a recovery fund. The aim is to alleviate the economic shock linked to the Covid-19 epidemic, but above all to set up a mechanism of solidarity between Europeans, by which the countries in better health would come to the aid of those who are in a more difficult situation.

→ LIVE. Coronavirus: France enters its 38th day of confinement

For the moment, two conceptions are opposed. Southern Europe is demanding, while northern Europe is reluctant to pay. This stimulus fund could be endowed with 700 to 1.5 trillion euros. This money should be used to shape post-crisis Europe, starting in 2021, beyond the stabilization measures that are currently underway and already funded.

States are anticipating the fact that they will have to invest massively in the coming years to strengthen their health system, support struggling industrial branches, protect their strategic businesses from control attempts from third countries, repatriate a certain number productions, including drugs.

→ MAINTENANCE. “Europe must avoid minimalist solutions” in the face of the coronavirus

At the same time, we must avoid getting caught up in global competition. Because as the French Minister of Economy, Bruno Le Maire, points out, “There is a risk that investments in innovation will be the first to be sacrificed in the coming years, while European states will have to face great financing needs.” ” Gold, he argues, on the contrary, it is the moment when we should increase the effort of innovation and research, so that Europeans do not let themselves be outdistanced by China and the United States. “

“Coronabonds” or perpetual debt, multiple proposals

Spain has made an ambitious proposal: a stimulus fund of 1.5 trillion euros, or 10% of EU GDP, which would be financed by a loan from the European Commission, and which would be “Perpetual debt”, of which only interest would be reimbursed. Italy pleads for a pooling of State debt through the creation of European bonds, the Eurobonds (renamed “Coronabonds”). France, for its part, proposes the creation of a fund of 1,000 billion euros, repayable over 20 years. Each country would get a share of this money, proportional to the damage caused by the epidemic, but would reimburse according to its economic weight in the Union. This would therefore create a transfer of money to the countries of the south, the most affected by the Covid-19 at this stage.

Germany, for its part, remains hostile to the idea of ​​creating “Coronabonds”. Chancellor Angela Merkel reiterated it to her party leaders on Monday April 20. On the other hand, it is also preparing to make a proposal which would rather be to increase the multiannual budget of the European Union, to include a response to the epidemic.

Behind this very technical debate, there is a fundamental question: that of European solidarity which Paris considers essential to preserve the Union. “After the end of containment, some states will be able to invest and revive. But others will not. So it could widen the gaps between member countries, and in the long run it could condemn the eurozone ”, warns Bruno Le Maire.

Lessons from the previous crisis

The growing divergence between northern and southern Europe had already been the cause of the previous eurozone crisis in 2010. At the time, the growing indebtedness of the countries of the south, as well as of the ‘Ireland, had created tensions that threatened the common currency. It took the intervention of the European Central Bank, in the person of its president, Mario Draghi, in 2012, to finally alleviate the fears of the markets.

“The previous eurozone crisis had been marked for two years by a succession of last chance summits, where Europeans were trying to find solutions, back to the wall”, recalls a diplomat who witnessed these events. He notes that “This time, even if there were shortcomings in the European reaction, there was a stronger and faster economic reactivity. The European Central Bank intervened 3 to 4 weeks after the start of the crisis. “

In fact, the ECB announced a massive 750 billion euro asset buy-back program on March 19. The Central Bank has thus given states the assurance that they will be able to take on large amounts of debt to cushion the economic shock linked to the epidemic. In addition, the eurozone finance ministers also reached an agreement on April 9 on a number of measures worth 550 billion euros.

They agreed to mobilize the European Investment Bank to help small businesses up to 200 billion; create a fund of 100 billion to finance partial unemployment measures and allow the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) to make loans to states up to 2% of their GDP. This ESM was specifically created in 2012, during the eurozone crisis, to make loans under conditions of reform to states that are in temporary difficulty.

The European Union: regulator or space of solidarity?

It remains to complete the system with a stimulus fund, in order to prepare for the future. According to the Élysée, the chances of reaching a rapid compromise quickly are slim. It will probably take several meetings before an agreement is reached. “It is understandable because we are on a substantive debate, analyzes a diplomat familiar with these negotiations. The question is whether we consider the European Union simply as the regulator of a large market, or as a space of solidarity “.

If no agreement is found, France is considering borrowing common to only a few countries, including Italy and Spain. But it would run the risk of not benefiting from the lowest interest rates, granted to good students of budgetary discipline, such as Germany or the Netherlands. And that would mark a failure for the euro area.

On the other hand, if a mechanism for pooling debts is put in place, this could mark a rupture. “We can foresee that we will not go back on the stability pact, on competition policy, or on the borrowing capacity of States”, predicts this same diplomat. The Covid-19 crisis could therefore profoundly transform the functioning of the European Union.

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