Governance

General Assembly
The General Assembly is the supreme structure of Cooperatives Europe and brings together all the members. The General Assembly meets at least once a year to approve the workplan and budget of Cooperatives Europe and to establish strategic guidelines. 

President
The General Assembly elects one president: Susanne Westhausen. The president also acts as vice-president of ICA for the European Region and chair of the EU Coordination Committee (EUCC).

The Board Members are:

  • BONDE Pernilla of HSB Riksförbund, (Sweden)
  • DEBRY Jacques of Febecoop (Belgium)
  • DE LUCA Katia of Alleanza delle Cooperative Italiane (Italy)
  • GRODZKI Mieczyslaw of the National Cooperative Council (Poland)
  • KAPPES Andreas of DGRV (Germany)
  • MEYER Thomas of Coop-Fr (France)
  • ÖRNEK Ünal of Orkoop (Turkey)
  • PUUSA Anu of Pellervo (Finland)
  • STEFANOV Petar of the Central Cooperative Union (Bulgaria)
  • WOODELL Vivian of Co-operatives UK (United Kingdom)
  • FERRAND Isabelle of EACB,
  • FIEDLER Mathias of Eurocoop,
  • GUERINI Giuseppe of CECOP,
  • POFFERI Leonardo of Cogeca,
  • VANSINTJAN Dirk of Rescoop.EU

Presidency
A maximum of four Vice-presidents form the presidency, which is in charge of preparing the annual and multi-annual budget and workplan, which is then adopted by the board and approved by the General Assembly.

EU Coordination Committee
The EUCC has a mandate from the Board to take positions vis a vis EU institutions, in order to influence EU institutions in favour of policies supportive of cooperative enterprises. This mandate is exerted within the strategies and guidelines decided by the Board. If no strategy of the Board is known or the EU Coordination Committee wants to deviate from the strategy of the Board, it has to consult the Board first. The EU Coordination Committee reports to the Board about its activities.
The members of the Committee are: European sector organizations, National inter-sectoral co-operative organizations coming from the European Union and EFTA member countries, and National inter-sectoral co-operative organizations coming from candidates countries under accession negotiations with the EU. European Members, not mentioned above, from non-EU countries, have the right to participate in EUCC meetings as observers.

Working Groups
In addition to the statutory bodies, Cooperatives Europe can count on a number of specific working groups, which deal with particular themes. Some of them, such as the working group on State Aids, work within the EUCC, intervening in the framework of specific issues. Some others, like the Cooperatives Europe Development Platform and the Energy Group meet on a regular basis and pursue a specific strategy, which is in line with Cooperatives Europe’s strategic guidelines.

 

Board of directors
Cooperatives Europe board is elected by the General Assembly for a four-year term. It is in charge of the development and implementation of the strategic multi-annual programme. 

 

  • Susanne WESTHAUSEN, President

Ms Westhausen has been with “Kooperationen”, Denmark’s national apex for co-ops, since 2007. As chief executive of Kooperationen she has years of experience in the cooperative movement. Ms Westhausen is Board Member in many different national and international organisations such as the think tank on Democratic Business since 2008 and the Board of Cooperatives Europe since 2017. She has been elected president of the European Cooperative movement in the General Assembly held in 2021 in France.

 

  • Pernilla BONDE, Vice-President

Ms Bonde is Chief Executive at HSB Riksförbund since 2009. HSB Riksförbund is the Tenants, Savings and Building Society, it is the largest cooperative housing membership association in Sweden. She is Board member of Cooperatives Europe, since 2013 and Board member of the of Swedish national apex Svensk Kooperation since 2017.

Ms Bonde’s Twitter: @pernillabonde

 

  • Katia DE LUCA, Vice-President

Since 2012 Ms De Luca has been working in Legacoop Puglia, where she currently is Chief of project management, innovation, cooperative promotion. Ms De Luca has other mandates as Coordinator of the Young Cooperators of the Alliance of the Italian Cooperatives where she is also member of the commission for equal opportunities, and Board member in the Pico Foundation.

Ms De Luca’s Twitter: @katia_deluca

 

  • Petar STEFANOV, Vice-President

Dr. Stefanov has been President of the Bulgarian national apex, the Central Cooperative Union, since 2003. Dr. Stefanov has strong footing in the cooperative movement and in the Bulgarian business world obtaining several awards for his contributions in those areas. Dr. Stefanov was elected ICA Board member in 2017 where he chaired the governance committee. He is also currently active as Board Member in the European consumer cooperative association Euro Coop and President of Consumer Cooperatives Worldwide.

 

  • Vivian WOODELL, Vice-President

Mr Woodell is Member of the Board at national apex Co-operatives UK since 2019 and CEO of the Phone Co-op foundation for Co-operative Innovation that he co-founded in 1998. He seats in the Board of co-operatives UK, the Midcounties Co-operative, as well as several other cooperative organisations such as Student co-operative Homes. Mr Woodell became member of the Cooperatives Europe Board in 2021.

Vivian Woodell’s Twitter: @Cooperator1

 

  • Jacques DEBRY

Mr Debry has a rich career as a member of the Board of Belgium’s national apex Febecoop since 1986. He is member of the Board of Cooperatives Europe since 2018. Besides these mandates he is also member of the Board in cooperative CIRIEC Belgium and CIRIEC International since 2017, and he is co-founder of the platform coop “Pwiic” that promotes and enables the sharing economy. Furthermore, Mr Debry seated in the Management Committee of cooperative Multipharma for over 30 years, the leading organisation in drugs supply and pharmaceutical care in Belgium.

