Solidarity economy in Europe : an emerging movement with a common vision
European Summer School Prague July 16-26, 2016
Jason Nardi, July 2016
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Europe is a vastly diverse continent with different cultures, languages, and economies. If there is something that unites it, it is its social movements, the roots of which go far into the origins of the workers cooperative movement, the mutualistic initiatives, the public and private community banks, the consumer groups and networks, the unions and the core of the welfare state development.
Following the breaking down of the Berlin Wall in 1989, “alter-globalisation” protest movements have risen up against non democratic institutions such as the WTO, the World Bank and the G8. These movements have built up over the years against different issues, raising awareness on the loss of democratic and social rights in favor of a financial architecture oriented by private goals, interests and speculation. In similar ways, today’s “Occupy” and “Indignados” movements are resisting and asking for “real democracy” (“democracia real ya”). Real democracy is the only way we can have a real economy, where people regain direct control of the economy from the over- arching financial global system. In a similar way, de-growth, commons and transition movements are asking to change the way we measure our wealth and wellbeing, the resources we use, and to refocus on local development.
What does all this have to do with Social Solidarity Economy? Through the SSE movement, we want to go from protest to building alternatives. We want to do it together with the resistance movements, but we want to show that there are concrete, working alternatives, multiplying everyday, spread all over the Continent and linking up together.
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