EU member states have signed a joint strategy for the future of European development which includes several mentions of the co-operative movement.
The new European Consensus on Development, which sets out an agenda to eradicate poverty and promote sustainable development, applies to all EU institutions and member states.
It was signed during the annual two-day European Development Days by European Parliament president, Antonio Tajani, Malta’s prime minister Joseph Muscat on behalf of the council and member states, European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker and the high representative/vice-president Federica Mogherini.
In its three mentions of co-operatives, the document highlights their role as key actors in international development and the implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Cooperatives Europe, the regional office of the International Co-operative Alliance, welcomed the new consensus.
“Cooperatives Europe is very proud of such remarkable recognition for co-operatives,” it said in a statement on its website.
“This paper will serve as a reference for external policies and development co-operation during the next decade, and will provide the baseline for any future implementations.”