CECOP has indeed followed this project with the enterprise that won the tender (London Economics) since the beginning in June last year, under a mandate by Cooperatives Europe which recognises CECOP's representativeness in the industrial and service sectors, where most craft and SME cooperatives can be found.

At this meeting, the expertise and role of cooperative organisations was clearly recognised, also to help London Economics solve a number of practical difficulties which they have found during their ongoing Europe-wide survey. We are now preparing a detailed communication to a number of cooperative organisations, including some CECOP members, concerning those technical issues.

The Commission also agreed to drop the reference in the project title to “cooperative groups”, which several of us at the meeting criticised as being not only inaccurate, but a mistaken utilisation of an internationally-recognized cooperative concept, with a legal basis in some countries (Italy and Spain).

The expression “cooperative groups” will thus be replaced simply by “cooperatives”. The project study should be published in September this year.

We will do our best in CECOP to make sure that it can be a useful document for national public policies for the promotion of this type of cooperatives.