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European action plan for social economy: Better regulation for social economy : the fruitful inspiration of the experience of cooperative law

For Ius Cooperativum feedback to the above call, please download the file here

Reminder! 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law, 29-30 November 2021, Seoul, Republic of Korea

The extended deadline to submit  abstracts  of papers  for the  3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law  that will be organized on 29 and 30 November 2021 in Seoul as a pre- event of  the 33rd ICA World Cooperative Congress, is the 5th of April 2021

Those whose abstract was submitted and accepted by the scientific committee in 2020, should send their full paper as early as possible, latest by July 31, 2021

Please note that the email address for submissions and questions related to the forum  is  [email protected]

International Online Conference on Cooperative Law Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law, Russia 06-07 April 2021 11.00 (GTM+3) Platform Zoom

Dear colleagues and friends,

We are delighted to invite you at an international online conference on cooperative law on the topic “The evolution of cooperative law in the era of globalization in the countries of Eastern Europe, Central Asia and other countries of the world” organized bythe Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law and the International Association of Cooperative Lawyers “IUS Cooperativum”.

Conference languages:
Russian and English

To participate at the Conference please register at the following address: www.confcooplaw.bukep.ru

Full information about the conference will be posted on the conference website www.confcooplaw.bukep.ru

For questions regarding the conference, contact:

Tarasova Elizaveta Evgenievna, Doctor of Economics, Professor, First Vice-Rector for Research, Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law tel. +7 (4722) 26-07-47
Gomonko Evelina Anatolyevna, Candidate of Economics, Associate Professor, Head of the International Department, Belgorod University of Cooperation, Economics and Law tel. +7 (4722) 31-12-92 WhatsApp: +79107417568
e-mail: [email protected]

Webinar on Asian Pacific Co-operative Law, 1st March at 7pm JST (11am Paris time)

Dear colleagues,

We would be grateful if you could pass on this information to your networks regarding a zoom webinar that will be held on Monday 1st March at 7pm JST (11am Paris time). The topic is Asian Pacific Co-operative Law. Mr Akira Kurimoto will present a webinar providing an overview of co-operative laws in Japan and the new Workers Co-operatives Act will be covered. Ms Ann Apps will present a webinar providing an overview of co-operative law in Oceania including Australia, NZ, Vanuatu, Kiribati and Fiji. Both speakers were regional or sub-regional experts for the ICA-EU Legal Frameworks Analysis project as part of the #coops4dev project.

You will find details about the content of the webinar and can register for the event at this link, : https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ius-cooperativum-asian-pacific-co-operative-law-webinar-tickets-142409276981 . You will receive an automatic email once registered that includes the Zoom details at he very bottom of the page.

We would be very grateful if you would circulate this email to those who you think might be interested in attending. The event is free.

Call for abstracts – ICA CCR Europe 2021 Research Conference

The  ICA CCR Europe 2021 Research Conference  will take place on line 7-9 July 2021. 

Abstracts may be submitted before the 5 April 2021 and  panel proposals before the 1st March 2021.

For more information, please visit the conference website http://ica-ccr2021.eu

Reopening call for abstracts

3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law, 29-30 November 2021, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Change of Dates and Reopening Call for Abstracts

Important Note

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 33rd World Cooperative Congress and related events are now rescheduled to take place from 28 November to 3 December 2021.

The preparatory Cooperative Research Conference and the 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law Forum will take place on 28-30 and 29-30 November 2021, respectively and will be precursors for thematic debates based on scientific and analytical contributions aimed to build content for discussions during the Congress.

The call for abstracts and the call for panel proposals are open again for submissions until April 5, 2021!

We invite you to read this detailed call extension, and request you to direct your questions and concerns regarding the 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law to [email protected]Back to top

Context of the 33rd ICA World Cooperative Congress

2020 marked 125th anniversary of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the 25th anniversary of the ICA Statement on the Cooperative Identity. It was also a year spent amid a pandemic that continues in 2021. As a result, the 33rd World Cooperative Congress was rescheduled to be organized in December 2021 in Seoul, Republic of Korea. The decision to further defer the Congress was taken by the ICA Global Board towards the end of 2020 considering the most recent situation of the spread of the COVID-19 virus as well as the progress being made by the scientific and medical communities to protect human life, this year.

