PART ONE - Introductory Provisions

Article 1: Name - CICOPA

1. CICOPA is a Sectoral Organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance.

2. The abbreviated name "CICOPA" will be used in all countries and in all languages without translation.

3. CICOPA is an organisation of industrial, artisans’, service and social co-operatives and co-operatives with worker ownership.

Article 2: Objectives

1. As a Sectoral Organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance, CICOPA shall:

a) defend the objectives and interests of its members and of the co-operative movements they represent in their relations with governments, parliaments of countries and international organisations and bodies;
b) collaborate in the promotion and organisation of the establishment of national and regional organisations associating co-operative societies according to Article 1, Paragraph 3 where they do not exist and support the development of those already existing;
c) carry out functions and activities that arise from the objects and activities of the ICA.

2.In order to carry out these objectives CICOPA shall:

a) organise seminars and conferences for member organisations on topics of common interest, especially on basic co-operative principles, and on the values and ethics of the co-operative movement and provide member organisations with information about these events;
b) support the creation of co-operatives and assist to mobilise resources for development, support the provision of common services to unions or federations and strengthen solidarity among co-operative societies;
c) study actual problems within umbrella national co-operative organisations of co-operatives in different countries with the aim of identifying the common issues and problems specific to the co-operative movement;
d) provide members with appropriate recommendations through which they will be able to successfully tackle their problems;
e) put into practice the recommendations of the ICA governing bodies, and of regional or national cooperative organisations if adopted by CICOPA.
f) facilitate the exchange of experiences among members of the producer co-operatives from various countries with members of other co-operative forms;
g) carry out any tasks, defined by the ICA governing bodies, or related regional or national cooperative organisations if adopted by CICOPA and publish information bulletins, or other publications.
h) co-operate with other Sectoral Organisations of the ICA.

PART TWO: Membership in CICOPA

Article 3: Origin of the Membership

1. Full or associated CICOPA members must be either members of the ICA, associated members of the ICA, or members of members or of associated members of the ICA. They can participate in CICOPA activities in accordance with CICOPA’s Rules and under the provisions contained in paragraphs 2, 3 and 4 hereunder.

2. Full members of CICOPA are national organisations of co-operatives as defined in Article 1, Paragraph 3.

3. Full members might be - in the absence of any representative national organisations - the regional organisations acting within their respective territory, or local federations of co-operatives in their respective administrative districts.

4. Associated members of CICOPA may be institutions, or organisations which are active in countries or regions where there is no organisation associating co-operatives of the types defined in Article 1, Paragraph 3, and where the mission of these institutions is to support the creation of such co-operatives.

Article 4: Admission requirements

The admission of members
- Shall be done in written form: together with the documents required by the Executive Committee
- Shall be decided by the Executive Committee.

Article 5: Members rights

Each member has right to:
a) participate in the activities of CICOPA, and to gain the advantages of membership;
b) take part in the elections for the various governing and other bodies of CICOPA except as mentioned in Art 7
c) delegate representatives to the General Assembly of CICOPA and take part in voting, except as mentioned in Art 7
d) propose measures aimed at improvement of CICOPA’s work;
e) associated members have right to be elected to the organs of CICOPA, but their votes in those organs shall be advisory only.

Article 6: Duties of the Members

1. Every full or associated member is obliged:

a) to act in accordance with the aims and strategies of CICOPA and of the ICA;
b) to maintain and develop co-operative values and principles;
c) To ensure that it, or the ICA member organisation to which it is affiliated, comply with its membership fee obligations towards the ICA.
d) to observe the features and functioning rules of the World Declaration of Worker Cooperatives approved by CICOPA, in the case of producers’ and/or workers’ cooperatives, or any other standards established by CICOPA on the basis of the ICA Statement on the Cooperative Identity for other categories of cooperatives, in the case of the latter.

Article 7: Loss of membership rights (new article)

Where a member organisation (in the case it is a member or associated member of the ICA) or the ICA member or associated member of which it is a member does not pay the prescribed membership fee to the ICA within the time, and on the conditions agreed by the General Assembly, the member organisation in question loses its voting rights, and the right for its nominees to be elected to the organs of CICOPA, until such time as its membership fees are paid. Persons nominated by such an organisation, who are already serving in office, shall have their membership of the CICOPA body to which they have been elected suspended until the membership fees of the nominating member have been paid in full.

