Raiffeisen Year 2018 – 200th Anniversary of the Cooperative Concept


In 2018, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, who pioneered the cooperative concept, was honoured with a memorial year. DENIC eG – eG is short for “registered cooperative” – took the occasion of the anniversary to reflect on the organisational form it has been practicing successfully for more than 20 years.

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The management of the German namespace on the Internet and the provision of the necessary infrastructure has been a joint effort from the very first day. The concept of a cooperative has proven to be the right organisational framework for this since 1996. 

"What one person cannot achieve is achieved by many," that was the conviction of Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, the initiator of the cooperative concept. This credo and the basic cooperative principles of self-help, self-responsibility and self-governance convinced the 37 founding members of the DENIC eG in 1996 to choose the organisational form of a cooperative. From the very beginning, they considered the management of the German namespace on the Internet and the provision of the necessary infrastructure a task to be tackled jointly.

There's a Touch of the Raiffeisen Cooperative Spirit in Every .de Domain

Today, the private not-for-profit Cooperative represents more than 16 million .de domains and has a membership of roughly 300 Internet companies. A quarter of these members is based outside Germany, bringing international aspects to the DENIC community and spreading the cooperative idea throughout the world.

Joint Decisions of Equal Partners as the Foundation for Sustainability

"Especially when decisions cannot be derived from experience, consensus building on a broad basis pays off," DENIC CEO Jörg Schweiger describes the sustainability of the cooperative concept, which is based on joint decisions of equal partners.

The pioneer of the cooperative movement, Friedrich Wilhelm Raiffeisen, was born 200 years ago. In 2018, he was honoured with the Raiffeisen Year under the patronage of Federal President Frank-Walter Steinmeier. What began in the mid-19th century as an agricultural purchasing association has become a successful model for companies in many sectors. That the concept of solidarity continues to exist today in most diverse and modern facets shows the Raiffeisen anniversary website.