The Congress offers a unique opportunity to celebrate and deepen the understanding of the cooperative identity and the profound social and economic impact of cooperatives worldwide with discussions on questions such as:

  • How does the cooperative movement transform societies?
  • How does the cooperative way of doing business create an innovative pathway to a sustainable future?
  • How cooperatives show resilience and innovation, and help communities, in the wake of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic?

The event will explore how the cooperative identity positively addresses current global issues like climate action, sustainable development, conflicts and violence, income and wealth inequality, gender equality and the future of work. The competitive advantage of the cooperative identity — business performance, market share, best governance and management practices and the unique nature of cooperative capital will also be explored.

A “Call to Action” to be launched in preparation of the Congress will bring together the cooperative movement to discuss commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals that will most directly impact both global stability and human development.

What is a World Cooperative Congress?World Cooperative Congresses, organized by the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA), convene only on very special occasions: the creation of the ICA (1st Congress, 1895); the approval of the Statement on the Cooperative Identity (31st  Congress, 1995); or the UN International Year of Cooperatives (32nd Congress, 2012).These are gatherings of cooperators at large including representatives of ICA member organizations. The 33rd World Cooperative Congress 2020, initially foreseen for December 2020 and now postponed to 1-3 December 2021, still in Seoul will be only the second Congress to be held outside Europe and is an opportunity to reaffirm the universal value and recognition of the cooperative identity.Read more about the 33rd World Cooperative Congress at www.icaworldcooperativecongress.coop

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law will be organized on 29 and 30 November 2021 in Seoul as a pre-Congress event. The Forum along with the ICA Cooperative Research Conference will be the precursor for debates on key-themes and sub-themes of the World Cooperative Congress, building content for discussions based on scientific and analytical contributions.

Abstracts for papers under this new and re-opened call must be submitted by April 5, 2021. Final papers to be submitted by July 31, 2021.

Those whose abstract was submitted and accepted by the scientific committee in 2020, should send their full paper as early as possible, latest by July 31, 2021Back to top

Background

After the 1st International Forum on Cooperative Law at Montevideo in 2016 and the 2nd such event at Athens in 2018, the 3rd Forum takes place at Seoul, i.e. in yet another region of the ICA, namely in the Asia and Pacific. It is organized by the Ius Cooperativum Association, with the support of the ICA through its Cooperative Law Committee. The theme of this Forum is “The Identity of Cooperatives and the Harmonization of Cooperative Laws. Match or Mismatch?

Cooperative law is increasingly understood as the translation into legal rules of the cooperative principles as related to the cooperative values and to the definition of cooperatives laid down in the 1995 ICA Statement on the cooperative identity (ICA Statement). Not the least the 2001 United Nations “Guidelines aimed at creating a supportive environment for the development of cooperatives” (Paragraphs 9.-16.) and the International Labour Organization “Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (n° 193)” (Paragraph 10.(1) et passim), attest to that. While this shared understanding recognizes the role of law as concerns the strengthening and the protection of the cooperative identity and as it confirms the raison d´être of cooperative law as a distinct field of legal science, the potentially counterproductive effects of the harmonization of cooperative laws, which these same international texts support, raises concerns.

Indeed, Paragraph 18 of ILO R. 193 suggests that “[I]nternational cooperation should be facilitated through […] developing, where it is warranted and possible […] common regional and international […] legislation to support cooperatives.” Opinions on the desirability and feasibility of the harmonization of cooperative law are divided, among practitioners and academics alike. Opponents invoke the close link between the idea of cooperatives and cultural givens to conclude that harmonization should not be pursued; proponents of the harmonization tend to refer to the harmonization of other business organization laws to conclude that harmonized law would create the same competitive conditions for cooperatives as it does for other types of enterprises. The former overlooks the fact that a great number of cooperative laws are already harmonized and more are in the process of being harmonized; the latter tends to overlook the problems of harmonization; each side emphasizes a different aspect of cooperatives, namely the associative and the entrepreneurial aspect, respectively. Both sides operate with a rather vague notion of “harmonization”. Both sides hint to an issue in the translation of the cooperative principles into law which is prone to turning the match between identity and harmonization into a mismatch: Principles imply diverse applications, including diverse cooperative laws; harmonized legal rules imply homogenizing abstractions from this diversity. The challenge consists in matching the possible need for harmonization with the need for diverse identities which constitute the identity of cooperatives.Back to top

