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Call for Abstracts – 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law, 27-28 February 2021, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Change of Dates

Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the 33rd World Cooperative Congress has now been rescheduled to take place from 1 to 3 March 2021.

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law, which is one of the preparatory events to the Congress, has been rescheduled to take place on 27 and 28 February 2021*


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 1-3 March 2021 and its preparatory events, namely the ICA Cooperative Research Conference and the International Forum on Cooperative Law, will be held from 26-28 February 2021. 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.

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 March 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.

The 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law will be organized on 27 and 28 February 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 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 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. 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:

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?

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 before the 15 July 2020 to Ifigeneia Douvitsa, at [email protected] with IFCL in the subject line of the email.

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), Nominee (Korea),

Notification of acceptance of the abstract

Participants will be notified in August 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 27 and 28 February on the occasion of the World Cooperative Congress to be held at COEX in Seoul, Republic of Korea between 1 and 3 March 2021.

Conference language

English, French, Spanish and Korean


Full information about the Forum will be posted on and

Please send your queries regarding the 3rd International Forum on Cooperative Law to Ifigeneia Douvitsa at [email protected] or [email protected] with IFCL in the subject line of the email. 

These dates are subject to be further rescheduled should the COVID-19 pandemic make it necessary for force majeure.

Our second issue is out now!

The 2st issue of the International Journal of Cooperative Law is out! You can read it in your browser by clicking the title below or download a copy using the Download button.

Practical Information

All travelling and accommodation expenses are covered by the participants.

  1. Registration Fees: The participation at the conference is free of charge
  2. Venue: Hellenic Open University, Athens Department, Tzortz 4 − Square Kaniggos, 10677, Athens
  3. Lodging Possibilities:

– Welcommon Hostel, Kapodistriou Str. 4, 10682, (120 m from venue)

– Meliá Athens, Chalkokondili 14 & 28th October Ave, Athens 106 77    (110m from venue)

– Polis Grant Hotel, 19 Patision and 10 Veranzerou Str., Athens, 104 32 (210m from venue)

– Titania Hotel, Panepistimiou 52, Athens 10678   (450m from venue)


  1. Accesibility

The venue is:

  • 1h 30min away from Athens International Airport
  • 6 min- (450meters) away from the Metro station OMONOIA

2018 Summer School course

Short Course on “Cooperative law for sustainable development” (7.8.-23.8.2018, University of Helsinki): the deadline for application submission is due on the 31th of July, 2018. For more information please visit


Deadline Extension

The deadline for the submission of abstracts for the 2nd International Forum on Cooperative law will be extended until the end of July.


2nd International Forum on Cooperative Law “COOPERATIVE LAW AND COOPERATIVE PRINCIPLES”  Athens, 26-28 September 2018

PROGRAM (including powerpoint presentations/videos)

Wednesday, 26 of September

10:00-10:30 Registration

10:30- 11:45    Opening Session

Chair: Kassavetis Demosthenis, Organizing Committee

Kardasis Vasilis, Dean of the Hellenic Open University

Hellenic Ministry of Labour, Social Insurance and Social Solidarity

Roelants Bruno, Director General, International Cooperative Alliance

Message by the International Labour Organization/video

Henrÿ Hagen- Introduction to the program and latest developments in cooperative law

11:45-12:00 Break

12:00- 14:00  The legal relevance of the cooperative principles for cooperative law

Chair: Fajardo Gemma

Fajardo Gemma, The participation of the member in the economic activity of the cooperative as an essential element of their identity

Frantzeskaki Maria, Fostering the cooperative principle of the democratic member control/powerpoint presentation

Stamboulis Yeoryios, The economic reasoning of cooperative law institutions/powerpoint presentation

Gaudio Ronaldo, Cooperative identity in two dimensions – Dialogue between cooperative principles and economic structure to improve regulation and development/powerpoint presentation

Karathanos Vayos,The nutritional research on Corinthian currant as a vehicle for development of a modern Cooperative.

José Eduardo de Miranda, de Souza, Leonardo, The secondary role of cooperative principles in Brazilian law and its effect on the autonomy of cooperative law/powerpoint presentation

14:00- 15:00 Break 2

15:00- 16:30 Round Table between economists and lawyers, the motto being: “What can we/what must we learn from each other”?

