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ICA Europe Bulletin


DATE: November 2000





Regional Assembly for Europe

165 registered participants attended the Regional Assembly in Bratislava held on 4-5 October 2000. Our Slovak hosts contributed significantly to the success of the meeting by providing excellent working facilities and arranging enjoyable social events.

The first Development Strategy for assisting co-operatives in Central and Eastern European countries was adopted at the Assembly. This strategy defines the role of ICA Europe in development, sets objectives and proposes working methods for a four-year period. The three key areas, as identified by the Development Task Force, where development activities should focus were approved. These are: promotion; economic collaboration; management and training.

ICA Director-General, Karl-Johan Fogelström, presented a new vision for ICA. He emphasized the need for organisations that stand for a higher aim than just to maximize the return on capital and said that the co-operative difference should be increasingly visible. Furthermore he stated that ICA should endeavour to influence the globalisation process in order to defend and promote democracy and to make its voice heard on the major issues of our time such as poverty reduction.

An integral part of the Regional Assembly was a Seminar on "Successful co-operative business in the new Europe." Three working groups addressed the question of the impact of globalisation on co-operatives, from the various sectoral points of view. One of the main conclusions of the discussions was that increased co-operation is necessary among co-operative organisations in order to face the challenges of growing competition and counter-balancing the negative effects of globalisation.

Guest speaker from the European Commission
Our special guest from the European Commission, Mr. Lorimer Mackenzie informed about the Commission's intention to develop a new structure for regular dialogue with the co-operative sector. In his Directorate, it was decided to place co-operatives in the same category as other major enterprise sectors. They will be regarded as a specific kind of enterprise with special characteristics, which need to be identified and recognised in the process of developing enterprise policy and actions. He called attention to the enlargement process of the EU, an area where ICA could significantly contribute to achieving the objectives of the Commission. He encouraged ICA and the co-operative organisations to make their presence more visible in Brussels.
Mr. Mackenzie is a director of DG Enterprise supervising among others the unit called Crafts, Small Businesses, Co-operatives and Mutuals.

The Minutes and the presentations of the Regional Assembly are available on our Web site: http://www.coop.org/europe

European Council

The European Council, which met on 3 October 2000 in Bratislava, discussed and approved the European work plan for 2001 and agreed to focus on the assistance of co-operative development in Central and Eastern European countries by organising a seminar on lobbying techniques and another development workshop. Increased collaboration between co-operatives, management training and legislation are among the topics of prime interest. Improving the image of co-operatives through providing reliable statistics, establishing partnership relations with European institutions and strengthening networking among members will also be major focus areas. Programmes aimed at achieving a better gender balance as well as a higher involvement of young people will require additional activities in 2001.
The Council accepted the invitation extended by Centrosoyuz Russia to hold the next meting on 26-27 February 2001, in St. Petersburg.

Development Workshop

Economic collaboration was the feature of the third Development Workshop held on 3 October in Bratislava, with the participation of 50 representatives from all over Europe. As it is stated in the Development Strategy: "ICA Europe will facilitate regional and inter-regional business contacts by providing opportunities for co-operative businesses to meet and communicate. ICA Europe will also encourage more economic collaboration within and between regions and sectors." In the light of the above statement, case studies were presented from the Nordic countries, the Visegrad countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Slovak Republic) and on local co-operation from the Lincoln Society, UK. During the discussion focus was put on identifying how partnerships can benefit member organisations in improving their business activities.
The presentations are available on our Web site: http://www.coop.org/europe

New members

A reception was given to welcome those European members who joined ICA since the last Regional Assembly, held in Paris in 1998. Notably:

With these new members the number of European organisations affiliated with ICA has reached 93 from 37 countries.


