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The European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, will collect the award at a gala event to be held on 13th November at the Kursaal in Donostia at 18:30.

The award ceremony will include a performance of the Cooperative Symphony, which transmits and celebrates the values of the cooperative world.

The Higher Council of Cooperatives of the Basque Country, Kooperatiben Kontseilua, has awarded the Denon Artean Prize to the European Commission, in the third edition of this recognition.

This award recognises the work of individuals and institutions in favour of a different business model: one that is more social, that distributes wealth better, and that is fairer and more equitable. In 2018 the first edition of the prize was awarded posthumously to José María Arizmendiarrieta and in 2021 it was awarded to the International Cooperative Alliance (ICA).

The European Commissioner for Employment and Social Rights, Nicolas Schmit, representing the European Commission, will collect the award at a ceremony to be held on Monday 13 November at the Kursaal Palace in Donostia at 18:30.

The Denon Artean, in its 2023 edition, is held in the context of the ‘European Conference on Social Economy: People, Planet, Action’, organised by the Ministry of Labour and Social Economy within the framework of the Spanish Presidency of the Council of the European Union.

The Minister for Employment and the Social Economy and acting Vice-President of the Spanish Government, Yolanda Díaz, and the Basque Prime Minister, Iñigo Urkullu, will accompany the Higher Council of Co-operatives of the Basque Country at the presentation of the Basque co-operative movement award. The event will also be attended by a large representation of co-operative enterprises, European authorities, representatives of autonomous communities and the most important national and European co-operative and social economy organisations.

The ceremony will also feature an exceptional performance of the Cooperative Symphony, which forms part of the Humanity At Music cultural project, which MONDRAGON has lent to Kooperatiben Kontseilua for this great occasion to transmit and celebrate the values of the cooperative world.

The Cooperative Symphony will be performed by an orchestra conducted by Fernando Velázquez, and the choirs Goikobalu Arrasateto Abesbatza, Iubilo Bilbao Abesbatza and Txorbela Otxotea will also take part.

Basque cooperativism, a European and world reference point

Europe has almost 180,000 cooperative enterprises with more than 140 million members. In the European Union specifically, one out of every five people is a member of a cooperative, which demonstrates the commitment to collective, democratic and solidarity-based entrepreneurship.

The European Union’s contribution to the social economy and cooperatives is reflected in the European Social Economy Action Plan, which promotes favourable conditions for this type of enterprise to grow, raises awareness of its potential and translates into the creation of quality jobs, support for innovation and social inclusion.

As a unique entity in the national, European and world co-operative world due to its public-private nature, the Higher Council of Co-operatives of the Basque Country represents the entire Basque co-operative movement at this event.

Kooperatiben Kontseilua was created 40 years ago due to the importance of the Basque co-operative fabric in the Basque business network. And on the occasion of the Denon Artean it is once again demonstrating the strength of Basque co-operative enterprises to governments, European institutions, regional governments, Member States, the OECD, the ILO and Social Economy business leaders from all corners of the planet.

Denon Artean Saria 2023