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Video
CSA is Growing Big in the Netherlands!

By Klarien Klingen, Dutch CSA Farmer

CSA is growing big in the Netherlands! Five years ago there were only five initiatives, now there are over 90. In Flanders part of Belgium, where the same language is used as the Netherlands, the CSA network is a bit more advanced: their formal association has been existing for several years now and many CSA initiatives as well. 170 Dutch and Flemish CSA farmers and members met for the yearly CSA meeting in Deventer, NL, on the 11th and 12th of January 2020.

When we sat over dinner we discovered that the Flanders people find it very usual to ask a membership fee of 350euros per person per year to participate in a CSA initiative, where the dutch think €250 is normal. It’s just great to be able to discover those differences, speculate on where they come from (is the climate different 300 kms more north? Is that why the Flanders people can produce more veggies throughout winter?), and learn from each other.

The topic of membership fee came up several times through the weekend. It was very new for the participants of the workshop ‘CSA and solidarity’ to hear about ‘the Freiburg’ model where members put the price they’re willing to pay on a note, everything is added up, and if the total sum is not enough to cover the total costs of production (including labor!), another round will follow.

In the same workshop a new idea was presented: what if we ask members to pay for one week of vegetables the money they make in 1 hour. This could provide a whole new way of looking at pricing: the money is not related to vegetables but to labor. And the price people have to pay is very much adapted to their own capacity to pay. Let’s see where this will go.

Land is a big topic in the Netherlands, where a piece of arable land costs on average €100.000 per hectare to buy. This makes it very difficult to pay for with normal primary production. CSA can offer better opportunities of course, but to build up soil and to build up a network of members long term access to land is a prerequisite. One of the farmers of the plenary session finds it unjust is people make money over land, just by owning it. He believes money should be made over labor and not over ownership. With a group of people he bought land and together they now work on how to formalize this land free from profit.

CSA Netherlands/Flanders is a vibrant community that is developing fast and enthusiastically. We can’t wait to meet CSA initiatives to together learn and together work on our common dream: food sovereignty for all!

The RTES – Network of Territorial Communities for a Solidarity Economy – launches the SSE kit for March 2020 municipal elections in France!

On the occasion of the municipal elections of March 2020, RTES offers a MunicipalSSE kit for future municipal and inter-municipal teams wishing to support the Social and Solidarity Economy. It was presented on January 22nd on the occasion of the RTES Board of Directors meeting. A total of twenty sheets will gradually be published by the RTES, dealing with the levers available to the municipal block and fields of activity. This action carried out by the RTES is part of a collegial approach with the actors of SSE France and the SSE Lab, “No municipal elections without SSE”.  

The MunicipalSSE kit aims to provide tools for future teams:

  • What is SSE? Why support it locally? What are the links with the competences of the communal unit? What are the first keys for the implementation of a structured voluntary policy?
  • What can be the principles and mechanisms of communes and inter-communalities to support the development of SSE (knowing and mobilizing the actors of your territory, public procurement, access to land, SCIC, co-construction and evaluation, territorial animation, transversality, resources that can be mobilized by local authorities…)?
  • How to illustrate very specifically the way in which the different thematic public policies can integrate SSE (mobility, food and agriculture, urban policy, waste, business revitalisation, digital, youth, culture & sport, silver economy, …).
THE COLLEGIAL APPROACH LED BY THE RTES WITH SSE FRANCE STAKEHOLDERS AND THE SSE LAB, TO HELP PROMOTE THE SOLUTIONS PROVIDED BY SSE.

The joint press release states:

“The upcoming municipal elections must make it possible to respond to the democratic, social and environmental emergencies raised by citizens in recent years. The Social and Solidarity-based Economy (SSE) is a solid response and must be strengthened at all levels. …

Local authorities have an essential role to play in providing incentives and support with a global vision, and in their role as regional leaders. This can take the form of the co-construction of multi-year plans to act transversally within the local authorities but also in conjunction with the inter-municipal and regional levels.

We are convinced that action can be taken here and now. Everyone of us in our networks is making proposals that concern citizens, elected officials, economic players, researchers, etc. Together, we invite you to consult our various advocacy materials in view of the municipal elections and to get involved with us. Let’s network, at different levels, to bring together the transitions in the territories! “

Article written by the RTES team

RIPESS contributes to GSEF’s – Global Social Economy Forum – policy dialogues in Europe and Latin America
GSEF Liverpool UK November 2019

The GSEF Regional Policy Dialogues are organized to promote the exchange of knowledge between policy-makers and key SSE actors. RIPESS has participated in both dialogues with the objective of contributing to the promotion of SSE and bringing the vision of local SSE projects to international fora.

