The president of CICOPA, Manuel Mariscal, highlights the work of the cooperative sector as a guarantee of sustainable and responsible development, which is able to create jobs and wealth, and to distribute wealth fairly.

This sector, he says, “needs more support than ever and decisive actions by governments, because if there were no Social Economy today, we would need to invent it”.

The ICS project for SMEs, Social Economy and Local Development for territorial cooperation aims to highlight the definition of a common transnational strategy, through the coordination of national and regional policies, for the development of cooperative systems internationally.

In March 2013, the results of the project will be presented. It provides the culmination of research and knowledge exchange on regional policies to promote cooperatives and other employee-owned enterprises between the regions of the project. It is also expected to develop a common action plan aimed at the integration, collaboration and internationalisation of social economy enterprises and SMEs in the Mediterranean and the development of pilot projects to group and internationalise the sectors from the regions.

This is project financed by the MED programme, a transnational programme of European territorial cooperation. ICS includes partners such as the Confederation of Organisations for Social Economy of Andalusia (CEPES Andalucía), Spain, and the National League of Cooperatives and Mutuals (Legacoop) in Italy, more information on the project partners please see the following website: