Cooperation among Cooperatives in Italian and Comparative Law

A study of a cooperative as an isolated economic unit, with no relations with other cooperatives, would provide only an incomplete and inaccurate picture of its full scope. In fact, from their emergence, cooperatives have developed economic and socio-political forms of inter-cooperative integration, which have enormously contributed to their success as a distinct legal form of enterprise. Therefore, not surprisingly, the International Cooperative Alliance has decided to consider “cooperation among cooperatives” as a specific principle of cooperative identity. The main objective of this article is to ascertain whether, how and to what extent cooperative law has implemented this principle. The comparative legal analysis will begin with Italian law, which constitutes an excellent example of how cooperative law can be shaped to favour the development of both individual cooperatives and a big and active cooperative movement, and which helps to build an adequate conceptual framework to deal with the subject of inter-cooperation.

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Antonio Fici (2015). Cooperation among Cooperatives in Italian and Comparative Law, Journal of Entrepreneurial and Organizational Diversity, 4(2): 64-97. DOI: