“With their impetus towards solidarity and mutuality, cooperatives show that it is possible for us to help each other and to combine profit with ethical values. I hope very much that the International Year will play part in expanding your splendid model even more widely throughout the world”. This was the point underscored by Foreign Minister Giulio Terzi in his speech at the celebrations in Rome for the International day of Cooperatives, in the presence of the President of the Republic, Giorgio Napolitano.
2012: International Year of Cooperatives
The United Nations, recalled the Minister, have proclaimed 2012 the International Year of Cooperatives. Cooperatives have been described as a “benchmark production model” on which to base, in times of financial crisis, “a more stable economic architecture that is able to control the risks inherent to globalisation”.
“In the face of the enormous damage caused by imprudent conduct arising from an irresponsible approach to finance, we feel the need for stable, rational business models. Models that are the expression of a greater sharing of responsibility by the institutions and business people, and which will lead to a new economic era that is more respectful of individuals and their values”, said Terzi.
Moreover, the cooperative model, founded on a democratic enterprise model and on principles of solidarity and freedom of membership, “has shown over the years that it is capable of generating much more sound, lasting and reliable growth than sub-prime mortgages and so many other irregular financial inventions”.
The Cooperative Alliance in the MFA-MISE “control room”
The Farnesina “is increasingly supporting and promoting the important role played by cooperatives in the processes entailed in the internationalisation of the Italian economy and production system”. For this reason, the Cooperative Alliance has joined the MFA and the Ministry for Economic Development in the internationalisation “control room”. Minister Terzi concluded that “the Farnesina has traditionally supported the cooperative movement in developing countries too. Acting in agreement with government and civil society in those countries, Italy promotes the growth of cooperatives with funding and capacity-building programmes”.