Egyptian cooperatives, provided for in the Constitution, are mainly governed by Law No. 317 of 1956 on cooperative associations in Egypt. This law is supplemented by other specific laws, including:
Law 267 of 1960 for public cooperation institutions
Law 109 of 1975 for consumer cooperatives
Law 122 of 1980 for agricultural cooperative societies
Law 14 of 1980 on the housing cooperation code
Law 1 of 1990 on educational cooperatives.
The Cooperative Associations Act No. 317 of 1956 clearly defines a cooperative and makes express reference to certain universal cooperative principles such as democratic power exercised by members (one member one vote).
The multiplicity of legal texts, involving a plurality of legal regimes for cooperatives, constitutes a real obstacle to the proper development of the cooperative movement in Egypt.
Key recommendations for improvement
The main recommendation is the unification of cooperative legislations. This unification would result in the drafting of a single law that would constitute the common law for cooperatives, with a general legal regime applying to all cooperatives (agricultural, consumer, productive, etc.)
The unification of the law would then be supplemented by specific texts applying to each type or form of cooperative according to the sector in which it operates. Other specificities could be governed by the statutes and internal regulations of each cooperative, again according to its field of activity.