The desire to draw up an overview (Panorama) of the SSE began to emerge in 2013, with the goal of providing a true and well- anchored vision of the initiatives existing in Europe, and of gathering together the content to be used to build a shared solidarity economy advocacy process. The decision was taken to draw up a questionnaire and carry out the same survey in several countries. The SSE overview also incorporates work on the social audit (XES, ADEPES, REAS). The idea is to gather together the different existing approaches and identify common foundations (“Balançe sociale”, “EVALUMIP”). This work also served to bring together actors within an emerging participative process that needs to be consolidated in 2016 and to open up to other members, including members of the organisations that make up RIPESS EUROPE. Various SSE actors and researchers worked on drawing up the questionnaire. This approach, encompassing both research and field work, is certainly the most efficient and dynamic solution.

The questionnaire learning process was an opportunity to meet other partners (Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece and Germany). It is used as a tool in the process of broadening the network and opens the path to the creation of a shared identity. The work is scheduled to take three years, with an initial result in September 2015. The goal is to produce a sample of 1,000 answers.

The questionnaire exists in six languages (English, French, Spanish, Greek, German and Italian). Ties will be established with other countries (the United Kingdom and Scandinavian countries to start with). This could be an opportunity to publicise innovations in the field and develop a better understanding of the different contexts and evolution of SSE in each country, what kind of SSE identified practices and initiatives exists and are more present, laws and public policies adopted, etc.

The meeting which took place during the Solikon 2015 – RIPESS EU Congress in Berlin (7-9 September 2015) was organized to share the work and the objectives of the Panorama of the SSE in Europe with the participants and involve new people / organizations in the work. Although several countries have participated since the beginning (with nearly 500 survey replies received, only a few have really started to work on it – Greece and France primarily), in other countries there are projects or research initiatives that were contacted and with which we are sharing methodologies (such as Catalise the Portugal and other initiatives in Spain and Italy – eg. L’Italia che cambia, or in Germany and with the Urgenci network).

There are also several mapping projects, which can be complementary to the Panorama: Transformap (mainly Austria-Germany) and the development of standards for interoperability ESSGlobal with technologies of the semantic web (Open Linked Data), which were illustrated by Mariana Maltas of Polytechnic of Porto, Portugal.

Another important tool to improve the research and analysis work is the collection and organization of documents on the ESS, which is currently carried out by, as explained by Françoise Wautiez, with thematic axes and a collection of 4000 documents now in 6 languages.

Finally, we have started working with the European project SSEDAS, which covers almost all of Europe (23 countries in the Union and 8 extra European, including Brazil) and whose objective is to research in 46 European territories initiatives that best represent the SSE, as well as training and outreach activities. This project has adopted the Panorama frame for their work and will also share the results with RIPESS.

This post is also available in / aussi en: French