Javier’s election as CICOPA President in 2005, on behalf of the Spanish member COCETA (Spanish Confederation of Worker Cooperatives), was a decisive event for our organisation. Before then, CICOPA was still effectively an embryonic organisation. He was the first President of a CICOPA which just become a stable organisation, therefore he has been a real pioneer, making a political mark on CICOPA. He equally assured coherence in the statutes between CICOPA and the new bodies created (notably CICOPA Americas, CICOPA North Americas and CICOPA Mercosur), and with the existing regional organisation (overseeing statutory modifications in CECOP-CICOPA Europe in 2006). Between 2007 and 2009, he represented the global sectoral cooperative organisations to the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Board and his contribution was fundamental, particularly during the final negotiation concerning the status of sectoral organisations within the ICA in June 2008.
A graduate of Law, he developed his entire professional career in cooperative enterprises. He participated in the drafting committee for the Bill of law 4/1993 on Basque Cooperatives. Javier was President of Fagor Electrodomésticos (electrical applicances), Vice-President of the Fagor group within the Mondragon group, and President Konfekoop, (Confederation of Basque Cooperatives). He had a long career and considerable experience in institutional representation. To name just a few among his many attributeshe was Advisor to the Federation of Basque Worker Cooperatives (currently ERKIDE), of CEPES (the Spanish Enterprise Confederation of Social Economy), CCACE (on the basis of which Cooperatives Europe was eventually established), and CEP-CMAF (currently Social Economy Europe).
We CICOPA team will remember the overflowing energy that Javier deployed as well as his inner sense of cooperation, his legendary good mood and his love of life. A cooperator, a singer and a very humane president. Working with him has been extremely inspirational.
His funeral will take place on 30th July in San Sebastian, (Basque Country, Spain) at 19h30 in the San Vicente church.