Madison, WI— The World Council of Credit Unions, Inc. (WOCCU) and its members from Ireland (Irish League of Credit Unions), Great Britain (Association of British Credit Unions) and Poland (National Association of Co-operative Savings and Credit Unions) met last week with 20-25 Member of the European Parliament and key officials from the European Commission. The joint meeting and lobby activities are part of a larger presence that WOCCU is its European members have been undertaking in concert with the Brussels based public affairs firm Policy Action, Ltd.
As part of the series of meetings, WOCCU and its members raised the awareness of the role that credit unions as not for profit, member owned, cooperative financial institutions play in serving their roughly 5 million members within the European Union (EU). The fact that credit unions are not banks and should not be treated as if they were banks was communicated to and received positively by members of the European Parliament and European Commission. Specific issued added during the meetings included a review of Financial Services Action Plan, the draft Consumer Credit Directive and a draft Money Laundering Directive. As a new ascension country into the EU, this was the first opportunity for the Polish movement to make its presence felt with officials in Brussels.
In response to the need from its European members, over the past nine months WOCCU has been facilitating the development of a presence in Brussels that will raise the aware profile of credit unions in the EU and ensure that credit unions receive early warnings as to activities in Brussels that may affect the operations of credit unions.
"It is very clear that the targeted education campaign we jointly conducted with our European members was well received by officials in Brussels," indicated Dave Grace, WOCCU's Senior Manager of Association Services. Grace continued. "While significant progress was made over the past couple of days, educating officials and building relationship within the Commission will be an ongoing process."
An evening reception, hosted by Brian Crowley, an Irish Member of the European Parliament (MEP) within the main European Parliament building was well attended by MEP and staff from their offices and various parties within the European Parliament.
El Consejo Mundial de Cooperativas de Ahorro y Crédito es la asociación gremial y agencia de desarrollo para el sistema internacional de cooperativas de ahorro y crédito. El Consejo Mundial promueve el crecimiento sustentable de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y otras cooperativas financieras en todo el mundo a fin de facultar a las personas para que mejoren su calidad de vida a través del acceso a servicios financieros asequibles y de alta calidad. El Consejo Mundial realiza esfuerzos de defensa activa en representación del sistema global de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito ante organizaciones internacionales y trabaja con gobiernos nacionales para mejorar la legislación y la regulación. Sus programas de asistencia técnica introducen nuevas herramientas y tecnologías para fortalecer el desempeño financiero de las cooperativas de ahorro y crédito y profundizar su alcance comunitario.
El Consejo Mundial ha implementado 290 programas de asistencia técnica en 71 países. A nivel mundial, 57,000 cooperativas de ahorro y crédito en 103 países atienden a 208 millones de personas. Obtenga más información sobre el impacto global del Consejo Mundial en www.woccu.org.