Tajani served as Vice-President of the European Commission (2008-2014) and as Commissioner for Transport (2008-2010), as well as Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship (2010-2014). In 2014, he became the First Vice-President of the European Parliament.
Tajani is no stranger to the co-operative world, as he is officially a “CoopSupporter” (MEP committed to support co-operative enterprises during the current Parliamentary term). Euro Coop, along with the rest of the European co-operative movement led by Cooperatives Europe, is very pleased to see a friend of co-operatives rise to power within the governance of the EU. He supported and promoted co-operatives during his time as Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, the pinnacle of which was establishing in 2013 the Co-operative Working Group “Fostering co-operatives’ potential to generate smart growth and jobs”, which drafted a Roadmap with concrete recommendations for EU policymakers on the specific needs of co-operative enterprises in relation to their potential to generate jobs. Co-operatives will be happy to have the support of the new EP President in the implementation of the Co-operative Roadmap recommendations.
During his speech, Tajani quoted his 23-year experience in the EU Institutions and underlined the importance of having a Europe which serves its citizens through an enhanced and consistent dialogue between MEPs and the civil society. BREXIT was also an subject which was highlighted, where Tajani reiterated UK’s importance as a partner to the European Parliament in the future, especially on the issues of migration, fight against terrorism, energy policy, and unemployment, where he called for tangible solutions.
Dirk Lehnhoff, President of Cooperatives Europe, commented: “As a supporter of the Social Economy model and as an ex-Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship, we hope that Mr. Tajani’s Presidency will bring further visibility and recognition to co-operative entrepreneurship. Co-operative enterprises put citizens at the heart of their operations. Thus Mr. Tajani’s strong commitment to serving the people of Europe and the role of the Parliament in representation of the citizens should encourage and enhance dialogue between the co-operative movement and the EU Parliament. We look forward to working with him." Euro Coop welcomes this statement and is fully prepared to contribute to the efforts of the European co-operative movement in reinforcing our relationship with the European Parliament, and of course, with the other EU institutions.