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STRENGTHEN LOCAL AGRICULTURE WITH LOCAL CURRENCIES
wikipedia

by Gaëlle Bigler (FRACP / URGENCI) & Jean Rossiaud (Monnaie Léman / APRES-GE)

In the last issue of the RIPESS-Europe Newsletter, we proposed to open a regular section / blog on the issue of “local currencies”,  to explain the advantages and challenges of this tool in the service of the social and solidarity economy and the issues that arise both locally and internationally in its development. We also took the risk of longer articles, allowing us to discuss more in depth this new and complex issue. The first article focused on the example of the Leman, the currency of the Franco-Swiss living area around Lake Geneva, its guarantee fund and its mutual credit system, its notes and blockchain.

The idea is to build on our grassroot experience, to imagine how to build, both transnationally and in other ever-changing local geographical contexts, synergies between SSE sectors and local currencies: the local currency can serve as an instrument both for building economic sectors (agriculture, IT, construction, etc.) and for promoting exchanges between SSE sectors, and between them and public authorities.

In this issue, Gaëlle Bigler and Jean Rossiaud co-authored this second article laying the foundations for a reflection on the relevance of the use of complementary currencies in the development of agro-ecological agriculture, starting from their own land, French-speaking Switzerland.

***

As presented in the previous article, like many other local currencies, the Leman was created to respond locally to two contemporary global systemic crises: the financial crisis and the climate crisis. The purpose of citizen money is to give a real territorial identity to the so-called transition economy, a post-extractivist (post-carbon, post-nuclear) and post-speculative economy. It offers an immediate and concrete solution to relocate production and consumption and direct them towards greater sustainability. It promotes the development of a dense network of companies, businesses, consumers and public authorities that share these principles, ethics and ideas of citizenship and commitment. As a Eusko spokesman said: when you take your Eusko note out to pay, it is the “transition identity card” that you display. Consuming healthy food as close as possible to home, from known sources, which we may have contributed to producing or distributing, is an action that benefits from being integrated and articulated in a broader economic and financial perspective.

Since 2008, the Fédération Romande des ACP (FRACP) has brought together some thirty initiatives from all over French-speaking Switzerland. Originally “ACP” refers to Local Contractual Agriculture, and by extension, ACP is used for any initiative, association or cooperative that enters into a partnership approach between a group of citizens and local producers for a social, economic and solidarity commitment. This reciprocal commitment allows you to receive, generally every week, the products for which you have signed a contract. It is a system of short circuit sales, without intermediaries between producer and eater.

FRACP’s missions are to bring together, i. e. to strengthen links between ACP; to accompany, i. e. to share knowledge; to support new ACP and those in difficulty; and to promote, i. e. to raise awareness and defend the ACP model among the public as well as public authorities.

For several years now, FRACP has been an active member of the international network Urgenci for citizen-supported agriculture. Indeed, the models developed in Switzerland correspond to the definition developed jointly by the members of some twenty countries: Citizen-supported agriculture (CSA) is a partnership based on direct human relations between consumers and one or more producers, where the risks, responsibilities and benefits of agricultural work are shared as part of a long-term mutual commitment.

The Urgenci network itself is very active in the movement for food sovereignty and in the promotion of local and solidarity partnerships, particularly within the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social and Solidarity Economy.

This commitment to the development of local, ecological, social, solidarity-based and human-scale agriculture to ensure food sovereignty has led FRACP to participate in various events at the local level, such as the day of reflection coordinated by the Feeding the City of Geneva programme, the campaign to add an article on food sovereignty to the Swiss constitution; and at the international level: participation in the drafting of a book on local and solidarity-based agricultural partnerships, as well as the co-writing of the European Declaration on Agriculture supported by citizens, etc.

Among the various work themes, both at local and international level, is the question of the development of sectors. How to integrate bakers, butchers and other artisans working upstream or downstream of agricultural production into the ACP? How can we better integrate eaters, decision-makers and people involved in the food processing into our approach, which means asking ourselves how to strengthen a social and solidarity-based economy in our territory. And this is where the local currency should be considered as a simple and effective tool to answer these questions.

