Co-operation as an alternative form of business, consumption and work was created in Europe but promptly developed all over the world. By focusing on people and their needs, it was able to provide answers to men and women in very different geographical, political, economic and social situations.
Millions and millions of co-operators all over the world have chosen this type of business to achieve goals for personal growth and to contribute to the wellbeing and progress of their community by working, buying, cultivating and even studying in co-operation.
According to official ICA International Co-operative Alliance data, over 800 million people in the world are members of co-operatives. There’s more: 100 million jobs in the world are ensured by co-operatives, that is 20% more than those provided by the total jobs offered by multinational enterprises.
So co-operative enterprises create and maintain employment throughout the world.
However, the international nature of co-operation isn’t only due to its world-wide diffusion.
Not only have the voluntary membership, independent management and democratic management of the co-operative enterprise (characteristics established by the fundamental principles of co-operation told when speaking of Tradition) favoured the creation of new co-operatives everywhere, but also co-operation amongst co-operatives themselves, and between regions, towns and even continents.
In short, the co-operative movement is a global movement favoured by the mission of internal mutuality (towards members) and external mutuality (towards the community - and not just the local community) and established by the sixth principle of the ICA:

Co-operatives serve their members most effectively and strengthen the co-operative movement by working together through local, national, regional and international structures.

As the representational association of the Italian region the most devoted to co-operation, over the years Legacoop Emilia-Romagna has developed noteworthy projects for collaboration, exchange and development on subjects of co-operativism in many parts of the world, thus providing and obtaining experience and valuable contacts.