Jean Pierre Saint Germain, presented the particularities and the added value as a cooperative active in the provision of personal and household services. “The diversity of actors as workers and users involved in the enterprise is an advantage as everyone can express their opinions”, Jean Pierre Saint Germain pointed out.

The cooperative was created in 2009 with the objective to provide personal and household services to dependent persons and it now employs 80 persons and delivers services to approximately 390 persons.
The conference focused on the employment potential in this sector and different stakeholders have underlined the necessity to ensure the quality of working conditions but also of the services provided by better involving the users in the processes. In line with this, Daniel Molinuevo researcher from Eurofound, the European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions, introduced the main finding of a study on home care services and mentioned the Spanish social initiative cooperative Suara as an interesting case .

He highlighted the fact that in Spain, where nearly 5 million people are unemployed, the turnover of Suara has increased in the last 4 years by 65% following also a growth in its workforce. “Cooperatives have a particular management model where workers are more committed to the project”, explained Daniel Molinuevo.

Laszlo Andor, the European Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion opened the session and called the Member States to tackle the challenges of this growing sector.

This conference follows the staff Working Document on “exploiting the potential of personal and household services”, published by the Commission in April 2012. The participation of the cooperative SPAD goes in line with the message sent by CECOP to the European Commission in its consultation answer.

Managed by local stakeholders, cooperatives tend to have an in-depth knowledge of the community and its needs. Cooperatives involve different stakeholders and thus create synergies between public authorities, service users, service providers and, in this way, they guarantee that various interests and resources within a local community are represented and that an adequate answer is provided.