CO-OPERATIVE ACTION INWASHINGTON

Date

14 Nov 2008

Sections

Enlargement

Press release

CO-OPERATIVE ACTION INWASHINGTON

THE G20 MEETING INWASHINGTON ON 15TH NOVEMBER WILL BE THE OPPORTUNITY FOR THE WORLD’S LEADERS TO ACT CO-OPERATIVELY
AND USE THEIR COMBINED POLITICAL & FINANCIAL STRENGTH TO ADDRESS THE EFFECTS OF THE GLOBAL FINANCIAL CRISIS

The President of the European Council, French President, Nicolas Sarkozy, is calling for among other
things, the restoration of confidence in the financial system. He and his fellow leaders must look to the
co-operative sector of the global economy for the business model that reflects trust and confidence. It is
no coincidence that the world’s most successful and stable economies generally also happen to have the
world’s most co-operative economies.

The co-operative sector in Europe provides 5.4 million jobs and is owned and controlled by 163 million
people through 267,000 co-operative enterprises. People know that a ‘co-operative’ is a different kind of
business - values led and with a different ethos. It is a business model that is true to its global values
and principles of self-help, sustainability, community ownership and control, democratic participation,
fairness and transparency. It is a model that is not at the mercy of stock markets because it relies instead
on member funds for its value; and is not subject to executive manipulation and greed because it is
controlled by local people for local people, the owners of the co-operative. It is a business where the
profits are returned to the member users who trade with it, thus keeping the wealth generated by local
businesses in the local community for the good of the local environment and families.

It is also no coincidence, that those co-operative businesses that have stayed faithful to cooperative values
and principles, are the same businesses that in recent weeks have benefited from the flight of deposits
and bank accounts from the failing and collapsing investment houses and banks – an acknowledgement
of the continuing trust with which they are endowed by the general public.

Commenting on the current crisis, COOPERATIVES EUROPE co-Presidents, Pauline Green and Etienne Pflimlin
note:
“Any changes to the current global financial structures must be done with full transparency and
have at their core the values of trust, democracy and fairness. They must not be merely a ‘quick fix’
that only reflect any new international relations with the countries that are being called upon to
boost the IMF funds.”
“Regulatory reform must take special note of the stability and security of the co-operative global
economy and its value to the millions of individuals and families which it is supporting in all corners of
the world, and give this model of business the recognition and political support that its contribution
demands. The co-operative model must not be put in jeopardy due to a lack of recognition of its
unique characteristics, as happened recently when considering the review of auditing and
accounting systems of businesses.”

ENDS

06 November 2008