RIPESS EU joined the 3rd edition of the European Policy Dialogue organised by Global Social Economy Forum (GSEF), our long term partners and collaborators.

This year, the Dialogue took place in Liverpool, United Kingdom, between the 18th and 19th of November 2019, around the theme ‘Building diversity and inclusion through the social solidarity economy’. A rich and open debate took place around this theme with a specific focus on 3 major topics:

  • How local governments must proceed with new approaches to create true inclusion
  • Moving beyond inclusion through innovative work-integration practices and policies
  • Social and Solidarity Economy: a driving force in enabling diverse future leaders

As RIPESS EU, we presented our work based mostly on the third topic, but of course with connection to all important SSE areas. Regarding the location of this year GSEF event, it was organized in partnership with the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority (LCRCA) and the University of Liverpool. And they were quite amazing hosts.

The day after the conference they organized an SSE actors tour across the city. Liverpool City Region is indeed a dynamic and vibrant SSE scene where they employ over 40,000 people in SSE organizations. We visited  Kuumba Imani Millenium Centre , main local spot for community activism, Baltic Creative CIC ,a unique area for gathering start-up and creative industries with huge focus on ownership and sharing, and Homebaked Bakery and Community Land Trust, a place of inspiration, with the best pie in the world and an amazing struggle against gentrification and speculative capital assault on land and houses.

Written by Alfonso Cotera (RIPESS LAC) and Drazen Simlesa (RIPESS EU)

A renewed Social Economy Europe Intergroup
Event Photography by Dani Oshi. Constitutive meeting of the Social Economy Intergroup at the European Parliament. Assignment for Social Economy Europe. Tuesday, January 21, 2020. Brussels, Belgium.

With the last EU elections, the inter-parlamentary group of Social Economy ended its term and a new inter-group had to be formed.  As RIPESS Europe, we supported the campaign led by Social Economy Europe for the renewal of the  bringing on board some of the newly elected MEPs and not just a repeat of past ones. In the communication we sent last October, we advocated  for a much more ambitious agenda, a transformative agenda, that would take into consideration not just sectoral issues (like reforms of the third sector, business models, job creation or public procurement that includes social economic enterprises), but a more structural change in trade, cooperation, climate and environmental justice, as well as in finance. And since the term Social Solidarity Economy and Finance has now been widely adopted at all levels of the United Nations, as well as local and national framework legislation), we proposed this term should be harmonised and become an integral part of the renewal of the Intergroup and it’s Action Plan.

With the new EU Commission led by Ursula von der Leyen and Commissioners like Nicolas Schmit (Luxembourg, Jobs) and the European Green Deal agenda for a stronger social Europe and just transitions (https://ec.europa.eu/commission/presscorner/detail/en/fs_20_49), we feel there is now some hope of pushing for a more transformative agenda. We would like the Integroup to truly represent this hope, ambition and engagement. We are committed to working collectively on these issues, involving a much larger movement than the SSE, which is also expanding fast (including in Central and Eastern European countries) and with contacts with MEPs in several European countries.Here is the news about the first meeting of the new integroup (from Social Economy Europe).

Article from Social Economy Europe

On Tuesday 21st January 2020, the first internal meeting of the renewed Social Economy Intergroup (SEIG) took place at the European Parliament in Brussels to appoint the co-Chairs and vice-Chairs of the Intergroup and to draw up a strategy for the next five years.

Five Members of the European Parliament were appointed as Co-Chairs of the SEIG, among whom, Patrizia Toia (S&D, IT), Sven Giegold (Greens/EFA, DE), Leopoldo López (EPP, ES), Monica Semedo (Renew, LU) and Manon Aubry (GUE/NGL, FR). Furthermore, the Intergroup appointed MEPs Leszek Miller (S&D, PL) and Jordi Cañas (Renew, ES) as vice-Chairs and agreed to appoint three more respectively from the EPP, the Greens/EFA and the GUE/NGL, in the coming weeks.

Also, the Intergroup agreed on a strategy for the next five years. At a moment in which the European Commission has just announced the launch of a European Action Plan for the Social Economy in 2021, in its communication on “A Strong Social Europe for Just Transitions”, the SEIG aims to cooperate with President Von der Leyen, Vice-President Dombrovskis, and Commissioners Schmit and Breton in co-designing an effective policy, that will play a key role in building an economy that works for people and the planet.

