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Co-operatives: Recognised as key actors in international development

04 Jul 2017

On 7 June, the New European Consensus on Development – an overarching strategy to guide the implementation of the 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda – was signed at highest EU level by the president of the European Parliament Antonio Tajani, President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker, the Prime Minister of Malta Joseph Muscat on behalf of the EU Council and High Representative Federica Mogherini.

Cooperatives Europe, the regional office of the International Co-operative Alliance, has played a critical role within the consultations organised on the Consensus on Development over the last year, and is pleased to have obtained three distinct mentions that highlight the importance of co-operatives.

This landmark document stresses that “co-operatives … have become instrumental partners in reaching the most vulnerable and marginalised people”. It states that the EU pledges to promote “the creation of farmers’ organisations and co-operatives to address, among others, better productivity of family farms, land-use rights and traditional farmer-based seed systems.” The consensus mentions further that the EU will “promote private sector initiatives and social enterprises, co-operatives, and women and youth entrepreneurs, to boost the provision of local services as well as inclusive and green business models”.

Marc Noel, International Development director, said: “We welcome the new Consensus on Development and especially the recognition of co-operatives 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 co-operation worldwide, relying on people-centred businesses anchored in their local communities.”

Photo: EU leaders signing the Consensus