Rules of CICOPA (1997)

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

November 1997

Source: CICOPA 1997

PART ONE - Introductory Provisions

Article 1: Name - CICOPA

1. CICOPA is a Specialised Organisation of the International 
Co-operative Alliance.

2. The abbreviated name "CICOPA" will be used in all countries
and in all languages without translation.

3. CICOPA is an organisation of industrial, producer, artisans',
service and social co-operatives and co-operatives of associated
work and all organisations which adhere to the programme of CICOPA.

Article 2: Objectives

1. As the Specialised Organisation of the International Co-operative Alliance, CICOPA

 a)carry out functions that arise from the objectives of the ICA;

b)promote and jointly organise the establishment of national 
and regional organisations associating co-operative societies 
according to Article 1, Paragraph 3 where they do not exist and 
support the development of those already existing;

c)defend the objectives and interests of its members and of the 
co-operative movements they represent in their relations with 
governments, parliaments of countries and international 
organisations and bodies.

2.In order to carry out these objectives CICOPA shall:

a)organise seminars and conferences for member organisations 
on topics of common interest, especially on basic co-operative 
principles, and on the values and ethics of the co-operative 
movement and provide member organisations with information about 
these events;

b) create and support co-operatives in developing countries and 
assist to mobilise resources for development, provide common 
services within unions or federations and strengthen solidarity 
among co-operative societies;

c) study actual problems within umbrella national co-operative 
organisations of co-operatives in different countries with the 
aim of identifying the common issues and problems specific to the 
co-operative movement;

d) provide members with appropriate recommendations through 
which they will be able to successfully tackle their problems;

e) put into practice the recommendations of the ICA governing
bodies, and of regional or national organisations;

f) facilitate the exchange of experiences among members of the 
producer co-operatives from various countries with members of
other co-operative forms;

g) carry out any tasks, defined by the ICA governing bodies, or 
related regional or national organisations and publish information 
bulletins, or other publications;

h) co-operate with other specialised bodies of ICA.

PART TWO: Membership in CICOPA

Article 3: Origin of the Membership

Full members of CICOPA are central organisations of co-operatives 
as mentioned in Article 1, Paragraph 3.

Full members might be - in the absence of any representative
central organisations, the regional organisations acting within 
their respective territory, or local federations of co-operatives 
in their respective administrative districts.

Associated members of CICOPA may be institutions, or organisations 
which are active in countries or regions where there is no 
organisation associating co-operatives according to the Article 1,
Paragraph 3, and where the mission of these institutions is to 
support of the creation of co-operatives.

4. Other kind of organisations/institutions can be admitted as 
observers, if their vocation concerns education, research and 
financing and legislation in the co-operative sphere.

5. The admission of members shall be decided by the Executive 

Article 4: Members rights

Each member has right to:

a) participate in the activities of CICOPA, and to gain the 
advantages of membership;

b)take part in the elections for the various governing and other 
bodies of CICOPA except as mentioned in the Article 5, 
Paragraph 2;

c)delegate representatives to the General Assembly of CICOPA 
and take part in voting, except as mentioned in the Article 5, 
Paragraph 2;

d) propose measures aimed at improvement of CICOPA's work;

e) associated members have right to be elected to the organs of 
CICOPA, but their votes in those organs shall be advisory only.

Article 5: Duties of the Members

1. Every full or associated member is obliged:

a) to act in accordance with the aims and strategies of CICOPA 
and of the ICA;

b) to maintain and develop co-operative values and principles;

c)to pay the membership fee, the  amount and conditions of which 
shall be agreed on at the General Assembly.

2. Where a member organisation does not pay the prescribed membership 
fee within the time, and on the conditions agreed by the General 
Assembly, the member organisation in question loses its voting rights,
and the right for its nominees to be elected to the organs of CICOPA,
until such time as its membership fees are paid. Persons nominated by
such an organisation, who are already serving in office, shall have 
their membership of the CICOPA body to which they have been elected 
suspended until the membership fees of the nominating member have 
been paid in full.

3. Every full CICOPA member shall become a member of the ICA within
a period of 5 years of their admission to CICOPA membership, or of 
the adoption of these rules, whichever is later.

Article 6: Termination of the Membership

1.	Membership of CICOPA ceases where a member organisation:
a)	applies to leave CICOPA
b)	ceases to exist
c)	is expelled.

2. A member may apply for termination of its CICOPA membership no 
later than on June 30, of any year. The member sill cease to be a 
member on January 1 of the following year.

3. A member which fails to meet obligations as set out in 
Article 5,  Paragraph 1, letter c) may have its CICOPA 
membership cancelled.

4. A decision on the expulsion of a member shall be made by the 
Executive Committee of the CICOPA, 6 months from the day on which 
this Committee called the member organisation to meet its 

5. A member organisation may appeal against the decision of the 
Executive Committee to expel it. This appeal will be decided at 
the next meeting of the General Assembly.