Suggested Topics

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law is to produce insights into how to deal with this challenge and into the question whether the harmonization of cooperative law/s is an obstacle to or a facilitator for the translation of the cooperative principles into legal rules. Particular attention might be given to the impact the current pandemic will (have to) have on (cooperative) law.

Therefore, contributions may deal with either or both of two interrelated sets of questions:

1. Questions concerning the cooperative principles, such as (among others)

  • Do cooperatives have a legal obligation to respect the cooperative principles?
  • Do cooperatives translate the cooperative principles into rules of their statutes? Research from a legal sociological point of view.
  • Considering the legal nature of the ICA Statement and the ILO R. 193, do legislators have to take the cooperative principles into account?
  • Considering the legal nature of the ICA Statement and the ILO R. 193, is the difference between the ways they express the cooperative values and principles relevant?
  • What is the entry point for the cooperative principles into legal rules? Direct or via legal principles, especially the legal principle of solidarity? Legal principles of the legal order concerned or autonomously developed cooperative legal principles?
  • What are the legal effects of the different ways by which the cooperative principles are being translated into legal rules (“simple” reference, inclusion, transcription…)? 
  • Do legal traditions in the sense of comparative law impact the way the cooperative principles are being translated into legal rules?
  • Do different notions of law effect the way the cooperative principles are being translated into legal rules differently?

2. Questions concerning the harmonization of cooperative law/s, such as (among others)

  • Clarification of the term “harmonization”. Harmonization, unification or approximation? At which level (national, regional, international)? Harmonization of what (the legal rules, and/or the interpretation of the cooperative principles)?
  • Mapping of existing and planned harmonizations. Classification of the way they take the cooperative principles into account. Assessment of their implementation, possibly as compared to the implementation of harmonized law governing other types of enterprises.
  • “Pros” and “cons” of the “harmonization”. From the point of view of economics, taking into account overall aims such as sustainable development and new technologies used in the production, distribution and consumption processes; from an organizational point of view where new technologies of telecommunication and blockchain allow for memberships in different jurisdictions and for the organizational integration into value chains across different jurisdictions; from the point of view of socio-psychology (collectives/connectives; individualization/singularization and their impact on solidarity as the kernel of cooperatives).
  • Prerequisites for an effective “harmonization” in terms of a harmonized interpretation/ implementation/application. For example, the use of the   methodology/methodologies suggested by comparative law for the “harmonization” of laws.
  • The byelaw autonomy granted under law as a possible guardian of diversity in the unity of harmonized law/s.
  • Harmonized regional and/or international cooperative law as a guarantor of the identity of cooperatives?
  • Possible harmonizing effects of the 1966 Human Rights Covenants on cooperative law.

Details for submissions

Participants interested in presenting a paper are kindly invited to send an abstract of a maximum of 300 words in English/French/Spanish/Korean on or before April 5, 2021 to Ifigeneia Douvitsa, Co-founder, Ius Cooperativum, and member ICA Cooperative Law Committee lawfor[email protected]

Fees and other Modalities of Participation

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law and the ICA Cooperative Research Conference, as pre-Congress events, will be organized in a hybrid format with participants having the option to join virtually through the internet, or physically (presential) in Seoul.

The following fee structure will be applicable for participants and will cover access to all research-based events of the 33rd World Cooperative Congress.