The local currency offers solutions that address ACP concerns:

  • as eaters, we are also citizens and economic actors who have a strong interest in strengthening the coherence of our approach
  • Producers, people involved in the food processing and grocery retailers also have a strong interest in demonstrating their commitment to the agricultural and solidarity transition by accepting local currency. Signing the membership charter allows them to appear on a georeferenced map and thus increase their visibility in the face of a growing audience of responsible consumers.
  • It is in the interest of public authorities to keep agricultural enterpises, artesans or small processing enterprises on their territory, which contribute to social life and collect local taxes.

From a financial point of view, the local currency multiplies your ability to act on the system you are trying to promote and creates more wealth:

  • When you change 100 euros into local currency, your 100 euros will add to the guarantee fund, which is made available for investments in the transition economy. In fact, you have saved 100 euros for projects of collective interest and you have received enough to consume 100 euros in local products, often of much better quality than industrial products.
  • The circulation speed of a local currency is estimated to be 5 to 6 times faster than the circulation speed of a currency; that is, it produces 5 to 6 times more wealth in the real economy.

Secondly, the local currency reduces your involuntary or sometimes unconscious participation in the global economic system that you often find harmful: it is impossible to speculate with euskos, Bristol Pounds or lémans on the financial markets of New York or Hong Kong, while with your money in your bank account, this is what is constantly done. Your banker then takes more risk with your money and contributes, through the constant search for financial return, to the overproduction and overconsumption of the planet, which destroys the planet as much as societies. Everything you seek to thwart by eating local and healthy food.

Moreover, the local currency, because it cannot be exchanged into a foreign currency without costs, requires the search for suppliers and therefore the integration of the production to consumption chains. And that is what is most important. By stimulating the construction of a dense network of local companies, terrirories become very resilient to systemic crises such as the 1929 or 2008 crises. These financial crises do not become economic crises mainly because they dry up credit. Without liquidity, there is no longer any possibility of paying suppliers, no possibility of producing for its customers, and no possibility of meeting a demand that is nevertheless solvent, and serial bankruptcies of entire sectors of the economy. One only has to study the Argentine or Greek crises to be convinced of this.

The local currency when it functions like the Leman in pooled credit allows each company to have permanent credit lines automatically opened in the event of a liquidity crisis. In addition, in the event of excess stock, the same network can be activated for destocking.

That is why local currency is an excellent tool to strengthen mechanical solidarity in the production to consumption chains, from seed to bread,, from barley to pint in our favourite pub

SSE is still too often compartmentalized. Everyone cultivates his/her own garden and collects his/her best practices in well sealed silos. Yet the economy, by definition, is a system. And not every system is good, because it is a system. It is up to us to build an ecological, social and solidarity-based system that allows us to produce more and more healthy products as close as possible to home.

It is in this spirit that the Leman and the FRACP are starting a reflection on collaborations and synergies to be developed between local currencies and sustainable food. Here are the first themes we have identified:

  • reflection in terms of production to consumption chains, for each type of agricultural product: from seed to production, from production to processing, from processing to distribution, from distribution to consumption,
  • reflection within the framework of the “Eating Cities” Programme: starting from neighbourhood territories and municipalities to build short circuits and be part of the transition,
  • reflection to be carried out on the involvement of local authorities both as economic actors in short circuits; and as public authorities, in the context of public policies in the fields of agriculture, economic promotion, food and health (canteens), sustainable development and taxation.
  • role of the multi-currency purse, Biletujo (purse in Esperanto), for the import of products produced in other territories, or the export of products typically produced here.
  • reflection on the importance of networking and anchoring this reflection in the institutional framework of the SSE, and at the international level with RIPESS, but also beyond, by addressing economic actors who do not recognize themselves in the SSE, but who nevertheless share its philosophy by working on the agricultural, energy and economic transition.

We will certainly resume these reflections in a future article. Your comments and questions will guide the contents.

Good Food conference in Zagreb
December 17, 2018
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Our Good Food conference was organised in Zagreb becoming a several days event — from October 13 to 16, 2018 — for all interested in good and healthy food, sustainable model for taking care of soil, organic food production, solidarity citizens food groups, local seeds nurturing and exchanging.

