RECOSET, Research Network on Cooperatives and Social Enterprises in Transition Contexts

Project status: concluded


Society’s interest in cooperative and social enterprises stems from their capacity to sustain the welfare of individuals and families, to fight social inequalities and to enhance social cohesion and solidarity behaviours through the production of a wide spectrum of general interest services. Against the background of overcoming the lack of a common theoretical framework and empirical methodology, the aim of RECOSET, a project implemented during the period June 2010 – June 2012, was to stimulate the creation of a network of research centres committed to studying cooperative and social enterprises in the European Union/Associated Countries (EU/AC) and Third Countries (TC). In regards to Third Countries, the main goal was to give researchers the opportunity to benefit from the theoretical and empirical knowledge accumulated by the EU/AC research centres involved. Researchers from the EU/AC were offered the opportunity to broaden the geographical reach of the studies produced so far by focusing on countries where research on cooperatives and social enterprises is still rather scarce.


RECOSET specifically aimed at:

  • advancing the research skills of EU/AC and TC researchers;
  • supporting the gathering of statistical data and literature on cooperative and social enterprises in Ukraine, Armenia and Belarus;
  • favouring a more in-depth understanding of the role, potential and impact of cooperative and social enterprises in Belarus, Armenia and Ukraine and favouring the transfer of knowledge on cooperative and social enterprises accumulated to date by European research centres;
  • strengthening networking relations among EU/AC and TC research centres, given the goal of developing new joint activities.

Main results

RECOSET contributed to creating new knowledge about the diversity of entrepreneurial forms, shedding light on the beneficial impact of non-investor-owned enterprises on socio-economic development. It allowed for the setting up of a network of research centres committed to studying the role and potential of cooperative and social enterprises and contributed to helping develop an awareness of the importance of cooperative and social enterprises in the countries involved. With the intention of enlarging the RECOSET network, Euricse has implemented a new mobility project, INT.RE.COOP, which was launched in January 2012.

The RECOSET project has been selected as one of the five best Marie Curie Actions – IRSES projects by the Public Policy and Management Institute, which has been commissioned by the DG Education and Culture to carry out an interim evaluation of the Marie Curie programme. This means that the RECOSET project could be selected as a case study for exploring cooperation among the universities, research institutes and researchers from the Marie Curie Actions.


European program: Marie  Sklodowska Curie Action,  International Research Staff Exchange Scheme – IRSES

Project duration: August 2010 – Julyne 2012

Coordinator: Euricse

Partners: Università degli Studi di Trento (Italy), European Research Network EMES (Belgium), Institute for Sociological Research, University of Belgrade (Serbia), International Center for Agribusiness Research and Education ICARE (Armenia), Center for Human Resource Development ORACUL (Belarus), Socio-Economic Strategies and Partnerships SEPS (Ucraine).