Although the newly published Commission’s proposal for environmental and energy aid presents a slight improvement from the draft version, it still does not favour local efforts towards decentralised energy production.
Dirk J. Lehnhoff, President of Cooperatives Europe, participated on Tuesday 8th April in a roundtable organised by the Emilia Romagna regional federation of the Alliance of Italian Cooperatives, where he met several Italian candidates to the next European Elections. In his speech he highlighted how “the sole focus of the EU on competition over the last 20 years has made Europe weaker, more socially divided and has not created the sustainable jobs that politicians had promised”.
On 14th March, Cooperatives Europe released its contribution to the consultation of the EU Commission on a draft notice on the notion of state aid pursuant to Article 107 (1) TFEU. The objective of the draft notice is to provide guidance for identifying state aid measures that need to be notified to the EU Commission for approval.
On 31st January, the third meeting of the permanent working group on cooperatives set up by EU Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani took place in Brussels. The topic of this session was financing of cooperatives & business development support services.
On January 22nd, the DG Energy of the EU Commission released the EU 2030 framework for climate and energy policies, waiting to be approved by the European leaders at the next European Council on March 20th and 21st. The 2030 climate package will define the EU’s climate and energy policies beyond 2020 building on the experience and lessons learnt from the 2020 framework.
On January 16-17 the social business conference ‘Social entrepreneurs: have your say!’ took place in Strasbourg, organised by the European Commission. The conference’s objective was to take stock of the implementation of the Social Business Initiative and identify future priorities to shape the European agenda for the next 3-5 years. At the same time it intended to engage stakeholders in a participative environment and to strengthen stakeholder networks.
On 27th December, the first comments and observations made by the cooperative movement concerning the new EU programme 2014-2020 for Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) were introduced to the EU Commission, DG Development & Cooperation.
On 16th and 17th November, Cooperatives Europe attended the sixth edition of the Citizens’ Energy Forum in London. The Citizens’ Energy Forum is an event organised by the DG Energy of the EU Commission which objective is setting up a dialogue between consumers, energy regulators and suppliers on the role of consumers (consumers understood as citizens) within the European Energy policies.
Following a series of news about a few large European cooperative enterprises in the European press over the last couple of weeks, the President of Cooperatives Europe Dirk J. Lehnhoff addressed a formal letter to the Financial Times in response to an article in its 29th November edition.