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#Coopdev seminar: LA & EU cooperatives call on for a continuous political dialogue to strengthen cooperative impact on development

#Coopdev seminar: LA & EU cooperatives call on for a continuous political dialogue to strengthen cooperative impact on development

Thursday, 6 November 2014

On 5th November, Cooperatives of the Americas and Cooperatives Europe in partnership with Coopermondo, FNCUMA and DGRV, organised the workshop “Cooperation between Latin America & Europe: Contributions to an inclusive & sustainable development” within the Cooperative Summit of the Americas in Cartagena, Colombia. The meeting focused on the role of cooperatives in fostering social inclusion and enhancing the political dialogue and inter-regional partnerships between Latin America and Europe. Among the panelists, there were cooperative actors as well as NGOs, EU Institutions and Latin American Parliament representatives.

The seminar was the occasion to emphasize the impact that cooperatives as people-centred businesses have on international development, and in particular, to show their contributions to social inclusion: empowering women, youth and smallholders and enhancing access to finance. Cooperatives include social concerns and locally rooted approaches and therefore represent an ideal option for a complete and continuous development process.

The workshop allowed building up a constructive dialogue on inter-regional cooperative partnerships. This dialogue is crucial to encourage cooperatives to share their experiences and learn from each other. Ramon Imperial, President of Cooperatives of the Americas, said: “It is important that Cooperatives Europe and Cooperatives of the Americas enable a common space for mutual collaboration. Our cooperative networks need to discuss further opportunities and challenges on inter-regional partnerships”.

During the seminar, cooperatives stressed the need to include the cooperative business model in European Institutions and Latin American Parliament’s policies and decisions. Dirk J. Lehnhoff, President of Cooperatives Europe, said: “Cooperatives need a sound and regular political dialogue with decision-makers. Only by creating an enabling environment, cooperatives can achieve their full potential. We therefore call on public authorities to ensure a level playing field between cooperatives and other forms of enterprise.”

 Please, find below the presentation by Marc Noël, Cooperative Development Manager at Cooperatives Europe.