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RIPESS at the GSEF 2016 in Montreal
GSEF 2016

RIPESS Intercontinental and RIPESS Europe participate in the Global Social Economy Forum in Montreal, September 7-9 2016.

As per today, the GSEF has registered participants from over 50 countries and government representatives from nearly 250 international cities. It is therefore an excellent opportunity to learn about good practices from local governments and the SSE around the world and an outstanding opportunity to share your experiences globally!

As a member of the sponsorship committee of GSEF2016, we encourage you especially to participate, to form delegations, and come to discuss and work on the central theme of the Global Social Economy Forum -GSEF2016: collaboration between local governments and the social and solidarity economy actors for the development of cities;

and also, with more than 30 workshops and working groups and visits.

  • Share your best practices and learn about others in the social and solidarity economy taking place around the planet in collaboration with local governments
  • Identify opportunities and issues regarding coordinated action between your local governments and SSE stakeholders
  • Promote coordinated international actions to foster the development of the SSE in your area.

>> More information on GSEF2016

>> Register to GSEF2016

RIPESS will be present with a representation of all its members – from Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe and Oceania; organizing a working group on Collaborations & international synergies for ESS and will held its Board of Directors following the Forum, on the 10th and 11th of September.

If you are not able to attend, but you want to submit some proposals of collaboration, documents, ideas or references of projects, or even recommend any other organization to invite, we encourage you to take advantage of the opportunity by writing to the following e-mail address: laure.jongejans@ripess.org, and we will make sure to relay them.

Creation of a visual map of public policies and territories promoting SSE
Public policies map - socioeco

The role of public policies in favour social and solidarity economy suffers from a lack of visibility. Yet these same policies can prove decisive in helping collective initiatives that involve citizens to emerge. We would like to showcase existing public policy on SSE through a compilation of case studies and mapping that highlights the policies that contribute to creating territorial ecosystems that encourage the development of SSE through:

– funding, public markets, fiscal, legal and legislative mechanisms, social audits, etc.
– accompanying the actors working to support SSE at territorial level
– encouraging contact, exchange and networking of these actors
– relocalising activities linked to food, transport, energy, etc.
– thus creating sustainable, relocalised employment
– show-casing good practice
– building new spaces for discussion and joint development of policies with citizens.

SSE needs to “tell its story” to inspire people and disseminate. What public policies have a real impact on helping SSE initiatives to emerge and to develop? We believe that by collecting as many case studies as possible, enhanced by mapping them, would provide a useful tool for sharing, and that could be used by all our respective sites and other instruments (mobile APPs, infographs, etc.). This is something we can decide together.

The socioeco.org site has recently allowed us to develop a carte des solutions (map of solutions). It collects the descriptions of SSE initiatives that have been identified according to needs (food, housing, health, education etc.). It is in 6 languages (French, English, Spanish, Portuguese, German and Italian). The map also provides more opportunities: it is possible to identify alternative media or research centres for SSE, select only food experiences or reproduce a specific part of the map in a message on your own website. We thought of using a specific map of solutions for public policies and the territories that support them.

RIPESS Europe and socioeco.org hope to present a first map with the descriptions of public policies in different countries and different languages at the World Forum of Social Economy GSEF2016, that will be held in Montreal from 7th-9th September, to demonstrate the potential of such a tool and find new partners to develop the project further.

We need your help to do this. Your network has identified concrete public policies at different territorial levels: Local, regional or national Authorities. We propose you to fill the form linked here which will allow the collection of information and the compilation of a list of institutions at different levels which promote public policies for the development of the SSE, starting from what already exists and that we plan to showcase. We will then make all this information organised and visible by using shared tools and creating a visual public mapping.

Info and communications:

Building the SSE local authorities network
Red municipios catalanes ess

Some forty municipalities adhering to the manifesto “Towards a network of municipalities of the social and solidarity economy” discussed the mission, the vision and the strategy of this new supramunicipal grouping claiming to “contribute to the promotion of social and solidarity economy of Catalan municipalities through a permanent dialogue of both actors and practices”. […]

A metropolitan strategy to promote SSE

The foundation goal of the network of municipalities for the Cooperative social and solidarity economy is to continue, improve and intensify a shared metropolitan and territorial strategy to make the SSE one of the main instruments for overcoming social inequalities and to guide towards a democratic, just and sustainable economic model for people and for their lives.

Read the rest of the article (in Catalan): here.

«SCALE ME UP», European initiative to promote SSE
Scale Me Up

On June 17, six European ministers met in Paris to launch an ambitious project within the European Union. Called Scale Me Up, it aims to support the social economy organizations that conduct their activities in at least two European countries.

Technical and educational support to the winners

On June 17, the French Minister Martine Pinville met in Bercy with five of its European counterparts (Luxembourg, Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Slovenia), two Commissioners and representatives of other EU countries. Their meeting was to launch the call for Scale Me Up, an initiative that aims to support structures oriented in the social solidarity economy. According to a source close to the French minister, “the goal is to allow the development of economic and social activities, resulting from cooperation between European actors.” Scale Me Up is designed for organizations engaged in social economy involved in “a project of cooperation, partnership or collaboration with at least one other partner in the Union: enterprise-community-university “. The winners will receive no financial reward. They will benefit of a week of coaching experts on ESS (European institutions, specialized firms).

Sending applications before September 10, 2016

Interested organizations have time until September 10th to submit their applications. The jury will select the winners based on several criteria such as the innovative nature of the project, its impact on the targets, its local roots and maturity of the business model.

