In the run up to the upcoming European elections, resources on remind us of the Manifestos our partners have rallied behind in these recent months, and which can be found under the thematic keyword : Social economy in the European Union (UE),, section Charter/Manifesto. 

In our assessment of current envisioning and concrete proposals by different economic actors which state to work in service of social and ecological objectives, Yvon Poiries’, RIPESS Intercontinental board member, recent article on Decoding the differences between social and solidarity economy (SSE), social entrepreneurship, and related initiatives” provides us with a historical overview of social entrepreneurship, to give us better understanding of its differences with SSE, and to with this also point to possibilities for constructive dialogue between the two approaches. This critical analysis is important to keep close, given the current increased focus and visibility of SSE following the adoption of the UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/77/281 “Promoting the social and solidarity economy for sustainable development” in April 2023.

As the changing of our food system is increasingly acknowledged as having a great potential for our societies to work towards social and ecological objectives, so also on different new resources give us further insight on this as part of solidarity economy building. So there is the Nyeleni Europe and Central Asia food sovereignty movement’s statement at the opening session of the 34th session of the Food and Agricultural Organisation at the UN (FAO) Regional Conference for Europe reminding also the FAO of the importance of solidarity economy partnerships in the tackling of food insecurity issues. 

Another resource on Drawing Boundaries Negotiating a collective ‘we’ in community-supported agriculture networks takes us yet deeper into food system organising as practiced by Community Supported Agriculture initiatives and takes on the for everyone committed to those initiatives so interesting discussion as to how common understandings of a CSA are forged, and on how the collective “we” is established and kept by boundaries. The study looks at how this “boundary work” of CSA’s at the level of the national network organisations in Germany and Italy – where the who should join the network is constantly negotiated – happens. 

How solidarity is practiced from a critical consumption point of view is the subject of the book “Solidarity Communication” (in Italian) which “addresses the profound change in preferences and purchasing criteria that has taken place over the last decades, of movements that use consumption to change the functioning of the market or corporate behaviour. The book focuses on the purchase of products made by adopting sustainability and social responsibility criteria or from organic farming made through the collective organisation of the Italian Gas, the solidarity purchasing groups, which will be 30 years old in 2024. In all this time, it has not built a solid national organisation, has not benefited from public interventions or subsidies, and has developed practically in the dark from public attention and the media, as well as from politics and the business world. This is precisely why its story is interesting and at times miraculous. Starting with an analysis of communication, the book attempts to answer a simple question: how did they do it?” The book has a postscript and is co-edited by RIPESS general delegate Jason Nardi.