Cooperatives Europe – the European region of the International Cooperative Alliance, launched yesterday the European Young Cooperators Network. The launch took place during 2015 Cooperatives Europe General Assembly in Paris.
A panel discussion was organised to open a dialogue with young cooperators, who held their first meeting the day before. Alfonso Aliberti, Policy Coordinator at the European Youth Forum, moderated the roundtable. “Young cooperators have the motivation and the tools to make the cooperative movement stronger”, Aliberti said.
Rhiannon Colvin, from the British cooperative AltGen said “The cooperative movement will only transform society if we put young people at the heart of it. The European Young Cooperators Network can help to give a voice to young people within and outside the cooperative movement.”
Sébastien Chaillou, young cooperator from Solidarité Etudiante, said: “Now that the European Young Cooperators Network is up and running, we will create a space for young cooperators to promote and disseminate our demands.”
Chiara Bertelli, youth representative at the Alliance of Cooperatives said: “We want to apply cooperative principle six, Cooperation among cooperatives. We want to let cooperatives meet each other and develop together around Europe, and to do this young cooperators, who were born and raised within the European Union, are in the best position to do this. We have the strength and motivation to do that.”
The initiative was welcomed and strongly supported by Dirk J. Lehnhoff, President of Cooperatives Europe, and Jean-Louis Bancel, President of Coop FR, both taking part in the panel discussion. Also, the President of Cooperatives Europe invited a young representative of the youth network to attend next meeting of Cooperatives Europe board.
Read the opening statement.
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