“The Republic recognizes the social function of cooperation on a mutual basis and without private speculation.
The law shall promote and encourage its increase by the most appropriate means and shall ensure, with the appropriate controls, its character and purpose.” Article 45 of the Italian Constitution.
Alleanza delle cooperative
The cooperative movement has about 40,000 companies in Italy with more than 12 million members, which create employment for more than 1,100,000 people, for an aggregate turnover of about 150 billion euros.
Italian cooperatives are a reality capable of great socio-economic inclusion, with 58% of the employed women and 15% migrants.
The Alliance's co-operators and cooperatives also represent:
- 34% of retail distribution and consumption;
- 24% of Made in Italy food production;
- over 90% of the cooperation engaged in welfare, where 355,000 people employed in cooperatives provide social and health services to 7 million Italians
Legacoop has set up, together with Agci and Confcooperative, the Alliance of Italian Cooperatives as the national coordination of the most representative associations of Italian cooperation.
The international movement
At least 12% of people on earth are members of one of the 3 million cooperatives worldwide. Cooperatives provide jobs or job opportunities for 10% of the world's employed population and the three hundred largest cooperatives or groups of cooperatives generate a turnover of $2.1 trillion while providing the services and infrastructure society needs to thrive (World Cooperative Monitor).
Legacoop is part of the International Alliance of Cooperatives (ICA), which brings together 310 organizations from 109 countries around the world, and its regional branch Cooperatives Europe. The organizations representing cooperatives from developing countries that are members of the ICA are the main partners of the international development cooperation initiatives of Haliéus, with the support of their regional organizations (ICA Africa, ICA Asia-Pacific, ICA America).
In the area of a Framework Partnership Agreement between the European Commission and ICA, a platform of European cooperative organizations active in international cooperative development (CEDP - Cooperatives Europe Development Platform) has been developed in recent years, in which Legacoop actively participates, sharing with other European cooperative organizations the best strategies, tools and practices for supporting the development of cooperative enterprises worldwide. From the European experience of the CEDP, the International Cooperative Development Platform was also created within the ICA, in which the actors of the CEDP also share experiences and strategies with international cooperative development organizations outside Europe (India, US, Canada, etc.).
The Italian cooperative movement has a longstanding committment in supporting the cooperative organizations in Developing Countries. The cooperative enterprises members of Legacoop, as well as its regional, territorial and sectoral structures have contributed to the creation and reinforcement of the cooperative movement in several Developing countries, sharing experiences and expertises. From 2008 to 2017 Legacoop registered around 160 projects implemented by its member cooperatives and its structures in all economic sectors.
The Statute of Legacoop includes in its mandate the "international promotion of cooperation, in particular in the Developing Countries" (art 3.f), in the spirit of the cooperative principles n° 6 "Cooperation among Cooperatives" and n° 7 "Commitment for the Community". For this reason, Legacoop charged Halièus as structure dedicated to the international cooperative development, through the valorization of the expertise and experiences of memeber coopertatives.
At the international level, Legacoop has contributed to the creation of a Platform of the European Cooperative organizations active in the international cooperative development (CEDP - Cooperatives Europe Development Platform), sharing with the other European organizations strategies, tools and best practices for supporting cooperative enterprises throughout the world. The activities of the CEDP are supported by the European Commission within the Framework Partnership Agreement (FPA) signed with the l'Internatinal Cooperative Alliance (ICA). The support of the European Commission led also to the elaboration of several high level researches, policy briefs and data collections on the cooperatives in cooperation at global level. Those researches and data are now available on the Platform Coops4dev .
From the experiences of the CEDP it was born at global level the International Cooperative Development Platform, as Committee of the ICA dedicated to the development cooperation. alla cooperazione internazionale allo sviluppo. Through the ICDP the best practices for supporting cooperatives in development projects are shared at global level also with non-european partner organizations (India, US, Canada, etc).