By Jason Nardi

Occitania mobilizes for the WSFTE in Barcelona

In Occitania (France) a 2-day Forum on 22 and 23 November at the Jean Jaurès University in Toulouse brought together about 90 SSE structures, 4 local authorities and 4 SSE networks. The programme included 5 conferences, 4 convergence circles and 16 workshops. About 20 speakers contributed to the conferences, including 7 researchers.

The 1500 or so visitors came from different backgrounds (Political Sciences Bordeaux, Terre de Convergences in the Gard, Delegation of Marseille), a national and an international network and four representatives of local institutions. Forty stands presented SSE actors from Occitania. Twenty volunteers ensured the fluidity of the logistics and three restaurateurs (Ludi Monde, Curupira and the Kasbah) allowed the participants to take their meals, even if the attendance exceeded the forecasts. More than 250 young students took part in the round tables and various workshops. Finally, a concert with a Franco-Brazilian singer offered a joyful interlude. She provided the translation for the speech by Monica Benicio, Mariella Franco’s companion, a militant who was assassinated on 15 March 1918 in Rio de Janeiro (whose assassins are not likely to be prosecuted as long as Bolsonaro is in power).

There was a great participation of volunteers and visitors in this comfortable and accessible place with a lot of available space, a good animation of the actors’ circles, a rich and quality programming. In particular the Flashlab (presentation of initiatives in progress or brand new), its format, its richness, the exchanges were a success.

It is necessary to underline the energy given by the Barcelona perspective, the international dimension, the crossing of the 4 themes, the quality of the conferences. All in all, it was a joyful event, full of emulation, rich in emotion, particularly the speech by Monica Benicio during the conference on eco-feminism presenting the situation in Brazil.

This Forum was part of the mobilization cycle for the Barcelona WSFTE.

The next dates in Occitania related to the convergence towards the WSFTE and transformative economies are the following: two public political events – ex-Languedoc territory with Terre de Convergences, Démocratie Ouverte, La Région Citoyenne – ex-Midi Pyrénées territory; – an economic and feminist event in Toulouse (21 March); an event with the UFISC in Gignac on 30 May; two dates to be fixed in Ariège and Aude; – an agroecological event – ex-Languedoc territory; – an event in Haute-Garonne with FREDD (Film, Research and Sustainable Development).

The MES Occitanie is planning to produce a booklet using materials from FRESS (theory + feedback from the actors) which would promote transformative economies in the Occitanie region.

The creation of an Occitan delegation to represent the region at the WSFTE with citizens, elected local authorities, SSE actors and researchers will be based on a questionnaire with many actors of the transformative economies on the Occitan territory to collect information on their practices, encourage them to come to the FSMET and to propose animations.

You can find the filmed conferences on this link. (in French)

By Josette Combes

Solidarity economy everywhere: the challenges of the new decade
Hundreds of people warn governments "there is no planet B" when it comes to climate

For this first newsletter of the year 2020, the members of the Coordination Committee of RIPESS Europe wish you all the best for your initiatives to spread solidarity in a context that requires from each one of us a lot of pugnacity and wisdom to resist the destructive tendencies of a world in full upheaval.

What to wish for at the turn of a new decade? The abandonment of nuclear weapons, the end of the scepticism on climate change and the initiation of real and effective measures to reverse the current trend of a deterioration in the living conditions of all species, including our own, the awareness of the obscenity of the fortunes of plutocrats compared to the appalling levels of misery in all countries that suffer the predation and devaluation of their wealth, the cultural change that breaks down borders and walls to make it possible to establish equality and fraternity among peoples. These are all pious wishes, but one cannot help but express them at the dawn of a new year.
In the meantime, RIPESS Europe continues its peaceful advocacy for a world where these wishes would become the norm.

The Coordinating Committee returned to work during a meeting dedicated to the development of the strategy for the current year and beyond. It took place in Elne, where we meet every year in January at the invitation of Eric Lavilunnière, whose knowledge of this region of France enables us to meet some of its local development figures.

Among the network’s projects, the WSFTE represents one of the most salient issues of this new year. It will take place from 25 to 28 June 2020 in Barcelona. All our members are invited to promote this Forum during their events. Its main objective is to encourage meetings, dialogue and the elaboration of common strategies between the movements that are building here and now economies to fight against the current decay and to propose solutions for the future.

