Cooperatives Europe announces policy priorities for the European elections

Co-ops help build ‘the social and economic fabric of a country and must be recognised in candidate countries’, the apex says

Cooperatives Europe has revealed its manifesto ahead of the elections to the European Parliament, to be held across all EU member states on 6-9 June.

The vote will return 720 members to the European Parliament, who will then vote on whether to endorse Commission president Ursula von der Leyen for a second mandate.

Trade body Cooperatives Europe is asking candidates to prioritise a series of policies to help the sector grow. These includes unleashing the potential of co-operative enterprises for decent work and citizen’s empowerment, supporting the competitiveness and resilience of co-operatives, and an ambitious leadership from the next Commission to implement the Social Economy Action Plan by 2030.

Cooperatives Europe also wants further investment in youth co-operative entrepreneurship with a strong focus on skills and adapting curricula to the needs of the social economy and the twin transition.

On renewable energy, the apex is asking for long-term investments to promote responsible, citizen-centred innovations and to facilitate their uptake at national and regional levels.

And it urges European candidates to leverage the power of co-ops as a driver for democracy and sustainable development in the European Neighbourhood Policy and EU External Action. Co-ops help build “the social and economic fabric of a country and must be recognised in candidate countries as well as in the Ukraine facility”, it adds.

The final call is for the establishment of a co-operative network in the European Parliament.

“Through an active network of MEP ‘co-op supporters’ acting as ambassadors of the movement, we aim to raise awareness about co-operatives and further promote this business model among co-legislators,” the manifesto says.

Cooperatives Europe is encouraging member organisations to use its manifesto to create their own and share them with candidates and parties in their country. The apex is also open to collaborations with candidates and political parties wishing to support co-operative policies. Those interested in collaborations can reach out to Cooperatives Europe’s director, Agnès Mathis, at [email protected]