RIPESS Europe – Solidarity Economy Europe was born thanks to the synergy produced by RIPESS International through the meetings for the globalisation of solidarity. The 4thInternational Forum for the “Globalisation of Solidarity” Lux’09 which took place in Schifflange (Luxembourg) in April 2009, allowed to launch a dynamic and build trust and acquaintanceship between the networks of Social  Solidarity Economy at continental and international level. For Europe, Eric Lavillunière (INEES) et Christine Gent (WFTO) took the commitment to coordinate the structuring of a European platform of the intercontinental RIPESS.

The creation of the RIPESS EUROPE Network is a reminder to us all, that we have travelled a long road of struggles and experiences that have marked the social and political history of Europe. Whenever men and women in the smallest village of the Old Continent have come together and developed a collective, emancipatory response to their needs, they have contributed to the progress of the social and solidarity economy. Cooperatives, self-help organisations, organizations of resistance movements, associations, Credit Unions and trade unions as well as poplar education circles and universities, encyclopaedia centres, workers’ libraries, choirs, theatre companies… they have all progressively become part of our social and cultural heritage; we are both the children born of this heritage and those who intend to continue bearing these ideals forward to the future.

The RIPESS EU – Solidariety Economy Europe Network aims to overcome the impacts of the current crisis and to promote organizational approaches from local to global that support freedom, reciprocity, solidarity and egalitarian exchange. We reject both the causes and the consequences of the current crisis. This crisis is the result of speculation on uncontrolled financial flows and an equally uncontrolled economic model that makes people poorer and excludes an increasing number of people and territories. It does so by destroying both the natural and cultural heritage of the whole world.