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Forum “a Plan B for l’Europe” (Madrid, 19-21 February 2016)
April 5, 2016
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RIPESS Europe was invited by Podemos to intervene in a workshop on “social and solidarity economy as an alternative to democratize the production of goods and services”. This event echoed previous initiatives of the “left Front” in Paris and “Die Linke” and Varoufakis (DIEM 25) in Berlin.

Originally planned with Iñigo Bandrés (REAS) and Andrés Ruggeri (Argentina researcher on recovered enterprises), this workshop to be held at the end of program at the other end of the city was finally cancelled. RIPESS Europe was still able to intervene in another workshop on “experiences and alternative trade models” with Claude Girod of the peasant Confederation and Brid Brennan of the Transnational Institute.

There was an atmosphere of Social Forum, in a weekend monopolized by the « Brexit » in the media, on the magnificent site of Matadero, old slaughterhouse converted in cultural venue. The 3,000 announced people could attend 30 plenary and workshops.

We can generally affirm that there is a clear consciousness of the European left movements to build an alternative to the European Union, mired in managing catastrophic flows of migrants and different national self-interest, with a single vision of economic austerity. But the consensus is still a long way from being achieved in both divergent scenarios mentioned.

Solidarity economy is not very clearly taken as a political challenge for the desired changes. There is much to do to win this legitimacy and put the issue of economic and ecological alternatives a little more at the heart of a strategy for a more democratic and solidarity based ‘other Europe’ in which we believe in the RIPESS Europe network.

Eric Lavillunière (RIPESS Europe general coordinator)

EFSSE 2016: a first step forward for the SSE in Europe
March 30, 2016
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On January 28, 2016, the first European Forum of Social Solidarity Economy (EFSSE) took place in the Parliament in Brussels, promoted by parliamentarians of the European United Left and the Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL), with the participation of more than 200 representatives and activists of networks and organizations of the SSE (including approximately thirty delegates members of the RIPESS Europe).

RIPESS was invited to the opening session alongside parliamentarians and representatives of European networks (Social Economy EuropeCooperatives Europe). During the round table that followed, Jean-Louis Laville recalled the history of the evolution of the social and solidarity economy, and in particular social, cultural and political paradigm changes that have transformed the approach to and even the notion of economy.

Riccardo Petrella unambiguously urged parliamentarians to “overthrow the table”, that is to engage in a radical change of methods and conception of the management of public affairs. Judith Hichmann and Yvon Poirier drew a picture of the international opportunities including in the overall vision of a post-2015 development agenda.

Read more

Bruxelles: preparing the European SSE Forum for Jan. 28 2016
November 17, 2015
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After a panel of 17 European experts held on February 2015, and a first preparatory meeting convened the 3rd of September in the European Parliament with more than 30 participants belonging to the Social and Solidarity organisations from Spain, France, Italy, Greece, Ireland, Portugal, Germany, Belgium and from the European networks – with RIPESS Europe represented by Eric Lavilluniere (and other members present) – have collectively drawn a general framework shaping the European Forum on Social and Solidarity Economy (EFSSE) to be hold on January 28, 2016.

Approved last May as a “Strategic Group Initiative”, the EFSSE is aimed at giving a decisive boost to this alternative model of deciding, producing, reproducing and promoting relationships between people based on the principles of democracy, social justice and inclusion, equity, reciprocity and sustainability.

RIPESS Europe is consulting with its members for the strategy and content. The organizational effort is being led so far by 9 delegations and 11 MEPs: Podemos, Syriza, Front de Gauche, Die Linke, L’Altra Europa con Tsipras, Sinn Fein, Bloco de Esquerda, B. Spinelli and Luke Flanaghan, with the logistical support of the GUE’s staff.

Boosting Social Enterprises in Europe
August 21, 2015
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Boosting Social Enterprises in Europe (Brussells, July 9 2015)
On the occasion of the launch of the semi-annualLuxembourg Presidency of the Council of the European Union, the Minister of labour, employment and social solidarity economy presented the agenda of Luxembourg under the sign of ‘the U. E. for citizens’, with an inclusive, sustainable and innovative growth. The Minister placed much hope in the SSE to reduce inequalities and to create employment, particularly in the ‘silver economy’, i.e. with an ageing European population. He has also stated the intention to take action in favour of employment for the people of both sides of the Mediterranean and launched the appointment on the 3rd and 4th December for the European social economy conference, which will be mainly devoted to the financing of the SSE.The panel final with Ariane Rodert, for the European Social Economic Committee, Jens Sheejish MEP,  Alain Coheur of Social Economy Europe and Jean-Christophe Burkel of the Luxembourg Union of social solidarity economy urged the Commission to relaunch the agenda of the Social Business Initiative. Some reactions of the public stressed the desire both to open the social solidarity economy, but also to better promote its specificities which do not consist in its social objectives, but have democratic governance and limited profit or the reinvestment in the community components.

For RIPESS Europe it is important to make the link with the COP 21 because the solidarity-based economy enterprises, being conscious of the environment in their practices, contribute to limiting climate change. Words for which the Minister took note.

More to follow…

Eric LAVILLUNIERE (Inees)
Brussels: SSE in the EU – European Parliament 26 feb 2015
February 27, 2015
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Delegations of the European United Left (GUE / NGL) and the Greens (GREENS / EFA)  promote a meeting between various experiences of Social Solidarity Economy that are being developed by European institutions and cooperative networks in Europe for sharing experiences and best practices and reflect on the challenges this alternative booming sector faces.

This first event is held in the European Parliament in Brussels on February 26, 2015.  RIPESS Europe takes part, together with many other initiatives and national networks / experiences. A panel of experts from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Portugal and Belgium is aimed at setting up the state of art of the Social and Solidarity Economy in each one of these countries and in Europe.

The programme of the meeting can be found here.

You can download the Presentation by Jason Nardi and go to the links for the RIPESS International Global Vision on Social Solidarity Economy document in English, French and Spanish (published in February 2015).

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