The Network of Municipalities for the Social and Solidarity Economy is formalised

A total of 31 municipal councils from Catalonia have formed the first municipal alliance to strengthen new forms of democratic, solidarity and sustainable production and consumption. The idea is to make the transition towards an economic model which is more resistant to the effects of major economic crises. Barcelona is one of the municipalities behind the alliance and was the scene for the act to formally set the association up.

The founding aim of the association is to promote, strengthen and consolidate the social and solidarity economy, setting out common goals and strategies and boosting cooperation between different municipalities when it comes to public policies.

The new association aims to intensify shared territorial strategy, making the cooperative, social and solidarity economy one of the main mechanisms to overcome current social inequalities, creating quality jobs and driving a new socio-economic model which is fairer, more democratic and sustainable.

The first municipal alliance in Catalonia to promote and share experiences in the social and solidarity economy (SSE) will work on new forms of production and consumption based around efficiency and gaining broad benefits for society. Likewise, the new entity wants to explore a new model of territorial development which mobilises local resources better and prioritises the social, environmental and human dimensions of the economy.

During the press conference to present the new association, the Commissioner for the Cooperative, Social and Solidarity Economy at Barcelona City Council, Jordi Via, explained that one of the goals to is to construct a narrative about what the social and solidarity economy is so that it is not seen as something marginal, but rather an alternative and people-centred model.

Thirty one founding municipalities

The municipal councils taking part in Wednesday’s founding act were: Arbúcies, Argentona, Artés, Badalona, Barcelona, Cabrils, Cardedeu, Castellar del Vallès, Celrà, Cerdanyola del Vallès, Collbató, Cornellà de Llobregat, El Prat de Llobregat, Girona, Manlleu, Mataró, Mieres, Montornès del Vallès, Navàs, Palafrugell, Ripollet, Sabadell, Salt, Sant Adrià de Besòs, Sant Boi de Llobregat, Santa Coloma de Gramenet, Santa Margarida i els Monjos, Santa Perpètua de Mogoda, Terrassa, Vilafranca del Penedès and Vilassar de Dalt. In the months to come, other Catalan municipalities are expected to join the initiative and so the list of members should grow.

The work plan established by the new network for the period 2017-2019 has three strategic areas of action: to help strengthen the social and solidarity economy in each municipality, to influence and interact with other social bodies and to give visibility to the network and the initiatives carried out by members. The birth of the new municipal network is the result of two years of work. The idea came about at the first International Meeting on Municipalism and Solidarity Economics in October 2015.