In 2018, the Fondation Crédit Coopératif financed two postdoctoral research fellowships on the place and impact of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) in Europe in the management of the migrant crisis. Christophe Vernier, secretary-general of the Fondation, presents the organisation and explains the partnership with the Red Cross Foundation in order to promote social innovation and citizen initiatives.
Can you introduce the Fondation Crédit Coopératif and its mission, in a few words?
Christophe Vernier – “The Fondation Crédit Coopératif acts both on the front line and in the wake of the bank which created it. In the service of developing the social and solidarity economy, its mission is based on three cornerstones: funding of research, so that everyone may better understand where the SSE comes from, and where it is going; the accompanying and networking of local initiatives, rooted in the local territory; and the building of partnerships with different SSE actors and sectors which are experimenting, networking and developing good practices.”
You have struck up a partnership with the Red Cross Foundation to finance research fellowships. What do you expect from this partnership?
CV – “In terms of research, the Fondation Crédit Coopératif supports academic and research-action work that can help SSE actors to decipher their environment, explore new sectors of activity, and experiment with new practices. By pooling our two foundations’ resources and expertise, we are aiming to shed light on the SSE’s innovative responses to the migrant crisis, and their potential articulation with public policy and citizen initiatives in order to gain in efficiency.”
In your opinion, how, and with what actions, can the SSE take part in the ongoing process of humanitarian transition?
CV – A number of SSE organisations specialised in humanitarian action are already acting on a daily basis to welcome refugees and to renew ties of solidarity. Though it is not their main objective, other SSE actors have skills which can be mobilised to encourage the integration of migrants: integration through economic activity, culture, sport, monitored housing, popular education… Some take part by expanding their object and governance to include the populations concerned. Their cooperation in a territory can bring more global, sustainable responses to this societal issue.