Worker and social cooperatives have stood up better to the crisis than conventional businesses, whether in terms of economic performance, rate of employment or survival. However, according to the third annual report on the crisis, published during the summer by the International Organisation of Industrial, Artisan and Service Producers’ Cooperatives (CICOPA), non-European cooperatives seem to be faring better than those in Europe.
Among the 24 CICOPA members participating in the survey (from 19 countries (1)), non-European members have more optimistic expectations for 2011 in terms of the economic situation for their affiliated cooperatives. None of them reported a decrease in employment or any closure of cooperative enterprises in 2010.
For CICOPA and its regional organisation for Europe (CECOP-CICOPA Europe, which represents some 50,000 cooperatives), this phenomenon “seems to suggest that the ‘single market’ economic structure, with all its obvious advantages in terms of potential for economic development, is causing European countries to lose some levels of protection that may be needed in a crisis situation in order to prevent one country from suffering from a negative economic domino effect from its neighbours”.