1,400 people assisted to Solikon 2015, a large German encounter on the social and solidarity economy held on 10-13 September in Berlin where CICOPA was invited to share the word on business transfers to employees. A number of international guests, such as Brazilian secretary of State for the Solidarity Economy, Paul Singer, together with CICOPA and CECOP member CFI (Cooperazione, Finanza, Impresa) participated at the congress.
17 September 2015
It was structured around several key fora and a few dozen workshops on such topics as food sovereignty, water, land, housing, energy, pupils’ cooperatives, the media, de-growth, universities, solidarity economy in Southern Europe, the transatlantic free trade treaty project and others. The Secretary General of CICOPA, Bruno Roelants made a presentation at a forum on worker buyouts called “Labour perspectives on developing solidarity economy enterprises: company succession or bankruptcy – conversion into intelligent, sustainable and self-managed production”, together with Alessandro Viola from CICOPA and CECOP member Italian CFI (Cooperazione, Finanza, Impresa), Flavio Chedid from the University of Rio de Janeiro and Walter Vogt from IG Metall Steering Committee (a German trade Union).
Common points were highlighted about worker buyouts in Brazil and in Italy: such as the need for innovative organizational tools to help workers operate the conversion, the need for a network for training, follow-up and financing, as well as the high stakes of worker buyouts for the local communities, not just the workers of the converted companies. As a conclusion of the round table, Brazilian and Italian representatives agreed that success in worker buyouts (both in terms of numbers and economic sustainability) is also linked to the collaboration that had developed over the years between the cooperative movement and the trade unions.
Solikon 2015 was organized jointly by the Netzwerk Solidarische Ökonomie (Network of Solidarity Economy) and RIPESS Europe (Solidarity Economy Europe).