It’s an operation which is conducted together by multiple entities (individuals, authorities, countries, international organisations) for achieving a certain goal.
Economic activities inspired by collaboration and solidarity.
The idea of cooperation was created, in the early 19th century, as opposed to the capitalist economy, based on competition and individual property. It gave rise to an important movement, during the 20th century, that caused the distribution of cooperative enterprises in every sector of the economy: from selling the consumer goods to producing them, from insurances to banks, from construction industry to social services.
Stefano Zamagni: “Cooperation is the mature fruit of the capitalist economy. Not surprisingly it originated in countries such as France and Great Britain in the second half of 1800. And all the great liberal economists of that time, from John Stuart Mill to Marshall, Pareto and Einaudi acknowledged and supported that the cooperation was a form of higher enterprise for the purposes of mutuality that it seeks and for its governance”.