Europe

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

                       ****************
                            Europe
                       ****************


Development of the Region
*************************
During the year under review the first  European Regional
Assembly has been organised, a European Council elected, and
certain activities within the Region have been decentralised, 
based on the priorities which were approved by the Regional
Assembly, October 1994, in Prague.

The decision of the ICA Board of last April confirmed that no
separate ICA Regional Office needs to be established for Europe.
The European Secretariat will be maintained within the Head
Office and run by a Secretary, assisted by a part-time Programme
Officer. However, a separate budget has been allocated for
implementing the European work programme.
 
Currently, the European Region has 90 national organisations from
35 countries and two international organisations as members.


Membership
**********
The Czech-Moravian Association of Agricultural Co-operatives has
become a full member of ICA. The affiliation of Turkish
co-operative organisations to the European Region is still
pending until all of them declare unanimously their desire to
belong to ICA Europe.

The ICA Board agreed that in future, membership applications from
Europe will first be screened by the European Council.


Activities
**********
Taking into account the six priorities approved by the 1st
Regional Assembly, the following activities were carried on in
1995:


Corporate Governance and Management Control Systems in European
Co-operatives
***************************************************************
As a follow-up to the paper prepared by R.Volkers on this subject
and discussed at the Regional Assembly (October 1994) a seminar
was held on 11 July, 1995 in St. Petersburg. The conclusions of
the Seminar will be drafted and submitted to the Regional
Assembly to take place in Manchester on 18 September.


Sustainable Human Development (North-South Relations)
*****************************************************
North-South relations are a global matter, but the Regional
Assembly decided that it was also a priority for ICA Europe. A
report on the European specificities of this issue prepared by
the secretariat was presented to the European Council meeting in
July and will be included in the paper to be put forward as one
main agenda item on Sustainable Human Development at the
Manchester Congress. The environmental aspect, employment and
social integration as well as growth and solidarity have been
addressed in the report.


Gender Issues
*************
The review of gender issues will be a continuous responsibility
and concern of the movement, so that not only co-operative theory
but also co-operative practice will be influenced by a gender
perspective. All the documents to be presented at the Congress
will be reviewed from a gender point of view. As this is a global
ICA issue, possible funding was examined by the ICA Board and it
was decided that the 1996 budget proposal from the Women~s
Committee would be included in the ICA's overall budget.


Improving Information and Communication
***************************************
There was a general agreement on the need for Europe to be
pro-active in taking advantage of the new information and
communication technology now available.

Member organisations and Specialised Bodies have been requested
to submit information to be entered into an electronic
information bank (gopher). ICA has now direct access to the
Internet but also continues working with APC (Association of
Progressive Communications) and ARIES, the European information
network of the social economy. For further information, see
report from Communications Department.


Co-operatives and Schools
*************************
The aim of the project is to educate youngsters in co-operative
issues and by this process of education to contribute to local
initiatives aimed at solving unemployment problems and creating
new enterprises. The project has two parts:

-  The compilation and subsequent publication at the Centennial
Congress in Manchester of an account of the various initiatives
by national Movements to promote the relationship between
co-operatives and schools.

-  The distribution among the European Movements of a
Co-operative Message to Schools on the occasion of the
International Co-operative Day, 1 July 1995. The Message defines
the needs which can be met by Movements in all sectors. 


Strengthening of Co-ops in Eastern and Central Europe 
*****************************************************
According to the decision of the European Council the East-West
policy and strategy decisions will remain with the Council. The
Co-op Network will continue its work at the operational level,
within the ICA European structure but with its own Board and
budget.

A Seminar was held for high-level co-operative managers in
Helsinki, 8-9 May. Until June 1995 the co-financing of the
following five projects have been approved: Management and Board
Training in Kazakhstan and Estonia (PHARE-TACIS-Co-op Hungary);
Estonian Housing Development (Olof Palme Centre-Swedish
Government-HSB); Gender in Democracy (PHARE-VdK-Loughborough);
Environmental Campaign - Baltic sea (Olof Palme Centre-KF-HSB);
SME Strategy in Russia for Co-ops (TACIS-Febecoop-CICOPA).


