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Role and activities of the Conseil national des politiques de lutte contre la pauvreté et l’exclusion sociale (CNLE)

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[5 mai 2017] Set up by law n° 88-1088 of 1 December 1988 (Loi relative au Revenu minimum d’insertion), the Conseil national des politiques de lutte contre la pauvreté et l’exclusion sociale (National Council against Poverty and Social Exclusion) was instituted in March 1993.

The CNLE is a representative body of the main public and private actors involved in combating poverty and social exclusion. Consequently, its works reflect the ideas supported by its members and their strategies. The CNLE has gained legitimacy over the years as its members manage to reach consensus and therefore submit reasonable and balanced proposals.

The CNLE has been reporting to the Prime minister since 1988. Such a connection shows the willingness of the successive governments to pursue the fight against poverty and social exclusion through coordinated and inter-ministerial policies, on the basis of the constitutional principles reinforced by the law of 29 July 1988 and the law of 2 January 2002.

Attaching great importance to these fundamental principles, the CNLE is particularly attentive to the manner in which poverty-related policies are conducted. These policies must be part of a global and cross-sectional strategy. All of the levers for action must be taken into consideration. The CNLE deems that multi-partnership and multidimensional approaches are required in that particular field. Public action must aim at guaranteeing effective access to fundamental rights such as the right to work, to housing, to education, to health, to science and culture… The council thus ensures that poverty and social exclusion are better taken into account in public policies, not only from the perspective of remedying the consequences of those issues, but also from the perspective of preventing them.

Its works also focus on coordination, policy monitoring and governance in the social sphere. All the members of the CNLE give high importance to governance as they wish a better articulation between the national level and the local levels (region, department, commune, inter-communality…).

The CNLE meets in average once a month in plenary session. Working groups on hot topics are regularly established. The general secretariat of the CNLE is provided by the Direction générale de la cohésion sociale (General Direction of Social Cohesion).

Following an internal reflection, the CNLE launched in 2012 an experiment that consisted in creating a new college composed of eight persons in poverty or in a precarious situation. As the evaluation of the experiment was overall extremely positive, the CNLE decided to perpetuate the existence of that college. The reshaping and the enlargement of the composition of the council were enacted by the decree of 17 December 2013, bringing the total number of its members to 65. The ambition of the CNLE is that this process of citizen participation brings added value both for the persons in a precarious situation and the council. The opinions the council delivers to the government will thus take better account of the experience and the voice of the poor.

Since its creation twenty years ago, the CNLE has acquired a genuine legitimacy and a strong notoriety that make it a recognized advisory body and a space of dialogue. On behalf of the Prime minister, it actively contributed in December 2012 to the workshops organized ahead of the Conférence nationale contre la pauvreté et pour l’inclusion sociale (National Conference Against Poverty and for Social Inclusion). Along with the Inspection générale des affaires sociales (General Inspectorate of Social Affairs) and the Direction générale de la cohésion sociale, the CNLE contributes to the monitoring of the multi-year action plan which was elaborated after the Conférence. The plan notably envisages the spread of public participation to other advisory bodies.

- To find more information about the CNLE, download the following file :

CNLE_English_version.pdf (PDF - 386.3 ko)