Social cohesion
Forum 2004: finance, consumption and social cohesion
Strasbourg - 4 and 5 November 2004
Social cohesion website- Council of Europe
Forum website
Strategy for social cohesion
Findings of the Questionnaire on Ethical Finance, Fair Trade and Responsible Consumption
Examples of Economic solidarity supporting regulations
Photo Gallery
A civic commitment to the economy: how can solidarity-based finance systems and responsible consumption contribute to social cohesion? By Sabine Urban, Emeritus Professor of Management Sciences, Robert Schuman University, Strasbourg
Government assistance to promote socially responsible consumption and finance systems within the Member States of the Council of Europe by James Harrison, Legal specialist in Human Rights at the European University Institute of Florence
Ethical, solidarity-based citizen involvement in the economy: a prerequisite for social cohesion (Trends in social cohesion No. 12) (2004)

The question of how individuals can take social cohesion and responsibility into account in their financial dealings was the main focus of the Council of Europe's Forum 2004 in Strasbourg on 4 and 5 November 2004.

Under the title ''Socially responsible consumption and finance systems: public authorities' and citizens' commitment for social cohesion'', the Forum brought together politicians and economic and social experts, including: French MEP Alain Lipietz, Jean-Paul Vigier, President of FEBEA*, Marie Arena, Minister President of the French Community of Belgium, Paola Brichetti, President of CTM Altro-Mercato (Italy) and Simon Pare, representing Max Havelaar (France) and the Fair Trade Labelling Organisation.  

The participants studied a range of community-based initiatives (related to ethical and socially responsible finance, fair trade, and responsible and critical consumption), the attitude of public authorities to these initiatives and the support given to them, and how to promote their development at the pan-European level.  

Two projects linked to ethical and socially responsible community-based economic initiatives were launched during the Forum:  

•  a European platform for political dialogue and the promotion of such initiatives;
•  an observatory of legal frameworks and of dialogue between public authorities and citizens.

Side events included:  

•  a study day on ethical finance, which was open to the public, on 3 November 2004 at the Pôle européen de gestion et d'économie (avenue de la Forêt Noire, Strasbourg);
•  the ''Entretiens de Strasbourg'', a regular discussion forum organised by the Council of Europe and the City of Strasbourg, involving FEBEA* President Jean-Paul Vigier, at 6.30 pm on 4 November at the Hôtel de Ville in Strasbourg (place Broglie).

* FEBEA = the European Federation of Ethical and Alternative Banks
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