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Cooperative, international organisation
HeadquartersBrussels, Belgium
Key people
Manuel Mariscal (President)
Bruno Roelants (General Secretary)
ParentInternational Cooperative Alliance

CICOPA (International organisation of cooperatives in industry and services)[1] is the branch of the International Cooperative Alliance that promotes worker cooperatives, social cooperatives and producers' cooperatives in industry and services. CICOPA has a membership of 46 national and regional cooperative federations or support organizations promoting cooperatives in 30 countries.

Many of those cooperatives are worker cooperatives, namely cooperatives where the members are the staff of the enterprise, i.e., worker-members, being the owners of the company. Because of this, those enterprises are characterized by a distinctive type of labour relations, called “worker ownership”, different from the one experienced by conventional employees or by the self-employed. CICOPA also represents social cooperatives which are specialised in the provision of services of general interest or in the reintegration, through work, of disadvantaged or marginalised workers and cooperatives of self-employed producers established in order to cooperativize common inputs or services.

With the recent transformation of the world economy, industrial and service cooperatives are no longer a marginal phenomenon. Numbers have increased in both industrialised and developing countries over recent years. CICOPA currently has a total of 46 members in 30 countries which in turn affiliate 68,000 enterprises employing 4 million persons. However, there is evidence that this world phenomenon is quantitatively much wider: worker cooperatives, social cooperatives and cooperatives of self-employed producers in industry and services together employ over 16 million people worldwide: 10.8 million worker-members in worker and social cooperatives, and 5.8 million self-employed producer-members active in industry and services and organized in producers’ cooperatives.

CICOPA has two regional organisations: CECOP- CICOPA Europe and CICOPA Americas. CICOPA Americas includes two sub-regional organisations; CICOPA North America and CICOPA Mercosur.

The 2003 CICOPA General Assembly held in Oslo, Norway approved in principle the World Declaration on Cooperative Worker Ownership. The Final draft was approved by the CICOPA Executive Committee on 17 February 2004. The Declaration was then approved by the ICA General Assembly in Cartagena, Colombia, in 2005.[2] CICOPA organised a two-year consultation process with its members in order to develop a common concept concerning social cooperatives typologies. The World Standards of Social Cooperatives are the outcome of this process. They were approved in their substance at the CICOPA General Assembly held in Geneva on 18 November 2009 and in their final form at the CICOPA General Assembly held in Cancun, Mexico, on 16 November 2011.

Member organizations available here


  1. ^ Comité International des Coopératives de Production et Artisanales
  2. ^ "World Declaration on Worker Cooperatives". Archived from the original on 30 September 2011. Retrieved 12 October 2011.