First on Thursday, Cooperative for Good Economy used their usual weekly green box delivering to raise the voice and interest in a campaign on Good Food/Good Farming. On Friday, we organised in the city cinema a public movie screening about seed politics and activism. Saturday was the main day with the Conference where 100+ participants discussed and debated about the above mentioned topics. Additionaly we organised a seed swap fair and a regional food activism forum for people from Serbia, Macedonia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia. It is also worth to mention how we presented at the conference our big campaign and project Community Seed Bank Croatia and partners from Arche Noah explained organic seeds rules and opportunities from the new EU Directive on Organic Agriculture.

On the next day, at our Recycled Estate, there was a practical workshop about soil nurturing with innovative and enriched composting methods for 20 participants. All in all 150 people participated in all the activities.

Joint communiqué Collectif des Associations Citoyennes / Mouvement pour l’Économie Solidaire
December 14, 2018
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The presentation of the French government’s plan for the “development of the SSE” did not convince the field stakeholders  who jointly published a communiqué to explain why this plan does not meet their expectations.

See (in French) http://www.le-mes.org/Les-plans-du-gouvernement-pour-les-assos-et-

“Oppose without killing each other”
December 14, 2018
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By Josette Combes

Orchestrated by the members of the Club convivialiste, itself composed of two hundred intellectuals belonging to various scientific networks, academics and activists  launched Ah! a new convergence initiative “against the madness of grandeur, money, power or ideology“. The Convivialists have just published in the newspaper L’Obs their proposed programme for the Yellow Vests, the social movement that has been stirring up French news for the past four weeks. We will retain the four emblematic principles of the Convivialists:

  •  the principle of common humanity is opposed to all forms of discrimination
  •  the principle of common sociality affirms that the first wealth for humans is that of the social relationships they maintain, the wealth of conviviality
  •  the principle of legitimate individuation establishes the right of each human being to be recognized in his or her singularity
  •  the principle of controlled and creative opposition states that it is necessary to “oppose without killing each other” (M. Mauss).
Erasmus meeting in Timisoara

By Josette Combes

An Erasmus project following the previous one focusing on the inclusion of SSE in initial and vocational training programmes brings together several RIPESS Europe members: CRIES (Romania), DOCKS (Greece), MES (France), Solidarius (Italy), Technet (Germany) under the coordination of APDES (Portugal) and with the contribution of RIPESS Europe. The first transnational meeting took place in Timisoara hosted by CRIES. European projects are also subject to budgetary restrictions at the initiative of the Portuguese Agency. The meeting was largely dedicated to adjusting the program initially planned to the cuts made in the budget.

The project will run for three years. Its objectives are as follows:

  • Provide curricula to strengthen the skills of trainers in programmes to integrate young people without jobs or qualifications.
  • Propose SSE as a social-cultural, interdisciplinary innovation that provides employment opportunities, especially for those furthest from it.
  • Raise awareness of SSE as a sector that provides employment and an interesting sector in terms of professional and human investment, starting by raising awareness of initial and continuing vocational education, within a local development framework.

Each partner will need to find territories of partners/stakeholders/locally from different macro-regions, which are available to get involved in the project in order to experiment with the modules and participate in their dissemination.

In its final year, the project will produce transmission and communication tools, including a video, with the aim of promoting and disseminating the approach on a European scale**.

Joint projects are an excellent support for intercooperation between members and for strengthening actions in the territories through the circulation of knowledge and skills present in the organizations of each country.

(** For your information, the recommended bibliographies for each of the IVET modules iof the first period are now available on socioeco.org

Everything you wanted to know about SSE…

By Josette Combes

It is the second edition of The Handbook on the Other Economy (Manuel de l’autre économie) . Directed by Eric Dacheux and Daniel Goujon, it is to be put in all hands, first and foremost those of the Master students, for whom it will be an abundant source of references, definitions, historical reminders, perspective and theoretical proposals. But even more importantly, it is a work of popularization in the noble sense of the term, which offers the opportunity, now that the term solidarity economy circulates in every direction – unfortunately often misused, for each citizen to familiarize him/herself with this economy, its foundations and its potential, so that it develops beyond the limited (though expanding) circle of its practitioners.

We will begin this review – just for once – with the last sentence of the book: “the solidarity economy now invites us to free ourselves from the economic chains that still hinder our freedom and to take our place fully: as economic actor and no longer economic victim”. (212)

How can this miracle be achieved? By establishing a deliberative democracy through the implementation of local public spaces where economic decisions are debated, not only concerning economic agents “obeying the law of the market” but a much more complex set including the consumer to whom the production is destined, without forgetting (which is too often the case) nature from which the materials, air and water are extracted, which are subject to potentially harmful artifacts and the social cohesion affected by the effects of the system.

