Between June 6th to 9th 2024, a combined electorate of almost 400 million European citizens has been called to vote for the EU Parliament elections and to nominate 720 MEPs (15 more than in the previous one). They come from the 27 countries that are part of the wider European Union. Many of the future policies depend on the outcomes of this election … and as we have already pointed out in the previous newsletter, several civil society networks and coalitions have put forth their demands and positions.

In May we worked with REAS RdR, our Spanish Solidarity Economy network member, who proposed a document “For a Solidarity, Feminist and Ecological Economy” also collecting and re-elaborating proposals from members and allied organisations. You can read the result in this article. We invite all SSE networks to evaluate if this kind of tool can also be useful for them at the local and national levels: this is one aspect we could continue to develop together, having a common basis for our demands.

Social Economy Europe, with its campaign People before Profit is calling for:

  • The renewal of the Social Economy Intergroup of the European Parliament
  • The appointment of a Commissioner for Social Economy
  • The implementation of the Social Economy Action Plan

We support the campaign, but would invite the candidates to be even more ambitious: as Solidarity Economy movement we would like to see an evolution in the next parliament with a Commissioner for Social Solidarity Economy and an EU Parliament Inter-group that works not only on the promotion of the sector of Social Economy and of social enterprises, but on the possibility of having an economy that reaches beyond the profit and growth paradigm and adopts a strong green and social deal, driven by interconnected local communities and grassroot associations as the actor of change. Likewise, in the Manifesto Time for a Collective Action and the Communities for Future platform with ECOLISE we are promoting community-led initiatives to be active protagonists and to have a shared voice for our advocacy.

Of course, all of this will be very challenging, as we are two years into Russia’s war in Ukraine (leading to a push to the militarisation of Europe), after the COVID-19 pandemic and the finalisation of Brexit, and with the possibility of Donald Trump winning the US presidential election later this year. With a dangerously unstable geopolitical environment (including the genocidal attack by the Israeli army continuing in the Palestinian territories), the European Parliament elections will reshape the political landscape, where traditional parties are being challenged and an increasing tilt towards right-wing governance is now evident.

But the EU elections are not the only thing happening now. You may read of many different initiatives taking place in the network at large and with allied movements and organisations, such as the Nyeleni food sovereignty forum, the World localisation Day, the convergences of European social movements (ECSA in Marseille).

Meanwhile, our RIPESS network “Solidarity Economy Europe” is meeting in Geneva for its General Assembly and to celebrate the 20th anniversary of its two Swiss members, APRES-Genève and Après-Vaud. Local visits to special initiatives and two public round tables will take place… you can read about it here.