The economic transition in Croatia in the 1990’s from state to market economy, following the collapse of Yugoslavia, has led enterprises trough complex privatization processes. For many of them this process hasn’t been successful, leaving them in financial and ownership insecurity for more than a decade. An important amount of them haven’t survived, entailing massive job losses. Few of them remain alive and are still struggling with ownership issues. Their particularity is that they used to be organized according to Yugoslav self-management model, and in some cases workers still hold the majority of shares. Read more.
The winners of the 2015 Emloyment for All awards organized by the European Association of Service providers for Persons with Disabilities (EASPD) are the social cooperative La Fageda from Spain for their work in facilitating quality job opportunities for individuals with mental illness and disabilities and Elite Supported Employment Agency, Ltd from the United Kingdom as a best practice on providing support services in employment for persons with intellectual disabilities. Read more.
On the International Workers’ Day, CECOP and CICOPA, the International organization of worker and social cooperatives active in industry, services and crafts, wish to stress how the democratic participation and control of worker-members reinforce the economic sustainability of the enterprise and its resilience in times of crisis. With the recent transformation of the world economy, this is no longer a marginal model, indeed, according to the results of the study, “Cooperatives and Employment: a global report”, carried out by CICOPA, at least 11 million people worldwide are worker-members, namely at the same time employees and owners of their cooperative. Read more.
The European Young Cooperators Network has been officially launched in the framework of Cooperatives Europe General Assembly in Paris on 23 April. The day before, 70 people from 10 different countries across Europe, representing thousands of European youths, gathered to decide on the aims and actions of this network. Worker and social cooperators have actively participated at the first meeting of the network. Young leaders from Italy, different French regions, Spain and the UK move to Paris to build it. Read more.
Cooperative values and participative management are assets that appeal to new generations willing to give a meaning to their working lives. According to a study by CG Scop, the French Confederation of cooperatives in production and services, cooperatives in these sectors are managed by 420 young leaders under 35 years, 15.5% against 11.3% for traditional businesses. Read more.
The North American daily newspaper The New York Times has published a thorough article on business transfer to employees. It deeply analyses the story of the Editoriale Zanardi, an artisanal printing company located in Northern Italy and transformed into a worker cooperative in 2014. The news reflects how cooperatives can save jobs and know-how, showing the resilience of those enterprises in Europe. Read more.
The fourth successive Forum on Social Entrepreneurship took place from 26 to 29 March 2015 covering an international fair involving more than 100 social enterprises from Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey, Belgium, Italy and Spain, a Fashion Show of clothes produced by social enterprises, an European Conference on Social Entrepreneurship for Growth and Jobs, and different workshops on the social economy. Read more.
FestCoop, the International Cooperative Film Festival started out as a way of bringing together people’s experiences working for cooperatives in the social and solidarity economy online, through audiovisual media. Colombia will be the first country to host the event in 2016. In June a dedicated channel will be launched online, along with further information about participating. Read more.
On 28 February 2015 in Rome, at the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the re-establishment of CECOP Italian member organization Confcooperative in 1945 after the fall of Fascism, 7000 Confcooperative members had an audience with Pope Francis. Read more.
Today Cooproute, the European Route of Cooperative Culture, has been presented in Brussels, the capital of the continent where the cooperative movement was born in 1844, near Manchester. As a key sector of the European economy which easily connects European citizens, tourism represents a very effective sector to enhance the European heritage. “Meeting tourists, cooperatives can easily transmit their culture and values, which play a key role in building the European society. Supporting Cooproute is an opportunity we offer to enrich our citizens through the diversity which the cooperative culture represents”, Luca Dal Pozzo, president of CECOP, said. In the same sense, Silvia Draghi from the Tourism Policy Unit at the European Commission underlines that cooperative values have become European values”. Read more.
The largest industrial cooperative group in the world, Mondragon Corporation, is starting a large-scale debate involving its 120 cooperative enterprises. Over the next two years there’ll be an internal debate as to how cooperatives can remain autonomous and self-managed at the same time as introducing tighter control of solidarity funding. Read more.