In Occitania, the Regional Forum had given itself this mission. The 2019 edition welcomed more than 1500 people. This high point of information and mobilization allows MES Occitania to consider organizing a bus in June to transport SSE actors in the region.

The site is already ready to register proposals for workshops and events.

In Italy on 18 and 19 January the Italian SSE network RIES was officially constituted in Rome after a long maturation. A rejoicing news. All our best wishes to this network with which we are already communicating thanks to the Italian members already involved in RIPESS EU.

In Madrid the international climate summit was held while social movements such as Extinction Rebellion (among others) organized an animation. Jason Nardi participated in a round table on circular economy, as well as RIPESS members or allies in various workshops.

Europe is finalizing the Green deal and the Social Economy Europe Intergroup of the European Parliament is also manifesting its intention to promote an economy that respects the Planet.

Let’s be optimistic and hope that this new year will be a real turning point in the awareness of the ecological, social and democratic urgency. Solidarity economy everywhere!

By Josette Combes

New logo for REAS 25 years

REAS – red de redes de ECONOMIA ALTERNATIVA Y SOLIDARIA (network of networks of ALTERNATIVE AND SOLIDARITY ECONOMY) – is 25 years old and we want to share it and celebrate it with everyone, especially with all those entities and people who are part of this network, those who with their activity and practices make it possible and give us meaning.

Therefore, a year of celebrations begins where we want to share the many and rich moments that have brought us here; the debates and meetings, the proposals and actions, the successes and errors…, everything that, in short, makes up our trajectory. Looking at ourselves from the inside in order to re-acquaint ourselves with each other and continue to get to know each other, an indispensable step in order to continue building a common story. And celebrate. Because we have achieved so much in this quarter of a century, and this deserves a celebration in style!

As a first small action, we wanted to provide ourselves with a new logo to frame what is to come. Through a collective vote we have chosen the new logo that we present here, thanks to those who have made it possible!

Under this icon, we will include a series of meetings and actions that we are preparing for this anniversary that we hope to present soon. This is, of course, an open and participatory process, so we invite networks, organizations and individuals to propose their activities and collectively shape this program of celebration.

We therefore remain in tune with the fact that, in these 25 years of our journey, there are seeds of all the people who are part of REAS and we therefore want to celebrate it with all of them …

#HacemosREAS

#REAS25Años

Article from REAS, January 2020

https://www.reasred.org/reas-red-de-redes-de-economia-alternativa-y-solidaria/presentacion-reas-rdr

RIES: Italian Network for Solidarity Economy established in Rome
RIES Roma founding meeting

On January 18 and 19, 2020, the new Italian national network was founded, bringing together associations, networks and companies from all over the country who identify with Solidarity Economy values and practices.

There are 22 founding members of the new association that on Saturday 18 of January in Rome signed the articles of association of the Italian Network for Solidarity Economy (RIES). The new Network marks a fundamental point of arrival and turning point for the the Italian Solidarity Economy movement, which for about twenty years has operated through an informal network, the RES, and after a long debate has chosen to recognize itself in a single formally constituted entity.

The RIES will thus be the official association of reference and the meeting place of different entities, but moved by common principles and objectives, able both to deal with institutions and public bodies and to relate with civil society, with the aim of promoting and disseminating culture and practices of Solidarity Economy.

The event, saw about forty participants. Saturday afternoon was dedicated to the founding assembly and the composition of the various bodies by elective vote, while the following day the assembly opened the discussion to all the initiatives that are interested in potentially becoming members of the network. The debate was highly participatory and many ideas and expectations emerged, that will form the basis of strategic orientations and work plan of the newborn association in different areas: identity and vision, unitary paths, solidarity development of territories, models of solidarity economy, ethical finance, training, relations with other national and international movements and networks. 

The declared final objective is to promote an alternative to the dominant economic and financial system and a response to the situation of growing economic, environmental, social and cultural crisis.

The 22 founding members of the RIES, Italian Network for Solidarity Economy, are: DES MODENA, GASTORINO, CAES, DESR PARCO SUD, ALTRO MODO FLEGREO, ASSOBOTTEGHE, FEDERAZIONE PER L’ECONOMIA DEL BENE COMUNE ITALIA, AERES VENEZIA, FONDAZIONE FINANZA ETICA, RES LOMBARDIA, CO-ENERGIA, GAS NETWORK PATTANTI MARCHE, EQUO GARANTITO, CRESER, MERCATO & CITTADINANZA (network CS Bergamo), BILANCI DI JUSTIZIA 2.0, DES ALTRO TIRRENO, OLTRE MERCATO SALENTO, SOLIDARIUS ITALIA, ASS. DEGROWTH, FAIRWATCH, OLTRECONFIN.