16:30 – Acropolis Museum Visit

17:00-19:00  Workshop for students and lawyers: Introduction to cooperatives and cooperative law – Collaboration with European Law Students’ Association – Henrÿ Hagen, Kassavetis Demosthenis


Thursday, 28 of September 2018

10:00 10:30   Registration

10:30 -12:00 Cooperative law and the legal framework of the social economy

Chair: Geormas Konstantinos

Kalimeri Eleni, Barkas Ioannis, The legal framework of the Social Solidarity Economy in Greece

Adam Sofia, Cooperatives as Social Solidarity Economy Agents. The case of Law 4430 2016 in Greece/powerpoint presentation

Melissourgos Georgios, Salasidou Panagiota, Meddling with the chaos: Which Greek legal forms may hold the status of Bodies of Social Solidarity Economy?

Geormas Konstantinos, New legal environment of the Greek Social and Solidarity Economy Impediments and opportunities for the development of the sector/presentation

Mprechas Loukas, Greek legislation and cooperative identity- SSE /powerpoint presentation [in Greek]

Tryfona Ioanna, Keranis Giorgos, Recommendations on the framework of Worker Buyouts of failing or bankrupt companies within the context of Social and Solidarity Economy organizations

12:00: 12:15 Break 1

12:15- 14:15     The legal relevance of the cooperative principles for other fields of law
Chair: Nikolaou Kostas

Vouroutzis Zisis, The liability of the governing bodies of agricultural cooperatives in relation to the provisions of the environmental legislation

Silva, Vanessa, Brazilian Environmental Law, Cooperatives and Social Responsibility/powerpoint presentation

Ferraz Teixeira Marianna, Cooperativism and the gender inclusion at labor market and access to credit/powerpoint presentation

Nikolaou Kostas, Social and legal aspects of the co-operative labor/powerpoint presentation

Saridis Isidoros, The provisions of Greek tax law according to social economy enterprises

14:15- 15:00 Break 2

15:00- 17:00 Legal requirements for specific types of cooperatives by sector (e.g. agricultural, banking, energy cooperatives)
Chair: Cusa Emanuele

Singh Sukhpal, Farmer Producer Companies as Legal and Institutional Innovation in Agriculture in India An examination of potential, impact, challenges, and policy/powerpoint presentation

Fefes Michael, The greek anti-paradigm. How legislation on agricultural cooperatives causes their failure/powerpoint presentation

Kapellidis Manolis, The need to modernize the legal framework on cooperative banks

Cusa Emanuele, Renewable energy communities and energy cooperatives.Organizational innovations to combine democracy and sustainable development/powerpoint presentation

17:00- 17:15 Break 3

17: 15 – 18: 45  Legal requirements for specific types of cooperatives by governance/structure (e.g. workers’ cooperatives, multi-stakeholder cooperatives, social cooperatives)

Chair: Meira Deolinda

Koupidis Sotiris, Buying social: Social cooperatives and public procurement

Mytrosyli Maria, The establishment of limited liability social cooperatives as a treatment facility and social enterprise/powerpoint presentation [in Greek]

Sarmiento Antonio, The social cooperatives of services for workers and the need of an adequate legal framework for their operation/powerpoint presentation

Meira Deolinda, The Portuguese social solidarity cooperatives versus the general interest cooperatives/powerpoint presentation

Aitor Bengoetxea, Employment in worker cooperatives


Friday, 28 of September 2018

10:00 10:30 Registration

10:30- 11:40 The harmonization and unification of cooperative law at national, regional and international level
Chair: Ger Van der Sangen

Ger Van der Sangen, The Principles of European Cooperative Law and their Impact on Future Law-making on Cooperatives/powerpoint presentation

Kaponis Panos, Interferences of state and courts in the cooperatives’ function/presentation [in Greek]

Santoso Edy, Cooperative principles on transportation network policy through opening new deal collaboration/powerpoint presentation

Cesar Milena, The judicial precedent as a tool for research and study of Cooperative Law The Brazilian experience/powerpoint presentation

Douvitsa Ifigeneia, The unification of the Greek cooperative legal framework/powerpoint presentation

11:40-12:00 Break 1

12:00- 13:10 Cooperative law and human rights
Chair: Tsironas Thanasis

Hiez David, Voluntary membership: up to which point do cooperatives support liberalism?