6. The termination of its membership does not affect the duty of 
the member organisation to settle all obligations to CICOPA.


Article 7: Organs of CICOPA

The organs of CICOPA are:

a)	the General Assembly
b)	the Executive Committee
c)	the Presidency of the Executive Committee
d)	the Regional committees
e)	CICOPA Development

Article 8: The General Assembly

1. The highest organ of CICOPA is the General Assembly.

2. The General Assembly meets at least once every two years - 
usually at the place where the ICA holds its General Assembly 

3. The General Assembly is convened by the Executive Committee.

4. The Executive Committee is obliged to convene the General 
Assembly (ordinary or special) if at least 30% of the full members 
request such a meeting to be held.

5. Each full member organisation has the right to take part in the
General Assembly, and to send up to four delegates. Each associated 
member may send up to 2 delegates.

6. Every full and associated member organisation has one vote in the
General Assembly, except the cases as mentioned in Article 5, Para 2,
where the total of the votes of the associated member organisations 
shall not exceed 25% of the total number of votes entitled to be cast
at the meeting.

Article 9

1. The General Assembly has the authority to:

a) adopt and make amendments to the Rules;

b) elect and remove members of the Executive Committee, the 
president and the three vice-presidents - where the number of 
vice-presidents should not exceed the number of regions;

c) approve or reject the report of the Executive Committee;

d) approve or reject financial reports;

e) approve or reject the budget for the coming period;

f) set the membership fee for the forthcoming period - 
separately for full and associated member organisations and for 

g) approve or reject the report on the development programmes 
for the previous period;

h) approve or reject the use of resources for development 
programmes assured under the name of CICOPA;

i) confirm the establishment of regional committees of the 
CICOPA and their chairpersons on behalf of the vice-presidents 

j) define the general policy of CICOPA and to decide any matter 
by an absolute majority of the delegates present, in accordance
with the voting regulations.

2. The General Assembly constitutes a quorum if at least 50% of 
the member organisations having paid their membership fees by the
date this session is held - take part in the session. An absolute 
majority of the votes of the member organisations (according to 
Article 8, Par. 6) shall suffice for a resolution to be carried.

3. Exceptionally, the General Assembly shall constitute a quorum 
if it has been duly convened and a minimum of 10 member organisations 
(whose membership fees must have been paid) is present and the 
Executive Committee gives its approval to hold it. In such a case,
a 2/3 majority of the votes shall be necessary for a resolution to be 
carried, and shall not be possible to make a decision on amendments 
to the CICOPA Rules or on the dissolution of CICOPA.

Article 10: The Executive Committee

1. The Executive Committee consists of the President, three 
Vice-Presidents and at least three other members elected by the General Assembly. The
member of the Executive Committee in the post of the Vice-President of a region becomes
the President of the regional committee of that region of  CICOPA, subject to the
confirmation of the General Assembly. Until the General Assembly is held, the President
of the regional committee takes part in sessions of the Executive Committee with an
advisory vote.

2. The Executive Committee shall comprise between 7 and 12 members.

3. The Executive Committee has the following responsibilities:

a) to prepare the programme of activity and to supervise its 

b) to submit to the General Assembly an annual financial statement;

b) to establish development programmes and fix their budgets (where 
they are undertaken in CICOPA's name);

d) to decide on the admission and expulsion of member organisations;

e) to decide all questions which are not reserved to the General 
Assembly by the Rules.

4. The Executive Committee meets at least once a year. The Executive 
Committee shall be quorate where at least four members are present.

5. Resolutions of the Executive Committee shall be carried by an 
absolute majority of votes of the members present. In the case of 
a tie, the President, or in his/her absence, the person chairing 
the meeting shall have a casting vote. The Executive Committee can 
also take votes by written procedure or by the use of means of
other media such as electronic mail, fax or telephone conference.
Sessions of the Executive Committee shall be convened by the President
according to the schedule of meetings or when demanded by an absolute
majority of members.

6. On the President's proposal - the Executive Committee will appoint 
at the first session one of the elected Vice-Presidents to the post 
of deputy to the President.The deputy has the full rights and duties 
of the President in the case of his/her absence.

7.If for whatever reason the President of the Executive Committee 
permanently ceases to carry out his/her functions, these functions 
shall be carried out by the Deputy President until the next session 
of the Executive Committee, which shall decide how to proceed until 
the next General Assembly. The next session of the General Assembly 
shall elect a new President to serve the rest of the term of office 
of the outgoing President.

7. If a member of the Executive Committee resigns from his/her post
or is not able to carry out his/her function, the Executive Committee 
is authorised to co-opt a new member until the next session of the 
General Assembly, at which time the place shall be filled by election.

