New association supports innovation across the Mediterranean

11 Mar 2013

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A new co-operative association will encourage partnerships, innovation and internationalisation across the Mediterranean region. Medcoop aims to draw a common national strategy for Mediterranean co-ops, through the co-ordination of national and regional policies. 

Medcoop, created by the European project ICS (SMEs and Cooperative Economy for Local Development), which involves co-operatives from across the region, will act as a think-tank to engage politicians, local authorities and co-op development experts.

The association will particularly focus on elaborating methodologies on how to anticipate and manage changes. Medcoop will collect data and information on co-operative initiatives and use these to elaborate specific action plans. Thematic working groups and interviews with relevant stakeholders will be carried out to help to draw up four Transnational Strategic Action Plans. A special emphasis will be placed on financial and legal aspects to ensure that Mediterranean states provide a similar framework for co-operative development. Medcoop also hopes to enable a better coordination between national and regional co-op development policies. 

Through its online platform, Medcoop will also enable co-operators to share best practices and experiences. This will also help Mediterranean co-ops to make best use of their unique features and speak with a single voice, improving their capacity to face international competition.

Medcoop is funded by the European Territorial Cooperation for the Mediterranean (MED), as part of the European Commission’s Regional development Fund. Among the partners of the project are the Confederation of Social Economy of Andalusia (Andalucía CEPES) in Spain, and the National League of Cooperatives and mutuals (Legacoop) in Italy.

The association will be officially established at a final conference in Greece on 11 April. During this conference the results of the project will be presented. The headquarters of the association will be located in the region of Ancona in the Marche Legacoop offices.