Message at Coops Europe Assembly 2021:

“It is a great pleasure to greet you on this important event that you are holding.

The celebration of an Assembly is the culmination of important activities carried out over the course of several months.

It is also a time to meet, exchange and make decisions that allow us to move forward in the coming year.

For cooperative organizations, democracy is a value that displays all its virtues in instances like this.

For this reason, I hope that this meeting will encourage you to continue working to deepen the Cooperative Identity in your region and to contribute to efforts in the rest of the World.

This is the slogan for the 33rd World Congress of the International Cooperative Alliance that, as you know, we will carry out from December 1 to 3 in Seoul, Republic of Korea.

Deepening our Cooperative Identity means redoubling our efforts to offer the World a solution with solidarity, democratic and inclusion, for the deep crisis we are going through on a global scale.

A crisis caused by the pandemic but also by pre-existing scourges, deficiencies and inequalities, which stresses our societies and threaten the sustainability of the planet.

Cooperatives have the enormous opportunity to offer humanity a model of social and economic organization with almost two centuries of proven experience.

In addition, it offers a model that has the capacity to be innovative and meet the complex demands of a world that changes rapidly.

Europe is a continent where these qualities of the cooperative model is fully expressed. It sets the example of how to keep the cooperative model alive, the roots that gave rise to its modern form of organization, and at the same time, the best tool for personal and collective fulfillment for the new generations.

You have a presence in all sectors of the economy, with a real commitment to gender equality and the effective participation of youth,

You have exemplary leaderships who continue to forge the milestones of our movement.

So, you are perfectly positioned to lead the banner of the Cooperative Identity in every part of the European territory.

And, from there, reaffirm your permanent commitment to the integration of our movement on a global scale.

We need the contribution of each country, each region, each sector, to face global challenges and rebuild, better, together, our Common Home.

We all need to recover work, health, habitat, finances, production and consumption, proposing a cooperative solution to this health, economic, social and environmental crisis that affects us all.

I am sure that this Assembly will allow you to consolidate the work you have been doing, find new consensus that will encourage you to continue advancing, and continue with your contributions to build the cooperative alternative together.

I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the great work done so far by those who are leaving their place on the Regional Board today, and to congratulate in particular its President, my colleague Jean-Louis Bancel, and also wish a successful term to those who are joining the Board from now on.

I also take this opportunity to greet Dominique Goursolle-Nouhaud, President of the Fédération Nationale des Caisses d’épargne, an entity that has made it possible to have face-to-face meetings for several of you.

Again, thank you very much for allowing me to share these minutes with you, I hope you have an excellent day and I send you warm cooperative greetings from a distance.”