Recent activities of the European Experts' Group on Legislation include a thorough discussion on a framework for legislation that would help national laws to be drafted by providing a "checklist" of the most important elements a law should contain, while respecting the co-operative principles. The Group also aims to write a multi-lingual glossary of legal terms and a framework for statutes/by-laws, which should be based on the different national laws. A manual on "How to establish a co-operative" will also be elaborated.
The European Experts' Group chaired by Dr. Schaffland has contributed, to a great extent, to the success of the Global Conference on Legislation held in Prague at the end of September 2000.

ICA Europe and CCACE

The presidiums of both organisations met on 2 October, in Bratislava, to discuss the agreement approved by their respective governing bodies on the methods of collaboration and co-ordination between them. This agreement, which is inspired by and supplements the sectoral agreements, signed between some of the European sectoral associations and ICA Europe, aims to increase co-ordination on horizontal matters of common interest and to specify the sharing of responsibilities in order to avoid any overlapping. This co-operation will contribute to a unified representation of the co-operative movement and the improvement of the co-operative image in Europe.

Development Task Force

On 13 November, the European Task Force met in Geneva to discuss a networking project. A former brainstorming session of the Task Force had concluded to the need for better communication among members through strengthened networking. The project is conceived to provide a platform for the development of dialogue between co-operative enterprises in the EU member states, the candidate countries and all other countries for which joining the EU is not an objective for the near future.
The programme design for the upcoming lobbying seminar was also on the agenda of the meeting.

Lobbying Seminar

On 1-2 February 2001 an ICA Seminar will be held in Brussels "Co-operatives in the New Europe - Interacting with governments and the European Union's institutions". The invitations have been sent out to all European member organisations of ICA. Please make note of this date in your agenda. All requests to attend the Seminar are expected by 15 December 2000.



Czech Republic

Czech consumer co-operatives are taking part in the current recovery of consumer demand and the increase of sales within the retail business of the Czech Republic. In comparison with the previous year, the retail turnover of consumer co-operatives has increased by 4.09% for the period of January to June 2000. In comparing these figures to those of the entire retail industry in the Czech Republic, this increase is fairly low, but in view of increasing competition from multinational chains, the results are relatively positive.


Crédit Mutuel is developing two new tools to serve its policy on mutuality: the first is a training tool named "Roots for the future: Crédit Mutuel, a co-operative enterprise in action". Its objective is to reinforce the application of co-operative values and help employees and elected representatives to explain these values and put them into practice. The second tool is an intranet site focused on co-operative and mutual values common to all Crédit Mutuel regional federations. The objective of the site is to enhance the Group's specific features by circulating information on the various ways in which it expresses its identity.

After their transformation into a co-operative bank, the Caisses d'Epargne (French savings banks) applied to become a member of the Groupement National de la Coopération, the French representative body for co-operatives. Among French banks, the Caisses d'Epargne is ranked third by its network, fourth by its own funds and has 26 million customers.


The "Report on the German Co-operatives 2000" was recently published by DG Bank and focuses on the establishment of new co-operatives. Between 1993-1999 the number of new co-operatives has reached 313, of which 34 are rural co-ops, 159 are workers co-ops, three are consumer co-ops and 117 are housing co-ops.
The report emphasises the process of concentration, which continues in the co-operative sector. The number of German co-operatives is expected to decrease from 9,915 in 1998 to 9,100 by the end of 2000. It is mainly credit and rural co-operatives that react to the growing competition by increased concentration. The report is available in German.


On the request of the Hungarian co-operative organisation, MOSZ, a letter from ICA was sent to the President of the Republic of Hungary. The aim of the letter is to help impede the passing of a new draft law on co-operatives, which is now before Parliament. If accepted this law would put unbearable financial burdens on agricultural co-operatives by forcing them to buy out the shares of external members and subsequently co-operatives would have to be liquidated or transformed into companies.


