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Solidarity economy everywhere: the challenges of the new decade
Hundreds of people warn governments "there is no planet B" when it comes to climate

For this first newsletter of the year 2020, the members of the Coordination Committee of RIPESS Europe wish you all the best for your initiatives to spread solidarity in a context that requires from each one of us a lot of pugnacity and wisdom to resist the destructive tendencies of a world in full upheaval.

What to wish for at the turn of a new decade? The abandonment of nuclear weapons, the end of the scepticism on climate change and the initiation of real and effective measures to reverse the current trend of a deterioration in the living conditions of all species, including our own, the awareness of the obscenity of the fortunes of plutocrats compared to the appalling levels of misery in all countries that suffer the predation and devaluation of their wealth, the cultural change that breaks down borders and walls to make it possible to establish equality and fraternity among peoples. These are all pious wishes, but one cannot help but express them at the dawn of a new year.
In the meantime, RIPESS Europe continues its peaceful advocacy for a world where these wishes would become the norm.

The Coordinating Committee returned to work during a meeting dedicated to the development of the strategy for the current year and beyond. It took place in Elne, where we meet every year in January at the invitation of Eric Lavilunnière, whose knowledge of this region of France enables us to meet some of its local development figures.

Among the network’s projects, the WSFTE represents one of the most salient issues of this new year. It will take place from 25 to 28 June 2020 in Barcelona. All our members are invited to promote this Forum during their events. Its main objective is to encourage meetings, dialogue and the elaboration of common strategies between the movements that are building here and now economies to fight against the current decay and to propose solutions for the future.

In Occitania, the Regional Forum had given itself this mission. The 2019 edition welcomed more than 1500 people. This high point of information and mobilization allows MES Occitania to consider organizing a bus in June to transport SSE actors in the region.

The site is already ready to register proposals for workshops and events.

In Italy on 18 and 19 January the Italian SSE network RIES was officially constituted in Rome after a long maturation. A rejoicing news. All our best wishes to this network with which we are already communicating thanks to the Italian members already involved in RIPESS EU.

In Madrid the international climate summit was held while social movements such as Extinction Rebellion (among others) organized an animation. Jason Nardi participated in a round table on circular economy, as well as RIPESS members or allies in various workshops.

Europe is finalizing the Green deal and the Social Economy Europe Intergroup of the European Parliament is also manifesting its intention to promote an economy that respects the Planet.

Let’s be optimistic and hope that this new year will be a real turning point in the awareness of the ecological, social and democratic urgency. Solidarity economy everywhere!

By Josette Combes

RIES: Italian Network for Solidarity Economy established in Rome
RIES Roma founding meeting

On January 18 and 19, 2020, the new Italian national network was founded, bringing together associations, networks and companies from all over the country who identify with Solidarity Economy values and practices.

There are 22 founding members of the new association that on Saturday 18 of January in Rome signed the articles of association of the Italian Network for Solidarity Economy (RIES). The new Network marks a fundamental point of arrival and turning point for the the Italian Solidarity Economy movement, which for about twenty years has operated through an informal network, the RES, and after a long debate has chosen to recognize itself in a single formally constituted entity.

The RIES will thus be the official association of reference and the meeting place of different entities, but moved by common principles and objectives, able both to deal with institutions and public bodies and to relate with civil society, with the aim of promoting and disseminating culture and practices of Solidarity Economy.

The event, saw about forty participants. Saturday afternoon was dedicated to the founding assembly and the composition of the various bodies by elective vote, while the following day the assembly opened the discussion to all the initiatives that are interested in potentially becoming members of the network. The debate was highly participatory and many ideas and expectations emerged, that will form the basis of strategic orientations and work plan of the newborn association in different areas: identity and vision, unitary paths, solidarity development of territories, models of solidarity economy, ethical finance, training, relations with other national and international movements and networks. 

The declared final objective is to promote an alternative to the dominant economic and financial system and a response to the situation of growing economic, environmental, social and cultural crisis.

The 22 founding members of the RIES, Italian Network for Solidarity Economy, are: DES MODENA, GASTORINO, CAES, DESR PARCO SUD, ALTRO MODO FLEGREO, ASSOBOTTEGHE, FEDERAZIONE PER L’ECONOMIA DEL BENE COMUNE ITALIA, AERES VENEZIA, FONDAZIONE FINANZA ETICA, RES LOMBARDIA, CO-ENERGIA, GAS NETWORK PATTANTI MARCHE, EQUO GARANTITO, CRESER, MERCATO & CITTADINANZA (network CS Bergamo), BILANCI DI JUSTIZIA 2.0, DES ALTRO TIRRENO, OLTRE MERCATO SALENTO, SOLIDARIUS ITALIA, ASS. DEGROWTH, FAIRWATCH, OLTRECONFIN.

Here are the 9 members of the newly elected RIES Board of Directors: Jason Nardi, Patrizio Monticelli, Domenico Maffeo, Davide Biolghini, Adanella Rossi, Virginia Meo, Diego Moratti, Pietro Negri, Maria Teresa Pecchini.

Photos by Alberta Cardinali and Riccardo Troisi 

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