On partnerships…

In November, during their last working seminar, the administrators and directors of the association emphasised the importance of defining a partnership policy. It is generally agreed that cooperation has become indispensable within public policy. However, broaching the question of partnerships today, means that associations need to reform a culture where historically the idea of jealously guarded sovereignty overshadowed all other concerns. Let’s not beat around the bush ! In the recent past, partnerships came into existence as long as they didn’t call into question existing territories or influences.
Things are very different today. In the current climate of economic uncertainty, partnerships – put simply, positive conceptions of cooperation between actors – have unarguably become an added value for every association involved. The standards of the past have certainly been overturned, and will become obsolete. But more than ever, it is in the interest of associations to actively look for complementary services in their vicinity, which will become useful and relevant – not just economically – when they are well thought out arrangements between actors.
In other words, it is time to make associations between associations. This is a « challenge of interests », which obliges all involved to move beyond competitive or dominant relationships, in order to concentrate on the only legitimate goal ; to fight against social inequalities, which leave too many people in precarious situations. There are many examples of cooperations which bring a wealth of benefits to services provided for vulnerable people.
To achieve cooperation, it is worth remembering that any collaborations need to be based on mutual respect and recognition between all parties. The aims and what is at stake must always remain very clear. Otherwise these collaborations would surely be in nobody’s interests ! This is what the Moissons Nouvelles project would like to bring about in the partnerships it intends to build in the future.
The President
Francis Bouten