 Presential (physical) ParticipationEUR 250 with reception dinner for high-income countries EUR 125 with reception dinner for middle-income countries Free of charge for low-income countriesFree of charge for the youth researchersFree of charge for the World Cooperative Congress registered participantsVirtual ParticipationEUR 75 for presenters from high-income countriesEUR 30 for presenters from middle-income countries Free of charge for presenters from low-income countriesFree of charge for the youth presentersFree of charge for the publicNotesPlease check the 2020 World Development Indicators of the World Bank here to know the classification of countries by income.The country of residence and employment or studies or university affiliation, among other factors, will be considered in determining participants’ countries. Organizers reserve the right of determining applicable fee.Fees include certificate of presentation.

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Scientific committee

Chair: David Hiez (Luxembourg)

Members: Apps, Ann (Australia), Cracogna, Dante (Argentina), Fajardo, Gemma (Spain), Kurimoto, Akira (Japan), Meira, Deolinda (Portugal), Münkner, Hans-H. (Germany), Prasad, Bhagwati (India), Tadjudje, Willy (Africa), van der Sangen, Ger (Netherlands), Vladimirova, Oksana (Russian Federation), Park, Kwang Dong; Lee, Donghun; Lim Hyung Taek (Republic of Korea).

Language

Abstracts should be submitted in English, French, Spanish or Korean. Full papers should also be written in one of these four languages. 

More information

For more information, please contact us at [email protected].

International Journal of Cooperative Law Thematic Issue: Cooperatives and contemporary issues in tax law and policy.


Editors: Douvitsa, Ifigeneia, Hellenic Open University at Athens, Greece; Giagnocavo, Cynthia, University of Almeria, Spain; Henrÿ, Hagen, University of Helsinki, Finland; Hiez, David, University of Luxembourg, Luxembourg; Snaith, Ian, University of Leicester, United Kingdom
Guest Editor: Pilar Alguacil Marí (University of Valencia, Spain)


In most countries, cooperatives enjoy their own tax regime or special taxation parameters apply to them (Alguacil, 2003). This attention might be justified to compensate them for the impact of other constraints (see for example CJUE, C-78/08, 8 Sept. 2011, Paint Graphos), or to promote the creation of cooperatives and to motivate investment in them (Otero and Moya, 2020). Cooperatives are complex and their legal frameworks vary considerably from country to country (Rodriguez Musa, et. al, 2016). This makes research on their taxation treatment difficult and results for different countries are likely to diverge.
In a globalized world, cooperatives represent an alternative approach to economic, social and political challenges (Cracogna, Fici and Henry, 2013). An undertaking that uses the cooperative form will also be involved in the promotion of social activities and the development of local economies (Lara Gómez, 2018). These activities provide further justification for the special taxation treatment of cooperatives.
When compared to the tax treatment of other enterprises, special tax exemptions or reductions for cooperatives might be regarded as a preference that infringes competition law. For example, in the European Union some tax incentives for cooperatives have been classified as state aid (Aguiar, 2016). On the other hand, these tax incentives are justified by the limitations on the cooperative’s legal and economic regime when operating according to the cooperative principles of the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA) (Aguilar Rubio, 2016).
In some countries, the special tax regime for cooperatives is advantageous. In other countries, such as Spain, the tax regime is no longer advantageous for cooperatives, despite recent income tax reforms. (Montero Simó, 2016).
The aim of this Special Issue of the IJCL is to improve our knowledge about the taxation of cooperatives in different countries around the world. From a comparative law perspective, questions might include: Where there is no specific tax regime for cooperatives, what tax regime applies? What are the limits of specific tax treatment or incentives for cooperatives? Why should cooperatives have a specific tax regime that mirrors their special characteristics?


We invite authors to submit not only tax law papers, but also papers on tax policy, public economy and on accounting related to tax law.

Recommended topics are:
➢ Taxation of cooperatives from international and national perspectives
➢ Comparative tax law as it relates to cooperatives
➢ Cooperative taxation in various countries, with a focus on income tax and value added tax (VAT) but not excluding other taxation issues.
➢ Comparative explanations of the taxation of cooperatives.
➢ Other concepts related to the taxation of cooperatives.


