Isabel-Gemma Fajardo García graduated in Law from the University of Valencia, and earned her PhD in 1992 with the thesis Economic Management of Cooperatives. Member Responsibility. She pursued further studies at the universities of Genoa and Coimbra.

She is a lecturer in Commercial Law at the Law Faculty of the University of Valencia and Director of the PhD programme. Ms. Fajardo is in charge of the field of law at CIRIEC-Spain (Centre for Research on the Social and Cooperative Economy) and has been co-editor of its Social Economy Law Journal, CIRIEC – Revista Jurídica de la Economía Social, since 1990. She is a founding member of IUDESCOOP (the University Institute of Research into the Social and Cooperative Economy). Her research work has centred on the legal and economic system regarding cooperatives, labour companies, social business, banking sections, company mergers, groups of companies and European companies, on comparative law and European harmonization of cooperative legislation, on social and work integration enterprises and on co-operative principles.

She took part in drafting the Cooperative Acts of the autonomous regions of Valencia and Madrid, has published many books and articles and has given lectures and a number of graduate and PhD courses in Spain, Europe and Latin America. Currently she acts as adviser on the proposed reform of the worker-owned companies law in Spain. She is full member of the Cooperative Study Group on European Law, and Secretary of the network of European and Latin American universities that integrates research centers or groups consolidated in social economy, RULESCOOP.

Relevant Publications

  • Fajardo García, I.-G.(2014) (forthcoming) Evolution of the social economy concept: from legal form to aims and principles and evidence of compliance. In: Cuypers, Coates and Vallet (Eds). Die Keure, Brugge

This study analyzes the evolution in the conceptualization of the social economy, from legal form to purposes and principles. It analyzes which purposes and principles are currently envisaged in European legislation and proposes mechanisms to enable public administrations to demonstrate their presence in social economy entities.

  • Fajardo García, I.-G. (2013) Las cooperativas sociales. Entre el interés mutualista y el interés general (Social cooperatives. Between mutual interest and the public interest). In: Estudios de Derecho Mercantil. Liber amicorum Profesor Dr. Francisco Vicent Chuliá., Ed., Tirant lo Blanch, Valencia, pp. 279 a 294.

This study analyzes social cooperatives as a result of the evolution of cooperation: how from a mutual company created to meet the needs of its members, social cooperatives were created to serve preferably general interests. This development requires a new regulatory framework, as shown in jurisdictions such as France and Italy.

  • Fajardo García, I.-G. (2013) Cooperative Law: An International Overview. Spain. In: Cracogna, Fici, Henrÿ (Eds.) International Handbook of Cooperative Law, Springer Berlin-Heidelberg, pp. 701-718.

This chapter is part of an international comparative study analyzing cooperative legislation, highlighting its strengths and weaknesses. It analyses Spanish cooperative law, formed by the set of laws of its autonomous communities, which requires prior systematic comparative study.

  • Fajardo García, I.-G. (2013) La especificidad de las sociedades cooperativas frente a las sociedades mercantiles y la legitimidad de su particular régimen jurídico y fiscal según el Tribunal de Justicia de la Unión Europea (The specificity of cooperative societies compared with commercial companies and the legitimacy of their particular legal and fiscal regime according to the Court of Justice of the European Union). In:Revista de Derecho Mercantil número 288, abril-junio 2013, pp. 189-222.

This paper examines an important ruling of the European Court of Justice on September 8, 2011, on the compatibility of the tax treatment of cooperatives and state aid. The Court declared them compatible due to certain characteristics of cooperatives, such as their mutual and non-profit purpose and other features extracted from the SCE Regulation (2003) and the Communication of the European Commission on the Promotion of Cooperatives 2004.

  • Fajardo García, I.-G. (2009 )La economía social en las leyes (The social economy in laws). In: CIRIEC. Revista de Economía, Pública, Social y Cooperativa nº 66, pp. 5-35.

This paper studies the presence of “social economy” and similar termsin European and Latin American law and reveals the diversity of ideas surrounding the same concept as well as the different roles of laws on social economy in Europe and Latin America


La sociedad anónima europea y la reforma del Derecho de Sociedades. Su repercusión en el Derecho de Sociedades español. (2004- 2006)
This project funded by the Generalitat Valenciana (GV2004-B-188) explored the possibilities offered by the European Union Regulation 2157/2001 on the Statute for a European company to establish cross-border businesses. My part in the project was to study the method to form a European company through the merger of companies located in different states of the European Union.
Role: Researcher

Nueva etapa en la modernización del Derecho de sociedades europeo. (2007-2011)
This continuation of the previous project (Ministerio Educación y Ciencia – SEJ2007-62969/JURI) examines the potential of two other legal instruments created by the European Union to enable the creation of European companies with thelegal form of aCooperative (Regulation 1435/2003) and aEuropean Private Company as a model for small and medium enterprises (Proposal June 15, 2008). My contribution focused on a comparative analysis of the advantages and disadvantages of various tools to carry out projects between institutions in different states.
Role: Researcher

Análisis de la viabilidad económica y jurídica de la Sociedad Cooperativa Europea domiciliada en la Comunidad Valenciana.(2007-2008)
This Acción especial 2007 by the Generalitat Valenciana. (AE-2007-155) builds on the previous project and studied the feasibility of establishing a European Cooperative in Valencia. This entailed analyzing the rules that would apply in order to meet European, Spanish and regional standards. The study showed that discrimination means applying the same standards of promotion to entities which are subject to different regulatory frameworks and different requirements in their constitution and operation.
Role: Researcher

Los derechos de los socios ante los nuevos retos del Derecho de Sociedades. (2010- 2013)
Recent European legislation on the rights of shareholdersled us to raise the question of recognition and defense of the rights of other partners. In particular, their rights and obligations, first studied in relation to the ability to be a member of housing cooperatives, and later, in general, the legal status of working partners in limited liability companies and cooperatives. The study was based on the law and practice, and funded by the Ministerio de Educación y Ciencia (DER2010-17798/JURI).
Role: Researcher

Social entrepreneurship for the employment crisis and welfare state, IUDESCOOP (2013-2015) and Factores normativos y de políticas públicas en el éxito de la empresa social. (2013-2015)
This project (DER2012-39223-C02-01) studies the possibility of establishing cooperative utilities to provide services previously provided by public companies. We are studying not only the legal form of the company or the presence therein of the public administration, but also the application of the administrative regulations in view of the service provided.
Role: Researcher