Mr Debry’s Twitter: @JacquesDebry

 

  • Mieczyslaw GRODZKI

Dr. Mieczyslaw Grodzki obtained a PhD in Engineering. He is now President of the Board of the Polish apex the National Cooperative Council and is member of the Board of Directors of Cooperatives Europe since 2017. Dr. Grodzki has been involved in the cooperative movement for many years in the banking, housing, and handcraft sectors. He also has several mandates at the international level such as the International Cooperative Banking Association. He has also been active in other cooperative, employer’s and business chambers.

 

  • Andreas KAPPES

Mr Kappes joined the German cooperative movement in 1994 in the Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband e. V. (DGRV). Where he now is member of the executive committee since 2014. He represents DGRV in the Strategic Consultative Group of the Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development of Germany. At the European level he has been member of the Board of Cooperatives Europe since 2017 and member of the Cooperatives Europe development platform since 2012. At the international level Mr Kappes is Secretary-General of the International Raiffeisen Union.

 

  • Thomas MEYER

Mr Meyer is General Manager of SOCAPS, a cooperative group specialising in industrial technical assistance: engineering, assembly, installation, maintenance and connected services. He is also Vice-President of the French Federation of crafts cooperatives (FFCGA) and member of the Board of Coop-Fr. In 2021 he was elected as Board Member of Cooperatives Europe.

 

  • Ünal ÖRNEK

Mr Örnek is coordinator of The Central Union of Turkish Forestry Cooperatives (ORKOOP). He has engaged in strategic planning and policymaking for rural areas and agricultural development and as such made enormous contributions to agricultural organisations and co­operative development in Turkey. In ORKOOP, he is currently occupied with the supervision of training, research, foreign relations coordination. Besides these activities there he is also an agriculture and cooperative journalist. Mr Örnek has been member of the Cooperatives Europe Board since 2017.

Ünal Örnek’s Twitter: @uno58

 

  • Anu PUUSA

Prof. Dr. Puusa is Member of the Board of Finnish national apex Pellervo since 2015. She is currently active as a professor of Management at the University of Eastern Finland and docent of Management and Cooperatives at the LUT School of Business Management and Lappeenranta University of Technology. Dr. Puusa has taken upon herself a wide range of cooperative mandates she is currently part of the Board of Pohjois-Karjalan Osuuskauppa a regional consumer cooperative and other local cooperatives. Furthermore since 2016 she is active as member of the OP-Banking group stakeholder forum and the Management Group.

Since 2017 she has been active as a Board Member at Cooperatives Europe. You might have seen Anu Puusa in the official TED talk.

Anu Puusa’s Twitter: @AnuPuusa

 

  • Isabelle FERRAND

Ms Ferrand has a long history in the Confederation Nationale du Credit Mutuel where she currently holds the position of CEO since 2019. She is also member of the Board of Directors in the International Cooperative Alliance and Member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Cooperative Banks (EACB). It is in this capacity that she represents the cooperative Banking sector at Cooperatives Europe. She is member of the Cooperatives Europe Board since 2021.

 

  • Mathias FIEDLER

Mr Fiedler works in the Central Association of German Consumer Cooperatives e.V. since 2002 where he is spokesperson of the Board of Directors since 2011. He is also active as President of Euro Coop, the association for the promotion of the interests of consumer co-operatives and their consumer-members in Europe and many other cooperative organisations such as: the Heinrich Kauffmann Foundation that runs the Hamburg Co-operative Museum, the Society for the Promotion of Co-operative research Halle-Wittenberg e.V. and the Federal Association for the Promotion of the Cooperative Idea e.V..

 

  • Giuseppe GUERINI

Mr Guerini is president of CECOP, the European Confederation of Industrial Cooperatives and Social Cooperatives, since 2016. He is currently also member the EESC (European Economic and Social Committee). He has been dealing in particular with the social economy and social enterprises. In the past he was President of Confcooperative-Federsolidarietà, and member of the Board in various organisations such as: Banca Popolare di Bergamo of the UBI Group and the Chamber of Commerce, Agriculture and Crafts Industry.

Giuseppe Guerini’s Twitter: @GiuseppeGuerin1

 

  • Leonardo POFFERI

Mr Pofferi is the official representative of European agri-cooperatives organisation Cogeca. He is member of the Italian Cooperative Alliance where he is Director for European Affairs. He is also head of the Brussels office of confcooperative, Vice chairman of the Cooperative Coordination Committee of Cogeca, and member of the Cogeca Presidency.

Mr Pofferi’s Twitter: @LPofferi

 

  • Dirk VANSINTJAN

Dirk Vansintjan is the co-founder and member of many organisations such as the renewable energy coop Ecopower and the European umbrella organisation REScoop.eu. He is active as a Board Member of Ecopower and President of REScoop.eu. Apart from this, Dirk is a volunteer miller and board member of the Flemish umbrella organisation for the preservation of old wind-and watermills and one of the pioneers in Belgium of co-housing.

Mr Vansintjan’s Twitter: @DirkVansintjan