CECOP took this opportunity to highlight that the sustainability of jobs has to be integrated in employment policies not only from the point of view of employment and social policies, but also from the point of view of the enterprise’s long-term economic development: indeed, enterprise development without any continuity in jobs is difficult to achieve.

Measures in favour of maintaining existing jobs and skills in the enterprises should have a central place in employment policies. In the CECOP European network, several hundred enterprises condemned to disappear have been saved over the last few years through employee buy-outs, and have then developed under the cooperative form. CECOP also reminded the European Parliament and the European Commission that cooperatives have proved to be more resilient to the crisis than others enterprises of the same size, in the same sectors and in the same regions, as was confirmed by two successive surveys among CECOP members carried out in 2009 and 2010.

EU Employment Commissioner László Andor recognised at the meeting that cooperatives have proved being innovative in time of crisis and that some lessons could be learned from their experience. He also highlighted the fact that cooperative banks have demonstrated their stability compared to conventional banks.