Cooperatives Europe has appointed Agnès Mathis as its new director, to work with the organisation’s members and lead the staff team. Ms Mathis succeeds Klaus Niederländer, who has been leading the organisation since 2010.
Ms Mathis, a French national, has worked in the co-operative movement for more than 20 years. After being responsible for European Affairs at Febecoop (the Belgian federation of co-operatives), in 2006 she took over the position of deputy director at Cooperatives Europe, where she is responsible for advocacy and institutional relations.
Cooperatives Europe is the European regional body of the International Co-operative Alliance, and promotes the co-operative business model in Europe on behalf of 84 member organisations from 33 European countries across all business sectors. Its members represent 141 million individual member co-operators owning 176,000 co-operative enterprises and providing jobs to 4.7 million European citizens.
In a statement, the board of Cooperatives Europe said it had “decided to make a significant change in its executive leadership for strategic reasons, with a view to supporting an effective coordination of all the co-operative sector’s activities.”
Dirk J. Lehnhoff, president of the organisation, added: “We thank Klaus Niederländer for the work accomplished at Cooperatives Europe. He successfully managed Cooperatives Europe for more than five years leading the European and global co-operative movement to a partnership with the European Commission in the field of international development.
“Agnès Mathis will now take the lead to raise the political profile of our organisation, in coordination with the whole co-operative movement.”