Let us imagine and build the Europe we want. Let us bring together the live social forces within our communities to create the necessary critical mass and stop the spiral of financial speculation that leads to the death of democracy. This is what we most urgently need to do. Local pacts between communities of citizens who practice solidarity economy in its different forms, together with the virtuous local authorities (or simply “normal ones), and institutions are the way forward to building another bottom-up Europe in a practical, efficient way. Local pacts are a tool for cooperating between actors at many different levels.

Democracy is the foundation for territorial management of daily challenges as well as providing a connected, dynamic and different approach to the globalised economy. Cooperation translates shared responsibility in the way of acting – both together and independent – in a global, coherent approach that aims to meet an objective of general interest. Citizens’ power of initiative and action includes saying no to exogenous planning decisions that compromise the possibility of the local people that they affect to live in health, in security and in peace. This meeting has been full of ideas. All the means we have are changing. Participating in building a common good reaches beyond the abstract concept of democracy, and is linked to local territory through concrete actions that involve all the stakeholders in genuine collaboration and equality. The most important thing is to meet the objectives with networks based on new relationships, and build on the “Altraeconomia” alternative economy system. It is first and foremost a space where people can meet and share their convictions that it is possible to achieve social development by using open networks that do not compete with each other. Article coordinated by Martine Theveniaut