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International Co-operative Day

The International Co-operative Day / International Day of Co-operatives is celebrated on the first Saturday of July every year. Its aim is to increase awareness on co-operatives and promote promote the movement's successes and ideals of international solidarity, economic efficiency, equality, and world peace. The International Day also aims to to strengthen and extend partnerships between the international co-operative movement and other actors, including governments, at local, national and international levels.

The Alliance first celebrated International Day in 1923, though the earliest record we have in digital format on this web site is from the year 2000. In 1994, thanks to the lobbying efforts made through the Committee for the Promotion and Advancement of Cooperatives (COPAC) of which the Alliance is a member, the United Nations recognised and reaffirmed that co-operatives have an important role to play in economic, social and cultural development and proclaimed an UN International Day of Co-operatives to be celebrated for the first time in 1995, marking the centenary of the establishment of the Alliance. The UN requested all its member governments to join with their co-operative movements to celebrate the day.
The decision of the UN to celebrate an international day with the Alliance highlights the complementarity of the goals and objectives of the United Nations and the international co-operative movement. Both the Alliance and UN Days are celebrated on the same day - the first Saturday in July every year.
Since 1995, the Alliance and the United Nations through COPAC jointly set the theme for the celebration of the International Day. It underscores the contribution of the movement to resolving global issues addressed both the Co-operative Movement and the United Nations. The theme is generally selected in spring. The Alliance prepares a message for the Day which is disseminated to all Alliance members, international organisations including the United Nations and its agencies, development partners and the press. 
Source:  International Co-operative Alliance

The 2016 International Co-operative Day 


The slogan for the 2016 International Day of Co-operatives is ‘Co-operatives: The power to act for a sustainable future’. The slogan was chosen to emphasize the co-operative contribution to the United Nations' Sustainable Development goals, or SDGs.

Co-operatives are important partners to achieve the SDGs, because they foster democracy, practice social inclusion and operate with concern for the environment, all while having a significant economic impact on the world economy. On July 2, the 2016 International Day of Co-operatives, we commit our support to the SDGs!

During the United Nations General Assembly in September 2015, world leaders committed to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, outlining an ambitious vision for a better world.

They agreed on seventeen Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to wipe out poverty, fight inequality and injustice and tackle climate change, all over the next fifteen years.

Locally rooted and people driven, co-operatives contribute to sustainable economic growth, social development and environmental responsibility.


Source: International Co-operative Alliance




The 2016 International Co-operative Day

‘Co-operatives: The power to act for a sustainable future’


Croatian Centre for Cooperative Entrepreneursip an apex organisation of Croatian cooperative movement organised an International Conference and International festival of cooperative products on the occasion of International Cooperative Day on 1st and 2nd July, 2016 at Zagreb. The Conference addressed the theme of this year celebration ‘Co-operatives: The power to act for a sustainable future’.

Conference gathered more than hundred participants, all representatives of cooperatives, cooperative associations and other relevant institutions. The main goal of this annual event was to raise awareness about cooperative entrepreneurship and its importance to economy and to the local community. Three main topics of conference were taxation treatment of cooperatives: presentation of good practice in some of EU countries and stressing out the difficult position of cooperatives in Croatia due to discriminating tax treatment; increasing visibility of cooperative products: marking cooperative product with label coop, and the involvement of youth in cooperatives: presentation of school cooperatives and first student cooperative.

The eminent speakers and distinguished guests were:

  • Dr.Sonja Novković, Committee Chair, The Committee on Co-operative Research ICA (CCR – ICA)
  • Rosario Altieri, President, Associazione Generale Cooperative Italiane (A.G.C.I.), Italy
  • Klaus Niederlander, former Director of the Cooperatives Europe
  • Ilda Stanojević, Director, Croatian Centre for Cooperative Entrepreneursip (CCCE), Croatia
  • Tonino Picula, Member of the European Parliament
  • Antonio Lucidi, President, Associazione Generale Cooperative Italiane Abruzzo (A.G.C.I. Abruzzo), Italy
  • Pilar Alguacil, Professor of Financial and Taxation Law, Universitat de València, Spain
  • Dr.Andreas Wieg, Head of the Executive Staff Department at German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation (Deutscher Genossenschafts- und Raiffeisenverband; DGRV), Germany
  • Lordan Ljubenkov, President, Cooperative Alliance of Dalmatia, Croatia
  • Blanka Horvat Dragojević, Secretary, Croatian association of student cooperatives (HUUZ), Croatia
  • Josipa Vurnek, Director, Fabric8 co – op, first student cooperative in Croatia
  • Marinela Tomić, Senior Expert Advisor, Croatian Centre for Cooperative Entrepreneursip (CCCE), Croatia

Chairman and Managing Directors of National level Alliances, officials of the Ministry of Entrepreneursip and Crafts, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, City of Zagreb, representatives of educational institutions etc. were also present besides the representatives of cooperatives  in Croatia.

Speaking on the occasion Mr Rosario Altieri, President of Associazione Generale Cooperative Italiane  in his introduction said: 'There are less rich who get richer, and more and more of the poor who are getting poorer. It is becoming unsustainable. And therefore cooperatives in its center place the man and the creation of wealth that all members of the cooperative share together as cooperatives tends to the common good.'

Committee Chair of The Committee on Co-operative Research ICA, Dr.Sonja Novković told that it is important support cooperatives to educational level, and to the universities, and that is a specialty of cooperatives that it was a movement for young people.

'In Croatia there are 1,302 cooperatives and 21,462 cooperative members, and in these cooperatives operate 2,744 employees, which is 0.17% of the total number of employees in Croatia. In the world number of employees  in cooperatives makes 3-10% of the total number of employees. Our annual revenue is 1.6 billion. By industry, 41% of our cooperatives are focused on agriculture and forestry' - presented the Director of Croatian Centre for Cooperative Entrepreneursip, Ilda Stanojevic.

MEP Tonino Picula pointed out that the associated producers are the foundation of good stories about the association and obtaining a quality label EU. Continued by the former Director of the Cooperatives Europe, Klaus Niederländer saying: 'The cooperative principle - working together towards a common goal. Whatever you do, you can find the basis for the cooperative. A basis of the cooperative movement are the individual effort and solidarity, the principle of give and take.'

As a part of the International Day of Cooperatives, was also held an International Festival of cooperative products. The Festival, with the aim of promoting cooperative movement, gathered more than 40 different types of cooperatives: agricultural,  students, social, energy, ethics and others.



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