Three member organisations of Cooperatives Europe were part of the official delegation accompanying EU Commission's Vice-President Tajani on his 'Mission for Growth' to Morocco and Tunisia at the end of November 2012. The objective of the visit was to reinforce commercial partnerships, in order to help industry and SMEs to fully exploit the trade relations potential between these two North African countries and the EU.
The Economic and Social Committee of the Republic of Bulgaria, supported by the Bulgarian cooperative movement, held the conference "The role of cooperatives for the development of social economy' on December 4 in Sofia. Etienne Pflimlin, Co-president, and Klaus Niederländer, Director, were invited to speak on behalf of Cooperatives Europe.
On 19th November 2012 Cooperatives Europe participated in a conference in Ioannina, Greece, on promoting the cooperative enterprise model, organised by Kapa Network and the Ioannina University. In these times of crisis, there is a growing interest in collectively owned enterprises, which are rooted in local communities and which create and maintain local employment.
By organizing a workshop at the World Forum Lille, Cooperatives Europe brought cooperatives to one of the world largest forums for socially responsible enterprises. The title of the workshop was ‘Empowering people around the world through the cooperative enterprise model’ and chaired by the Director of Cooperatives Europe, Klaus Niederländer, two cooperatives from Europe and Latin America presented concrete examples to the delegates of the cooperative difference in this area.
On the occasion of Co-operatives United, the culmination event of the International Year of Cooperatives, Cooperatives Europe organised a series of events on cooperatives and renewable energy in Manchester. On october 31, the film 'The fourth revolution' was projected, followed by a discussion with the audience. On November 2, together with Rescoop.EU and The Co-operative Group, Cooperatives Europe organised three panel discussions on renewable energy cooperatives and how to set them up. The events were oversubscribed proving the great interest in this topic.
Cooperatives Europe and the Fair Trade Advocacy Office (FTAO) join forces yet again in promoting a people-centered business approach, especially with regard to the private sector as an emerging development actor.
Intervening at the conference 'Cooperatives – a vector of change in Europe,' Danilo Türk, President of the Republic of Slovenia and honorary chairman of the International Year of Cooperatives in Slovenia, expressed his strong support for cooperative enterprises as important agents for change in difficult and uncertain times.
The 32nd World Food Day was celebrated on 16th October 2012. This year theme 'Agricultural cooperatives – key to feeding the world' highlights the role of cooperatives in improving food security and contributing to the eradication of hunger.
On October 10, 2012 Cooperatives Europe director Klaus Niederländer took part in an international strategy meeting of 40 European policy makers and experts from 15 European countries as well as Canada in the north of Denmark. This parliamentary hearing was organised by the World Future Council and the Climate Service Center, in order to push forward the renewable energy transition in Europe and on how to actually achieve it.
High-level policy documents and fora are increasingly involving the private sector in development activities. But which private sector? From where? What kind of approaches? And how is the private sector being involved in the achievement of development goals?