Submission Requirements
➢ Language: English
➢ Length: No limit specified
➢ Submitted File Format: Word Document
➢ Submitted File Name: “SURNAME, FIRST NAME – TITLE OF CONTRIBUTION”


Tentative schedule
➢ Deadline for or proposals (abstracts): December 2020
➢ Deadline for Final paper submission: March 2021
➢ The Special Issue will be published in November 2021
Submissions


Submissions should be sent to the special issue assistant, not to manuscript central: Andrea Rey-Martí ([email protected])

Coordinator
Andrea Rey-Martí (University of Valencia, Spain)

Advisory Board

For this special Issue the Advisory Board of the IJCL will be complemented by:
➢ Graciela Lara Gómez, Autonomous University of Queretaro, Mexico,
➢ Juan José Hinojosa Torralvo, University of Malaga, Spain, and
➢ Sebastiano Maurizio Messina, University of Verona, Italy

Call for Abstracts

3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law

The Identity of Cooperatives and the Harmonization of Cooperatives Laws. Match or Mismatch?

12-13 December 2020, Seoul, Republic of Korea

On the occasion of the 125th Anniversary Celebrations of the International Cooperative Alliance and within the framework of the World Cooperative Congress on Deepening Our Cooperative Identity, 11-16 December 2020

Context

To celebrate the 125th anniversary of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) and the 25th anniversary of the ICA Statement on the Cooperative Identity, the 33rd World Cooperative Congress will be held at COEX in Seoul, Republic of Korea, from 11-17 December 2020. 

The Congress offers a unique opportunity to celebrate and deepen the understanding of the cooperative identity and the profound social and economic impact of cooperatives worldwide.  How does the cooperative movement transform societies? How does the cooperative way of doing business create an innovative pathway to a sustainable future?

The Congress will explore how the cooperative identity positively addresses current global issues that demand a resolute response — climate action, sustainable development, conflicts and violence, income and wealth inequality, gender equality and the future of work. The competitive advantage of the cooperative identity — business performance, market share, best governance and management practices and the unique nature of cooperative capital will also be explored.

A “Call to Action” on the occasion of the ICA 125th anniversary will bring together the cooperative movement to discuss commitments to the Sustainable Development Goals that will most directly impact both global stability and human development.

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law will be organized on 12 – 13 December 2020 in Seoul as a pre-Congress event. The Forum will be a precursor for debates and discussions during the Congress.

Background on the International Forum on Cooperative Law and Suggested Topics

After the 1st International Forum on Cooperative Law at Montevideo in 2016 and the 2nd such event at Athens in 2018, the 3rd Forum takes place at Seoul, i.e. in yet another region of the ICA, namely in the Asia and Pacific. It is organized by Ius Cooperativum with the support of the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA) Cooperative Law Committee. The theme of this Forum is “The Identity of Cooperatives and the Harmonization of Cooperative Laws. Match or Mismatch?”

Cooperative law is increasingly understood as the translation into legal rules of the cooperative principles as related to the cooperative values and to the definition of cooperatives laid down in the 1995 ICA Statement on the cooperative identity (ICA Statement). Not the least the 2001 United Nations “Guidelines aimed at creating a supportive environment for the development of cooperatives” (Paragraphs 9.-16.) and the International Labour Organization “Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002” (Paragraph 10.(1) et passim), ILO R. 193, attest to that. While this shared understanding recognizes the role of law as concerns the strengthening and the protection of the cooperative identity and as it confirms the raison d´être of cooperative law as a distinct field of legal science, the potentially counterproductive effects of the harmonization of cooperative laws, which these same international texts support, raises concerns.