Confcooperative Naples organised a Conference on the situation of its Southern member co-operatives on 19-20 October 2000. The purpose of the meeting was to analyse development prospects for those co-operatives and to present project proposals. According to data of the National Chamber of Commerce, there are 140,331 co-operative societies registered in Italy of which 67,483 (corresponding to 48.1%) are in the South. The trend of the last years shows that the number of co-operatives created in the South is higher than in the rest of the country. 1,177 out of 2,281 new co-operatives set up in the second quarter of the current year are located in the South (51.6%).

As a result of the Jubilee of Co-operators, held in Rome 1 May 2000, Confcooperative is actively participating in the campaign for the cancellation of poor countries' debt. Answering the call of Pope John Paul II, President Marino sent a letter to all member co-operatives asking them to allocate 1% of their profit to this end. A contribution on a voluntary basis is also requested from co-operatives, which do not realize any profit.


A quick intervention of ICA and ICA Europe Presidents saved Polish housing co-operatives. Based on the information received from the National Co-operative Council a law had already been passed by the Parliament, which would have led to the dissolution of housing co-operatives in the country. The last possibility was to appeal to the President of the Republic requesting him not to sign the law. This was done and President Kwasniewski stopped the law from being enacted.

Slovak Republic

In his speech at the ICA Regional Assembly for Europe, Mr Ivan Miklos, Deputy Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic, highlighted the positive achievements of the government, established since 1998, in respect to the stabilisation of the Slovak economy. The steps taken brought an interim worsening of some macro-economic indicators, which was to be expected, he explained. However, this "soft landing" was necessary in order to create the conditions to speed up the growth, yet under healthy and long-term sustainable conditions. The government restored the country's credit worthiness and reduced public deficit to an internationally acceptable level. The correct orientation of Slovak economy and politics was acknowledged by its recent invitation to join the OECD.

United Kingdom

The Phone Co-op, UK's only telecommunications co-operative, has joined forces with Poptel Worldwide Ltd., to create a new company, EcoBilling Limited. The company will commission and operate a new billing and customer management system, which will also be marketed to other telecommunications providers.
The Phone Co-op will own 45 per cent of the new company in recognition of its expertise, while Poptel will invest £ 400,000 into the new company. The Phone Co-op already provides services to over 2,000 members in charities, non-profit and co-operative companies. Working through the Internet, will offer Phone Co-op customers more environmentally friendly and cost effective services as well as the opportunity to develop and improve its services more rapidly.
For further information visit the Web site:

The Co-operative College has plans to build new premises at Stanford Hall with education facilities adapted to a new era of learning. The college aims to provide state of the art facilities, specifically in the area of information and learning technology, in order to provide a centre of excellence in training and learning consultancy and research for the co-operative and mutual enterprise sector.
The sale of the Main Hall and remainder of the Estate, which was originally purchased in 1945, will fund the development. This is a turning point to secure the College's long-term future as a learning centre, which promotes co-operative values and principles.
For further information visit the Web site: http://www.co-op.ac.uk/future

As from 14 January 2001, the Co-operative Wholesale Society (CWS), which merged with the Co-operative Retail Society (CRS) earlier this year, will be called Co-operative Group Limited. Members were asked to vote at a special general meeting in Manchester last October. The new name was approved by an 89 per cent majority and unanimously endorsed by the board from over 100 suggested names. Although it is agreed that a change of name was important and necessary the choice is considered by some to be lacking in charisma and inspiration.

The Co-operative Union is to provide administrative services and professional backup to the Industrial Common Ownership Movement (ICOM), one of its member organisations. ICOM has recently come into financial difficulty and this agreement will allow the company to continue its main function of supporting worker co-operatives in the UK. The link up will most likely take place before the end of the year and ICOM's autonomy shall remain unaffected by the proposals.

Co-operative Union and the UK Co-operative Council (UKCC) have made plans to join forces as from 1 January 2001. The terms of this union will emphasise that the integrity, autonomy and independence of the UKCC shall remain intact.

