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An international seminar was organised by the European Research Institute on Cooperative and Social Enterprises (EURICSE) in association with other partners, within the framework of the project "Mubaderoon for social change" in Jordan on 15th December 2020. The theme of the open webinar was “Unlocking the Potential of Social Enterprises in Jordan”.

 

ICA-AP was invited to speak at a session on “Social Enterprises and Social Economy Organizations: Legal Trends and Challenges from an International Perspective”. The office was represented by Ganesh Gopal, Programme Officer and Mohit Dave, Programme Manager.

 

The ICA as part of the ICA-EU partnership (#coops4dev) has undertaken the legal framework analysis (LFA) research to understand the state of cooperative law in its member countries. The methodology of the LFA research was developed in association with EURICSE. 62 country National Reports from over 56% ICA member countries are available at https://coops4dev.coop/en.

 

Ganesh Gopal, Programme Officer, in-charge of the legal framework analysis (LFA) in Asia and Pacific region gave a presentation on, “ICA-EU Partnership and Cooperative Law: developing an enabling environment for cooperatives - reflections and learnings from Jordan.” His presentation focused on the state of cooperative law (No. 18 of 1997) and Cooperative Societies Charter (No. 36 of 2016) in Jordan, taking insights from the National Report of the LFA research, prepared by an independent expert.  He focused on how social enterprises, particularly cooperatives, can play a role in national development by being vehicles of inclusive growth and sustainable livelihoods. He highlighted the need to promote among young people the relevance of collective enterprises and social enterprise creation. He stressed on the need for national cooperative legislation to be aligned with the Statement on the Cooperative Identity. Instances were pointed out from Jordan’s Cooperative Societies Charter where the principles were implicit and the best practices such as the relative ease with which a cooperative can be registered swiftly by having to deal with only a single authority. Ganesh delved into the specific aspects of ‘Cooperative Legal Friendliness’ in Jordan. He said that cooperative laws worldwide are being viewed from the lens of ‘Cooperative Legal Friendliness’ akin to the Ease of doing business (EoDB) index of the World Bank.  The Q & A session saw several engaging questions on specific clauses in the cooperative charter and on-the-ground experiences from cooperators in Jordan. 

 

Other speakers included representatives from the International Labour Organisation (ILO), Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), DIESIS Network Belgium, the Ministry of Digital Economy and Entrepreneurship of Jordan and other academics and policymakers.