ILO COOP Participates in the CECOP Lights On Research Launch Conference in Italian

On November 24, 2022, the European Confederation of Industrial and Service cooperatives (CECOP) launched the Italian translation of the report that documents how workers’ and social cooperatives can assist workers and enterprises in the transition to the formal economy in Europe.

Actualité | 28 novembre 2022
The Italian language launch of “Lights On: Workers and Social Cooperatives Tackling Undeclared Work” brought together around 50 participants, including speakers form the local government, cooperatives and workers’ organizations. The President of Fondazione Centro Studi Doc, Chiara Chiappa chaired the online event. Introductory remarks were followed by a presentation by ILO COOP Manager Ms Esim on the global context around the informal economy.

She started by congratulating CECOP and the author of the report for the relevance and timelines of this work. She noted that informality is not something of the past, but widespread across the world, especially in the Global South. She added that in times of crises, like during global pandemics or in times of economic and financial turmoil, informal employment tends to increase. Quoting ILO’s global estimates, she mentioned that there are around two billion workers informal employment, representing three out of five employed persons. Informality is highest in countries with the lowest levels of income. She noted that in Europe and Central Asia, it is estimated that 25 per cent of the workers make their living in the informal economy. She pointed out that undeclared work is a predominant form of informal work which can be diverse in nature but explicitly hidden.

She pointed out to the ILO Recommendation concerning the transition from the informal to the formal economy (No. 204) which was adopted in 2015, acknowledges cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy units as means to facilitate the transition to the formal economy. he highlighted the benefits that cooperatives and other social and solidarity economy organizations can offer ttheir members, users and communities.

Following her presentation, Marialuisa Gnecci, the Vice President of the National Social Security Institute (INSP) spoke about undeclared work in Italy based on the data from her institute. Ms Francesca Martinelli then presented findings of the CECOP study that she authored on how worker and social cooperatives in Europe are tackling undeclared work.

Three cooperatives provided testimonials of the different business models and initiatives that ensure that they developed to ensure workers are not abandoned to the vulnerabilities of undeclared work. During the final round table, speakers discussed the Italian situation and how to fight undeclared work in the country.