Another Europe is possible

The social and solidarity economy in Europe. 26 February

Event date: 26 Feb 15

The Social and Solidarity Economy (SSE) is an alternative proposal to the dominant economic-productive model that understands the economy not as a goal but as a means leading to personal and community development. It proposes some economic activity centered on people themselves, their community and the environment, promoting relations of production, distribution, consumption and financing based on the principles of justice, cooperation, reciprocity and mutual aid. Social Economy enterprises and organisations are particularly active in the following domains: social security, social and health services, insurance services, banking services, local services, education, training and research, social tourism, energy, consumer services, industrial and agricultural production, handicraft, building, residential environment and cooperative housing, associated work, as well as in the domains of culture, sport and leisure activities. Currently, SSE is a reality as a pillar of the European economy, since it integrates 10% of the two million European companies (over 200,000 cooperatives) and employs 11 million people. However, so far these experiences are being developed with little attention from European public institutions, impeding progress toward legal, political and financial frameworks that permit and encourage the advancement of the sector. Companies and organisations that are part of the SE concept are not recognised as a different institutional sector in the national accounting systems so that cooperatives, mutual societies, associations and foundations are blurred in national accounting, becoming barely visible. Delegations of the European United Left (GUE/NGL) and the Greens (GREENS/EFA) are intending to promote a meeting between the various experiences that are being developed by European institutions and cooperative networks in Europe for sharing experiences and best practices and reflect on the challenges this alternative booming sector faces. This effort is divided into two parts. In this first event held on February 26 we will welcome a panel of experts from Spain, France, Italy, Germany, Greece, Portugal and Belgium, and it aims to highlight the state of the art of the Social and Solidarity Economy in each one of these countries and in Europe. A second event, to be held in the first half of the year, will consist of an exhibition directly presented by the organisations and cooperatives that are making the Social and Solidarity Economy one of the most promising and more resilient to shock sectors.

The social and solidarity economy in Europe. 26 February


26 Feb 15




Current status, challenges and perspectives


European Parliament - Brussels,  PHS  P1C051

9 am - 6:30 pm

9h30 Opening - Presentation of the event: round of interventions by MEPs co-organizers: Pablo Echenique (Podemos), Eleonora Forenza (L’altra Europa con Tsipras), Kostadinka Kuneva (Syriza), Barbara Spinelli (L’altra Europa con Tsipras), Marie-Christine Vergiat (Front de Gauche), Helmut Scholz (Die Linke), Jordi Sebastià (Compromís/Primavera de los Pueblos), Marisa Matias (Bloco d’Esquerda), Ernest Urtasun (Iniciativa per Catalunya/Els Verds)

10h. Theoretical and conceptual framework of the Social and Solidarity Economy (50 min), presented by Florent Marcellesi (Equo/Primavera de los Pueblos)

- Millán Díaz Foncea, CIRIEC 

- Silvia Ferreira, Universidade de Coimbra 

11h. Current status of the experiences of SSE in Europe (I)

Conclusions of the International Congress of Social and Solidarity Economy held in Zaragoza (November 2014) 

-  Carolina Yacamán, Red de Economía Alternativa y Solidaria (REAS)

Experiences in Spain: 

-  Juan Carlos Pérez de Mendiguren, Universidad del País Vasco

-  Peru Sasia, FIARE España

Experiences in Greece:

-.Katerini Antonia, Solidarity for All 

- Barkas Ioannis-civil, Solidarity for All

- Bekridaki Georgia, Solidarity for All

12h30  Lunch

15h.  Current status of the experiences of SSE in Europe (II)

Experiences in Germany: 

-  Dr. Rainer Land, Thuenen-Institut Bollewick e.V.

-  Dr. Joachim Kadler, Assistant of MP Heidrun Bluhm (Die Linke) 

Experiences in Italy: 

 - Riccardo Petrella, Université catholique de Louvain, Banning Poverty Initiative 

 - Francesco Piobbichi, Rete Auto-organizzazione Popolare (R.A.P.), Progetto Comune Solidale    

Experiences in Belgium 

- Marie Caroline Collard, SAW-B (Solidarités des alternatives wallones et bruxelloises)

Experiences in France: 

- Karima Delli, MEP Europe Écologie

- Patricia Andriot, Réseau des collectivités locales pour l'économie solidaire

SSE networks in Europe, presented by Marie-Christine Vergiat (FDG)

- Ariane Rodert, European Economic and Social Committee

- Agnès Mathis, Cooperatives Europe 

- Alain Coheur, Social Economy Europe  

- Jason Nardi, RIPESS Europe/ Solidarius, Fondation culturelle Banca Etica

17h30 Questions, Debate and Conclusions, presented by Juan Carlos Pérez de Mendiguren, Universidad del País Vasco


For more info contact:



MEP Pablo Echenique-Robba


EP BRUS tel. 37202

GSM: 0485439179


GUE/NGL press contact:  Gianfranco Battistini + 32 475 646628

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