8. The members of the Executive Committee including the members 
of the Presidency shall be elected by the General Assembly for a 
period of 4 years, and their electoral term shall be identical 
with the electoral term of the ICA Executive.

9. The Presidency of the Executive Committee consists of the 
President and the Vice-Presidents. The Presidency meets as required,
but at least once a year.

10. The Executive Committee may approve the establishment of 
subsidiary or associated organisations, corporations (whether profit
or non-profit, national or international) whose name shall include 
"CICOPA Development" in their title.

Article 11: Regional Committees

1. The member organisations of CICOPA in each region have the right
to decide about the creation of a Regional Committee of CICOPA at 
a meeting of the member organisations in that region. The Regional
Committee comes into existence where the following conditions are 

a) from its name must be evident that it is a Regional Committee 
of CICOPA: e.g. CECOP-CICOPA - Europe, or CICOPA - Asia. The name 
CICOPA shall be used in all languages without translation;

b)at least 50% of the region's member organisations must be present 
at such a meeting, and at least 50% of them must be members of the ICA;

b) the Rules shall be subject to approval by the General Assembly 
at its next session. They may not contradict the Rules of CICOPA and 
until the next session of the General Assembly the Executive Committee 
of CICOPA has the power to approve and/or amend the rules of a Regional Committee;

c) the Regional Committee and all other organs connected with it 
shall be elected democratically.

2. A Regional Committee may commence its activities on a provisional 
basis, after its formation and rules have been approved by the
Executive Committee of CICOPA, but its formal constitution shall be 
subject to confirmation by the General Assembly of CICOPA at its next

3. Regional Committees shall have the power to consider proposals 
for development programmes and their financing. Where the resources
for the realisation of a development programme have been acquired 
through the work of a Regional Committee, that Committee shall have
the power to control the use of these resources for the implementation 
of the programme.

4. Where a Regional Committee undertakes activities which are not
in accordance with the principles and aims of CICOPA and of the ICA, 
the General Assembly may decide, on a recommendation of the Executive 
Committee, to wind up the Regional Committee, after the concerns of the Executive
Committee have been communicated to the Regional Committee in question.

5. The President of CICOPA has the right to take part in the sessions 
of the organs of the Regional Committee of CICOPA in an advisory role. 
The President of each Regional Committee of CICOPA shall invite the 
President of CICOPA to each such session at the time when such sessions
are duly convened.

Article 12: "CICOPA - Development" organisations

a) In accordance with Article 10, Para 12, the Executive Committee 
of CICOPA may create "CICOPA - Development" organisations with the
aim of developing programmes and their financing in various parts 
of the world;
b) The President or Vice-President of CICOPA automatically becomes
a member of the Presidency of each such CICOPA - Development 
organisations, according to the decision of the Executive Committee.

2. For the purpose of developing programmes in regions and for
assuring their financing, the Regional Committees of CICOPA and 
national co-operative organisations which are members of CICOPA 
may create "CICOPA - Development" organisations

3. Each "CICOPA - Development" organisation bears this name in 
all languages. The name CICOPA will not be translated into other 
(e.g. CICOPA +  name of the country + Development
      CICOPA - France + Développement)

PART FOUR: Common Provisions

Article 13: Languages

1. The working language of the Executive Committee and of the 
Board is English.

2. At the sessions of the General Assembly also other languages 
may be used - depending on the technical and financial situation 
in each case.

Article 14: Membership Fees

1. The annual membership fee is fixed for a period by the 
General Assembly.

2. The General Assembly may authorise the Executive Committee 
in exceptional cases to adjust temporarily the amount of the 
membership fee, or allow the payment of it by instalments.

3. The membership fee is to be paid to the Secretariat of CICOPA 
no later than 31 March of the calendar year to which it relates. 
The Executive Committee will be authorised to decide on penalties
for late payment of membership fees.

PART FIVE: Final Provisions

Article 15: Amendments to the Rules

Any amendments to the Rules shall be approved by a simple majority
of votes of the General Assembly and the Executive Committee 
of the ICA.

Article 16: Dissolution of the Organisation

1. CICOPA can be dissolved by the decision of the General Assembly 
on the recommendation of the Executive Committee. Such a decision 
can be taken:

a) by the General Assembly with the 2/3 majority of votes if 
2/3 of the member organisations are present.

b) if the General Assembly approves a proposal for the dissolution 
of CICOPA, it shall determine the way to settle any outstanding debts.
Any surplus remaining after the dissolution of CICOPA shall become 
the property of the International Co-operative Alliance.

Article 17: The Entry into Force of the Rules

1. The Rules adopted by the General Assembly of CICOPA on 
October 24, 1992 in Tokyo in Japan are repealed.

2. These Rules shall come into operation on the day of their 
adoption by the General Assembly in Geneva on 18 September 1997.