Social cooperatives are specialised in the provision of services of general interest or in the reintegration, through work, of disadvantaged and marginalised workers (disabled, long-term unemployed, former detainees, addicts, etc.). A large number of such cooperatives have been set up in Italy but also in other EU countries. Most of them are owned by their workers while offering the possibility or providing for the obligation (according to the national laws) to involve other types of members (users, voluntary workers, etc.).
World Standards of Social Cooperatives
As the international organisation representing industrial and service cooperatives, CICOPA organised a four-year consultation process with its members in order to develop a common concept concerning this type of cooperatives. The World Standards of Social Cooperatives are the outcome of this process. They were approved in their substance at the CICOPA General Assembly held in Geneva on 18 November 2009 and in their final form at the CICOPA General Assembly held in Cancun, Mexico, on 16 November 2011.
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