COOPERATE: Why cooperatives are more job-resilient even in times of crisis
The project brought forward the experience of the CECOP network in practicing restructuring in an economically and socially sustainable way in order to address the consequences of the global financial-economic crisis that started in 2008.
The factors of success of this Europe-wide experience were analysed and presented in the study “The Resilience of the Cooperative Model’ and in the documentary “Together”: these two products, which are complementary, along with the other events organized in the framework of the project, showed that it is possible to validate issues relative to inclusive, socially fairer and environmentally sustainable growth, whilst at the same time remaining economically successful even in time of crisis and explained which factors might be at the root of such resilience: the democratic control played by the worker-members and the economic stability facilitated by the accumulation of capital and support structures provided by the cooperative movement.
The project took place between October 2011 and October 2012. All CECOP members were been consulted the qualitative and quantitative information were analyzed allowed to summarize some tendencies emerging in these different parts of Europe and to hypnotize some cooperative-specific characteristics enabling cooperatives to be more resilient to economic crises.
The launch of the Cooperate project was co-financed by the European Commission, in the framework of the PROGRESS Call for proposals VP/2011/008 “Restructuring, well-being at work and financial participation”.
Read the study “The Resilience of the Cooperative Model” here.
Watch the documentary “Together” here.
ANTICIPATE: Entrepreneurial restructuring and anticipation of change in worker and social cooperatives and other employee-owned enterprises
The project focused on entrepreneurial restructuring and anticipation in worker and social cooperatives and other employee-owned enterprises. It aimed to encourage the development and dissemination of expertise in the field of anticipation, preparation and implementation of economically and socially sustainable restructuring, based on the concrete practice of the network CECOP of, in general and particularly in times of crisis. The Anticipate project was co-financed by the European Commission, in the framework of the PROGRESS Call for proposals VP/2009/010 “Restructuring, well-being at work and financial participation”. Countries involved in the project were Italy, Spain and France. Its main result was the publication "Beyond the Crisis: Cooperatives, Work, Finance. Generating Wealth for the Long Term".
INVOLVE - Fostering the involvement of workers in SCEs and national cooperatives and worker-owned enterprises
The Involve project (2006-2007) between CECOP and its members on the one hand, and ETUC (European Trade Union Confederation) on the other, provided the opportunity to develop shared knowledge and consensus between the worker and social cooperative movement and the trade union movement, and in particular:
- that in Western Europe, the level of unionization of worker members was similar or higher than the national average, whereas in Eastern Europe it was lower;
- that the ratio of worker-members out of the total of workers is high (79% is the European average)
- that a large part of the remaining 21% is made up of workers in probationary period. In addition, a qualitative sample survey showed different modalities of how workers participate in worker and social cooperatives (management, education and training, financial participation etc.) and the relationship between members and non members. The project also established a shared understanding of ILO Recommendation 193 and CICOPA’s World Declaration on Worker Cooperatives. It also established voluntary standards of workers’ involvement in SCE composed of worker cooperatives, social cooperatives or worker owned enterprises, and/or of worker-members.
The project was co-financed by the European Commission, in the framework of the Progress Call for Proposals VP/2006/003 “Information, consultation and participation of representatives of undertakings”.
The main findings of the Involve project were reported in the document “Workers’ involvement in worker-owned enterprises”: