Cooperating to fight the crisis

The role that cooperatives play in the European economy was highlighted by the European Parliament today.

Profitability with solidarity means cooperatives serve as a springboard for social innovation. The greater resilience of cooperatives, not relying on financial markets, means they make a substantial contribution to beating the crisis. The European Parliament today voted for a clearer and more coherent legislative framework for cooperatives, a move welcomed by SNP MEP Alyn Smith.

Speaking from Strasbourg, Alyn said:

"Scotland has a long heritage in the cooperative movement. We had the first cooperative - the Fenwick Weavers in Ayrshire. This is a tradition that we should be proud of and I'm glad to be able to support cooperatives at the EU level as well as at home."

"The cooperative model is a success story in difficult times. It has grown significantly in a number of sectors. Cooperatives add around 5% to the GDP of every EU country and are hugely important for economic and social development.

"From finance to agriculture and the environment, cooperatives have shown their strength and really are making a difference internationally.

"This year's UN International Day of Cooperatives is on Saturday and the focus will be on the role of cooperatives in building resilient societies in times of economic, social and environmental crises which ties in nicely with today's vote."