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The social and solidarity economy is spreading and renewing
March 5, 2017
REAS goteo economiasolidaria.org

Over the last ten years, the social and solidarity economy has been consolidated as a strong and stable alternative. Now, it generates 10% of the Spanish State’s GDP and provides 2.2 million jobs to people. Its challenge to put people at the centre of the economy is translated into the generation of 190 000 jobs over the last years, whose 80% are contracts for an indefinite period.

The solidarity economy, concretly, has interupted in strategique sectors such as energy, bank and telecommunication and it awakes the interest of more and more people. REAS, Red de Redes de Economía Alternativa y Solidaria, is a federation which is formed by more than 500 entities and companies, generating 379 million of euros of anual incomes and relies on the participation of more than 38 000 of people, whose 8 500 with contract.REAS crowdfunding

To struggle with new challenges, it is missing a powerful tool. To do it, the people in charge of REAS have been starting a redisign of the website www.economiasolidaria.org in order to have more political and social advocacy. This space was born in 1997 to visibilize the networks and social mouvements in favour of a fair, ecological, social and solidarity economy.

The web receives more than 650 000 visits by year and it hosts more than 10 000 contents and more than 28 000 people and organisations are suscribed to its monthly newsletter. The objective is to consolidate it as the thematic web most important in the Spanish State and in the Spanish-speaking countries. The new website will change the structure and the design to respond to the new challenges, that the social mouvement of solidarity economy has to face.

The philosophy of solidarity economy is taken up in the Charter of Principles of Solidarity Economy and summarizes in six important principles : equity, work, environmental sustainbility, cooperation, non-profit and compromise with the immediate environment.

The participatory fundrising campaign takes place through the Goteo platform and will be active from the 27th of February to the 7th of April at this address : https://www.goteo.org/project/nuevo-portal-web-de-la-economia-solidaria

The 2nd REAS Congress in Bilbao, November 10-12, 2016
November 14, 2016
Bilbao Congreso REAS 2016 - Economia feminista

The REAS Spanish solidarity economy network congress takes place every two years. This year it was held in Bilbao, capital of the Spanish Basque country. The theme was “Transformar los territorios desde la Economía Solidaria”: Transforming territories through solidarity economy. It was attended by about 400 people from all over Spain.

The Spanish Basque country is possibly the most advanced region I know in terms of the duality of solidarity economy and food sovereignty. It is indeed one of the original birthplaces of food sovereignty, as Ehne Biskaya was one of the founding members of the food sovereignty movement in the late 1990s. So the fact that transition and food sovereignty was one of the main strands of the congress was no surprise.

Read more

REAS presents the new portal for responsible procurement in Spain
REAS Contrata Responsable

Through different dissemination activities of the Spanish solidarity economy network (REAS), a campaign to facilitate the inclusion of social clauses in the processes of public procurement was started, to stimulate institutions to purchase based on ethical, ecological and transparency criteria and extend the knowledge of these tools of social justice, equity and sharing throughout the social solidarity economy  and society in general.

The campaign claims the use of public procurement as a useful way to work in depth on social core values such as cohesion and social inclusion, local and sustainable development and efficiency, fairness and transparency in public spending. In this sense, the “Guide to the public socially responsible procurement” published by REAS Euskadi underlines how “it is illogical to transfer the public budgets to companies that pollute,  do not respect the rights of the workers, who practice gender discrimination and do not meet the criterion of 2% of disabled persons required by the legislation”.

Adapting the legislation of the Spanish State purchasing and public procurement requires a definition of the legal framework and the ethical criteria affecting 17% of GDP (18 million euro according to 2015 data). Social and solidarity economy networks, environmental organizations and social movements have multiplied the criticism about the slowness with which the required minimums are translated at the level of our administrations. Indeed, the European directives published in 2014 and which should have been adopted at latest in April 2016 have not yet been incorporated in the legal system of the Spanish State.

Read the rest of the article (in Spanish) here.

Forum “a Plan B for l’Europe” (Madrid, 19-21 February 2016)
April 5, 2016

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)

SPAIN: national SSE social audit report 2015

Published in December 2015, this extensive report provides the main results – in terms of qualitative and quantitative indicators – of the Social audit which includes a total of 320 organisations, members of the regional SSE networks and of REAS, Red de Redes de Economía Alternativa y Solidaria (Alternative and Solidarity Economy and Networks of Network, hereinafter REAS) in Spain.

The information obtained from the surveyed entities in each territorial / sectoral network, provides information and data about 30 issues (relating to the dimension of the organization, its functioning, its commitment and responsible labor, internal democracy and participation within the organization, etc.), with which a total of 19 monitoring indicators of the level of compliance of the 6 inspiring principles of the ESS, described in the REAS “Solidarity Economy Charter”, are analysed.

Download the report (in Spanish)

See an infographic of the social audit results:


Solidarity economy and Human rights
October 20, 2015

Towards discursive integration, both theoretical and practical: this article in Spanish is the result of a research work conducted by the Observatory DESC and the XES during the period 2014-2015, a project for inter-cooperation developed jointly with REAS, which includes some of the main conclusions on the strategic importance of linking a human rights approach, with practices and the approach of solidarity economy, towards a mutual strengthening.

[Article in Spanish follows] Read more

IDEARIA 2015 in Cordoba

The 12th edition of the alternative economy and solidarity meeting took place at the Institute of education secondary Maimonides in Cordoba from April 30 to May 2rd May 2015. RIPESS EU was represented by ADEPES MIDI-PYRENES. The meeting was organized by IDEAS, the biggest fair trade structure in Spain.

Alternative economy and solidarity? Words that sound really impacting for European SSE actor like us, engaged in the development of a solidarity territory. Cordoba is the historical melting pot place for Spanish solidarity economy actors. The meeting was a great opportunity for RIPESS Europe to build new covenant. Indeed, the attendees have found enough similarities to consider joint work with the new European framework INTEREG funds. A meeting between Spain and France is expected during the next few months.

REAS, the Spanish “network of networks” of solidarity economy actors (XES Catalonia, REAS Andalusia, REAS Castille, REAS, Aragon, REAS Navarre, REAS Euskadi,…) held its Annual General Meeting and celebrate its 20 years. Just a few months before the French Solidarity Economy Mouvement’s (MES) National Congress, which will be held on the 12th and 13th June 2015, in Toulouse and will also celebrate its 20th anniversary.

Moreover, we note a very similar strategy when it comes to social auditing, responsible purchasing or social market (two concepts worth to be compared), the development sectors (tourism, agriculture, environment), social innovation, cooperatives and ethical finance.

It seems very significant for RIPESS EU to get involved with our partners in the territories on sharing and raising our political vision of the solidarity economy alternative as a strong movement of economic transformation models.

Daniel Tygel intervention, RIPESS intercontinental former executive secretary, was very impressive. He declared: “Solidarity Economy is not so much a sector but a deep movement of our society and citizens, who created “Buen Vivir” and new trends on work cooperation models, services and goods, culture, education and environment.”


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