Spain at the helm of Europe for the next six months

On July 1st, 2023, Spain took on the 6-month rotating presidency of the Council of the EU. Under the slogan “Europe, closer”, the Spanish programme details the 4 main priorities it will tackle until the end of the year: reindustrialization and open strategic autonomy, the twin transition, social and economic justice, and European unity.

With such an ambitious programme, Spain shows its clear determination to take the lead on key areas in need of a political push. This is the case for the social economy where the presidency pledged to promote the Social Economy Action Plan, the European Pillar of Social Rights Action Plan as well as the rights of workers. We particularly welcome the Presidency’s eagerness to foster the adoption of Council conclusions on democracy at work and green collective bargaining. Cooperatives have democracy at the core of their DNA and workers’ participation at the heart of their governance.

Cooperatives Europe is also very pleased with the importance given to the green and digital (twin) transition in this programme. Spain will put digitalization in the spotlight with proposals for two Council Recommendations on improving digital skills in education and training and on the key enabling factors for successful digital education and training. In that regard, we support the efforts to better integrate companies into the training system and have high hopes to see more cooperatives included in the future.

Spain aims to reinvigorate the industrial sector and promote strategic autonomy, which involves Europe reducing its dependency on other regions for critical resources and technology. When it comes to competitiveness, Spain is committed to building resilience and strategic autonomy as well as to giving special consideration to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). We call on the Presidency to do so through the midterm review of the Multi-annual Financial Framework 2021-2027 by sustaining financial aid for SMEs and through the revision of the competitiveness and State aid control policies.

We have high hopes for this ambitious programme which sounds promising for cooperatives across Europe. It is now up to Spain to stay on course to bring to life its promises. Cooperatives Europe follows these developments closely.


Find Spain’s presidency programme here.

Find Spain’s presidency website.


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