CECOP launches a campaign on skills for worker and social cooperatives! 

2023 is the European Year of Skills. At this occasion, the European Commission is promoting skills development with the objective to, among others, help European citizens “getting the right skills for quality jobs”. As an organisation representing cooperatives where workers have a central place, CECOP couldn’t miss this opportunity to bring its perspective on the topic.   

Behind worker and social cooperatives, there are women and men with a multitude of different profiles, ages, qualifications, know-how, and experiences. On one hand, their skills extend beyond their abilities to perform operational tasks and cannot be dissociated from elements such as aspiration to work for common interest, solidarity, trust. Cooperative skills require going beyond self-interests and engaging with others in participatory and democratic governance, with all the challenges that this implies. On the other hand, cooperatives provide to their worker-members, from the weakest to the most qualified profiles, more than just a job. They invest in their skills, engage in life-long learning and provide them the possibility to have a say about the future of their enterprise.   

After all, who has the best skills to decide about the future of their enterprise than those that make it work?   

CECOP’s campaign will shed light on the different aspects of skills in worker and social cooperatives, from training, up-skilling and re-skilling, safeguarding skills, skills for participatory and democratic governance, skills for the most disadvantaged workers. It will also look at how cooperatives and their representative organisations invest in skills development and adapt to current transitions. Finally, it will also address support measures needed from the EU level to ensure that workers in cooperatives “get the right skills for quality jobs”.   

Stay tuned and follow our campaign on our social media channels for more testimonies, examples, and policy recommendations. And many more about #coopskills2023   


Video documentary of Cermaiche Noi, an Italian worker cooperative in the ceramic sector, a result of a workers buyout process (September 2023)

Video documentary of the Belgian freelencers cooperative Smart (February 2024)


CECOP is excited to invite you to attend its conference "Workers Buyouts - what is the cooperative key to success?", as the flagship event of its worker and social cooperatives skills campaign - #coopskills2023.

During the event, we will look at the support system provided by the cooperative movement, the know-how, technical, and human expertise it encompasses to make workers buyouts successful and sustainable in the long term.

When: from 14:30 to 17:30 (CET) | 29 November 2023
L42 venue | Brussels (Belgium) | Full programme coming soon


The event will take place in person in the L42 venue , situated at Rue de la Loi 42, Brussels and it will be streamed on Zoom. 

Interpretation will be provided in English, Spanish, French, and Italian.  




Report of the conference



Following its flagship conference, CECOP published its report titled "Report from CECOP's Conference: Workers Buyouts - what is the cooperative key to success?". This report highlights the interventions, best practices and key findings shared during CECOP's conference of the 28th of November 2023 on Worker Buyouts. 

The report brings forth 9 policy recommendations adressed to the Institutions of the European Union and its Member States. These policy reccomendations are:

  1.  European Commission should finance a study on identifying obstacles at national level in order to develop tailor-made national strategies with an enabling regulatory framework to support WBOs;
  2.  Managing authorities should make a greater use of ESF+ grants to support advisory services and technical assistance for WBO;
  3.  Support awareness raising campaigns about WBO amongst business owners, concerned professionals with business transfers and liquidations (lawyers, accountants, etc.) and within the judicial system;
  4.  Maintain the EaSI Guarantee Instrument and use the Invest-EU Social Investment Skills Window guarantee and counter-guarantee to support cooperatives, notably WBO;
  5.  Support direct financial mechanisms helping workers invest in enterprises in crisis or without successor for WBO;
  6.  Support cooperative organisations’ capacity to increase interventions in equity and quasi-equity and create specific guarantee to support WBO;
  7.  Encourage financial intervention from regional authorities thereby completing workers capital contribution and cooperative financial interventions;
  8.  Tax incentives for WBO;
  9. Preferential rights should be given to workers in order to give them the best conditions for a takeover bid for an enterprise facing closure.


Read the report


This campaign has been funded by the European Union. Views and opinions expressed are however those of the authors only and do not necessarily reflect those of the European Union or the European Commission. Neither the European Union nor the granting authority can be held responsible for them.