Policy Development


Communicating policy priorities

Co-operatives and mutuals must be able to express their political objectives in an accessible and concise manner.

A ‘Mutuals Manifesto’ document can gather together the policy goals of businesses and help to connect these with the broader priorities of governments and politicians.

Since 2010, Mutuo has produced a number of policy documents aimed at influencing politicians to take concrete actions in support of co-operative and mutual business.

Since the publication of the first UK Mutuals Manifesto, we have seen significant progress on the basis of the recommendations made to each of the political parties. More than 60% of the recommendations in that document have been adopted by the current UK Government, with a tangible increase in interest in co-operative and mutual business among politicians of all political parties.

The Mid-Term Mutuals Manifesto supplemented this effort in 2013, and in 2014 Mutuo worked with AMICE to produce the first ever European Mutual Insurance Manifesto, which offers new ideas for pan-European policy and institutional actions in support of fair competition.

This was followed in the same year by the Australian BCCM Blueprint for and Enterprising Nation and the ICMIF Global Manifesto, Protecting Lives and Livelihoods.

Most recently Mutuo and The Foundation for European Progressive Studies published The People’s Business: Framing the New Progressive Narrative, which sets out how progressive political parties across Europe could better support co-operatives and mutuals to benefit European citizens

Each of these documents was co-designed with the commissioning body, so that it reflected their strategic objectives, key lobbying priorities and sat easily within their relevant cultural landscape.

Mutuals Manifestos have the following features:

Primary objectives


  • To build a national, international or cross-party party political consensus for co-operatives and mutuals
  • Develop a policy ‘shopping list’ for Governments
  • Reflect the agreed strategy of the wider co-operative and mutual sector through policy priorities
  • Build sectoral and business buy-in for this programme
  • Influence political parties to adopt pro-co-operative and mutual policy programmes

Secondary benefits


  • Educate and inform key policy makers about co-operatives and mutuals
  • Consolidate background resources promoting co-operatives and mutuals
  • Raise the profile of the sector and businesses within it
  • Build relationships with political parties
  • Work with trade associations to share policy ideas
  • Build solidarity among co-operatives and mutuals