Reference : The General Interest Cooperatives: A Challenge For Cooperative Law
Scientific journals : Article
Law, criminology & political science : Economic & commercial law
Law / European Law
The General Interest Cooperatives: A Challenge For Cooperative Law
Hiez, David mailto [University of Luxembourg > Faculty of Law, Economics and Finance (FDEF) > Department of Law (DL) >]
International Journal of Cooperative Law
[en] This article elaborates the concept of a general interest cooperative and considers the issues that relate to establishing a suitable regulatory framework to accommodate this cooperative. The principles of autonomy and self-help means that cooperatives usually develop in a different way than other noncapitalist organizations, such as philanthropic ones. However, in the past few decades, many countries have experienced the development of a new kind of cooperative, targeted at general interest or community needs. These cooperatives are usually subject to special regulations, even if the general cooperative law is also applicable to them. However, their nature remains unclear, and is somewhat controversial, since they challenge the conception of a cooperative as an organisation built around its members. The recent focus on social enterprise and its attention to social purpose, risks distancing policymakers from cooperatives. This makes it necessary to elaborate the legal nature of general interest cooperatives. The intention is to ensure that regulation is suitable for this type of cooperative and to allow cooperatives to remain an umbrella vehicle for most social enterprises. To achieve this goal this paper will consider the general definition of cooperatives, and more specifically the definition of general interest cooperatives, and the way that membership, democratic governance and economic participation apply to them.

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