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:

 


http://www.uwcc.wisc.edu/info/bologna.html

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.