EU international development budget recognises co-ops

Cooperatives Europe welcomed the recognition of co-ops as development actors contributing to sustainable development

The European Parliament has adopted an EU international development budget of €79,462m for the period 2021 – 2027.

The Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) – Global Europe, the instrument guiding the budget, makes several mentions to the co-operative model.

Cooperatives Europe welcomed the NDICI’s recognition of co-operatives as development actors contributing to sustainable development, the achievement of the SDGs and the creation of prosperity and decent jobs. It also views positively the EU’s commitment to invest in co-operatives, among other actors, as a way of “promoting socio-economic and environmental resilience in partner countries with a particular focus on the eradication of poverty and the reduction of socio-economic inequalities”.

The apex also welcomed the fact that the European Fund for Sustainable Development Plus (EFSD+), the main EU instrument of private sector investment in EU partner countries, explicitly mentions support to co-operatives as contributors to the EU’s green priorities.

Cooperatives Europe says it supports the EU’s drive to “create an enabling regulatory environment for economic development and support companies, in particular MSMEs including start-ups, as well as co-operatives”. The apex commits to support further common efforts in this direction.

Agnes Mathis, director of Cooperatives Europe, said: “Once again the EU recognises the value of co-operatives as a key economic actor in the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and an inclusive covid-19 recovery in EU External Action.

“Cooperatives Europe will continue to reach out to the EU institutions and advocate to ensure that these important recognitions in the NDICI – Global Europe regulation are also reflected in its implementation.”