The European Commission adopted on 16 February 1994 a proposal for a Council Decision on a multi-annual programme of work (1994-1996) supporting cooperatives, friendly societies and associations in the European Union. It's objective is to aid these organizations to take advantage of the new opportunities arising from the Single Market. The working programme will promote, coordinate and reinforce direct interventions in favour of these organizations, firstly via a horizontal approach, undertaking studies on the development of the sector, the creation of a favourable environment, evaluation of the impact of Community policy, and the organization of consultation with the bodies concerned. Secondly, specific actions will support trans-national cooperation, particularly for smaller organizations, in order to help them to form partnerships in new activities, improve information exchange, and disseminate social innovation. A further aim of the proposal is to support actions in the framework of other Community policies which aid these organizations. This will be implemented particularly by improvement of available statistics in this area, support for training actions and by encouraging the development of RTD activities.