Emiglia-Romagna's Co-op Accomplishments

I was curious about the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy, having seen a reference to it recently, and found this late 1990s article at U Wisconsin's Co-op site, originally from The Nation magazine by Robert Fitch:



University of Wisconsin Center for Cooperatives

The Emilian model, however, shows that there's more to

life than what's been dreamed of in our cold war

philosophies. Local cooperation and the ability to


produce for highly competitive international markets


needn't be mutually exclusive -- the two can blend like oil


and vinegar. There are more than 60,000 workers


employed in some 1,800 "red" Emilian co-ops. But co-ops


haven't prevented the region from increasing its share of


international exports. Emilia-Romagna's small and


medium-sized companies -- both craft-based and high-tech


-- compete internationally, and work cooperatively within


industrial districts that have produced the fastest growth


of any region in the country. Unemployment, at just 4.7


percent, is even lower than the jobless rate in Lombardy


and Piedmont, Northern Italy's corporate heartland...."

        The situation there is fascinating, and I want to think further about their accomplishments and situation.