This report has been written in the framework of the EU-funded research project “Support for Farmers’ Cooperatives”. This project was commissioned by the European Commission DG Agriculture and Rural Development, and carried out in 2011 and 2012 by a large consortium of researchers from various European universities and research institutes. The main objective of the EU wide research project is to provide insights on successful cooperatives and producer organisations as well as on effective support measures for these organisations. These insights can be used by farmers themselves, in setting up and strengthening their collective organisation, and by the Commission in its effort to encourage the creation of agricultural producer organisations in the EU. In the context of this research project, data has been collected in all of the 27 Member States of the European Union, on the evolution and development of agricultural cooperatives and producer organisations, but also on the policy measure and legal aspects that affect the performance of these organisations. This data has been one of the main sources of information for this report. In addition, other literature on the topic has been used to assess the situation in one or more EU member states or in particular sectors of the European agrifood industry. This report provides an EU level synthesis of the analysis of internal governance of the cooperatives/POs. Other sections of the synthesis report have covered topics like: Economic and fiscal incentives or disincentives and other public support measures at regional and national; Legal aspects, including those related to competition law and tax law; Historical, cultural and sociologically relevant aspects; The relationship between cooperatives/POs and the actors of the food chain; EU regulations and policy measures; Transnational cooperatives
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