David Button is the new Chairman of the Oxford based Plunkett Foundation. Mr. Button has over 25 years of practical experience of working with farmer controlled businesses (FCBs). He is also currently Chairman of Genesis Business Development Limited, the UK based consultancy specialising in collaborative rural development both in UK and overseas. Edgar Parnell takes over the Vice-Chairman's role previously held by David Button. David Button says, "At a time when people living and working in rural areas, both in the UK and in many other parts of the world, are facing exceptional challenges, the Plunkett Foundation has much to offer. So we are gearing-up to provide even more support to FCBs and other forms of rural co-operation".




The International Co-operative Banking Association held its annual plenary meeting and a seminar on new technologies for co-operative banks, on 2-3 October 2000 in Bratislava. The discussions revealed the speed at which technology has already and is still evolving and its consequences on banking activities, as well as its increased pressure on competition. As positive as this evolution may be it was stressed that co-operative banks were to adapt these changes to serve the co-operative difference and their proximity with members. In addition, information was given on the "capitalisation and strategies of co-operative banks " a study carried out by the ICBA in collaboration with the HEC school of Montreal. The objective of the study is the identification of procedures and innovating options of capital mobilisation of co-operative banks. Documents of the seminar and conclusions of the study will soon be available from the ICBA secretariat: Tel: (00 1 418) 835-2444, Fax: (00 1 418) 833-4769
Web site:

ICA Housing

Cross-border co-operation is one of the major topics on the agenda of the Working Group Central and Eastern Europe of CECODHAS. Since October 2000 the co-ordination of the Working Group's activities has been transferred to GdW, the German Federation of Housing Co-operatives.

Representatives of Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia have decided to set up an umbrella organisation in order to better co-ordinate the efforts aiming at strengthening housing co-operatives in the Baltic area. In relation to this development a Baltic Conference will be organised by ICA Housing next April.

Research Committee

"The Co-operative Impulse: Past, Present and Future" was the theme of the ICA Research Conference held last August, in Oslo. Over 60 researchers and practitioners gathered from Europe, America and the Asia-Pacific region. Due to globalisation, co-operatives face challenges such as tough competition and adapting to new technology. Tomorrow, these challenges will be even greater. Some 50 papers were presented on how co-operatives have performed in the past, their relationship with respective governments, and the way external factors influence co-operative development. New theories on co-operative management, and case studies on good practices were also presented and discussed.
A common conclusion can be drawn from the presentations: forces driving co-operatives - in the past, at present and probably in the future - are the same; they involve people's interests and needs. The continuous need to foster co-operation exists, not only among members but also among influential people or entities such as governments.


Upon the invitation of CCACE president Etienne Pflimlin, Lorimer Mackenzie, Director of the Enterprise DG of the European Commission, took part in the presidium meeting of CCACE member organisations, on 2 October in Bratislava. He expressed his support to the requests by CCACE concerning the White Paper on co-operatives and the launching of discussions on the Statute for a European Co-operative Society. He also reported on the project to create an "Enterprise consultative committee", in which all companies, whatever their legal forms, will take part.


The Euro Coop working group on consumer co-operative developments has elaborated specific comments on the proposal for a European Co-operative Statute, which were approved by the Board on 16 October 2000. A position paper is currently being prepared by the Secretariat, which will be sent for approval to members, in the weeks to come, before being published and circulated to EU institutions.

The European Commission has launched a European Young Consumer Competition 2000-2001 on 4 October 2000. It is aimed at pupils attending secondary school and those in the last two years of primary school, in all EU member states. The theme of the competition is: Nutrition - How to promote a balanced diet". The rules, which include full information on the subject matter, entry conditions, registration procedures and prizes to be won are available from the organiser in each member state. More background information on the competition can be found on: http://europe.eu.int/comm/dgs/health_consumer/events/event28back_en.pdf


After ACME's annual conference, of which the key feature was "Winning the new generation", the association is now involved in the campaign "Valuing our Mutuality". It is the biggest project ACME has ever undertaken. The final report is expected to be ready for the next annual conference, which will be held in June 2001.


