How co-operative banks build a sustainable world

Co-operative banks will connect with academics and stakeholders at the European Co-operative week in Brussels next week (25 April).

Co-operative banks will connect with academics and stakeholders at the European Co-operative week in Brussels next week (25 April).

The main subject of discussion will be the role of co-operative banks in a more sustainable and inclusive growth in the world.

What do speakers expect from the event? Professor Giovanni Ferri, from the Department of Economical Sciences, University of Bari, Italy, talks to the News about his expectancy from the discussion.

“I hope we’ll make a step to give a new attention to co-operative economy”, he says, “after the economical crisis, we need to think of a new model of development and co-operatives can be the solution or the alternative to an economy based on idolatry of capitalization.”

Cooperative economy, according to Prof. Ferri, can be an emergency exit but also a way to peg the market.

The panel of discussion will also hear from policy decision makers. “We have to change the mind-frame”, emphasized Prof. Ferri, “and give up the idea that co-operatives are a form of anti-economy; this reality should influence policy decisions.”

According to the Professor, the cooperative economy may be able to guarantee a sustainable and inclusive growth characterized by a model of development in respect of criteria of sustainability, of environment, with a particular responsibility towards future generations and inclusive of all parts of society.

Also speaking at the one-day conference, which will look at how co-operative banks are different from the other banks, will be Piet Moerland, Chairman, Rabobank Group Executive Board, and President, European Association of Co-operative Banks.

From the European Parliament, Sven Giegold, MEP, Committee on Economic & Monetary Affairs, will discuss how co-operative banks operate in the social economy.

• The full programme for the conference is listed below. For more information on Co-operative Week, visit: http://www.coopseurope.coop/2012-coops-year/co-operative-week

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