Article by Georgia Bekridaki, Dock, Greece

We are publishing this Summer issue of our Newsletter while at the same time working on the preparation of the 12th General Assembly of Ripess Europe!

We are very excited to inform you that from the 19th to 21st September 2023 at la Bergerie de Villarceaux (Paris, France) the annual GA will be held, thanks to the support of the FPH foundation. This gathering is the liveliest space for all Ripess members to meet, exchange, get inspired and celebrate one more anniversary of the network in a convivial atmosphere.

Further on, since summertime gives everybody more time for reading, we have included three in depth articles, that offer some aspects of the socio-economic and political situation In Europe within social solidarity economy is forced to form its vision and create the alternative narrative.

Thus, we strongly believe that is important to pay attention to the rise of the far-right parties all over Europe. The right-wing shift in the traditional parties, with a complacency of ideas and statements previously considered unacceptable in a democracy is a new situation that we need to focus since it develops on the other side of multiculturalism, solidarity, tolerance, and inclusion of the most vulnerable social groups.

On the other side of the Atlantic Ocean, the drinking water crisis already reached Montevideo. The day zero that no one noticed, resulted that the tap water was not drinkable for weeks and the Uruguay government had no organized plan to face the crisis, which is certainly not confined to one country – we will have to prepare worldwide.

Despite these pessimistic developments, and the ascertainments that capitalism destroys natural resources and excludes social groups, there is a whole proliferation of regenerating and transformative initiatives such as fair production and fair trade, community supported agriculture (CSA), structures for self-repair, solidarity finance and many more who prove in a small scale that another economy is possible. As the interview with Jean Louis Laville mentions, there “is a realistic path of collective emancipation, through an unprecedented articulation between actions on the ground, deliberative processes and representative democracy”: this path could be part of the answer to the authoritarian political atmosphere that start to cover the political system in Europe. One recent victory (though not conclusive) is the Nature Restoration Law, which finally passed in the European Parliament. But it is certainly not enough.

At last, a very important gathering organized last month, the International Social Housing Festival held in Barcelona (June 7th to 9th, 2023) where cooperatives and stakeholders discussed and present experiences around the access to housing and since we are a few days before vacations we are presenting experiences for ethical, sustainable and ecological tourism!

We would like to wish to all of you “a nice summer”, taking care of yourself, of the others, of nature, the local ecosystems and natural resources every single day. And resist.