(Source: Carenews, July 4, 2016)


European public policies and Social Solidarity Economy

Convenors: Patricia Coler (UFISC), Bruno Lasnier (MES)

The political construction of Europe based only on the vision of the single market is now leading to a reduction of democracy and isolation. The neo-liberal decision on budgetary restirctions and public internetion are locking territories into a logic of privatisation and financialisation. The principle of competitive free trade is the dominant model, with regulations on State subsidies, undermining of the social model of Europe and the a-democratic negotiation of the free trade agreements such as CETA and TTIP that encourage the introduction of private arbitration principles and the definition by experts of a normative framework.

However civil society is also organising, mobilising at local and European level and developing new solidarities and cooperation. Citizen’s solidarity economy initiatives are trying to reinsert the economy into policies and at social level by inventing solutions in an ever-changing world. By linking different economic and democratic approaches, they are defending both principles and practice to build another approach to European policy.

European legislation and programmes that are both thematic and cross-cutting are starting to take social and solidarity economy into account. They are becoming progressively consolidated in the legislative and internal regulatory frameworks of States. The recent Luxembourg Declaration* encourages policy-making based on adapted ecosystems and that support social economy eneterprise initiatives. The European Structural Fund programmes for research and mobility can also contribute to supporting initiatives. State legislation on subsidies is becoming more flexible.

The different definitions that exist – social economy, solidarity economy, social enterprise, social entrepreneurship – all cover separate economic conepts. The term social enterprise as used by the European Commission heavily underlines the social ends in the definition; this excludes many cooperatives, mutual societies, associations and foundations, unlike the French law on SSE. Furthermore, according to accepted usage, very different kinds of public policy are proposed and implemented.

So what new European strategy is being built for the post-2020 period? What new orientations for solidarity economy can it support? What proposals for supporting solidarity economy initiatives at territorial should be included in European policies?

*Luxembourg Declaration – A Roadmap towards a more comprehensive ecosystem for social economy enterprises – http://www.eu2015lu.eu/en/actualites/communiques/2015/12/04-declaration-luxembourg/

Legal and political recognition of social solidarity economy (SSE)
March 20, 2016

An overview on SSE public policies and guidelines.

by Yvon Poirier

This document is a tool for governments, public services, SSE organizations, development organizations, researchers and other people interested in the development of public policies that recognize SSE.


EFSSE: Europen Forum on SSE (Brussels, January 28 – 2016)
January 15, 2016

In May 2015, the European United Left / Nordic Confederation Group (GUE / NGL) decided to turn its traditional support to the Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) into one of its main strategic processes for this legislature (2014-2019).Therefore, the European parliamentary group has set as one of its main goals for 2016 the organisation of the first European Forum of Social and Solidarity Economy (EFSSE)aiming at promoting an exchange of experiences among the different initiatives of the SSE in Europe, highlighting the problems faced by the sector, as well as its potential in tackling the crisis effects. Specific actions of political impact will be proposed intended to foster the consolidation and expansion of the SSE within the EU.

This forum will be held only one day on January 28 in Brussels and will be limited to 220/250 people and guests, including MEPs.  Eight countries held preparatory meetings (Spain, France, Italy, Ireland, Greece, Portugal, Belgium, Germany), led by the MEPs concerned and organizations SSE relay they know.

For more information, see our dedicated page

SSE + Europe!
December 10, 2015

Re-enchanting Europe with Social and Solidarity Economy

In order to strengthen the capacities of SSE actors in the Paris region and help them gain a better understanding of European issues, the Atelier, a SSE resource centre in the Paris region, the Réseau des Territoires pour l’Économie Solidaire and REVES organised a prfoessional forum on November 20th last at the Paris Town Hall. The theme was dedicated to the European question “SSE + Europe!”. The idea was to give SSE actors the opportunity to exchange with European leaders on the potential cooperation through European programmes that would help SSE to scale up in Europe. There was much discussion on the need to connect different levels, and the European leader called upon actors to seize all possible opportunities provided by the programmes. Read more

SSE, cities and territories at the 10th Rencontre of Mont Blanc
December 6, 2015

[report by Judith Hitchman, Urgenci / RIPESS Europe]

The 10th anniversary version of the Rencontres du Mont Blanc (RMB) took place in Chamonix 26th-28th November 2015. The Rencontres are the Social Economy entrepreneurs conference that takes place every two years (see here for details on the programme).

Historically in France there has been a certain tension between social economy and solidarity economy: the former is the representation of the 19th century cooperative and mutual society movement, that formalised the desire for emancipation of the workers and collective organization of citizens based on an ownership dimension, in a social economy market logic and framework. The latter is transformative, and aims to be the vector of an economic paradigm that clearly breaks with neo-liberalism. In recent years there has been some reconciliation of at least a part of these two movements from the perspective of a social and solidarity economy, building alternatives to capitalism.

The RIPESS is present in several UN institutions – especially the UN Task Force of Social and Solidarity Economy based in Geneva, and the SSE Pilot Group attached to EcoSoc in New York have meant that both strands need to learn to work together on common ground. In Europe, RIPESS EU has also taken a strategic decision to gain more visibility and improve our impact on policy, which again means taking back a space that has been exclusively occupied by social economy actors and more recently by the social entrepreneurs. Read more

Bruxelles: preparing the European SSE Forum for Jan. 28 2016
November 17, 2015

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.

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