In Jordan, there are two principal legislations that regulate the work of cooperatives - the Co-operative Law (No. 18 of 1997) and the Cooperative Societies Charter (No. 36 of 2016). These two legislations govern all different types of cooperatives.
Main Laws relevant to cooperatives in Jordan
Co-operative Law (No. 18 of 1997) - Establishes and provides for the administration of the Jordan Cooperative Corporation, an entity established by law and mandated the responsibility of overseeing, promoting and registering cooperatives.
Cooperative Societies Charter - Governs the registration and administration of cooperatives
The cooperative law makes explicit reference to the cooperative principles. However, the law does not define what these principles are. The Cooperative Societies Charter contains some implicit references to these principles.
Due to a lack of some important provisions, the Jordanian cooperative legislation is deemed more unfriendly than friendly. This is because the objective of the law is not defined at all. Also, there is a lack of clarity regarding definitions and preambles in the legislations which weakens the cooperative identity. The authority to audit a cooperative is not vested in the General Assembly but in the Jordan Cooperative Corporation.
Key recommendations for improvement
- Cooperative legislation needs to be complemented with Rules or Regulations for its effective implementation.
- The redrafting of cooperative legislation is required to safeguard cooperatives from external control which compromises their democracy and autonomy.
- Members’ use of cooperative must be given more prominence in the law.
Cooperatives in Jordan need an enabling environment that strengthens their autonomy and facilitates their access to financial and technical support.