Filippou Dionysis, The Greek constitutional provisions on cooperatives

Tsironas Thanasis, The formation of compulsory cooperative by law and the principle of proportionality

João Telmo Oliveira Filho, The right of cooperativism as a fundamental right: The constitutional principles and normative guidelines of Brazilian cooperativism as elements for the characterization of the fundamental right to cooperativism

13:10- 14:00 Break 2

14:00- 15:30 Cooperative law and globalization.
Chair: Tziva Efi

Tziva Efi, The cooperative banks inside and outside the financial crisis./powerpoint presentation

Nagao Menezes, Daniel Francisco, Technological Innovation, Cooperatives and Globalization in the Brazilian scenario/powerpoint presentation

DeryaNazan Ünverir, Özkan, Aybike, Cooperative Practices in Turkey for sustainable development/powerpoint presentation

Mannan, Morshed, Platform Cooperatives in Light of PECOL/powerpoint presentation

Solel Yifat, The Democratic Principle in the age of cyber Can „The Law‟ be used to the democratic principle in the age of cyber/powerpoint presentation

15:30- 15:45 Break 3

15:45- 17:45 Educational programs in the field of cooperative law
Chair: Henrÿ Hagen
Kapogiannis Dimitrios, Vathi- Sarava Panagiota, Educational cooperatives as activating institutions in creative collective activities/powerpoint presentation

Anthopoulou Theodosia, Kavoulakos Karolos, The importance of distance learning programs for the development of SSE

Henrÿ Hagen, The summer school on “Cooperative law for sustainable development” and the cooperative network studies, Ruralia Institute, Helsinki University

Tools for the research and study of cooperative law
Romenteau Arielle, Moxom Jeffrey, Obongo Erick, Dave Mohit, Legal Framework Analyses and the ICA-EU Partnership/powerpoint presentation

Bellis Vasilis, Douvitsa Ifigeneia, Kavoulakos Karolos, Nikolaou Kostas, Papaphilippou Aspa & Tzakou Anna, Approaching a dictionary on basic concepts/powerpoint presentation

Ann Apps, Robyn Donnelly and Elizabeth Makin, The co-op builder – an online tool for new Australian co-ops/powerpoint presentation

Ius Cooperativum: International Journal of Cooperative Law- World Map of cooperative lawyers

17: 45-18:00 Break 4

18:00- 18: 45 Conclusions- Henrÿ Hagen

18: 45- Dinner



The 2nd International Forum on Cooperative Law follows the one organized in 2016 at Montevideo, Uruguay. The fruitful outcome of the Montevideo Forum – both as concerns the number of participants and the positive feed-back –  led to the decision to organize such meetings biannually.

The 2nd International Forum on Cooperative Law will be organized  at Athens by Ius Cooperativum, with the support of the International Co-operative Alliance and  of two local co-organizers: the Hellenic Open University (Athens) and the Peoples’ University on Social and Solidarity Economy (Thessaloniki).



Under the overall theme of “Cooperative Law and Cooperative Principles”, which is to point to the relevance of the internationally recognized cooperative principles for cooperative law, the 2nd International Forum on Cooperative Law will focus on the place of the cooperative principles in cooperative law, the research and education in the field of cooperative law, and on an exchange of views on cooperatives by lawyers and economists.


The themes of the Forum might include:

  1. The legal relevance (if any) of the cooperative principles for cooperative law
  2. The legal relevance (if any) of the cooperative principles for other fields of law (e.g. constitutions, administration law, tax law, bankruptcy law, labor law, competition law, bankruptcy law, audit regulations, book-keeping and accounting standards)
  3. Legal requirements (if any) for specific types of cooperatives, either by sector (e.g. agricultural, banking, energy cooperatives), or by governance/structure (e.g. workers’ cooperatives, multi-stakeholder cooperatives, social cooperatives)
  4. The unification of cooperative law at national, regional and international levels
  5. Cooperative law and the legal framework of the social economy
  6. Cooperative law and globalization.
  7. Policies on research and education in the field of cooperative law
  8. Educational programs in the field of cooperative law
  9. Tools for the research and study of cooperative law.

