RIPESS Europe – Solidarity Economy Europe’s General Assembly took place in the context of the UniverSSE Congress, in the premises of the agricultural University in Athens, on Friday June 9, 2017 and according to the usual operation of the European network, when the AG takes place in the framework of a Congress, it was a shorter meeting. Read more
More than 1000 people (650 officially registered and many others as observers) attended the UNIVERSSE 2017 – 4th European Social Solidarity Economy congress in Athens (9-11 June 2017), during 3 days of intense debate and experience sharing. Participants from all over Europe and beyond had the opportunity to meet and network together and make plans to collaborate on several common issues.
One of the most important results of this event has been the agreement for the creation of the Pan-Hellenic Solidarity Economy network. Another result was the self-management and independent financing of the Congress and the success of the crowdfunding campaign, which provided the possibility to fund the participation of people representing many different solidarity economy initiatives from various countries. Read more
Solidarity Economy is live and thriving, if what you can see through the telescope of the 4th European Congress on SSE is just a small part of what is moving in Europe and around the world. Here is the program of the Congress, with a multitude of meetings, networking events, workshops and round tables that show the richness of the initiatives and organisations behind it. And since the technologies are there, the UNIVERSSE also has an Application for telephones and tablets:
Be part of the Universse 2017
Democratising Economy, Emancipating Society, Empowering Change
The 4th European Social Solidarity Economy (SSE) Congress will take place in Athens on the 9/10/11th of June. Cooperatives, grassroots initiatives, SSE organisations, groups and people that work to promote and advance SSE from all over Europe will meet for the event.
During the 3day Congress, we are going to have the opportunity to discuss and exchange ideas, experiences, expertise and common strategies around SSE. We consider SSE to be a dynamic space that spreads all over Europe, in which people organise their social and economic activity in many different ways.
This event is a great opportunity to enhance SSE’s visibility in Greece and to build strong connections amongst people, groups and coops on a European level.
We are also happy to announce that the 6th General Assembly of RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe will be held in Athens as well, as part of the Congress.
Call for ideas
While the organisation team works for the success of this congress, we are looking forward to receiving your ideas regarding the following themes that wprioritiseze to discuss during the 3day Congress.
The procedure will be the following:
Every group, network or individual that is interested in participating on the process of formulating the program, could send ideas according to the following axes, until 05/03/2017 through our email: email@example.com
1) Concepts, forms and fields of social solidarity economy and cooperativism
2) Responsible consumption, production and climate change
3) Practices of SSE on social integration with a special focus on refugees issues
4) Social innovation: Research, technology, education and tools for SSE
5) Commons: Approaches and practices on digital, natural, urban, cultural common goods
6) Public policies (on local, national, European level) promoting SSE : From whom, for who, what for.
7) Open space / Free zone
We invite ideas indicating the thematic area you refer to and the format of the meeting you propose (workshop, panel discussion, etc.). After the deadline (05/03/2017), the organizational team will assess all proposals and arrange them in clusters. Within these clusters we will make an effort to include as many ideas sent as possible.
The main intention is to organize the Congress along with the main axes (plus the free zone area) in order to enable a common vision while allowing for the exchange of different perspectives and experiences.
Check for updates and contact us
SAVE THE DATE! The next European SSE Congress (and RIPESS General Assembly) will take place in Athens, Greece on the 9-10-11th of June 2017, as decided in the last General Assembly in Villarceaux, Paris. The local organising committee is coordinated by DOCK – Social and solidarity economy zone.
For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since 2002, Jean-Louis Laville co-directs the «dictionary of the other economy», in South America and Europe, and recently he as worked on a book titled “The Left of the 21st century”.
Why has neo-liberalism been able to impose itself so easily?
Laville formulates the following hypothesis: If neoliberalism could impose itself with such force, it is because the power to change of the left are out of breath and there is a tiredness of progressive thinking. Can the SSE can play a role in a different way to find the responses? The importance of economic determinism makes it difficult to think about economic and political mediation. Read more
La Bergerie de Villarceaux, lovely eco-centre and organic farm outside Paris, was the convivial setting for RIPESS Europe’s 5th General Assembly, which took place from 20 to 22 June 2016, thanks to the hospitality of the Foundation for the Progress of Humankind (FPH). Several new members and observers participated.