First of all, the book addresses this essential question: what is the economy and in particular what is the solidarity economy?

The authors begin by stressing that the solidarity economy is a social science and that it can only be approached through a multidisciplinary approach and not only through the mathematical prism dear to the supporters of the orthodox economy, which essentially measures financial flows and evaluates economic return solely in terms of profit. However, as Dacheux and Goujon quite rightly point out, the economy is not reduced to the confrontation of supply and demand, there is an entire economy that falls below the radar of GDP and which, however, allows a society to continue or even constitutes its foundation “the ground floor” as Braudel defines it. Their demonstration reviews the micro approach (scarcity) and the macro approach (money) and a number of economic theories In general, systems fall between two poles: the liberal organization where “only goods that have a demand for a labour factor with a surplus, this surplus being necessary for the remuneration of the capital employed (70); “the state organization where power takes all economic decisions in an interventionist and authoritarian manner (70). However, there are many other resources besides economic resources – social resources, cultural resources, natural resources – that are not subject to production and monetary measurement’ (71). The solidarity economy constitutes a third pole that promotes a rebalancing of public policies, with civil society developing proposals and inviting political leaders to support them in their achievements. This democratic dimension is articulated with a symbolic dimension (solidarity, linking without binding) and a limitation if not the suppression of the speculative use of currency. The solidarity economy is seeking a third way between “a methodological individualism that denies social constraints and a holism that denies individual latitude”: it is a question of constituting relational resources allowing the emergence of a collective intelligence oriented towards the implementation of the common good…

Solidarity economy, a solution to the democratic crisis.

To begin their second part, the authors postulate that democracy is in crisis, the systems that year after year allowed social cohesion no longer correspond to the realities of the times, particularly after more than 40 years of liberal deregulation. To analyse the very term “democracy,” it is necessary to rely on a notion recently introduced into political reflection, (even if its emergence dates from the Enlightenment, notably with Kant), that of “public space” according to Habermas’ (85). A society is built in the combination and/or confrontation of three orders that form its foundation: political, economic and symbolic. Democracy is not an unchanging fact but an evolving “purpose”. If the solidarity economy claims its democratic dimension, then it must articulate the three orders without one of them dominating at the risk of an imbalance;  the one from which current societies precisely suffer through the hypertrophy of the economy to the detriment of the other two dimensions. Since the political order is the place where the norm is constructed, the existence of a public space for deliberation can generate communicative power in order to influence social organization. This space characterized by “open, porous and mobile horizons” is the potential place for collective reflection oriented towards the public good, a place where subjectivities are embodied and subtle negotiations take place between the stakeholders of a circumscribed territory. It is thus “the place where politics is legitimized, the foundation of the political community and the place where they are staged. (92).

The role of the solidarity economy in the vitality of public space is essential. Citizens, actors of social and economic innovation, solicit their political interlocutors to change the decision-making configurations, their composition (citizen participation), their orientations (modification of economic options) and their culture (inversion of bottom-up proposals  contratry to the culture of overhanging verticality,). We will find here many examples of networks acting in this direction as well as the various variations that this entails…

Solidarity economy, a utopia in action

If the law alone is not enough to maintain a successfull living together,(104) the cement that binds a community rests largely on its adherence to symbolic universes, a role played by religion in most societies. On the other hand, in secularized societies, the registers of symbolism have evolved and are multifaceted (art, culture, science, mythologies) and one could add modes in the Barthesian sense. As for utopia, it suffers from a credit deficit due to the failure of previous attempts to renew societies (various and varied socialisms) or the inaccessibility of their elucubrations.

However, its very function is to resist established ideologies and mythologies, not to defeat them but to overcome them by demonstrating the obsolescence of certain paradigms and replace them with new ones, in fact resulting from a new rationality. The solidarity economy “is a project to deepen democracy in order to develop participation within civil society, to involve citizens in decision-making within the political system and to extend democracy within the economic system itself” (…) a utopia, a social project, making democratic debate the cornerstone of living together… (113). It is not a question of tearing down a system and replacing it with a new one, from which everything should be invented, but rather of making it evolve through the involvement of citizens in the political and economic decision from which they are excluded in the current system… This means that the solidarity economy is accused by extremists of being lukewarm and by lukewarm people of being extremist (115)

Is solidarity economy real economy?

