Negatief advies Co-operatieve beweging als Werelderfgoed

De Co-operatieve beweging is aangewezen als UNESCO Werelderfgoed ondanks een negatief advies. Hieronder is het negative advies te lezen. We hopen binnenkort ook de overwegingen te publiceren waarmee de Genossenschaften ondanks dit advies toch Werelderfgoed geworden zijn.


The Committee

  1. Takes note that Germany has nominated Idea and practice of organizing shared interests in cooperatives (No. 01200) for inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity:

A cooperative is an association of volunteers that provides services of a social, cultural or economic nature to members of the community to help improve living standards, overcome shared challenges and promote positive change. Based on the subsidiarity principle that puts personal responsibility above state action, cooperatives allow for community building through shared interests and values creating innovative solutions to societal problems, from generating employment and assisting seniors to urban revitalization and renewable energy projects. Anyone can participate, with members also able to acquire shares in the association and have a say in its future direction. The system makes available low-interest loans to farmers, craftspeople and entrepreneurs. Today, about a quarter of Germany’s population are members of a cooperative, which besides farmers and craftspeople, includes 90 per cent of its bakers and butchers and 75 per cent of its retailers. Some cooperatives have also been set up specifically for students to gain experience. Associated knowledge and skills are transmitted by cooperatives, universities, the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation, the Akademie Deutscher Genossenschaften, the German Hermann-Schulze-Delitzsch Society and the German Friedrich-Wilhelm-Raiffeisen Society.

  1. Decides that, from the information included in the file, the nomination satisfies the following criterion:

R.5:   The file presents a relevant extract of inscription of the element on the German Inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2014. Traditional bearers, communities and non-governmental organizations were involved in the inscription process. The inventory is organized, maintained and updated by the German National Commission for UNESCO.

  1. Further decides that the information included in the file is not sufficient to allow the Committee to determine whether the following criteria are satisfied:

R.1:   Although the idea and practice of pursuing shared interests in cooperatives has been handed down in Germany from generation to generation, the nomination does not adequately demonstrate that this constitutes intangible cultural heritage as defined in Article 2 of the Convention. The file is considered generally ambiguous: it places emphasis on the notion of collaboration through cooperatives, and on the worldwide understanding of cooperatives, rather than on the specific characteristics that define cooperatives and associated practices for the community or communities concerned with this particular nomination. The bearers and practitioners of the element are not clearly defined and it is therefore unclear whether communities concerned only include members of German Hermann-Schulze-Delitzsch Society and the German Friedrich-Wilhelm-Raiffeisen Society, the German Cooperative and Raiffeisen Confederation, or everyone involved in cooperatives in Germany;

R.2:   Given the difficulty to clearly define the element in question, it is difficult to understand how a possible inscription would contribute to ensuring visibility and awareness of intangible cultural heritage. While the file indicates that inscription would encourage dialogue among communities with similar cooperative organizations, and the promotion of certain values, such as solidarity, the nomination file does not clearly define how such an inscription would enhance the visibility of intangible cultural heritage in general;

R.3:   The viability of the element is being ensured by initiatives carried out by the German Hermann-Schulze-Delitzsch Society and the German Friedrich-Wilhelm-Raiffeisen Society, with the support of the submitting State. New safeguarding measures are proposed such as public relations campaigns, competitions, work in schools on the topic of cooperatives, and a cross-border thematic cultural hiking trail. The file recognizes that the element could be decontextualized by legal frameworks that undermine its basic principles and that ongoing negotiations in this respect are necessary. Furthermore, the proposed promotion of the element in other countries could be considered as inappropriate and not in the spirit of the Convention;

R.4:  The file was prepared with the cooperation of representatives of the German Hermann‑Schulze-Delitzsch Society and the German Friedrich-Wilhelm-Raiffeisen Society. The file presents letters expressing the free, prior and informed consent of these two representative institutions. Given the difficulty to clearly understand the contours of the communities concerned with this element, the consultative process however appears to have been somewhat top-down and the range of evidence for consent provided does not appear to reflect the variety of stakeholders consulted.

  1. Decides to refer the nomination of Idea and practice of organizing shared interests in cooperatives to the submitting State and invites it to resubmit the nomination to the Committee for examination during a following cycle.


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