Predecessors and perpetrators of cooperative systems in Europe

Author:Stefan Naubauer
Position:PhD Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Private Law Department, 'Nicolae Titulescu' University of Bucharest
LESIJ NO. XX, VOL. 1/2013
The study hereby aims to bring forward afresh the cooperative ideas that have animated
particularly the last two centuries of the past millennium. In the present context, labelled by the major
difficulties the European labour market is facing, t he proper knowledge and understanding of cooperative
principles provide the premises for their implementation with the view to meet the current economic and
social stability exigencies in today’s Europe.
Keywords: cooperative systems; cooperative principles; the European labour market.
I. Introduction
The area covered by the subject matter of this study is the doctrine of cooperative
property developed by the predecessors and perpetrators of cooperative systems in Europe. The
study hereby is purposeful as it aims to bring forward afresh the cooperative ideas that have
animated particularly the last two centuries of the past millennium. The manner in which we
shall deal with the objective undertaken hereunder rests upon the detailed anal ysis of
cooperative concepts that grounded the cooperative systems in Europe. With regard to the state
of knowledge in matters d ealt with and the contributions already established in the specialty
literature, we argue hereunder that the status of legal relations existing within the cooperative
system has been disregarded in the Romanian doctrine during the past decades, except for a
monograph on labour relations in handicraft cooperative property published in 2012 by the
author of this study and several issues reported in some papers released in the field of labour
law, though not covering the matters reviewed hereunder.
II.1. France
In the valleys of the Pyrenees, dairy cooperatives
1 were initially established the so-
calledă “sociétésă fromagères”ă oră “lesă fruitières”ă - with the aim of jointly selling the milk, to
process it into derivatives, respectively.2 In the 17th century, these existed under this form, but
later on were converted in to real capitalist enterprises.3 In addition to dairies, in France also
emerged cooperatives producers’ă cooperativeă societiesă - of viticulturists, with the aim of
jointly retailing wine or grapes.4
In terms of cooperative ideas, a notable place is vested upon Charles Fourier (1772-1837 ),
* P hD Lecturer, Faculty of Law, Private Law Department,ă “Nicolaeă Titulescu”ă Universityă ofă Bucharestă
1 It was noted that traces of peasant groups established for milk processing have been discovered in France
since the early part of the Middle Ages see G. Mladenatz, The History o f Cooperative Doctrines, The
RomanianăCooperativeăSystemăNationalăOffice,ă„Lupta”ăGraphicăArtsăInstitute N.ăStroil,ăBucharest,ă1931,ă
p. 11.
2 I.N. Angelescu, Cooperation and Socialism in Europe, The Graphic Arts Establishment Albert Ba er,
Bucharest, 1913, p. 4.
3 Ibidem.
4 Ibidem, pp. 4-5 and the bibliography quoted thereunder.

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