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.

Brief history

The Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy is a network made up of one organisation per continent. It brings together continental associations of actors and networks aiming to build a shared vision of SSE based on their socio-economic experiences in the field: a political model that guarantees fundamental human rights, democracy  and a space for social, economic and ecological transformation.

RIPESS Europe – Solidarity Economy Europe, was born from the synergy produced by the meetings of the Globalisation of Solidarity organised by the intercontinental network RIPESS Intercontinental, the first of which took place in Lima in 1997. The 4th International Forum of “Globalisation of Solidarity”, Lux’09, which took place in Schifflange in April 2009, led to the launching of a dynamic by establishing trust and shared-knowledge between networks of the social and solidarity economy (SSE) at continental and intercontinental levels. During this meeting, Eric Lavillunière (INEES) and Christine Gent (WFTO) initiated the structuring of a European RIPESS platform.

In Barcelona, in 2011, RIPESS Europe was born. It included representatives of networks from Belgium, Catalonia, France, Spain, Hungary, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Romania and Germany.


Building the network: RIPESS – Solidarity Economy Europe

RIPESS uses the term social solidarity economy (SSE) to cover both the solidarity economy and the historical view of the social economy. Defining the framework of the social solidarity economy is a long and ongoing process.

Political, cultural and historical realities on each continent and in different countries call for a flexible approach to terminology, to allow local contexts to be taken into account.

For the members of RIPESS EU, solidarity economy constitutes a foundation that covers the following dimensions : citizens’ participatory economy, democracy in the workplace, social justice, food sovereignty, respect of human rights – especially for minorities -, gender equality and sexual orientation, and finally ecological and environmental justice. Solidarity economy is considered to be the economy of the future.

The RIPESS Europe network links social economy organisations and solidarity economy networks that share these values and includes territorial organisations and sectoral networks.


RIPESS Europe -Solidarity Economy Europe, aims to link practitioners, theoreticians, and policy makers of the solidarity economy to promote and develop SSE through the exchange of practices and commitment to shared actions.

The network aims to promote alternative modes of production, consumption, savings, and exchange to build a more equitable economy and solidarity-based development.

RIPESS organizes an annual meeting dedicated to the review of its strategy, that is renewed every three years and evolves according to the European and international context.

The objectives can be summarized in three categories:

1.Promote territorial ecosystems and support the emergence of new networks by organizing their economic inter-cooperation.

1.1 Support the mapping of initiatives to enable members to get to know each other better and exchange goods, services, and skills, and to enhance their activities and encourage their dissemination.

1.2 Continuously improve communication tools by using and providing collaborative digital tools

1.3 Strengthen research jointly with the Scientific Committee (see governance)

2.Continue working to develop and gain recognition for solidarity economy by jointly working with public policy actors

2.1 Encourage the involvement of members in their contexts to jointly build public policies and relevant evaluation tools based on the collective development and participation of various actors.

2.2 Systematically collect and share what each country is putting in place in conjunction with various actors to promote the development of the SSE.

2.3 Organise and monitor the movements of political bodies and institutions, and intervene whenever necessary to advocate for the interests of SSE actors by publishing articles and / or questioning elected representatives.

2.4 Work with other European networks and research centres that share our values for the collective advocacy of SSE.

2.5 Develop territorial cooperation aimed at furthering solidarity economy ecosystems.

2.6 Strengthen links with the alternative press and other media

3.Create and strengthen alliances

3.1 Associate the RIPESS EU General Assembly with a national event led by one of its members.

3.2 Build a collective agenda of events supported by different organisations working for economic transformation.

3.3 Promote democratic citizens’ participation and self-organisation as key drivers of systemic change.

3.4 Develop training modules aimed at a wide and diverse audience.

3.5 Increase opportunities for youth experience, co-operation, and active participation as a basis for networking and creating a Youth SSE platform

3.6 Launch webinars to support all the above objectives.