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Bruno Roelants, Secretary General of CICOPA, and Elisa Terrasi, in charge of development issues, participated in a meeting at the International Labour Organization (ILO) Headquarters in Geneva where they presented the documentary TOGETHER and the study of the resilience of cooperatives to the crisis, produced by CECOP-CICOPA Europe in the framework of the International Year of Cooperatives. The event was jointly organised by the ILO's Cooperative Branch and ILO Bureau for Workers' Activities (ACTRAV).
The screening of the film was followed by a presentation of the CECOP-CICOPA Europe study on the resilience of worker cooperatives by Bruno Roelants. It was followed by a debate moderated by Simel Esim (Chief of the ILO’s Cooperative Branch) and Mr Pierre Laliberté (Specialist in Workers’ Activities at the ILO), broaching the different reasons which can help to explain such resilience and lead to reflection on the role of worker’s participation in sustainable development and how to promote the cooperative experience as a democratic model for business.
The conclusions of the debate reflect that governments and conventional enterprises should take stock of the key elements drawn from the experience of cooperatives in terms of resilience to the crisis and enterprise development. Internal restructuring dynamics, the maintenance and development of jobs and skills within the enterprises, the mutualisation of business development organizations, common financial instruments and the clustering in horizontal business groups are some examples of these measures.
This exchange has been a significant step down the path of collaboration between ILO and CICOPA: one of the most important challenges is the promotion of a favorable cooperative legislation across the globe, in line with the provisions of the ILO Recommendation 193 on the Promotion of Cooperatives. The ILO underlined that special attention should be given to those countries which are experiencing rapid economic growth (e.g. Brazil), to ensure a central role for cooperatives in this process in favour of a more sustainable development. CICOPA looks forward to working closely with the ILO in order to ensure that ILO Recommendation 193 becomes a tool to develop cooperatives around the world.
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