2017 Cooperatives Europe General Assembly & Elections


On 27th and 28th of April, Cooperatives Europe held its annual General Assembly in Malta, hosted by Koperattivi Malta, bringing together cooperators from 20 European countries.

The event gathered high-profile speakers such as Joseph Muscat, Prime Minister of Malta as well as Christian Cardona, Minister of Economy, Investment and Small Business, who we thank for supporting and promoting the cooperative movement and social economy in Malta and abroad. In his final speech, Dirk J. Lehnhoff, now former President of Cooperatives Europe, looked back at the last 4 years and stated that the work achieved had exceeded all of his expectations. 

The General Assembly also received a letter from Commissioner Elzbieta Bienkowska (available below), in which she cited cooperatives as important actors in EU entrepreneurial landscape, contributing to economic growth while creating shared values in an inclusive manner. A video address by President of the International Co-operative Alliance can be seen here. The opening session concluded with a video outlining the size of the cooperative movement in Malta as well as an award ceremony by Koperattivi Malta. 

In light of the difficult economic and social challenges faced by Europe, the members had a chance to discuss and debate the role of Cooperatives Europe and its ability to promote the business model and empower the members in their respective countries. Using the audience interaction app Slido, the members voted to discuss and exchange on communication & visibility, entrepreneurship, social economy as well as governance. An infographic with the main statistics from this exchange is available here. 

The 2017 General Assembly also marked the election of new governance bodies – a President and the Board of Directors.  Jean-Louis Bancel (Coop FR, France) was elected unanimously as the new President of Cooperatives Europe, heading the new gender-balanced Board of 13 national members and 4 sectorial members for the next four years. Read the full PR here. 

On the second day the participants had the opportunity to participate to workshops with cooperative experts on topics such as international development, collaborative economy, youth & education, as well as cooperative governance. A new video, titled “The collaborative economy, what is it?” was presented during the closing session. Read more and watch the video.

We would like thank all members, speakers, participants and delegations for excellent exchanges and for setting a cooperative and positive tone to the governance of Cooperatives Europe for the following 4 years.

Click on links below to access multimedia:

Photo Gallery
Video of Dirk J. Lehnhoff’s address and Prime Minister Muscat’s speech
Video of Monique Leroux’ address
Live video with memberson collaborative economy, youth, education and development Summary of the international development workshop
Live video of International Development workshop
Videos of collaborative economy workshop: 1, 2, 3
Behind the scenes video


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