Resolution on Participatory Democracy

This document has been made available in electronic format
     by the International Co-operative Alliance ICA
                     January 1996

          Resolution on Participatory Democracy
              in the Co-operative Movement

(submitted by KF Sweden, and amended by JCCU, Japan,on behalf of the
International Joint Project on Participatory Democracy in the Co-operative

The Centennial Congress of the ICA, at its meeting in Manchester in
September 1995:

COMMENDS      the initiative of the International Joint Project on
Participatory Democracy in the Co-operative Movement, involving Canada,
Italy, Japan, U.K.  and Sweden;

ACKNOWLEDGES  the difficulties faced by co-operators the world over to find
methods for and good examples of active member participation in more
complex business structures, under tougher competition, and relatively
lacking in young members;

EMPHASISES    the need of co-operators to positively influence the living
conditions of members through new and existing ways of developing
participatory democracy so that our values, ideas, and activities
contribute significantly to democratic development for justice and

CONFIRMS      the group's finding that participatory democracy (members'
participation, commitment, and involvement) must be integral to
co-operative activities and continually developed as core conditions for
business and society change;

REMINDS       co-operators that participatory democracy is never fixed once
and for all but must be continuously recast and reconquered;

ACCEPTS       the final report of the project group, comprising

(1)  a description of the consumers' co-operative movement
    (retailing) in each country,
(2)  case studies from each country focusing on increasing
     member involvement and participatory democracy, and
(3)  conclusions and recommendations;

RECOMMENDS    further study by co-operators in the five areas of the project:

(1)  expanding members' participation,
(2)  the relationship between members and management,
(3)  innovation of organisational structure,
(4)  expanding the relationship with employee
     participation, and
(5)  economic and social responsibility;

ENTRUSTS     the Board and Regions to initiate measures for coordinating
and informing member organisations about the exchange of experiences and
opinions on the development of participatory democracy in co-operative
organisations in general and on the final report of the International Joint
Project in particular.