Speaking to the Congress of European Agriculture, CEA - organised by COPA-COGECA on 25 September in Krakow, Poland, the Commissioner for agriculture, Franz Fischler, stressed the point that the enlargement of the European Union is a double-sided project. "This project will have succeeded if both sides gain by it. Threats and demands will get us nowhere, negotiations consist of both give and take", the Commissioner said. He also pointed out that it was a clear goal of the Commission that the first accessions should take place before the end of the current Commissioners' term of office, i.e. 2005.



Gender Issues

The Hedvig Group, a task force consisting of seven women co-operators was set up by Finn Coop Pellervo in 1999 to consider the improvement of women participation in co-operative decision-making. The task force promotes the idea of combining know-how based on life experience and explicit expert knowledge. It urges women co-operators to express their ideas and opinions in a column reserved for the purpose in the bi-monthly publication of Pellervo. The group initiated the adoption of a resolution by the Board of Pellervo, earlier this year, which stressed the importance of equality between women and men and urged co-operatives to commit themselves to active advocacy of gender equality. A women co-operators´ web site and a chatting possibility are under preparation.
A seminar was arranged last September on the topic of women's opinions about co-operatives and their role in the globalising world. Among the speakers were Mrs. Sirpa Pietikäinen, chair of the Board of the World Organization of UN Associations and Mrs. Raija Itkonen, former member of the ICA Board. For more information please consult the November issue of the ICA E-news at:

The conference of European Ministers in charge of Equal Opportunities between Women and Men took place on 27 October 2000 in Paris. "Successful equality policy must tackle not only social issues but also work and decision-making questions" - stated European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs, Anna Diamantopoulou. In concrete terms we need three types of policy. She said: 1. Access to decision-making: 2. Work and family life, 3. Mainstreaming - in other words integration of equality policy across the board in other policy areas.

The figures show some improvement in the area of the involvement of women in decision-making. From 1991 to 1999 the number of women in the European Parliament increased from 19% to 30%, in the European Commission from 10% to 25% and in the Member States Governments from 11% to 23%. In the Swedish parliament, women occupy 42% of the seats, against just 6% in Greece. Nearly 40% of the staff of the Commissioners' cabinets are women. Until additional financial and human resources are devoted to it mainstreaming will fail to make a significant impact - this was one of the conclusions of the conference. It is hoped that the Commission's new gender programme will be adopted before the end of the French Presidency.


The ICA Board decided at its meeting in Bratislava on 6-7 October 2000 to put more emphasis on youth issues and agreed to the establishment of an ICA Youth Network. The Board encourages youth involvement, at both national and international levels. The Board stated that ICA should take a proactive role in promoting, facilitating and co-ordinating activities targeted to youth, with the aim of exposing the co-operative philosophy and identity to a wider audience. ICA President Roberto Rodrigues will invite all co-operative leaders to contribute to the emergence of a new generation of co-operators "acting locally but thinking globally". ICA is encouraging inter-regional exchange of experiences and transfer of knowledge between senior and younger co-operators in order to achieve a higher participation of young people in ICA activities.

ICA member organisations are expected to appoint their youth co-ordinators and to suggest candidates for participation in the ICA Youth Network.



A new momentum for enlargement

The European Commission proposed concrete steps to ensure that the Union will be in a position to welcome new members from the end of 2002, depending on candidate countries ability to assume the obligations of membership and to successfully complete the negotiations. More than two and a half years after the launch of the accession negotiations, the enlargement process will enter a new phase where substantial and difficult issues will be addressed.

Therefore, on 8 November 2000 the European Commission adopted an "Enlargement strategy paper" which is proposes: firstly, a method to deal with requests for transitional measures put by the candidate countries: secondly, a detailed 'road map' to tackle the remaining negotiation issues with the most advanced countries, stage by stage, in 2001 and 2002. The Commission considers that should these proposals, which are based on the strategy adopted by the Helsinki European Council, be effectively pursued the negotiations could be concluded in the course of 2002 with those candidates who fulfil the criteria for membership.