During an opening session, Claudia Neubauer presented the FPH and its positioning with respect to the Social Solidarity Economy (SSE). Jean Louis Laville gave a indepth perspective of the potential role of the SSE to respond against the growing ecological and social economic violations by the globalized neo-liberal system. Stressing the need to establish effective cooperation with public institutions, Laville stated that the SSE should works in the direction of a just transition by encouraging new forms of collaboration between the SSE and the public policy actors. After the meal prepared by the Bergerie’s restaurant team with their locally produced food, the evening was devoted to the presentation of the activities and motivations of participants wishing to become new RIPESS Europe members. Read more
Convenors: Patricia Coler (UFISC), Bruno Lasnier (MES)
The political construction of Europe based only on the vision of the single market is now leading to a reduction of democracy and isolation. The neo-liberal decision on budgetary restirctions and public internetion are locking territories into a logic of privatisation and financialisation. The principle of competitive free trade is the dominant model, with regulations on State subsidies, undermining of the social model of Europe and the a-democratic negotiation of the free trade agreements such as CETA and TTIP that encourage the introduction of private arbitration principles and the definition by experts of a normative framework.
However civil society is also organising, mobilising at local and European level and developing new solidarities and cooperation. Citizen’s solidarity economy initiatives are trying to reinsert the economy into policies and at social level by inventing solutions in an ever-changing world. By linking different economic and democratic approaches, they are defending both principles and practice to build another approach to European policy.
European legislation and programmes that are both thematic and cross-cutting are starting to take social and solidarity economy into account. They are becoming progressively consolidated in the legislative and internal regulatory frameworks of States. The recent Luxembourg Declaration* encourages policy-making based on adapted ecosystems and that support social economy eneterprise initiatives. The European Structural Fund programmes for research and mobility can also contribute to supporting initiatives. State legislation on subsidies is becoming more flexible.
The different definitions that exist – social economy, solidarity economy, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship – all cover separate economic conepts. The term social enterprise as used by the European Commission heavily underlines the social ends in the definition; this excludes many cooperatives, mutual societies, associations and foundations, unlike the French law on SSE. Furthermore, according to accepted usage, very different kinds of public policy are proposed and implemented.
So what new European strategy is being built for the post-2020 period? What new orientations for solidarity economy can it support? What proposals for supporting solidarity economy initiatives at territorial should be included in European policies?
*Luxembourg Declaration – A Roadmap towards a more comprehensive ecosystem for social economy enterprises – http://www.eu2015lu.eu/en/actualites/communiques/2015/12/04-declaration-luxembourg/
Convenor: Judith Hitchman (URGENCI)
The Nyéléni Forum on Agroecology took place in Mali in February 2015. The Declaration clearly identifies solidarity economy as one of the keys for achieving food sovereignty. It is not a set of production techniques or mere production practices.
One of the key bridging movements between the food sovereignty and solidarity economy is Community Supported Agriculture. There are also other emerging trends that connect producers and consumers through direct or genuine short food distribution chains: local food coop shops, farmers’ collective shops.
This workshop aims to examine:
How the different forms of local solidarity partnerships between producers and consumers can influence policy makers and work collectively to build concrete solutions at territorial level
Ensure that small-scale food producers can earn a decent living
Guarantee that consumers have access to nutritional, healthy food that they can afford
How these local initiatives fit into the wider picture of solidarity economy and agroecology
It also aims to examine the threats as well as the opportunities facing the solidarity economy – agroecology – food sovereignty connections.
Convenors: Josette Combes (MES), Françoise Wautiez (Socioeco.org)
This project has been on-going for several years. The objective is to collect data that characterises all social and solidarity economy structures and initiatives in Europe.
A questionnaire was developed to gather all useful data to develop the panorama and contribute to establishing the specific characteristics of all new ways of working and organising economic and social relations in a world in transition.
A certain number of responses were collected, but it remains difficult to exploit the information, as they are not complete and there are also translation issues. The part dedicated to describing activities is incomplete or not filled in at all. An overview of the results will be presented using slides.
A working group session was held in Florence (Italy) from 4th-6th March 2016. It brought together French, Italian, Greek, Portuguese, Spanish, Catalan, British and Swiss members. The work focused on pooling the tools and approaches and reflecting on strategies to extend the work. The main conclusions concerning the needs and expectations of the networks were the following: a shared definition of SSE, more finely honed thanks to the network; a European calendar of events organised by members; feedback to the contributors on the Panorama results; definition of interoperability criteria to summarise the mapping; create an appropriate form for communicating the results; shared communication techniques, and a description of the network members and liaison platform.
The workshop plans to use these points to pose the following questions: how can the questionnaire be improved and better used? How can the different surveys be shared? What type of document would provide a more detailed description of the activities?