We are collecting here messages, articles, stories and references of Solidarity economy initiatives in response to the Covid19 pandemic crisis and its consequences all over Europe, to share and exchange experiences and efforts from member networks and other organisations. If you wish to contribute, please write to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Message from Jason Nardi, General Delegate of RIPESS Europe :
“Never as today can we say we’re all in the same boat in a stormy sea. The Corona virus pandemic crisis is spreading rapidly throughout the world, with an impact that is in many ways unpredictable and without discrimination, although unfortunately it is always the most vulnerable people who suffer the most. The climate and environmental crisis is also global, but it affects us in different ways. The sum of the two and the economic and social consequences that are already occurring and looming ahead are potentially enormous.
In face of the failure of the current dominant economic system – and the threat to our well-being, we are demonstrating that the SSE and the various forms of transformative economies are a real alternative to emerge from these crises. Social Solidarity Economy, in all its manifestations and practices, is at the same time at the forefront of actions of support, care and mutuality – but also strongly threatened or hampered by restrictions on its daily practices and with negative consequences for the work and income of millions of people, cooperative enterprises and SSE initiatives. In some countries, farmer markets and local food supply chains, as well as other products and services, are being prohibited for health and security, while supermarkets and online large distributors become the main or only source for people. We need to ask governments, on the contrary, to strongly encourage safe and healthy local production and consumption, especially in critical moments as this one. We will continue advocating that more countries, more international institutions and the United Nations itself embrace SSE to achieve the world we want.
RIPESS – as a network that interconnects the realities of the SSE throughout the world – allows us to express our solidarity with each other, our awareness of the difficulties of the situation we are experiencing and the challenges we face. Let us take care of ourselves, our families and loved ones, our communities. We want to be especially close to all those who have suffered directly and we wish good health, safety and well-being to all. Let us share what we are doing, our ability to act with resilience and to find humane and solidarity solutions. Please send information on any important SSE initiatives you are working on or know about as well as public policies that help foster them responding to health, social and economic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic, so they can be shared with others and we can mutually learn from each other.
While many of us have to cancel or postpone planned activities, stay home or confined in restricted spaces, Covid-19 will not stop us collaborating and acting in solidarity and feeling part of an interconnected worldwide community. It’s time for hope, not fear. For cooperation and solidarity. For SSE.”
Message from Laurence KWARK, Secretary General of GSEF (Global Platform for Social Economy)
“It is a time that reminds us how much inter-connected community we live in sharing a common destiny, but at the same time it is also a time that a sense of connectedness is once again threatened by new types of challenges. We witness a lot of political will and firm willingness of communities fight actively against it and yet, we, as a community of SSE, know that we can’t overcome this crisis if we cede our hope to fear, and solidarity to self-centeredness.”
Message from RIPESS Intercontinental – COVID-19: Globalising solidarity is the response we need now!
“With COVID-19 crisis, humanity is facing one of the most serious and uncertain crises in recent history. RIPESS shares its statement and the need to globalize solidarity.
Humanity is facing one of the most serious and uncertain crises in recent history. The current globalization of the COVID-19 pandemic has allowed it to spread to all countries. Even remote populations are at risk, as are populations in war zones and those living in cramped conditions with poor hygiene such refugee camps, putting the lives of human beings at risk in an increasingly globalized world. Many overcrowded slums in mega cities around the world, as well as many other people in a situation of day to day subsistence have no access to running water or food stores, social distancing is an impossibility, and interrupting their activities is a luxury they can not afford.“
Open letter to the European Commission, the European Parliament and EU Member States’ Ministers for Agriculture
“On 17 April 2020, we will commemorate the International Day of Peasant Struggle. In the context of Covid-19, the vulnerability of the current globalised food system, dominated by industrial agriculture, and the dangers it poses to all forms of life, has once again been exposed. We must
learn from this crisis and invest in building resilient, local and territorial, diverse food systems. In this context, European Coordination Via Campesina (ECVC) and its member organisations, together with URGENCI, European Shepherds Network (ESN), FIAN and Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) as part of the Nyéléni Food Sovereignty Movement in Europe and Central Asia (Nyéléni ECA) want to send a clear message: peasants and small and medium-scale food producers are needed to guarantee food-sovereignty. They continue to produce food and feed people, guaranteeing the national and regional food supply more than ever in these times of crisis. Peasants across Europe are part of a large, developed network. These communities have been feeding the planet for generations, using many lifetimes’ worth of knowledge, experience and expertise. Yet currently they are being ignored and ill-treated.
Today, many of them are taking action to try and change this, and we urge you pay attention to how and why you, as decision makers, have a responsibility to start listening to their voices.”