Article by Jason Nardi

The European General Assembly of the Intercontinental Network for the Promotion of the Social Solidarity Economy (RIPESS) was held this year in Wroclaw, Poland, hosted for the first time by Polish members. At the dawn of its second decade, after two years of Covid crisis, war in Ukraine and increasingly obvious climate change, and in a changing political and economic context, the triple objective of promoting social and solidarity economy ecosystems across the continent and beyond, making SSE more visible and recognized – both institutionally and in the public eye – and contributing to the strengthening of a plural social movement of transformative economies has become even more ambitious.

In addition, after several years of focus on Central and Eastern Europe, the meeting finally took place in a country in the region, Poland, which facilitated exchanges with members of the surrounding countries and with other networks and organizations, and to learn more about how SSE is developing and what forms of cooperation can be further encouraged. Three new members have joined us: the German network CSX (Community Supported Economy), the Hungarian foundation Profilantrop and Dunia Earth (an organization that promotes the use of free digital technologies).

Jason Nardi participated for the RIES: “It was a very important assembly: it is a crucial moment to reassess our foundations (and start a process for a renewed European Charter or a Solidarity Economy Manifesto), to strengthen our governance and our network (with new people joining the coordination, also from Eastern Europe), to reorient our strategy and objectives for the coming years, in the light of new European policies, relations with allies and partners, as we consolidate the network now present in 22 countries.”

Among the topics discussed are European public policies (including the European Commission’s new Action Plan for the Social Economy), territorial cooperation, the involvement of young people, attention to relations in SSE organisations and networking, the solidarity economy in times of multiple crises, the use of free digital tools and cooperative platforms…

The assembly ended with an exchange between some of the allied European networks: ECOLISE, GEN Europe, ENSIE, WFTO and DUNIA.

Below, some pictures of the event…