Obituary: Philippe Frémeaux, former editor of Alternatives économiques

A well-known figure in France, he led the magazine between 1999 and 2012

The French co-operative movement is mourning the loss of journalist Philippe Frémeaux, who passed away on 3 August at the age of 70 after a long battle with cancer.

A strong supporter of the social and solidarity economy, Mr Frémeaux was the former editor in chief and manager of Alternatives économiques, a national monthly magazine published by a co-operative.

Born in 1949 in Villemomble, a commune in the eastern suburbs of Paris, he studied law and economic science at the University of Paris for two years before taking a year out to travel to Africa.

On his return, he completed his degree choosing to specialise in economic and social sciences. He spent a few years teaching the subject at a local college and then worked as a political advisor for a strategy group.

His career in journalisn began in 1979 when he started contributing for Le Monde. In 1983 he joined Alternatives économiques as a regular contributor and became magazine editor-in-chief in 1988. He went on to become the head of the co-op that oversees the magazine from 1999 to 2012. 

In addition to promoting the social and solidarity economy, he was an advocate for safeguarding the environment and stood for municipal elections in 1977 for the Green Party (Europe Ecology).

A number of politicians paid tribute, including Olivia Grégoire, secretary of state for the social and solidarity economy. She wrote on Twitter: “Philippe Frémeaux was a very talented journalist whom I had read with passion for many years. Through his complex and critical thinking, he has greatly contributed to informing the public debate on the social and solidarity economy.”

He is survived by his wife, Christine Canuet, and their two children, Alexis and Alice.

This obituary was inspired by a longer tribute published by Alternative économiques, which is available (in French) here.