The analysis of Dacheux and Goujon uses the concepts of economic circuits (a triangulation between production, income and expenditure). They highlight the weakening of the power of employees and trade unions in the face of the disruptions brought about by globalisation and the competition between territories and humans, and they review the different theories of justice, particularly that of Rawls (123, 124). For the solidarity economy, it is a question of getting out of the bipolarization of liberalism versus Keynesianism by either breaking with these logics (alternatives) or mitigating their effects (adaptation). In all cases, these positions imply a desire for civic engagement, a social responsibility that escapes market logic without being based on State regulation of trade. (129). The logic of economic profitability is being erased in favour of a logic of social utility.

On several occasions it is recalled that the economic sphere is not limited to that of financial flows, that there are activities that are production and exchange without mediation of currency (in particular, the author notes, the domestic sphere provided mainly and free of charge by women). In this respect, the solidarity economy renews the use of money, by creating ethical investments, social currencies, zones de gratuité, etc. It is a question of limiting money to its function as a reverse exchange of the absurd financialization that is endangering economic and human equilibrium at the moment… The solidarity economy is more than real since it recomposes the links between the political, economic and symbolic orders and if its economic weight is still very low, its power to demonstrate its ability to give meaning to human exchanges is undoubtedly essential.

Chapter 7 on the place of the solidarity economy in Europe suffers from an update on its recent developments. If the finding on the breakdown of the European vision is relevant, the authors should have reviewed their references. Thus, RIPESS Europe is considered to be on the verge of being formalised, whereas the network has now been in existence for 7 years and has accompanied the start of developments in Greece, in the Eastern and Northern Europe where the solidarity economy was not structured. It brings together networks from 17 European countries, some of which are leading groups extended to their regions, such as Finland in Scandinavia or Croatia in the Balkans.

Similarly, the lack of linkage with social movements is denied by a whole series of convergences in which both national and European networks are involved. Similarly, at the international level, the SSE exists in many forms and titles in all countries with model transmissions from one continent to another (Japanese tekei inspired amaps and CSAs, Argentinean recovered companies inspired business takeovers in Europe, Brazilian business incubators acclimated in Europe). In addition, the UN task force devotes part of its work to SSE, the ILO recognizes that the solidarity economy has a role to play in maintaining the quantity and quality of employment and devotes part of its ILO academy to it.

This is obviously the limit of such an exercise. The theory is intended to travel relatively well in time but the history of development changes by definition over time. While the solidarity economy is still often a survival economy, we are seeing more and more companies that are functioning well, paying their members properly while maintaining democratic governance. It is not an economy only of services and the fundamental principles do not represent a handicap to the establishment of industrial companies, even if we cannot envisage an arms industry here! As the authors point out, the solidarity economy represents a new model of development and it is enough to identify the initiatives that are multiplying in the countries of the South to see this.

We will not comment here on the chapter on the strengths and weaknesses of the solidarity economy since once again the chapter suffers from a lack of updating, particularly because the lines have moved between the supporters and detractors of the SSE. Thus the reflection on tdegrowth is infused with the actors of the solidarity economy who in some cases practiced degrowth without claiming this ideology. Thus, the change of collective imaginary dear to Latouche is integrated into the current discourse of the SSE. Similarly, the economics of conventions is not so far removed from the evolution of SSE. At this point, we will distinguish the “theoretical chapel quarrels” from the evolutions on the ground which are by definition always in advance since the theory is the reappraisal of a continuously evolving reality thanks, it is true, to the mirror effect of the concepts. The weaknesses of the SSE are real but they have changed register. One of the main ones remains the difficulty of regulating the right distance between market, State and reciprocity. and articulating political activism, economic actions and utopian project, while avoiding the pitfall of contradictions between discourse and practice, practice and theory, the project of society that it carries and the massive evolutions of the current society (189)

The book ends with a praise of deliberation, for which solidarity economy would be a spearhead introducing into the social game both a questioning of the foundations of economic science that places the market “hors-sol in a way” operating on logics foreign to any consideration of humans and their territories. Opposing Hayek the ultraliberal theorist to Mauss and his essay on the gift, the authors state that the laws of the market are a fiction maintained to justify the abuses committed in its name, while the economy is the result of oriented human decisions. Deliberative theory considers that when it comes to common affairs, citizens form their opinions and wishes in the collective discussion and that the resulting general interest is the product of a collective deliberation that allows for a consensus to be reached on the best argument.