Co-financing by DG XXIII
************************
As ICA Europe does not dispose of additional funds for financing
regional activities in Europe, its Work Programme has been
presented to the DG XXIII of the Commission of the European
Communities with a request for co-funding. The request was
approved and an agreement was signed with DG XXIII in December
1994. A final report on the six actions has to be prepared and
presented to the Commission by the end of November 1995. The
activities co-financed by the Commission are: Co-operative
Identity; Management Control Systems and Corporate Governance (in
collaboration with CWS, Manchester); Transfer of Know-How to
Promote Co-ops in Eastern and Central Europe; Cross-Border
Business in EU and EFTA Countries (in collaboration with ACME,
Brussels); Co-operative Image: Improving Information and
Communication; Co-operatives and Schools; Promoting New
Co-operative Enterprises and Sectors (in collaboration with
CECOP, Brussels).


Rules for ICA Europe
********************
The provisional Rules and Standing Orders have been reviewed by a
working group, discussed at the EC meeting in March and the final
draft submitted to the European Council in July and for approval
to the Regional Assembly in Manchester.


Co-operation with the European Sectoral Associations
****************************************************
The relationship between ICA Europe and the sectoral
organisations is evolving positively and remains of high
importance.  As a result of the ICA-CCACC meeting in January, a
protocol of understanding had been drafted, indicating the
principal areas in which the parties could co-operate. These are:
representational activity, co-ordination of project work,
promoting the co-operative system and facilitating co-operation.
However, CCACC will not sign the protocol  in this form for
internal reasons. A new suggestion to sign separate agreements
between each sectoral association and ICA Europe is presently
under discussion.


Co-op Network
*************
In compliance with the decision made at the Regional Assembly in
Prague  an agreement has been signed with the Network which
regulates its relations with ICA Europe. The main services
provided by the Network include: support to ICA Europe East-West
policy initiatives, assistance in resource mobilisation for the
ICA global development programme and assistance with project
development and funding for the ICA Europe~s proposed East-West
legislative programme.  The Network will act on North-South
relations and resource mobilisation for ICA at global level.

The European Council is regularly kept informed on the projects
managed by the Network.  The view of the Council is that Co-op
Network should not compete with any of the ICA Europe members.
This is also the Network~s established policy.


Elections
*********
At the Regional Assembly meeting to take place on 19 September in
Manchester, a new regional Chairman will be elected as
G.J.Melmoth has resigned from this post. If the Rules are
approved, a second Vice-Chairman should also be elected.



Council of Europe
*****************
ICA Europe has applied for NGO status with the Council of Europe.
Meetings were held on 30 March with officials of the Council who
confirmed that the application was being examined.


Meetings, Representations, Visits
*********************************
ICA Europe meetings:
*   European Council, 31 March in Strasbourg, France
*   CCACC-ICA Europe, 27 January in Brussels, Belgium
*   European Council, 11 July in St.Petersburg, Russia
*   Seminar on Management Control and Corporate Governance 11
July      in St. Petersburg, Russia 
*   Seminar on financing co-operatives and legislation, 12-13
July      in St. Petersburg, Russia, in co-operation with
Plunkett           Foundation.

ICA Europe was represented at the following meetings in 1995:
*    International Co-operative Seminar "Perspectives of          
     co-operation in the enlarged Europe" in Llubljana, Slovenia, 
     29 May
*    ACME Seminar "Communication: A Strategic Tool to Realize the 
     Objectives of the Social Economy Insurers" in Vienna,
Austria,       1-2 June
*    "1st European Conference on Social Co-operation" organised
by       CECOP in Bruxelles, Belgium, 22-24 June
*    Round table on "Co-operative Organisation and Tax Law" in    
     Marburg, Germany, 23-24 June.

Visits:
*    To the Council of Europe on 30 March in Strasbourg
*    Chairman's trip to Moldova, Bulgaria and Romania.


Strategy and Future Priorities 
******************************
Some of the activities considered as priorities for Europe will
end at the Congress. Others will continue but in a different
form. The following activities will most likely be pursued in the
period up to the next Regional Assembly:

1.   Strengthening of Co-operatives in Eastern and Central Europe
including sub-regional co-operation, government dialogues

2.   Code of practice, governing methods and management control
system as a follow up to the revision of the co-operative
principles

3.   Sustainable Human Development

4.   Co-operative Image in Europe including co-operatives and the
young generations.