It is also planned to have a dialogue on any of the above or related themes between economists and lawyers, the motto being: “What can we/what must we learn from each other”?

Call for expression of interest

To express your interest in attending, please send an email to Ifigeneia Douvitsa (at: [email protected]) no later than the end of July.

If you would like to speak at the event, you are kindly invited to submit an abstract of 500-800 words to Ifigeneia Douvitsa (at: [email protected]), indicating one of the above-mentioned themes, to which it relates, no later than the end of July.

The full papers should be submitted no later than 28th August 2018 and may be considered for publication for the 2nd issue of the International Journal of Cooperative Law.


Organizing Committee

Alexopoulos, Yiorgos (Greece); Anthopoulou, Theodosia (Greece), Douvitsa, Ifigeneia (Greece); Giagnocavo, Cynthia (Spain); Gritzas, Giorgos (Greece); Henrÿ, Hagen (Finland); Hiez, David (Luxemburg); Kassavetis, Demosthenis (Greece); Kavoulakos, Karolos (Greece); Kritsikis, Alexandros (Greece); Nikolaou, Kostas (Greece); Roelants, Bruno (Belgium); Saridis, Isidoros (Greece); Snaith, Ian (UK).

Scientific Committee

Apps, Ann (Australia); Cracogna, Dante (Argentina); Fajardo, Gemma (Spain); Fici, Antonio (Italy); Geormas, Kostas (Greece); Kintis, Stavros (Greece); Kurimoto, Akura (Japan); Meira, Deolinda (Portugal); Munkner, Hans (Germany); Papageorgiou, Costas (Greece), Tadjudje, Willy (Africa); van der Sangen, Ger (Netherlands), Vladimirova, Oksana (Russian Federation).



Reminder for Call for Papers

We wish to remind you that the deadline for the submission of contributions for the first issue of the International Journal of Cooperative Law expires on the 31st of August. For more information please visit

For any questions please contact [email protected] or [email protected]


Looking forward to receiving your contributions.



The need to know about and understand cooperative law, coupled with the absence of an academic international journal of cooperative law, gave birth to the idea of creating the:

International Journal of Cooperative Law (IJCL)

The focus of the journal is cooperative law, broadly defined as all those legal rules 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, applied to cooperatives.

The journal’s establishment and development aspires to contribute to fill the knowledge and research gap, while constituting the venue to establish cooperative legal theory in the discipline of law. To promote its goals, the IJCL will be an open access, online journal and its issues will be published at in order to reach the highest possible number of readers.

Authors that are interested in contributing to the IJCL’s first issue – to be published at the end of 2017 – are invited to submit their work at [email protected]  before the 31th of August.





The editors will consider articles, book reviews, event reports, commentaries on court cases and contributions on legislation that are of significance for a wider audience on topics related to national, regional or international cooperative law, including global and comparative perspectives.

The editors are also interested in publishing manuscripts on labor law, tax law, competition law and other areas of law that have an impact on the cooperatives’ structure and operation.

Contributions that have been previously published elsewhere in other forms or/and languages may also be submitted at the IJCL, under the condition that there will be no copyrights’ infringements.


The official language of the journal is English. Nevertheless, the abstract – apart from English- may be in French, German or Spanish. The rest of the manuscript does not have to be necessarily in English but, if accepted, the author is kindly invited to translate the manuscript into the IJCL’s official language.


There are no specific minimum or maximum requirements with regard to the length of the submitted manuscript


Please use the following example for your manuscript’s citations:

JORGE, J., ALBARRÁN,, C. & SALINAS, F. (2013): “La Economía Social ante el nuevo paradigma de Bienestar social”, CIRIEC-España. Revista de Economía Pública, Social y Cooperativa, 79, 5-34.


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.


Kindest regards,

The editors

Ifigeneia Douvitsa, Cynthia Giagnocavo, Hagen Henrÿ , David Hiez, Ian Snaith

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