From the opening speech at Solikon 2015, by Josette Combes (MES – Mouvement pour l’Economie Solidaire, France)

josette combes

“Whether we are engaged in one or several of the themes that this Congress will explore, it seems to me that we share a same belief: there are alternatives to the current mismanagement of resources, to the delirious financialisation of the economy, to the excess that characterizes the so-called developed societies when any other part of the planet suffers from deprivation. Deprivation of food, water, shelter, health care, education and, of course, freedom. Freedom of expression, of movement, freedom to live simply, in a peaceful country where common law and human rights prevail. Not to mention that even inside our pockets of opulence, there are whole sectors of social and economic life that collapse spreading misery and despair and darkening the future for the majority of citizens.

It is to organize resistance to all the mutations of an absurd economic and social model that solidarity economy and alternatives are increasing everywhere in the world. As a basic definition, we can say that it includes all those citizen initiatives that strive for the creation of economic and cultural spaces, communities based on democracy, social justice and environmental vigilance.

Solidarity economy is a political movement in the noble sense, meaning that it cares about the common good and the good management of collective life. It advocates equality of people who have a say on everything affecting them and first and foremost the way in which social life and relations between humans take place”.

The complete text is available in French – here.