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European Commission launches the new working group “Fostering cooperatives’ potential to generate smart growth”

11 July 2013 [ English ] français ]

A new working group has been launched by the European Commission together with cooperative representatives from all around Europe. CECOP – CICOPA Europe was among the European-level organisations invited to participate on 10 July to this initial meeting of the working group “Fostering cooperatives’ potential to generate smart growth”, upon the initiative of the DG Enterprise and Industry of the European Commission. The meeting gave the opportunity to different European and national level cooperative organisations, both sectoral and intersectoral, to advise the European Commission on a broad spectrum of issues with the aim to put cooperatives forward in the European political agenda.

Rossano Rimelli, president of CECOP – CICOPA Europe, put a special emphasis on the recognition of cooperatives as a business model rather than a legal form. He also shared the most relevant experiences of cooperatives in industry and services stressing on the role played by horizontal regrouping at the regional level, and also as a driving force for internationalisation and instruments designed to develop worker and social cooperatives and support worker buy-outs.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Antonio Tajani, Vice-President of the European Commission and responsible person for Industry and Entrepreneurship, engaged himself to ensure a continuity to this initiative, “this collaboration is crucial to elaborate a concrete strategy to promote cooperatives even beyond the end of my mandate at the European Commission”.

Dirk J. Lehnhoff, President of Cooperatives Europe warmly welcomed AntoinoTajani’s interest in collaborating with cooperative organisations: “Cooperatives deeply appreciated this high level meeting. We are very happy to see that Vice-President Tajani has opened a dialogue for the long term. Our organisations will be ready to give their contribution to the work of the European Union”.

You can read the full press release sent by Cooperatives Europe here