Working communities in search of new ways of making decisions invent methods of consultation in a horizontal mode which, unless the difficult question of equality in communication capacity is addressed, use relational modes that offer at least the opportunity of access to the information necessary for decision-making, allowing decisions to generate a real dynamic of investment by stakeholders in the achievement of objectives.

Freeing oneself from the dictatorship of the market and subjecting markets to democratic laws is ultimately the central objective of the solidarity economy, an objective widely shared by many social movements, whether they are ecologists, anti-colonialists, feminists, based on workers management This is why the solidarity economy is shaping a future conducive to emancipation.

The manual of the other economy must therefore be placed in the hands of all, those of the already converted, the actors of its development, those of citizens who have no idea what the term means and even those of its contenders who could eventually revise their judgment. It should be noted that it has a useful glossary to decipher the technical terms used and a list of initiatives, some of which have disappeared while others more recent should appear. But in the age of social networks and electronic mapping, these developments can be followed on dedicated sites such as the RIPESS website, socioeco.org

.

Eric Dacheux, Daniel Goujon

Principes d’économie solidaire.Manuel de l’autre économie

Ellipses Marketing 2nd edition 24 July 2018

Publisher price: 26€00

Pages: 252

Isbn : 9782340027275

Four new women’s co-operative projects open in Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava)

Co-operation in Mesopotamia is one of the Solidarity Economy Association (SEA)’s major, and most successful projects. Its aim is to foster international solidarity and further education about the largely women-driven co-operative economy that is growing, despite ongoing war, in the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria, commonly known as Rojava.

The project began with a research, translation and education focus, and over the past 3 years SEA has shared over 300 articles on the website, run around 30 workshops all over the UK, and developed strong relationships with many partners, including women’s economic bodies in Rojava, as well as co-ops and co-op bodies in the UK. The project has received overwhelmingly positive engagement, and the UK co-op movement is now much better informed about its counterpart in Rojava.

Here is the article of October 23

Four new women’s co-operative projects open in Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava)

Several new women’s co-operative projects have opened in the Jazira region of the Democratic Federation of Northern Syria (Rojava).

The projects focus on agriculture, animal husbandry, food, and clothing, and will contribute yet further to the thriving women’s economy in the region. They are located in the city of Hesekê and have been developed by the Women’s Committee in the Hesekê Economy Directorate.

The projects are run co-operatively and include:

A dairy farm in Hesekê’s El Silêymaniyê village, which has been built by 11 women and active since 1st September. Duha Mihemed, one of the women involved in the project, said that it was important for the spirit of partnership, and to prevent commercial fraud.

The Inanna Kitchen, which opened in the El Kelase village of Hesekê, where women prepare food for the winter and sell it for well below market prices, and prepare daily meals. One of the project’s partners, Zêneb Umer, said they are taking some of the burden off women’s shoulders.

The Ishtar Women’ Bakery in the El Nasre neighbourhood, opened by 8 women.

The Women’s Committee has been supporting the development of agriculture in Hesekê too, distributing most of the region’s arable land among 300 women. These women have started to produce crops in these plots, and wells will also be created in the coming days.

In addition, generators have been established along several of the city’s streets, providing power for 130 homes each.

Women’s Committee administrator Cewhera Mihemed said they are launching new projects to develop the women’s economy in the region though co-operatives.


 

 

Independent media talk about SSE

Independent media are close to the SSE, often by their status and especially by the values they defend. But how do they approach it? Here is a selection of independent media articles from the last three months. You can also find them on the map of socioeco.org: Journalism of Solutions (the articles are located in the city where the experience is taking place or, in the case of a general article, in the city where the media is based).