Article 8: Termination of the Membership

1. Membership of CICOPA ceases where a member organisation:
a) applies to leave CICOPA
b) ceases to exist
c) is expelled.
d) ceases by any cause as member of ICA

2. A member may apply for termination of its CICOPA membership no later than on June 30, of any year. The member shall cease to be a member on January 1 of the following year.

3. A member which fails to meet obligations as set out in Article 5, Paragraph 1, letter c) may have its CICOPA membership cancelled.

4. A decision on the expulsion of a member shall be made by the Executive Committee of the CICOPA, 6 months from the day on which this Committee called the member organisation to meet its obligations.

5. A member organisation may appeal against the decision of the Executive Committee to expel it. This appeal will be decided at the next meeting of the General Assembly.

6. The termination of its membership does not affect the duty of the member organisation to settle all obligations to CICOPA.


Article 9: Organs of CICOPA

The organs of CICOPA are:
a) the General Assembly
b) the Executive Committee
c) the regional organisations of CICOPA (regional-sectoral organisations)

Article 10: The General Assembly

1. The highest organ of CICOPA is the General Assembly.

2. The General Assembly meets at least once every two years - usually at the
place where the ICA holds its General Assembly sessions.

3. The General Assembly is convened by the Executive Committee.

4. The Executive Committee is obliged to convene the General Assembly (ordinary or special) if at least 30% of the full members request such a meeting to be held.

5. Each full member organisation has the right to take part in the General Assembly, and to send up to four delegates. Each associated member may send up to 2 delegates.

6. Every full and associated member organisation has one vote in the General Assembly, except the cases as mentioned in Article 5, Para 2, where the total of the votes of the associated member organisations shall not exceed 25% of the total number of votes entitled to be cast at the meeting.

Article 11 Competencies of the General Assembly

1. The General Assembly has the authority to:
a) adopt and make amendments to the Rules;
b) elect and remove members of the Executive Committee, the president and the vice-presidents, except in the case forseen by art. 9 1. i) - The number of vice-presidents should not exceed the number of regions;
c) approve or reject the report of the Executive Committee;
d) approve or reject financial reports;
e) approve or reject the budget for the coming period;
f) approve or reject the report on the development programmes for the previous period;
g) approve or reject the use of resources for development programmes assured under the name of CICOPA;
h) Establish regional organisations and elect vice-presidents of CICOPA;
i) define the general policy of CICOPA and to decide any matter by an absolute majority of the delegates present, in accordance with the voting regulations.

2. The General Assembly constitutes a quorum if at least 50% of the member organisations having paid their membership fees to the ICA (in the case of members or associated members of the ICA) or being members of ICA members or associated members having paid their membership fees - take part in the session. An absolute majority of the votes of the member organisations (according to Article 8, Par. 6) shall suffice for a resolution to be carried.

3. In exceptional circumstances, the General Assembly shall constitute a quorum if it has been duly convened and a minimum of 10 member organisations (whose membership fees must have been paid) is present and the Executive Committee gives its approval to hold it. In such a case, a 2/3 majority of the votes shall be necessary for a resolution to be carried, and shall not be possible to make a decision on amendments to the CICOPA Rules or on the dissolution of CICOPA.

Article 12: The Executive Committee

1. The Executive Committee consists of the President, various Vice-Presidents and ordinary members, all elected by the General Assembly. The President of a regional organisation of CICOPA becomes member of the Executive Committee in the post of the international Vice-President for that region. Until the General Assembly is held, the President of the regional committee takes part in sessions of the Executive Committee with an advisory vote.

2. The Executive Committee shall comprise between 5 and 15 members.

3. The Executive Committee has the following responsibilities:
a) to prepare the programme of activity and to supervise its implementation;
b) to submit to the General Assembly an annual financial statement;
c) to establish development programmes and fix their budgets (where they are undertaken in CICOPA’s name);
d) to decide on the admission and expulsion of member organisations;
e) to decide all questions which are not reserved to the General Assembly by the Rules.
f) to pronounce itself on the Draft rules of the Regional organisations of CICOPA.

4. The Executive Committee meets at least once a year. The Executive Committee shall shall have quorum where at least four members are present.

