Jean-Louis Bancel elected president of Cooperatives Europe

He said he would work to increase recognition of the co-op model, set out a new future for Europe and promote the movement globally

Co-operatives Europe has a new president with the election of Jean-Louis Bancel on 27 April.

Mr Bancel, who was elected unanimously, is also president of Coop FR, the national apex body for co-ops in France and Crédit Cooperatif, a French co-operative bank. Since 2006 he has been the chair of the Alliance’s International Cooperative Banks Association, which is involved in international matters linked with micro financing, solidarity financing and impact financing.

Jean-Louis Bancel has been elected unanimously

Mr Bancel is succeeding Dirk H Lehnhoff who has led Cooperatives Europe for the past four years.

He said in his speech: “For co-operatives, legitimacy is membership. Co-operatives are not only businesses. The women and men, members of our co-operatives, are at the heart of all Cooperatives Europe’s actions. My objective during this mandate is to raise co-operative pride in Europe.”

Mr Bancel added that he would be focusing on three main objectives.

“In working actively with the new elected board, which is strictly balanced in gender (seven women / seven men), we would first like Cooperatives Europe to be a real common house for national apexes and for sectoral federations. By canvassing together we shall enhance the knowledge and recognition of the co-operative model. It is important to foster the co-operative pride inside our ranks.

“Secondly, we shall work to make proposals for European institutions (Parliament, Commission and governments) to help to set out a new future for Europe, which is going through a hard time, especially due to a lack of trust, determined by a declining room given to democratic processes.”

“The third topic we will focus on will be to keep the high involvement of the European co-operative movement into the global process for building a better world that was fostered by the International Year of Co-operatives.”

Cooperatives Europe also has a new board comprising 13 members representing national organisations. The newly elected board includes: Pernilla Bonde (HSB, Sweden), Vanya Boyuklieva (CCU, Bulgaria), Rostislav Dvořák (DACR, Czech Republic), Mieczyslaw Grodzki (NCC, Poland), William Janssens, (Febecoop, Belgium), Dirk. J. Lehnhoff (DGRV, Germany), Stefania Marcone, (Alleanza Cooperative Italiane, Italy) Ed Mayo (Co-operatives UK, United Kingdom), Caroline Naett (Coop FR, France), Ünal Örnek (ORKOOP, Turkey) Anu Puusa, (Pellervo, Finland), Malena Riudavets (Coceta, Spain), Susanne Westhausen, (KOOPERATIONEN, Denmark), Massimo Bongiovanni (Euro Coop), Giuseppe Guerini ( Cecop),  Christian Pèes (Cogeca), Etienne Pflimlin (EACB).

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