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National Congres of the MES – Solidarity Economy Mouvement, France
August 21, 2015
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National Congres of the MES – Solidarity Economy Mouvement, France
The call of the Movement for Solidarity Economy (MES) invited citizens and actors of solidarity economy, social movements (Alternatiba, Attac…), entrepreneurs and unions to share analyses and actions for its first Congress in Toulouse on 12 and 13 June 2015. Jean-Louis Laville, Professor at CNAM in Paris, Chair of the solidarity economy and socio-economist of international renown, also participated.Over one hundred participants have contributed to joint round tables reflections and cooperating in workshops, with many interventions by solidarity economy actors. Solidarity-based economy is 20 years old. Since 1995, it has created innovations, which today are part of our daily newspapers.2015 is the opportunity to launch a campaign for solidarity economy, a movement today much broader than we had imagined and that affects each and every one during their activities, whatever they are. Social economy and solidarity economy actors have grown closer, led by Claude Alphandéry in 2011 and with the Hamon Law in 2014, the recognition of the social and solidarityeconomy grew as an economic sector, but the result is mixed. If the social and solidarity economy reflects the aims of the production (cultural, social, environmental), it faces a society governed by competition with the emergence of a neo-liberal policy to limit democracy. For Jean-Louis Laville, if there is a democracy in Europe, it is today at risk.

Changes can and must come from the citizen base, but they must be also valued and not put up for competition by public policies at European, national, regional or local level. The question of the general interest and the commons, as well as the balances among the territories, is at the heart of the solidarity economy, which is a model and a project of transformation of society.

Many testimonies from Midi Pyrénées (Etats Génér’eux de l’Ariège, Collectif Rivages…) shared with the members of the movement for solidarity economy who came from Normandy, Centre region, Provence Alpes Côtes d’Azur, Auvergne, Île de France, and Nord Pas-de-Calais. People engaged in an enterprise, involved politically, within a social movement or civil society, discussed their “concerns” about the gradual disengagement of the institutions.So what should be done? Let go and surrender? The Congress  proposed a new challenge to the solidarity economy movement. Economic citizenship, democracy and transition are political issues and we should not be afraid of the words. As Bruno Lasnier, President of MES pointed out: “We must be able to re-enchant Politics. We have everything to gain back by putting politics everywhere. Politics, in the noble sense, the right to think, propose and decide in the society in which we are living members!Link of the call to Congress: MES Congress declaration

Bérénice DONDEYNE (ADEPES-MES)
National Congress of Solidarity Economy Movement , June 12th and 13th 2015

You are the Solidarity Economy!

Let’s build together a united world.

Because we want a united future, we call for resistance and to the convergence for those who defend the fundamental rights, the economic democracy, the social justice and the ecological transition. Join us! Share your experiences and reflections.

The MES, a charter member of RIPESS EU has the pleasure to invite you to share reflections, analysis and actions during our National Solidarity Economy Movement congress, organized on June 12th and 13th 2015 in Toulouse, France and build together a more cohesive society!

Board of directors members: ADEPES (Agence pour le Développement et la Promotion de l’Économie Solidaire – Région Midi Pyrénées / Devlopment Agency for Solidarity Economy Promotion ),ALICECOOP, ARDES (Association Régionale pour le Développement de l’Économie Solidaire – Basse Normandie- Regional Agency for Solidarity Economy Devlopment), APEAS (Agence Provençale pour une Économie Alternative et Solidaire – Région PACA /Provencial Agency for Alternative and United Economy  ), APES (Acteurs pour une Économie Solidaire – Région Nord Pas de Calais / United Solidarity Actors), , CESIF (Collectif pour l’Économie Solidaire en Ile de France : Solidarity Economy Network Community), CRESOL (Centre Réseau Économie Solidaire – Région Centre/ Network Center fo Solidarity Economy),ADEL (Agence pour le Développement de l’Économie Locale / Devlopment Agency of Local Economy), MIRAMAP (Mouvement interrégional des Amaps / Interregional Movement for Amap), NOVETAT Institute, Route des Sels, UFISC (Union Fédérale d’Intervention des Structures Culturelles/ Federal Union Intervention for Cultural Structure ), CRIDA ( Centre de Recherche et d’information sur la Démocratie et l’autonomie / Information and Research Center about Democracy and autonomy).

While inequalities between individuals and between regions are growing, the vast and treacherous path of transformation towards a society more respectful of humans and the planet itself as an imperative

Since the 70s, the Solidarity Economy initiatives in response to citizens’ concern and current challenge of our society are growing every day. They work to reinforce the social connection and personal dignity, energy and ecological transition, democratic practices renewed, mobilizing citizen, revealing their creativity and their power to act, also contributing to the creation of wealth, jobs and socio-economic innovations. These new forms of solidarity and closeness to structure otherwise often exclusive activities and engaged in various shared governance for the common , volunteers, consumers, wage earners and public and private economic partners. These initiatives cover a variety of areas of activity: local services , short circuits, local and organic agriculture , local development, fair trade, solidarity finance , participation of all in culture, popular education , transportation, production of goods and services , employment and fight against exclusion . Beyond the lucrative businesses and results recorded in GDP, there is an economic biodiversity, the source of much richness. The daily support of solidarity initiatives demonstrate that alternatives are possible to meet the economic, social and climate threats that endanger the planet and living together. The MOVEMENT FOR SOLIDARITY ECONOMY grew out of a call launched in 1995 to demonstrate the strong momentum of economic solidarity initiatives, which in the 1970s criticized the economic development model and experimenting with new ways to do more collective, more emancipators, more democratic. On 18 June 1997, an «Appeal for opening a space for solidarity economy «is published by Le Monde. Through it, many networks of local actors, strong in their field practices, demanding a different approach to the economy; Since then they organize themselves and in 2002, local, regional or national networks, support agencies or accompanying, international solidarity NGOs, research centers together create the Movement for Solidarity Economy. Since the Movement contributes to the development and recognition of the solidarity economy, reflects the territorial and political dialogue with the various networks of actors and public institutions. It has contributed to the emergence of regional policies SSE , the co- pilot of the States General of the SSE and the development of the law of SSE.

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Building Berlin 2015 Congress “Solidarity Economy and Transformation”

The next Solidarity Economy European Congress will take place from the 5th of September to the 13th of September 2015 at the Technical University in Berlin, Germany.

From Saturday 5th of September to Thursday 10th of September 2015 the “Transformation Week” will take place with excursions all over Berlin and Brandenburg (the surrounding area). There are already nearly 80 projects, institutions and organizations, that might be part of this “exploration tour” week and open their initiatives to all who want to visit.

On the 10th of September at noon the congress starts with a regional (Berlin and Brandenburg) focus. In the course of the congress, both national and international dimensions will be adressed with hot topics like trade (TTIP and other trade agreements), climate change, fair trade and positive examples of the regional fora for solidarity economy in Latin America, as well as in other continents like Asia and Africa. There will also will be a focus on convergences among different alternative economy movements. The event will end on Sunday the 13th of September with the „planning“ of the next steps.

The main organizer of the congress is the German Forum for Solidarity Economy. Co-­organizers are the ZTG (Center for Technology and Society at the Tech University Berlin), the ZEWK (Centre for Scientific Further Education and Cooperation at the TU Berlin) and RIPESS Europe and other 40 other partners.

More information and the Call for self-organised activities will follow soon…

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