Indeed, Paragraph 18 of ILO R. 193 suggests that “[I]nternational cooperation should be facilitated through […] developing, where it is warranted and possible […] common regional and international […] legislation to support cooperatives.” Opinions on the desirability and feasibility of the harmonization of cooperative law are divided, among practitioners and academics alike. Opponents invoke the close link between the idea of cooperatives and cultural givens to conclude that harmonization should not be pursued; proponents of the harmonization tend to refer to the harmonization of other business organization laws to conclude that harmonized law would create the same competitive conditions for cooperatives as it does for other types of enterprises. The former overlook the fact that a great number of cooperative laws are already harmonized and more are in the process of being harmonized; the latter tend to overlook the problems of harmonization; each emphasizes a different aspect of cooperatives, namely the associative and the entrepreneurial aspect, respectively. Both sides operate with a rather vague notion of “harmonization”. Both sides hint to an issue in the translation of the cooperative principles into law which is prone to turning the match between identity and harmonization into a mismatch: Principles imply diverse applications, including diverse cooperative laws; harmonized legal rules imply homogenizing abstractions from this diversity. The challenge consists in matching the possible need for harmonization with the need for diverse identities which constitute the identity of cooperatives.

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law is to produce insights into how to deal with this challenge and into the question whether the harmonization of cooperative law/s is an obstacle to or a facilitator for the translation of the cooperative principles into legal rules.

Therefore, contributions may deal with either or both of two interrelated sets of questions:

  1. Questions concerning the cooperative principles, such as (among others)
  2. Do cooperatives have a legal obligation to respect the cooperative principles?
  3. Do cooperatives translate the cooperative principles into rules of their statutes? Research from a legal sociological point of view.
  4. Considering the legal nature of the ICA Statement and the ILO R. 193, do legislators have to take the cooperative principles into account?
  5. Considering the legal nature of the ICA Statement and the ILO R. 193, is the difference between the ways they express the cooperative values and principles relevant?
  6. What is the entry point for the cooperative principles into legal rules? Direct or via legal principles? Legal principles of the legal order concerned or autonomously developed cooperative legal principles?
  7. What are the legal effects of the different ways by which the cooperative principles are being translated into legal rules (“simple” reference, inclusion, transcription…)? 
  8. Do legal traditions in the sense of comparative law impact the way the cooperative principles are being translated into legal rules?
  • Questions concerning the harmonization of cooperative law/s, such as (among others)
  • Clarification of the term “harmonization”. Harmonization, unification or approximation? At which level (national, regional, international)? Harmonization of what (the legal rules, and/or the interpretation of the cooperative principles)?
  • Mapping of existing and planned harmonizations. Classification of the way they take the cooperative principles into account. Assessment of their implementation, possibly as compared to the implementation of harmonized law governing other types of enterprises.
  • “Pros” and “cons” of the “harmonization”. From the point of view of economics, taking into account overall aims such as sustainable development and new technologies used in the production, distribution and consumption processes; from an organizational point of view where new technologies of telecommunication and blockchain allow for memberships in different jurisdictions and for the organizational integration into value chains across different jurisdictions; from the point of view of socio-psychology (collectives/connectives;           individualization/singularization and their impact on solidarity as the kernel of cooperatives).
  • Prerequisites for an effective “harmonization” in terms of a harmonized interpretation/ implementation/application. For example, the use of the  methodology/methodologies suggested by comparative law for the “harmonization” of laws.
  • The byelaw autonomy granted under law as a possible guardian of diversity in the unity of harmonized law/s.
  • Harmonized regional and/or international cooperative law as a guarantor of the identity of cooperatives?
  • Possible harmonizing effects of the 1966 Human Rights Covenants on cooperative law.

Details for submissions

Participants interested in presenting a paper are kindly invited to send an abstract of a maximum of 300 words in English before the 30th of April 2020 to Ifigeneia Douvitsa, at [email protected]

Scientific committee

Apps, Ann (Australia); Cracogna, Dante (Argentina); Fajardo, Gemma (Spain); Kurimoto, Akira (Japan); Meira, Deolinda (Portugal); Münkner, Hans-H. (Germany); Prasad, Bhagwati (India), Tadjudje, Willy (Africa); van der Sangen, Ger (Netherlands), Vladimirova, Oksana (Russian Federation).

Notification of acceptance of the abstract

Participants will be notified by the end of June 2020 about the acceptance or rejection of their abstract. There is no travel or dearness allowance provided to the selected presenters. However, a limited number of partial grants may be offered to young legal scholars to promote cooperative law among youth.  

