27 July 2001
CONSULTATION FOR A EUROPEAN CO-OPERATIVE SOCIETY LAUNCHED TODAY
A joint HM Treasury/DTI consultation on the European Commission proposal to create a European Co-operative Society was published today.
The proposal consists of a Regulation setting out the framework for a new pan-European institution, which could operate across Member States on the basis of registration in one Member State, and a draft Directive concerning employee involvement in each institution.
Welcoming the publication of the consultation document, Economic Secretary Ruth Kelly said:
“We are seeking comments on all aspects of the draft proposals for a European Co-operative Society, to inform the policymaking process going forward. The co-operative movement is known for its diversity, so I hope that a wide range of consultees will respond, to enable Government to take account of all the different perspectives and needs.”
NOTES TO EDITORS
1. The consultation document ‘Proposal on the Statute for a European Co-operative Society’ is available through the Treasury website at www.hm-treasury.gov.uk. Printed copies may be obtained by calling Michael Dynan-Oakley on 020 7270 4488. Responses should be returned by 31 October 2001.
2. First formally proposed by the European Commission in 1986, negotiations on a Statute for a European Co-operative Society commenced in 1992, but came to a halt in 1995.
3. Following agreement on the European Company Statute in late 2000, the Swedish Presidency brought forward revised proposals for the European Co-operative Society Statute. The Belgians - who took over the Presidency this month - have decided to progress this work during their six month term.
4. The Regulation would apply to co-operatives registered under the Industrial & Provident Societies Acts; all other forms of company or partnership recognised under the co-operative principles prescribed by the International Co-operative Alliance; and societies within the scope of the Friendly Societies or Building Societies Acts and the Credit Unions Act 1979 and Credit Unions (NI) Order 1985.
5. The Regulation would be optional: it will only be applicable to a body operating under UK law to the extent that it chooses to operate in another Member State by establishing a European Co-operative Society.
6. Media enquiries should be addressed to Liane Farrer in the Treasury press office on 020 7270 5192.