Today, 7th July, cooperative enterprises celebrate the 18th International Day of Cooperatives, proclaimed by the United Nations and the 90th International Cooperative Day of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA). The International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and Service Producers’ Cooperatives (CICOPA) wishes to take the opportunity to share the results of the last study “The resilience of the cooperative model” developed by its European organization CECOP – CICOPA Europe, which among other examples, is based on the experiences presented in the documentary “Together”, also produced by this regional organisation of CICOPA.
The research, that was presented on the 26th June at the European Economic and Social Committee, identifies the mechanisms which reinforce the resilience. There are many reasons to explain it. Firstly, the fact that worker-members, as co-owners of their businesses, share the responsibility and the management and put the strategies in place in the short and the long term; which give the priority to the safeguarding of their jobs and continuous innovation. Among these strategies we can name the temporary reduction of salaries, technological investment, adaptations for the market, use of financial reserves, etc.
In fact, it is noticed that the resilience of worker and social cooperatives to the crisis is more pronounced in the countries which operate a strong implementation of these types of cooperatives, where one finds instruments of inter co-operation, (the cooperative movement’s own financial instruments, support institutions for enterprises consortia and federations etc.) but also specific public policies. It is perceived equally that the legally favourable dispositions for cooperatives, which principally exist in Italy, in France and in Spain, allow these enterprises to develop themselves and as a consequence, to increase their resilience.
On the same point, the Secretary General of the United Nations declare in his message on the occasion of the International Day of Cooperatives that those enterprises are capable of responding "in a more adapted way to local needs and are better positioned to serve as engines of local growth (...) moreover, their underlying values of self-help, equality and solidarity offer a compass in challenging economic times.
The study “The resilience of the cooperative model”, can be downloaded here.
International Organisation of Industrial, Artisanal and
Service Producers' Cooperatives
Secretariat: C/O European Cooperative House - avenue Milcamps 105
1030 Brussels, Belgium
Tel: +32 2 543 1033, fax: +32 2 543 1037