Date and place of the Forum

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law will take place on December 12 and 13 on the occasion of the ICA Congress & General Assembly to be held at COEX in Seoul, Republic of Korea from December, 11 to17  2020.

Conference language

English

Information

Full information about the Forum will be posted on: www.iuscooperativum.org and on www.ica.coop

Please send your queries regarding the 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law to Ifigeneia Douvitsa at [email protected]

Annexe 1 (Concept note of the 33rd World Cooperative Congress)

33rd World Cooperative Congress, Seoul, December 2020

Deepening our cooperative identity

Celebrating the 125th anniversary of the ICA        
and the 25th anniversary of the Statement on the Cooperative Identity

Social and economic transformation is at the heart of recent movements such as the one to meet the climate change challenge, youth and gender movements and other movements responding to the environmental, economic and social challenges framed in the UN Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), and, more generally, social unrest which mirrors increasingly unequal societies. Businesses in different corners of the world are reframing their purpose; global sustainability reporting initiatives are being redrafted, having realized that disclosure of various practices are not sufficient to turn around the economy and society. New business models are emerging, centred on, or advocating for ethical values and common good, such as corporations; social enterprises; Banking on Values. Even the US Roundtable of business leaders declared—in stark contrast to business as usual – that they are accountable to their stakeholders rather than only their shareholders.

In this context, cooperatives ought to be the leaders, rather than followers, based precisely on their distinct cooperative identity which provides them with legitimacy as enterprises in the service of people and the common good, rather than capital and profit.

The key question then can be framed around challenges and opportunities: how do cooperatives use the Statement of Cooperative Identity to their advantage; how is the cooperative movement transforming the economy and society, and in what ways can the cooperative model pave the way to a sustainable future?

It is through their identity that cooperatives exist in today’s world. Indeed, cooperatives would not exist as we know them, namely as a global and networked reality, if they had not established global common denominators, and if, as of 1995, these denominators had not evolved into a fully-fledged common identity.

The Statement on the Cooperative Identity, approved at the ICA Centenary Congress in 1995 in Manchester after a very long consultation process within the cooperative movement, not only brought about a more complete set of common denominators for cooperatives worldwide with a seventh principle, a series of foundational values and a definition, but, with these additions and the whole set of standards thus formed, it also constituted a profound qualitative leap forward by explicitly introducing the concept of cooperative identity.

The awareness of this identity over this quarter of a century has made substantial progress. The Guidance Notes on the Cooperative Principles, approved by the ICA general assembly in 2015 after two years of consultation within the cooperative movement, provides an important step forward in the understanding of the principles, which constitute the largest part of the Statement on the Cooperative Identity. Furthermore, by understanding better its common identity, the cooperative movement has since then been able to better integrate the plurality among different forms of cooperatives, including new types that have emerged since then.

International recognition has also followed suit: the cooperative identity has been formally recognized by the international community through the virtually unanimous approval in 2002 of ILO Promotion of Cooperatives Recommendation, 2002 (n° 193), while UNESCO in 2016 has granted cooperatives the status of world intangible heritage through the German cooperative movement.

On the other hand, however, there still is a long way to go in order to bring into full play all the potential of the cooperative identity, whereas it is particularly urgent to do so in this period when the world if undergoing dramatic changes and challenges.

The ICA Congress provides an opportunity to celebrate and deepen the understanding of the cooperative identity. It can thus constitute both a point of arrival, by taking stock of these 25 years of development of the cooperative identity, and a point of departure, by launching a debate ushering in a deeper and more multi-faceted understanding of the role which the cooperative identity plays in setting the cooperative model apart from other forms of business and collective action.

The Congress shall debate how our cooperative identity positively impacts the current global issues (development, saving the planet, peace, etc.) and how our cooperative identity impacts global viewpoints on human development (dignity of work, impact of digital technology, gender equity, etc.).

