ICA: News on Regional Assembly for Europe (1996)

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

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                        December, 1996

          (Source: ICA News, Issue No.6, 1996, pp.5)

                              Europe

                         Regional Assembly

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The Second ICA Regional Assembly for Europe was held in Budapest,
Hungary, on 30 October 1996 under the chairmanship of Lars
Hillbom, ICA Vice-President. The meeting was attended by 180
representatives and observers. 

The Assembly  was preceded by an International Seminar organized
jointly with IRU on financial co-operatives, which had a large
participation from Central and Eastern European co-operative
movements, and by several specialised organisations' meetings.

Laszlo Lakos, Minister of Agriculture, himself a co-operative
member, welcomed participants on behalf of the Hungarian
Government and the message of the Prime Minister was read out.
The head of the NGO section of the Council of Europe, Geza Mezei
attended the Assembly as a special guest. 

In his address, Graham Melmoth, President of ICA, referred to
activities going on in other regions as well as at global ICA
level. 

The Regional Assembly adopted the activity report on 1996 and the
work plan for 1997, welcomed two new members to the Region, the
co-operative apex organisations from Malta and Bosnia-
Herzegovina, discussed and approved a report prepared by the

Working Group on Assistance to Central and Eastern Europe.

After the procedural matters, the afternoon session was devoted
to the topic of "Corporate Governance and Management Control
Systems in European Co-operatives" based on the background paper
drafted by Reimer Volkers and Moira Lees. Six speakers - I.
Barberini (Italy), P. Bartus (Hungary), R. Itkonen (Finland), A.
Nicolaisen (Denmark), E. Pflimlin (France) and S. Sivertsen
(Norway)- touched upon various aspects of the main theme, such
as internal and external controls, gender aspects, management
control experiences of a country in transition, auditors'
responsibilities related to reports to members, and technical and
democratic controls in co-operative banks.

The discussion was facilitated by Lloyd Wilkinson, CEO of the
Co-operative Union, UK. A final statement was distributed and
adopted by the Assembly serving as guidelines for co-operative
movements in their follow-up work on Governance issues.

The Assembly confirmed the nomination of Lars Hillbom to the post
of ICA Vice-President and accepted the invitation of the French
co-operative movement (GNC) to hold the next Regional Assembly
for Europe in France in autumn 1998.