REAS (Red de Redes de ECONOMIA ALTERNATIVA Y SOLIDARIA) is the Spanish network of solidarity economy consisting of regional networks at the autonomous community level (such as Catalonia and Extremadura) and sectorial networks. Juridically it is a non-profit under the Spanish legal system.
Solidarity Charter and its six Principles
The goals of REAS are summarised at the Solidarity Charter(in Spanish) and is focused on the following six points:
- Equality: to satisfy, in a balanced manner, the interests of all the stakeholders at stake (workers, entrepreneurs, members of the non-profit or shareholders of the corporation, customers, suppliers, local, national and international community....)
- Employment/Work: The goal is to create stable employments and to favour the access to unfavoured or little qualified people. Ensure work conditions and dignified salary for everyone in the personnel, stimulating their personal development and them to take responsibilities.
- Environment: Favour actions, products and production methods which do not harm the environment in the short/long run, so that the development can be sustainable over the time without mortgaging the future of the generations to come.
- Cooperation: Favour the cooperation as more human, more profitable and more efficient value, instead of standing on the basis of the competition within and out of the organisation.
- Non-profit: All the benefits generated by the good management should be to invest in the improvement of the means to go on working at the same direction and never to divide among the CEO or associates of the non-profit.
- Engagement to the surrounding: Strengthen bonds with the people in the neighbourhood in the community where we realise our productive activities so that our whole surrouding can go ahead together with us.
History and General Presentation
REAS was founded in 1995 as a network of those organisations who were aware of the difficulty to integrate those who are socially, economically and culturally marginalised and in 2000 it was reformed as a network of regional and sectional networks as a way to get over sectionalism (indifference to other sectors of solidarity economy) and regionalism. Some REAS member organisations date back to 1980s while others were born as a consequence of the economic crisis which hit Spain in 1993, and 80% of them act locally.
Their productive activities include different realms, such as recycling, financial services, transportation, bicylcle delivery service, farming, gardening, counseling service, eco-education, fair trade, barter groups, consumers' coops, bookstores on solidarity economy, catering, accomodation and cleaning service. Its portal site(in Spanish) provides news (not only from Spain but also from Latin America and other countries), archives and other useful resources on solidarity economy.
Portal de Economía Solidaria(maintained by REAS, in Spanish)