In the same line, the Congress shall include a “Call to Action” on the occasion of the ICA’s 125th anniversary, with the ICA sectoral organizations previously polling their members on the top three priorities that would most impact both global stability and human development. Each sector would then bring to Seoul public commitments to achieve measurable results with applicable SDGs in their sector as derived from polling their grassroots members. These commitments would be incorporated into the 2020 Congress Declaration and would then be monitored in the 2020-2030 timeframe consistent with the 2020-2030 ICA Strategic Plan.

Call for submissions for the 3rd issue of the International Journal of Cooperative Law

Publication Date: NOVEMBER 2020

Deadline for Submissions: 29th OF February 2020

Submission Requirements:

  •          Language: English
  •          No length limitation
  •          Submitted File Format: Word Document
  •          Submitted File Name: “SURNAME, FIRST NAME – TITLE OF CONTRIBUTION”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Detailed instructions below

The International Journal of Cooperative Law (IJCL), issued by Ius Cooperativum (an international group of cooperative lawyers), is the first ever academic, peer reviewed, online, open access journal explicitly focused on cooperative law.

Two issues have already been published, the first in 2018 and the second in 2019 and they are available at the following link <https://iuscooperativum.org/issues/>

The focus of the IJCL is cooperative law, broadly defined all those legal rules – laws, administrative acts, court decisions, jurisprudence, cooperative bylaws/statutes or any other source of law – which regulate the structure and/or the operations of cooperatives as enterprises in the economic sense and as institutions in the legal sense, including provisions from other areas of law, applicable to cooperatives (such as tax law, labor law, competition law). Its purpose is to stimulate the development of an international thinking in cooperative law and to include cooperative law into the major academic debates about the future of business law or the regulation of enterprises.

IJCL publishes articles, reviews, case studies, case-law commentaries, empirical research pieces or book reviews for a wider audience on topics related to national, regional or international cooperative law, including transnational and comparative perspectives. The IJCL has no geographical limitation nor one by legal traditions; it seeks to cover cooperative law worldwide. Contributions through the lens of law per se will be complemented with other approaches, such as the approaches of law and economics, political and social sciences. The IJCL is mainly addressed to legal scholars and academics, without excluding practitioners and professionals with an interest in the field.

LANGUAGE

The language of the journal is English. Nevertheless, contributions may also be submitted in French, German or Spanish. If accepted, the author will be invited to translate the manuscript into English.

PROCESS

The contributions will be subject to an anonymous peer-reviewing process, during which the article will be evaluated, and a decision will be made for the article’s acceptance, revision or rejection. 

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES

Structure of contribution:

At the first page, please write down the title of your contribution, your surname, first name and affiliation. Please also include an abstract. A bibliography shall be at the end of the contribution.

File to be send:

Please send your contribution by email subject: “Submission for the 3rd issue of IJCL” at [email protected]

Continental Congress of Cooperative Law in Costa Rica

First announcement

(San José) Costa Rica, November 2019

In commemoration of the fiftieth anniversary of the First Continental Congress of Cooperative Law that took place in Mérida, Venezuela, in November 1969, a new Continental Congress will be held this year coinciding with the XXI Regional Conference.

The meeting, which is the seventh in the series, will be held in the month of November 2019 in the city of San José, Costa Rica, at the headquarters of the Bar Association of that country, which has generously sponsored the meeting.

The Congress continues the line of the previous Continental Congresses that made important contributions to the progress of the legislation and to the development of Cooperative Law studies in the American Continent, the last one being held in Montevideo (Uruguay) in November 2016.

The meeting will provide an opportunity to evaluate the progress made in the matter since the pioneer day accomplished fifty years ago with the participation of delegates from many countries of the continent.

The call is addressed to lawyers linked to cooperative work in its various manifestations, professors and scholars of the subject, magistrates, and officials of public bodies related to cooperatives. Specially invited leaders of the cooperative movement may also participate.

The agenda of the Congress deals with the issues of greater theoretical and practical relevance of Cooperative Law at present and its development will be based on the analysis and discussion of the papers presented by the delegates.

Shortly will be made known the details of the organization, agenda, date for the presentation of papers and registration.

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