The fundamental cooperative values which should be a basis for the business operations of every Croatian cooperative are as follows: mutual assistance, democracy, fairness, openness and responsibility.

1st principle voluntary and open-type membership.
Cooperatives are voluntary associations open for all people who are capable of using their services and willing to accept members’ liabilities, regardless of sexual, social, racial, political and religious differences.

2nd principle democratic management by cooperative members.
Cooperatives are democratic associations managed by their members. The members actively cooperate in defining development policies of their company and in making all relevant decisions. Generally, they have the same voting rights.

3rd principle economic cooperation of cooperative members.
The cooperative’s assets generated by its members are generally deemed as common or at least partly common and inseparable. All assets of cooperatives that have performed business operations since the adoption of the Cooperative Act shall be considered common and inseparable. The profit achieved by cooperatives can be intended for cooperative development, their
members pursuant to the volume of the business conducted through the cooperative and for supporting other activities which are of interest to cooperative members.

4th principle autonomy and independence.
Cooperatives are autonomous companies that are supervised and managed by their members. Even if they enter into agreement or contracts with state-owned or financial institutions, they are not supposed to jeopardize their independence and democratic control by their members.

5th principle education, training and announcements for the public.
Cooperatives constantly cater for education and training of their members, bodies and employees. From the viewpoint of cooperatives, education is a lifelong process. Cooperative members inform the public and media on the significance of cooperatives.

6th principle cooperation between cooperatives.
Cooperatives provides their members with benefits by strengthening cooperation at a local, regional, national and international level.

7th principle bconcern about alliance.
Since cooperatives are constituted of people with different economic and political standpoints, they are forced to permanently harmonize the diversity of interests and create the spirit of fellowship and tolerance. Therefore, every cooperative member has to cherish necessary moral values.

To sum up, one can conclude that cooperatives represent a form of organization of legal and natural persons who may conduct any legally permitted business or in other words, a cooperative is an association of people who have got connected and merged in order to exercise their interests and promote their own and cooperative business.

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