04 Jun 2018
The 2018 Cooperatives Europe General Assembly took place between 16-18th of May in Helsingor, Denmark. Hosted by Kooperationen focusing on the role of cooperatives for achieving the Sustainable Development Goals, the delegates of European cooperative movement gathered to inspire, exchange and develop actions to further the impact of people-centred enterprises.
The role and success of cooperatives in addressing inequalities, social exclusion and the crises faced was highlighted by President of Jean-Louis Bancel in his introduction to the participants. Ariel Guarco, President of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), highlighted by the role of the ICA in answering the needs of its members while increasing visibility.
Mogens Lykketoft, the invited key-note speaker and former President of the United Nation’s General Assembly, in his speech emphasized the role of women, embracing renewable energy, and innovation among other topics, warning of impossibility of achieving an equal social and economic world without a fair distribution of resources and urging cooperators to take action concerning each UN’s Sustainable Development Goal.
The power of the Danish cooperative movement was introduced by Susanne Westhausen, CEO of Kooperationen and VP of Cooperatives Europe, whereas an extensive overview of Denmark’s actions and commitment to the SDGs was brought forward by Kristen Brosbol, the Former Environment Secretary, MP and Chairman of Danish Network for the SDGs. Her assessment brought cooperative model and in its relevance to SDGs forward as an example for other companies. Opportunities on the EU level as well as intercooperation for successful development worldwide were discussed by European Commission’s Patrick Delvetere.
#MyCoopStory competition award ceremony brought SDG5: gender equality to light through the inspiring projects presented by the winner Ana Teskera from Brlog Cooperative Brewery and Tania Castro from Women with Energy Coop. The Young European Cooperators Network, who also judged #MyCoopStory with Kooperationen, were also invited to participate to the activities of the Assembly bringing a youth voice to workshops and open sessions, including an intervention by Lorenzo Novaro, the newly elected representative of the network.
More information and media material can be found here