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Theoretical and Applied Economics
No. 8 / 2007 (513)

The Romanian Agriculture Cooperative Movement, from the Beginning to the Threshold of the Second World War. Briefly Historic Argument or Argument for History

Gabriel Popescu
Florentina Constantin
Academia de Studii Economice, Bucuresti

Abstract. In the philosophical meaning, the cooperative is a result of the knowing experimentally development and includes the interaction between: persons of consequence – through ideas and attitudes, state – through laws and institutes, experiences – through structures and effects. In Romania, in the first half of the XIXth century, and to the threshold of the Second World War, are remarked numerous persons of consequence who promote and support the cooperative movement, such as P.S. Aurelian, Spiru Haret, Ion Raducanu, Virgil Madgearu, Mitita Constantinescu and Nicolae Cornateanu. The state has accepted the cooperative as an instrument of the democratization of the capital and profit. The cooperative movement had fight continuously towards promotion of the collaboration principle between cooperative companies, principle by virtue of which the organizations can manifest independence in confrontation with the state. The experiences had been substantiated mostly on the ideology of modern cooperative systems: Rochdale, Raiffaisen and Schulttze. The Romanian cooperative movement appeared, just like in the majority of European states, on a background of some restrictions in the agricultural field, generated by a complex of factors among which the main position in a constant way had been hold by the contest between the big and small agricultural farms. In Romania, during the period before and after-war, cooperatives’ organization worked successfully as credit cooperatives or economical cooperatives (consumption cooperatives, supply and sale cooperatives, forestry cooperatives, purchase community, leasing community, etc.). The various shapes of the cooperative movements shows the potential which those have had in the purpose of their economical development and social situation improvement of the farmers. The potential was narrowed not only by the legislative and institutional instability, but more by the agricultural market size and intensity. The cooperatives activities efficiency was depending, before all, on the economic and social environment within which they were acting. But the economic environment was imposing as market partner, the farm as an economic-social entity with autarchic behaviour. In consequence the cooperative sector’s performances were conditioned by the farms’ performances.

Keywords: agricultural cooperation; Rochdale pioneers; banking cooperatives; consumers’ cooperatives; producing cooperatives.

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