5. Resolutions of the Executive Committee shall be carried by an absolute majority of votes of the members present. In the case of a tie, the President, or in his/her absence, the person chairing the meeting shall have a casting vote. The Executive Committee can also take votes by written procedure or by the use of means of other media such as electronic mail, fax or telephone conference. Sessions of the Executive Committee shall be convened by the President according to the schedule of meetings or when demanded by an absolute majority of members.

6. On the President’s proposal - the Executive Committee will appoint at the first session one of the elected Vice-Presidents to the post of deputy to the President. The deputy has the full rights and duties of the President in the case of his/her absence.

7.If for whatever reason the President permanently ceases to carry out his/her functions, these functions shall be carried out by the Deputy President until the next session of the Executive Committee, which shall decide how to proceed until the next General Assembly. The next session of the General Assembly shall elect a new President to serve the rest of the term of office of the outgoing President.

8. If a member of the Executive Committee resigns from his/her post or is not able to carry out his/her function, the Executive Committee is authorised to co-opt a new member until the next session of the General Assembly, at which time the place shall be filled by election.

9. The members of the Executive Committee including the members of the Presidential Council shall be elected by the General Assembly for a period of 4 years.

Article 13: Regional Organisations of CICOPA

1. The member organisations of CICOPA in each region have the right to decide about the creation of a Regional organisation of CICOPA at a meeting of the member organisations in that region. The Regional organisation comes into existence where the following conditions are satisfied:
a) from its name must be evident that it is a Regional organisation of CICOPA: e.g. CECOP-CICOPA - Europe, or CICOPA - Asia. The name CICOPA shall be used in all languages without translation;
b) at least 50% of the region’s member organisations must be present at such a meeting;
c) the Rules shall be subject to approval by the General Assembly at its next session. They may not contradict the Rules of CICOPA nor those of the pertaining ICA Region, which should be consulted, and until the next session of the General Assembly the Executive Committee of CICOPA has the power to approve and/or amend the rules of a Regional organisation;
d) the Regional organisation and all other organs connected with it shall be elected democratically.

2. A Regional organisation may commence its activities on a provisional basis, after its formation and rules have been approved by the Executive Committee of CICOPA, but its formal constitution shall be subject to confirmation by the General Assembly of CICOPA at its next session.

3. Regional organisations shall have the power to consider proposals for development programmes and their financing. Where the resources for the realisation of a development programme have been acquired through the work of a Regional organisation, that organisation shall have the power to control the use of these resources for the implementation of the programme.

4. Where a Regional organisation undertakes activities which are not in accordance with the principles and aims of CICOPA and of the ICA, the General Assembly may decide, on a recommendation of the Executive Committee, to wind up the Regional organisation, after the concerns of the Executive Committee have been communicated to the Regional organisation in question and after consulting with the pertaining ICA Region.

5. The President of CICOPA has the right to take part in the sessions of the organs of the Regional organisation of CICOPA in an advisory role. The President of each Regional organisation of CICOPA shall invite the President of CICOPA to each such session at the time when such sessions are duly convened.

PART FOUR: Common Provisions

Article 14 : Languages

1. The working language of the Executive Committee is English.

2. At the sessions of the General Assembly other languages may also be used - depending on the technical and financial situation in each case.

PART FIVE: Final Provisions

Article 15: Amendments to the Rules

Any amendments to the Rules shall be approved by a simple majority of votes of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee of the ICA.

Article 16: Dissolution of the Organisation

CICOPA can be dissolved by the decision of the General Assembly on the recommendation of the Executive Committee. Such a decision can be taken:
a) by the General Assembly with the 2/3 majority of votes if 2/3 of the member organisations are present.
b) if the General Assembly approves a proposal for the dissolution of CICOPA, it shall determine the way to settle any outstanding debts. Any surplus remaining after the dissolution of CICOPA shall become the property of the International Co-operative Alliance.
c) by the General Assembly of the ICA as per Article 16 j) of the ICA Rules.

Article 17: Entry into Force of the Rules

1. The Rules adopted by the General Assembly of CICOPA in Cartagena de Indias, Colombia, on 18 September 2005 are repealed.

2. These Rules shall come into operation on the day of their adoption by the General Assembly in Geneva on 18 November 2009.

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
E-mail: cicopa[at]

Copyright 2005 - 2018 CICOPA
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