Good news through the Iberian peninsula. The Portuguese network of the solidarity economy (RPES) has been created. About a year ago, at a meeting held in Chaos, small village located in the Centre of Portugal, Rogerio Roque Amaro, Professor of the ICSTE, University in which since more than ten years there is a doctorate of social and solidarity economy, launched the idea of creating a network of solidarity economy in Portugal. After a first surprise, the challenge was picked up by a group of individuals and organizations that have co-ordinated to materialize this idea.
On August 7 2015, the founding Assembly was held in Chaos, where one of the most interesting experiences of solidarity economy has been developing for many years. At this meeting, the founding members adopted many decisions: develop a manifesto and a logo, create a few working groups, disseminate the project, adopt some entry criteria, which have been discussed and improved. A coordinating Commission has prepared the general Assembly which took place on 17 October.
The manifesto evokes the self-managed tradition of many experiences arising before, during and after the Carnation Revolution and the use of the concept of solidarity economy in the Azores in the decade of the Eighties of the last century. After a quick overview of the current crisis, this document explains the reaction of various groups in Portugal that identify as solidarity-based economy, defined as formal and informal processes of production, exchange, consumption, distribution and generation of incomes which combine economy with solidarity, ecological perspective, cultural diversity, critical reflection, participatory democracy and local development. The manifesto explains the objectives of the network around: 1) define and reinforce their identity, 2) affirm and promote recognition in society, 3) strengthen and train their organizations and groups, 4) diversify its knowledge base, 5) promote their interrelation with other networks and its internationalization.
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