Here are the 9 members of the newly elected RIES Board of Directors: Jason Nardi, Patrizio Monticelli, Domenico Maffeo, Davide Biolghini, Adanella Rossi, Virginia Meo, Diego Moratti, Pietro Negri, Maria Teresa Pecchini.

Photos by Alberta Cardinali and Riccardo Troisi 

The new government in Finland is going to promote the cooperative business model
November 4, 2019
0
https://pellervo.fi/english/2019/10/29/the-new-government-in-finland-is-going-to-promote-the-cooperative-business-model/

Article of Pellervo, 29/10/2019 by SAMI KARHU

Publication of the government programme 3th of June 2019 in Central Library Oodi. In the picture Pekka Haavisto, Juha Sipilä, Antti Rinne (Prime Minister), Li Andersson and Anna-Maja Henriksson (Zache [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)])

Finland elected a new government this year and in June 2019 they released the Government Programme called “Inclusive and competent Finland – a socially, economically and ecologically sustainable society”.

The programme has several entries relating to the promotion of cooperatives, which is a good starting point for years to come. The first and most important entry is the one where the government says: “the formation of business cooperatives will be promoted.”

The programme also includes more detailed entries. “Business continuity will be ensured in cases of ownership change. This will also take into account situations where business operations are continued by members of the personnel.” This refers to a previous idea of one MP that cooperatives would be suitable in these kinds of situations.

Housing cooperatives are also mentioned: “We will promote and support joint building ventures and cooperative construction. We will continue the ongoing cooperative housing pilots and draft legislation on cooperative housing.”

The Government will examine the need for changes in legislation from the perspective of the transformation of work. This refers to entrepreneurs and self-employed persons, the sharing and platform economy, new forms of commissioning work and cooperatives.

The programme also states that collaborative experiments between the state, regional councils, municipalities and private entities and organisations will be promoted on a voluntary basis, and new financing models for these will be explored. This refers to a previous research done by Pellervo Economic Research PTT on the role of cooperatives and NGO’s.

There is a clear connection to cooperatives in other parts as well: “A domestic ownership programme will be formulated that will support growth by providing means for building a stronger, more diversified and more equal Finnish ownership base.”

Interesting and important from the standpoint of cooperatives are also the passages that say the conditions for living and entrepreneurship must be secured in all parts of Finland in a diversity of ways and opportunities will be provided for business growth and renewal, with attention paid to the needs of different types of companies.

Many other parts include possibilities for cooperatives as well such as social and health data (social and health cooperatives), creative industries, the promotion of wood industry and the improvement of the operating conditions of the food sector and the need to ensure a sustainable food system throughout Finland. 

Read the full Government Programme in English: https://valtioneuvosto.fi/en/rinne/government-programme/

Rise Up For Rojava
Rise up for Rojava

RIPESS Europe gathers hundred of initiatives acting through solidarity economy, allied to develop social and economic justice. As a network we bring together over 40 national, sectoral and inter-sectoral networks in several European countries. 

The experience of Rojava, the “Democratic Federation of Northern Syria”, has been embodying hope through democratic cooperation.

Rojava women and men have been demonstrating to the world it is possible to organize social and economic justice by articulating self-governed councils, communes and cooperatives. Demonstrating it is possible to build a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society. Demonstrating it is possible to implement a eco-feminist political project. 

Some members of RIPESS are working – directly or indirectly , with groups in Rojava, such as Solidarity Economy Association (UK) participating in a project called
Cooperation in Mesopotamia, “Fostering international solidarity between the UK co-op movement and the predominantly women-led solidarity economy that’s being created in Northeastern Syria”.

Turkey is now set to destroy the people of Rojava’s Democratic Federation, and ISIS is using the Turkish attacks for insurgency.

We have been learning from Rojava people tenacity in organizing justice and freedom in a society facing war and in a region under attack from many sides. We have been learning from Rojava people the meaning of cooperation and emancipation.

We join the democratic movements worldwide to resist and stop the war against the people of Rojava: Rise Up for Rojava now.

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