Address: European Cooperative House
Avenue Milcamps 105, 1030 Brussels, Belgium
Telephone: +32 2 543 1033
Email: cecop@cecop.coop

SUMA Cooperative, United Kingdom

What is CECOP?

CECOP – CICOPA Europe is the European confederation of industrial and service cooperatives. Founded in 1979 in Manchester, it affiliates 26 national confederations or federations of cooperatives representing 50,000 enterprises employing 1.3 million workers in 15 European countries.

CECOP – CICOPA Europe is the voice of:

  • 35,000 WORKER COOPERATIVES: characterised by the fact that the majority of their staff are members-owners.
  • 12,000 SOCIAL COOPERATIVES : employing 270,000 workers, are specialised in the provision of services of general interest (social or envirenemental services, education, culture) or in the reintegration, through work, of disadvantaged and marginalised workers (persons with disabilities, long-term unemployed, ex-prisoners, addicts etc).
  • 2,000 WORKER OWNED ENTERPRISES (Sociedades laborales): these are not cooperatives, but are very similar by the fact that worker-members jointly own and democratically control the enterprise. They only exist in Spain.
  • 1,000 COOPERATIVES OF SELF EMPLOYED PRODUCERS: cooperatives established among self-employed producers of goods or services (truck drivers, taxi drivers, masons, journalists, graphic designers, consultants, doctors, lawyers etc) in order to cooperativize common inputs or services (marketing, accountancy, administration services, offices, machinery etc).

Over 95% of the enterprises of the CECOP- CICOPA Europe network are SMEs. We also find several strong horizontal cooperative groups which, in turn, are constituted mainly of SMEs: in Italy, we can mention the CGM Group among social cooperatives; another example is the well-known Mondragon group in the Basque country the 7th Spanish entrepreneurial group employing over 74,000 workers.

Hundreds of cooperative enterprises from the CECOP- CICOPA Europe network are the result of businesses that have been transferred to, or bought out by their employees and re-established under the worker cooperative form since the beginning of the crisis. In France, for instance, there have been 224 transfers and buyouts between 2008-2014, with a very high survival rate within the first 5 years, superior to the entire number of French enterprises.

CECOP- CICOPA Europe is the sectoral organisation of Cooperatives Europe, the European organisation grouping cooperatives from all sectors, for industry and services and the regional organisation of CICOPA for Europe, which is the sectoral organisation for industry and services of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).