About us

RIPESS Europe – Solidarity Economy Europe

RIPESS Europe – Solidarity Economy Europe is the European network of the Social Solidarity Economy organisations (part of the RIPESS Intercontinental network), bringing together over 40 national, sectoral and inter-sectoral networks in several European countries. It aims to share practices, inter-cooperate and engage in joint actions that can promote and enhance the visibility of the Solidarity Economy movement and contribute to legal frameworks and public policies.

RIPESS Europe is a non profit organisation legally registered in Luxembourg and in the European Transparency Register.

RIPESS Europe  was born thanks to the synergy produced by RIPESS Interncontinental through the meetings for the Globalisation of Solidarity. The 4th International Forum for the “Globalisation of Solidarity” Lux’09 which took place in Schifflange (Luxembourg) in April 2009, allowed to launch a dynamic and build trust and acquaintanceship between the networks of Social  Solidarity Economy at continental and international level. For Europe, Eric Lavillunière (INEES) and Christine Gent (WFTO) took the commitment to coordinate the structuring of a European continental network.

The official network was founded in Barcelona in September 2011 with a Congress that had 21 founding member organisations and networks.  The Articles of Association statute was registered in December 2011.

The creation of the RIPESS Europe network is a reminder to us all, that we have travelled a long road of struggles and experiences that have marked the social and political history of Europe. Whenever men and women in the smallest village of the Old Continent have come together and developed a collective, emancipatory response to their needs, they have contributed to the progress of the social solidarity economy. Cooperatives, self-help organisations, organizations of resistance movements, associations, credit unions and trade unions as well as poplar education circles and universities, workers’ libraries, independent theatre companies, alternative media… they have all progressively become part of our social and cultural heritage; we are both the children born of this heritage and those who intend to continue bearing these ideals forward to the future.

The RIPESS EU – Solidarity Economy Europe Network aims to overcome the impacts of the current crisis and to promote organizational approaches from local to global that support freedom, reciprocity, solidarity and egalitarian economic exchanges. We reject both the causes and the consequences of the current crisis. This crisis is the result of speculation on uncontrolled financial flows and an equally uncontrolled economic model that makes people poorer and excludes an increasing number of people and territories. It does so by destroying both the natural and cultural heritage of the whole world.

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