FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Comparative analysis of cooperative legislation in the Post-Soviet countries

The cooperative movement has a centuries-long history. In 1844, the first consumer cooperative was established in England in the town of Rochdale by a group of so-called "Rochdale pioneers". The first rural credit cooperative was created in 1864 by Friedrich Raiffeisen, the mayor of the German town of Gedersdorf. These early cooperatives were aimed at providing access for the rural poor to good quality foods and consumer products, as well as to financial resources and credit at reasonable rates. The Rochdale pioneers formulated the cooperative principles that govern the activities of the International Cooperative Alliance to the present day.

Cooperatives were transferred to the Russian Empire by liberal-minded landowners and other prominent agrarian activists. Prior to 1917, Russia had accumulated 50 years of valuable experience in the development of agricultural and fishing cooperatives. Unfortunately, this experience was lost during the Soviet era. Of all the different types of cooperation, only quasi-cooperative production associations--collective farms—were developed in the USSR, while the classical forms of Rochdale-model consumer cooperatives were not developed at all. The revival of agricultural consumer cooperatives began during the Perestroika years with the proclamation of the "Law on Cooperatives" in May 1988. Following this Law, legislation governing cooperatives began to emerge in almost all of the post-Soviet countries in the 1990s.

On this web-site you will find 4 short essays on the comparative analysis of the Cooperative Legislation. The first essay (introduction) is a general analysis of the concepts of cooperation in the post-Soviet countries. The second essay examines how cooperation is presented in the Civil Codes of the post-Soviet countries. The third essay examines the specific laws on cooperatives relating to cooperation in rural areas. In the fourth essay you will find a comparative analysis of the taxation of cooperatives from the Tax Codes of the different post-Soviet countries.

The table List of legislative acts regulating issues of cooperation in the countries of the former Soviet Union shows extracts from three categories of legislation: the Civil Code, special laws governing the activities of cooperatives and the Tax Code for each country.

Additional information on challenges and purposes of cooperation in Post-Soviet countries can be found in FAO's analytical papers on cooperation as part of the series of FAO REU Policy Studies (http://www.fao.org/europe/resources/fao-reu-policy-studies).

The authors have tried to include the most recent cooperative legislation on this site. However, legislation is constantly being updated; policies change and new laws are adopted. Therefore, we kindly ask you to send to the editor your recommendations, corrections, and comments on the subject of cooperation in the post-Soviet countries.

Authors:

Viktor Teres, Valery Bondarchuk, Roman Korinets (International Charitable Organization “Community Wellbeing”)

David Sedik is the Senior Agricultural Policy Officer in the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

Zvi Lerman is Sir Henry d’Avigdor Goldsmid Professor of Agricultural Economics, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel

Reviewer: Renata Yanbykh, PhD, Head of Department of Sustainable Rural Development and Agricultural Cooperation of the Russian Institute of Agrarian Problems and Informatics named after A.A. Nikonov

Editor: David Sedik, PhD, Senior Agricultural Policy Officer in the FAO Regional Office for Europe and Central Asia

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I) Cooperatives in the Post-Soviet Countries: Overview of legislation

INTRODUCTION

СРАВНИТЕЛЬНЫЙ АНАЛИЗ ГРАЖДАНСКИХ КОДЕКСОВ СТРАН СНГ И ГРУЗИИ ПО ВОПРОСАМ РЕГУЛИРОВАНИЯ КООПЕРАТИВОВ

INVENTORY OF COOPERATIVE LAWS IN POST-SOVIET COUNTRIES

TAXATION OF COOPERATIVES IN THE POST-SOVIET COUNTRIES

II)) List of legislation governing cooperatives in Former Soviet Union countries 

Country

Civil Code *

Laws regulating cooperatives **

Tax Code ***

Armenia

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Azerbaijan

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Belarus

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 PDF1    PDF2   PDF3  PDF4

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Georgia

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 PDF1    PDF2   PDF3

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Kazakhstan

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 PDF1    PDF2    PDF3  

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Kyrgyzstan

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 PDF1   

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Moldova

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 PDF1    PDF2    PDF3    PDF4    PDF5   

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Russia

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 PDF1    PDF2    PDF3

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Tajikistan

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 PDF1    PDF2       

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Turkmenistan

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 PDF1    PDF2    PDF3   

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Ukraine

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 PDF1    PDF2    PDF3

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Uzbekistan

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 PDF1    PDF2

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Extracts from the Civil Codes of the Post-Soviet countries concerning cooperation

** Extracts from special laws governing the activities of cooperatives in the Post-Soviet countries

*** Extracts from the Tax Codes of the Post-Soviet countries regarding issues of taxation of cooperatives

TABLE OF REFERENCES ON USED LEGISLATION

Links to additional resources