'Regular Reports' have also been adopted for each of the 13 candidate countries. These reports assess the progress of the candidates in their preparation towards accession. Overall, the candidate countries have made remarkable progress both in the economic field and regarding the adoption of the acquis. However, progress in setting up and strengthening the institutions, required to implement the acquis, has been uneven.

The above documents can be found on the Enlargement web site of the European Commission: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/whatsnew.htm

Constitution for Europe

"The citizens of Europe are entitled to expect two things that their governments have so far denied them. The first is a vigorous debate, starting from first principles and with the widest possible participation, about what the future of the European Union should be. The second is an intelligible account, capable of commanding popular agreement, of the rules by which the future of the Union will be shaped. The right way to meet both needs is to discuss and then frame a written constitution for the EU:" The article then ends with the following statement: "Any good constitution makes it harder for governments to ignore their citizens. Europe needs that badly" - Source: The Economist 28 October 2000. The draft constitution for the European Union is published in the same issue of the Economist.

Phare Review 2000 - Strengthening Preparations for Membership

The European Commissioner for Enlargement, Günter Verheugen, has presented to the Commission the results of a review which shows that the reforms introduced in 1997 have begun to show positive results, but more needs to be done with the approach of accession, like: enhancement, the absorption capacity of the candidates, agreement with candidate countries on multi-annual programmes, increased responsibility for candidates for managing EU funds as well as increased use of Structural Funds approaches within Phare.

A communication from Commissioner Verheugen is available in English, French and German on the Enlargement web site of the European Commission where the full text of the Review is also available: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enlargement/whatsnew.htm

Enhancing competitiveness across Europe

"Europe's competitiveness is improving, but still not fast enough to close the gap with our competitors", said Enterprise and Information Society Commissioner Erkki Liikanen. "We need to have a better idea of where we should improve to meet this challenge." The main findings of the European Commission's initiative are presented in a working document entitled "Better, but not yet the Best". This document also draws on the findings of the recent Commission Communication "Innovation in a knowledge-driven economy". In addition, the Commission has issued the following documents:

The entire competitiveness package is available on: http://europa.eu.int/comm/enterprise/enterprise_policy/competitveness/index.htm

Rural development programmes for Estonia, Lithuania and Slovakia are endorsed

These programmes will be co-financed by the EU's pre-accession instrument SAPARD. Nine out of the ten programmes submitted by the Central and Eastern European countries have now been approved. Welcoming this advance, European Commissioner Franz Fischler said: "We have made an important step towards getting this major project off the ground. The programmes contain concrete proposals to make agriculture in the candidate countries more competitive and to help implement the acquis communautaire".

Study on economic developments in the candidate countries in the first half of 2000

Substantial economic growth in the candidate countries in the first half of 2000 confirms the return to higher growth observed at the end of 1999. On an annualised basis it ranges from around 2% in Lithuania, Slovakia and Romania, to over 6% in Hungary and Estonia. Real GDP growth in Bulgaria, Latvia, Poland and Turkey is between 5 and 6%. Both unemployment and inflation are higher than last year in most candidate countries, with the notable exception of unemployment in Hungary and Slovenia. The current account deficits are increasingly financed by foreign direct investment inflows. An analysis of the economic developments in the candidate countries in the first half of 2000 is in the Quarterly "Economic Reform Monitor" published by the DG of Economic and financial Affairs (ECFIN). Economic forecasts for the candidate countries will be published in the next issue of the "Economic Reform Monitor". Copies of the report are available in the DG ECFIN's Web site: http://europa.eu.int/comm/economy_finance/document/eesuppc/2000_3/c2000_3_en.pdf

Economic and Social Committee, ESC

On 18 October 2000, at the ESC plenary session, Mr. Göke Frerichs was elected as the new president of ESC. He is German and a member of the ESC's Employers' Group. Mr. John Simpson and Mr Gianni Vinay were elected vice-presidents of ESC. Mr. Simpson is from the UK and a member of the ESC's Various Interests' Group. Mr.Vinay is Italian and is a member of the ESC's Workers' Group.

