Last week I attended a European Worker Co-operatives Conference organised by CECOP in Brussels. This event was a chance to bring worker co-operatives together from all over Europe to swap information and learn from each other.
The worker co-operative model in other countries; especially Italy and Spain is a lot more developed and more numerous than in the UK. The Mondragon Corporation is the largest worker co-operative in the world and the 7th largest businesses in Spain.
We promoted The Worker Co-operative Code of Governance and have sent it to CECOP so it can be translated into other languages. There was particular interest in translating The Code into Spanish, for use in Latin America.
The conference was mainly focused on European structural funds, co-operative financial support organisation and changes to European legislation affecting Social Co-operatives; a term we do not use much in this country but broadly refers to co-operatives dealing with social care or employing dis-advantaged people.