This document has been made available in electronic format
         by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA 
                         August 1992

source : Janos Juhasz, Co-operatives in Eastern & Central Europe, ICA
Studies and Reports, Geneva, 1992, 62 pp. price 12 CHF


Like other institutions in Eastern and Central Europe, co-operatives have
been profoundly affected by the dramatic changes which have occurred in the
region during the last three years.

In order to present an accurate view of the current situation of the
co-operatives, the ICA has commissioned a series of national studies by
authors who are knowledgeable, but still independent, of the co-operative

This report, on Hungary, is the first country study to be published in the
series. Following the approval of new co-operative and transformation
legislation in January 1992, the framework within which co-operatives will
operate has now been clearly established.

The author, Dr. Janos Juhasz, has lengthy experience in studying, and
working with, the co-operative movement in Hungary. This report reflects his
personal analysis of the situation, and does not necessarily represent the
views of ICA or its member organisations.

We hope th}t this report will provide useful information to all readers who
are interested in knowing more about the role which co-operatives have
played, and are likely to play in the future, in Hungary. It analyses both
the strengths and weaknesses of the different co-operative sectors in an
unbiased manner.

The treatment of co-operative property and capital under the new Hungarian
legislation should be of interest to co-operative practitioners and students
in all countries in light of the current international review of
co-operative values and principles.

This study should remind readers that co-operatives in Eastern and Central
Europe have grown from the same nineteenth-century roots as their Western
European counterparts.  The fact that the sixth ICA Congress was held in
Budapest in 1904 reflects the strength of the Hungarian movement at that
time.  Even during the years of Communist dictatorship, as Dr. Juhasz
describes, the co-operatives lived in a period of continuous reform.

Now able to return to their original roots as voluntary, member-owned
business organisations, Hungarian co-operatives have an important role to
play in bringing economic democracy back to their country. The task will not
be easy but, as this study demonstrates, the bases for success are in place.

Bruce Thordarson
International Co-operative Alliance