Start of the Year

On the 12th of January 2012 co-operatives across Europe and around the world joined their voices and marked the start of the International Year of Cooperatives.

A whole range of events took place around the globe.

In Brussels, Cooperatives Europe held a joint press conference with European organisations representing co-operative sectors to release the political agenda for 2012 – Co-operatives for Europe: Moving forward together and announce the European Co-operative Week, which will take place in Brussels from 23 to 27 April 2012.

In the UK, Ed Mayo – Secretary General of Cooperatives UK – Pauline Green – President of the ICA, Charles Leadbeater, economist and innovation thinker, Len Wardle, Chair of the Co-operative Group came together to discuss whether co-operation is the key to rebuilding British business. It was organised by Co-operatives UK, The Co-operative Group and The Guardian and broadcast live on the Global News Hub. Co-operative Development Scotland hosted an event at which Edinburgh Bicycle Co-operative presented its expannsion plan.

In Italy, a major press conference was organised by the Alliance of Italian Co-operatives (AGCI, Confcooperative and Legacoop) in Rome, while a whole series of press conferences was held in parallel at sectoral and regional level. Federcasse, the association of Italian co-operative banks, also held a press conference in Milan. Press conferences took place across other Italian cities: Ravenna, Rimini.

In France, CoopFR organised a press conference to release its report on co-operative enterprises in France: ’Panorama sectoriel et Top 100 des entreprises coopératives’. On this occassion CoopFR also revealed its new visual identity.

In Denmark, Kooperationen launched Kooperation – for en bedre verden, a page on Facebook dedicated to the International Year of Cooperatives in Danish.

In Bulgaria, the Central Co-operative Union celebrated the launch of the International Year: news on the launch appeared on their website and on their newspaper ’Zemya’. 40.000 helium ballons on 2012 IYC were released into the sky; an advertisment on 2012 was boradcast on Bulgarian TV.

In Portugal an opening ceremony was held to present the programme of the Portuguese co-operative movement for the International Year. The Minister of Solidarity participated in the event, which was virtually linked to the one organised by Co-operatives Uk and The Co-operative Group.

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