Difference between revisions of "Community-led initiatives in France"

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[[Category: France]]
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Latest revision as of 09:23, 13 February 2021


The Transiscope project brings together data from five organisations in map form.

Transition in France

Main page: Transition in France

The Transition Network lists 36 initiatives in France[1] while the French Transition Network lists 141 Transitions Towns.[2]

Permaculture in France

Main page: Permaculture in France

Ecovillages in France

Main page: Ecovillages in France

The Global Ecovillage Network (GEN) lists 27 projects in their database. This number is however only reflecting the projects that have registered themselves on the database. The ecovillage database contains ecovillage projects of all sizes and in all stages of development.[3]

The ecovillages in France are organized in Colibri movement. Colibri´s mission is to "Inspire, connect and support citizens who choose another way of life!"

The Colibris citizen’s movement was created in 2007 and is working towards the construction of an ecological and human society by focussing on personal change. It´s “mission is to inspire, connect and support citizens committed to an individual and collective transition process[4]</. Colibri is supported by more than 4800 monthly contributors and 133 volunteer groups.

Core projects of Colibri are the Oases project, supporting more than 100 existing oases of mutual aid and solidarity, the online university, offering free trainings to support green projects and La Fabrique, a “citizen support platform where everyone can offer their time, their talent, equipment, or a little money for inspiring projects”.

The governance of Colibri is organized in 5 colleges and 2 circles with governance structures inspired by sociocratic and holocratc principles following the statutes:

  • "The college of founders is the guarantor of the original intention and spirit of the Movement
  • The operational college is responsible for the operational implementation of the strategy on a daily basis
  • The college of local groups ensures the dissemination and local rooting of the message and actions
  • The College of Contributors provides the bulk of the Movement's funding and thereby its independence and ability to act
  • The college of partners brings specific skills, complementary to those of the operational team; it ensures the links of the association with the wider movement that brings changes in society.
  • The Orientation Circle (CO), equivalent to the General Assembly, is made up of all the founders and operational staff, a representative of each partner and each local protocol group (the most advanced groups) and 50 contributors. In total, around 120 people make up this circle responsible for overseeing strategic orientations.
  • The Steering Circle (CP) is the equivalent of the Board of Directors. Its mission is to guarantee the raison d'être and the good health of the association, and thus works in conjunction with the operational team to animate the participative governance of the Movement".[5]
  • Colibri is also a full member of GEN-Europe, the European branch of the Global Ecovillage Network.

    Community Energy in France

    Main page: Community energy in France

    Enercoop, a nationally active SCIC (cooperative and participatory association) founded in 2005 by a working group intending to invent a new energy model, "is the Country’s only cooperative supplier of 100% renewable electricity in direct contact with producers".[6]

    "Enercoop works with local players to implement production sites (from machine manufactureto assembly) and production phases and at the same time it encourages local employment. Enercoop buys electricity from 14 producers: 7 are hydroelectric producers, 1 is a biomass energy producer, 3 are wind energy producers and 3 are photovoltaic energy producers. The organization’s aim is to offer citizens the chance to contribute towards local energy production through a regional network of cooperatives (being created constantly) and become involved in the management of these cooperatives taking a short circuit electricity supply approach. Enercoop Languedoc-Roussillon is raising citizens’ awareness through debates, conferences and projections. By proposing non-polluting and cooperative energy through an energy short cycle, Enercoop has a positive environmental impact on the region".[6]

    Solidarity Economy in France

    Main page: Solidarity economy in France

    A 2015 survey indicated that the national social and solidarity economy (SSE) encompassed 200,000 companies, together employing over 2 million people, one in every eight private-sector employees. Activities in the SSE sector accounted for almost ten per cent of GDP. In the previous ten years, the number of jobs in the SSE sector grew by 440,000, an increase of 23%, compared with 7% in the traditional economy over the same timescale.[6]

    The same report notes a high visibility of social and solidarity economy in the French legal framework as well as supportive institutions:

    "In 2014 the Act no. 2014- 856 of July 31 on SSE was approved. The law defines SSE, creates a High Council for SSE, a National Chamber and Regional Chambers. The Act amends or adds numerous provisions on the establishment of social economy enterprises, the transfer of enterprises to their employees, it modifies the cooperative sector and modi es the law of associations, etc. The law recognizes that: “SSE is a means of manipulating and expanding the economy focusing on all  fields of human activity to which legal entities under private law meeting the following cumulative conditions adhere: a target pursued not merely by sharing profits; democratic governance and responsible management”. In countries such as France some additional features are shared by SSE entities such as limits to the organizations’ profits, the capacity to mobilize people in the territories where they operate and to achieve positive externalities in collective interest. In the Country, competent institutions to regulate solidarity initiatives have also been created, especially the French Chamber for SSE and the “Cash deposits”, which raises funds and finances projects in the relevant sectors".[6]

    Community Food Production in France

    Main page: Community Food Production in France

    Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) in France

    According to URGENCI, the International Network for Community Supported Agriculture, the first CSA initiatives in France where started in 1991 (Jardins de Cocagne) and 2001 (AMAP) and estimates a total of 3,620 farms providing for up to 400.000 eaters in 2015. The CSAs are organized in different groups like the Inter-regional Movement of AMAP, connecting regional AMAP (association for maintaining small-scale family farming) networks, and Jardins de Cocagne. AMAP is since 2003 regulated by a national Charter defining 18 principles and responsibilities of producer and consumers, including the requirement for a written contract and a pre-payment system ensuring monthly payments from the consumers (risk sharing principle).[7] [8]

    Incredible Edible Network

    Originally inspired by [Incredible Edible Todmorden] in Northern England, the French network Les Incroyables Comestibales has become the world's largest national network of Incredible Edible initiatives, with over 300 community food growing projects listed on their website.


    The Wiki des Communes maintains a list of commons and commoning initiatives from all over France.

    Collaboration with Local Government

    Intersections and Interactions


    1. https://transitionnetwork.org/transition-near-me/initiatives/. Accessed on June 10th 2018
    2. www.entransition.fr/. Accessed on June 11th 2018
    3. https://ecovillage.org/projects. Accessed on May 23rd 2018
    4. https://www.colibris-lemouvement.org/mouvement/notre-mission. Accessed on May 29th 2018
    5. https://www.colibris-lemouvement.org/mouvement/une-gouvernance-novatrice. Accessed on May 29th 2018
    6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 Troisi, R., di Sisto, M., Castagnola, A., 2018. Transformative economy: Challenges and limits of the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) in 55 territories in Europe and in the World. Sustainable and Solidarity Economy, Firenze.
    7. Volz, P., Weckenbrock, P., Cressot, N. & Parot, J. European CSA Research Group (2016): Overview of Community Supported Agriculture in Europe. https://urgenci.net/wp-content/uploads/2016/05/Overview-of-Community-Supported-Agriculture-in-Europe.pdf. Accessed on June 7th 2018
    8. http://urgenci.net/france/. Accessed on June 7th 2018