Why is ECPMF a co-operative?
The European Centre for Press and Media Freedom is an independent, non-governmental organisation. It is organised as a European Co-operative Society (SCE). The Centre actively promotes networking and solidarity among journalists and media professionals from all over Europe, covering the continent from Portugal to Russia and from Norway to Malta. In the spirit of solidarity the European Co-operative creates a network for the otherwise very fragmented media and journalism community and industry. The ECPMF chairs the members’ network, which comprises individuals, academic bodies, trades unions, investigative journalists’ organisations, the media industry, campaigning and aid organisations etc. It does not duplicate their efforts but rather co-ordinates, supports and promote members’ activities. The organisational form of a European Co-operative Society (SCE), guarantees a high degree of transparency and a democratic constitution, with special rights to participation for employees.
The ECPMF is built on the European model, and since it is based in Leipzig, it is registered in Germany. The Federation of German Co-operatives supported the establishment of the ECPMF.
The Founding Assembly on 24th of June 2015 was chaired by Bernhard Brauner from the Federation’s Head Quarter in Neu-Isenburg. At the press conference after the Assembly, Brauner was asked about why the co-operative form of management was suitable for a media freedom campaign. “It allows for flexibility and independence”, he replied, and added that the co-op is an increasingly popular entity for new non-profit startups in Europe.
The Rochdale Pioneers of the retail cooperative movement.
Co-operatives were invented in Rochdale, England in 1844, to provide affordable good food for factory workers by buying it at wholesale prices and trading fairly with their members. The founders became known as the Rochdale Pioneers (pictured).
Today there are thousands co-operatives all over the world. The latest statistics from the International Co-operative Alliance tells that “co-operatives contribute to resilient employment, a sustainable economy and the well-being of people at work, making up almost 12% of the entire employed population of the G20 countries.”
Meanwhile the Rochdale Pioneers Museum has become a monument and tourist attraction.
And now the ECPMF has started to play its little part in the history of co-operatives.