As you will see, the articles are in their original language, due to the diversity of European countries. For Greek, for which the Efsyn journal is particularly present with sometimes several articles per week on SSE, an English summary is included. This will allow you to perceive which themes are covered by these media: sustainable development, refugees, self-management, cooperatives, organic agriculture, etc. Feel free to send us an article or a media site to improve the map and our knowledge of SSE. Write to Françoise Wautiez: fwautiez[at]socioeco.org

Image of Terra Nuova

French
  • Se déplacer en milieu rural : ces territoires enclavés qui développent des alternatives sociales et solidaires
    Sophie Chapelle
    Article de Basta!, 16 novemnre 2018 [lire]
  • A Clermont-Ferrand, le succès d’une grande librairie reprise en coopérative par ses salariés
    Sophie Chapelle
    Article de Basta!, 19 octobre 2018 [lire]
Spanish
  • Nace el Foro de Consumo Responsable de Zaragoza, que velará por la extensión de políticas sostenibles y saludables a nivel local
    Artículo de Arainfo, 16 de noviembre 2018
    2018 [lire]
  • La Contratación Pública Responsable estrena nueva web y se abre a la participación de las personas usuarias
    Artículo de Arainfo, 13 de noviembre 2018 [lire]
  • Comercio Justo y Economía Solidaria, valores compartidos
    Artículo de El Salto,30/10/2018 [lire]
  • El Ayuntamiento de Zaragoza aprueba la primera Estrategia de impulso a la Economía Social de la ciudad
    Artículo de Arainfo, 22 de octubre 2018 [lire]
Catalan
  • Jordi Via, excomissionat d’ESS a l’Ajuntament de Barcelona: balanç d’una experiència, moment i perspectives
    Pep Valenzuela
    articulo de Malarrassa, 16/11/2018 [lire]
English
  • Why Co-ops and Community Farms Can’t Close the Racial Wealth Gap
    Zenobia Jeffries
    Article of Yes! Mafazine, Nov 09, 2018 [lire]
Italian
  • Un modello 100% biologico e’ possibile: l’esempio del Sikkim
    Articolo de Terra Nuova, 16 ottobre 2018 [lire]
  • L’economia per un mondo nuovo
    articolo de Comune.info, 11 ottobre 2018 [lire]
Greek
  • Οι άνθρωποι της Κ.ΑΛ.Ο. προχωρούν με προβλήματα αλλά και αισιοδοξία (The SSE people are moving with both problems and optimism)
    Ioanna Sotirchou
    Article of EFSYN, 12/11/2018 [lire]
  • Επιχορηγήσεις για υφιστάμενους φορείς Κ.ΑΛ.Ο.(Grants for existing SSE organizations)
    Article of EFSYN, 09/11/2018 [lire]
  • Στο Βελβεντό ο πρώτος αυτοδιαχειριζόμενος υδροηλεκτρικός σταθμός (In Velvento the first self-managed hydroelectric power station)
    Article of EFSYN, 04/11/2018 [lire]
  • Κοινωνικός αντίκτυπος για Κ.ΑΛ.Ο. (Social Impact of SSE)
    Ioanna Sotirchou
    Article of EFSYN, 29/10/2018 [lire]
  • Ροκάνι: ΚΟΙΝΣΕΠ για την κυκλική οικονομία (Rokani: in a circular economy)
    Aphrodite Tziantzi
    Article of EFSYN, 29/10/2018 [lire]
  • Οι εναλλακτικές στον καπιταλισμό είναι ήδη εδώ, ήταν πάντα εδώ! (Alternatives to capitalism are already here, they’ve always been here!)
    Hara Kouki
    Article of EFSYN, 15/10/2018 [lire]
  • Κουκάκι: η Κ.ΑΛ.Ο ξορκίζει το κακό (Koukaki: SSE excuses the evil)
    Aphrodite Tziantzi
    Article of EFSYN, 08/10/2018 [lire]
  • Συνεταιριστές όλης της Ελλάδας, συνεργαστείτε! (« Co-operatives all over Greece, work together!”)
    Aphrodite Tziantzi
    Article of EFSYN, 01/10/2018 [lire]
  • Κριτική και προτάσεις για να βελτιωθούν οι νόμοι για την ΚΑΛΟ (Criticism and suggestions to improve the laws for SSE)
    Ioanna Sotirchou
    Article of EFSYN, 1/10/2018 [lire]
  • «Ευρώπη, ήρθε η ώρα να τελειώσει η εξάρτηση από την ανάπτυξη!»(« Europe, it’s time for development dependency to end!”)
    Article of EFSYN, 24/09/2018 [lire]

 

INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF TRANSFORMING ECONOMIES, Córdoba, december 6-7
The Telegraph

The INTERNATIONAL MEETING OF TRANSFORMING ECONOMIES will take place on 6 and 7 December in Cordoba.

The III Solidarity Economy Congress announced for these dates has become an open appointment to experiences from other countries thanks to the willingness of the promoters to give this space a larger dimension, encompassing international references and relating to transforming economies with a transnational perspective.

Organized by REAS Andalusia and the University of Cordoba, the meeting will focus on analyzing, disseminating and relating transformative economic practices that are not only possible and alternatives but for many are already in the process of realization and able to demonstrate the validity of proposals that place people at the center of their development as protagonists of the economy. Related to each other because we share values and a common ethic that prevails over the intention of profit, the transforming economies will meet in Cordoba at the end of the year to become entangled with agents of SSE, public administrations, NGOs and with developing sectors, entrepreneurship, culture, education and people interested in making the economy a motor of social change towards more human coexistence, a fairer distribution and a transformed world from the sustainability of the environment and the care for life.

More info at:
Área de Cooperación y Solidaridad – Universidad de Córdoba
formacion.desarrollo@uco.es – (+34) 957 21 20 29
www.economiasolidaria.org/encuentro2018

UN poverty expert warns against tsunami of unchecked privatisation

Extract of UN displaynews

NEW YORK (19 October 2018) –  Widespread privatisation of public goods in many societies is systematically eliminating human rights protections and further marginalising those living in poverty, according to a new report.

Philip Alston, the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, criticised the extent to which the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund, and even the UN itself have aggressively promoted widespread privatisation of basic services, without regard to the human rights implications or the consequences for the poor. He also criticised human rights groups for not responding strongly enough to the resulting challenges.

“Privatising the provision of criminal justice, social protection, prisons, education, basic healthcare and other essential public goods cannot be done at the expense of throwing rights protections out of the window,” Alston said.

“States can’t dispense with their human rights obligations by delegating core services and functions to private companies on terms that they know will effectively undermine those rights for some people.”

He noted that while “proponents present privatisation as a technical solution for managing resources and reducing fiscal deficits, it has actually become an ideology of governance that devalues public goods, public spaces, compassion and a range of other values that are essential for a decent society.

“While privatisation’s proponents insist that it saves money, enhances efficiency, and improves services, the real world evidence very often challenges or contradicts these claims,” Alston said.

Privatisation is premised on fundamentally different assumptions from those that underpin respect for human rights, such as dignity and equality, he said. It inevitably prioritises profit, and sidelines considerations such as equality and non-discrimination. Rights-holders are transformed into clients, and those who are poor, needy, or troubled are marginalised or excluded. Human rights criteria are absent from almost all privatisation agreements, which rarely include provisions for sustained monitoring of their impact on service provision and the poor.

“Existing human rights accountability mechanisms are clearly inadequate for dealing with the challenges of large-scale and widespread privatisation,” Alston said. “The human rights community can no longer ignore the consequences of privatisation and needs to radically reconsider its approach.”

Human rights actors should start by reclaiming the moral high ground and reasserting the central role of concepts such as equality, society, the public interest, and shared responsibilities, while challenging the assumption that privatisation should be the default approach. “The human rights community needs to develop new methods that systematically confront the broader implication of widespread privatisation and ensure that human rights and accountability are at the centre of privatisation efforts,” Alston said.

There appear to be no limits to what states have privatised, he said. Public institutions and services across the world have been taken over by private companies dedicated to profiting from key parts of criminal justice systems and prisons, dictating educational priorities and approaches, deciding who will receive health interventions and social protection, and choosing what infrastructure will be built, where, and for whom, often with harsh consequences for the most marginalised. “There is a real risk that the waves of privatisation experienced to date will soon be followed by a veritable tsunami,” Alston said.

Privatisation of social protection often leads to a focus on economic efficiency concerns that aim to minimise time spent per client, close cases earlier, generate fees wherever possible, and cater to those better-off, pushing those with less resources and more complex problems to the margins.

 

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