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Press Release: Cooperatives - Key partners in the new European Consensus on Development

17 May 2017

The International Co-operative Alliance is pleased to announce that after a year of actively participating in consultations, Cooperatives Europe achieved the recognition of cooperatives as key actors in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, with three distinct mentions in the new Consensus on Development.

On 17th of May 2017 the European Union adopted the new Consensus on Development. The document is a joint agreement among the major EU Institutions – Commission, Parliament and Council. It provides the framework for a common approach to development policy that will be applied by the EU Institutions and the Member States and will guide their action in their cooperation with all partner countries, responding to the 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development. Furthermore, the EU being the largest donor in development cooperation, the impact of this policy document extends to the global level of international development processes.

Firstly, there is a commitment to “(…) private sector initiatives and social enterprises, cooperatives, and women and youth entrepreneurs, to boost the provision of local services as well as inclusive and green business models”, acknowledging cooperatives as a sustainable business model.

Secondly, the EU and its members will “(…) promote the creation of farmers’ organisations and cooperatives, to address among others, better productivity of family farms, land use rights and traditional farmer based seed systems.”, recognizing the role that cooperatives play in driving poverty eradication and ensuring food security.

Thirdly, the document addresses the diversity of actors within the development sector and their importance in the implementation of the 2030 Agenda, stating that “(…) cooperatives, private sector and civil society have become instrumental partners in reaching the most vulnerable and marginalised people. The promotion and defence of space where these development actors can operate safely is critical for achieving sustainable development.”

Marc Noel, International Development Director, commented “We welcome the new Consensus on Development and especially the recognition of cooperatives as key actors to support achieving the implementation of the SDGs. Within our ICA-EU partnership, we remain committed that together we can pave a better future for development and cooperation worldwide, relying on people-centred businesses anchored in their local communities.”

Follow this link to read the document in full, and read here Cooperatives Europe’s Press Release.