European Co-operation

The European Agency for Reconstruction, responsible for the identification, preparation and implementation of European Union reconstruction projects in Kosovo, is looking for experts to design and manage assistance programmes in the agriculture, energy and housing sectors.
Further information on how to submit applications is available on: http://europa.eu.int/comm/external_relations/

Social Economy

In light of the European Commission's disengagement from the Consultative Committee for Co-operatives, Mutual Societies, Associations and Foundations, (CCMAF) the representatives of CCACE - Coordinating Committee of European Co-operative Associations), mutual insurance companies (Association Internationale de la Mutualité), associations (CEDAG - European Council for Voluntary Organisations) and foundations (EFC - European Foundation Centre) suggested that the various families could themselves take responsibility for organising a permanent mechanism for consultation and proposed to establish a "Standing European Conference". A meeting will soon take place.



". coop" Top Level Domain Proposal

The restricted top-level domain (TLD) ".coop" has been accepted. The National Cooperative Business Association, NCBA, USA, with the full support of ICA and in partnership with Poptel had proposed .coop - to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers and it was selected with six other new entries out of a list of 44 applications. The new .coop TLD will help the co-operative movement establish a unique identity on the Internet and help co-operative businesses differentiate from other businesses. Only organisations that operate according to internationally recognized co-operative principles will be eligible for registration within the restricted TLD .coop. Further information can be found on: http://www.coop.org/

International Raiffeisen Union

Upon the invitation of the Austrian Raiffeisen Banks, the International Raiffeisen Union held its annual Forum on the topic of "Co-operatives facing the challenges of globalisation" on 20 October in Vienna. In the presence of more than 280 participants, the Forum was organised in the form of two round tables, which followed presentations from the agricultural and savings and credit sectors. The introductory speech by Professor Radermacher, University of Ulm, on the mechanisms and the stakes of globalisation held particular attention. He explained that globalisation does not result from a decision, but from the access to a level of technological development associated with an economic system. In order to develop under sustainable terms, globalisation must be humanized and submitted to regulatory measures, which call for the emergence of a global governance. Co-operatives have a role to play in this perspective as they are economic entities based on values and principles meeting the general interest of the society in which they operate. Co-operatives must be reinforced in order to have a say at national and regional level and thus influence the definition of the new rules of the game.

ICA President Roberto Rodrigues was invited to join the panel of the Forum addressing the concerns of agricultural co-operatives in meeting the challenges of globalisation.

IRU held its annual general meeting before the Forum and re-elected as president Mr. Wim Meijer, who is Chairman of the Board of Rabobank Nederland.

ICA-IRU-WOCCU co-operation

ICA Director-General, Karl-Johan Fogelström, IRU Secretary General, Dr. Hans-Detlef Wülker and WOCCU Chief Executive Officer, Arthur Arnold, met in Vienna on 20 October to discuss ways of collaborating and joint activities between their respective organisations. They felt that the meeting was constructive and decided that collaboration will continue with further meetings to be scheduled for 2001.



All member organisations are requested to send us any relevant information they want to share with other members.

Please send correspondence to ICA EUROPE at the address below.
Deadline for receiving contributions for the next issue is January 31, 2001.



For more details on any of the topics mentioned in the Bulletin please write to:

15 route des Morillons, 1218 Grand-Saconnex, Geneva, Switzerland
Tel: (41 22) 929 88 31/02 Fax: (41 22) 798 41 22
Email: icaeurope@coop.org
Web site: http://www.coop.org/europe/news.html

Last updated: 24 May 2002


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