European co-operative movement gathers in Malta


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European co-operative movement gathers in Malta

On 27 and 28 April, Malta was the venue for the annual assembly of European Co-operatives, at which the Espriu Foundation was represented by its Managing Director, Carlos Zarco. On this occasion, the keynote of the assembly was the renewal of the organisation’s governing body. Jean-Louis Bancel from France was unanimously elected as the new President, along with the 13 members who will make up the Board over the next four years.

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Mr Bancel is the President of Coop FR, the organisation that groups together the French co-operative movement, and is also the President of the co-operative bank Crédit Coopératif. He is likewise a Director of the Global Board of the International Co-operative Alliance.
The new President, who expressed his satisfaction at the strict gender equality of the new Board, stated on taking up his position that his aim was to encourage among members a pride in belonging to the co-operative movement, to maintain their dedication to building a better world, and to work together with Europe’s institutions. “We will dedicate efforts to presenting proposals to the European institutions (the Parliament, the Commission and governments) to help establish a new future for Europe, which is going through a difficult time because of a lack of trust and the subsidence of democratic processes,” Mr Bancel asserted.
Malena Riudavets was elected as Spanish representative, and will sit on the Board of the European organisation. Ms Riudavets is a member of the Executive Board of CEPES, the Spanish Confederation of Social Economy Enterprises, and Vice-President of COCETA, the Spanish Confederation of Workers’ Co-operatives.
During the assembly, the other significant matters debated included the relationship between co-operative enterprise and the collaborative economy, the opportunities for co-operatives within the context of development, the need for the co-operative movement to be included in educational curricula and to reach out to young people, along with challenges regarding cooperative governance.
Co-operatives Europe is the European regional organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance, representing Europe’s co-operative enterprises. With 86 affiliate organisations in 34 countries, it upholds the interests of 140 million co-operative members, the owners of more than 176,000 co-operative enterprises, generating employment for nearly 4.7 million European citizens.

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