Pursuant to the reform of the university system and cooperative legislation, and in the context of the economic crisis, the Faculty of Law of the University of the Basque Country and the Ministry of Labour, Health and Social Security of the Basque Government signed a collaboration agreement for cooperative training in February 1986.
Under this agreement the University of the Basque Country undertook to incorporate into its daily activities, in a regular and regulated manner, the teaching and research of the law and the economy of cooperatives.
This was the first step taken by a group of professors at the Faculty of Law in their efforts to give greater importance to the study of cooperativism and the social economy.
Once specific activities had been initiated in this area, it was necessary, and even urgent, to consider providing an organisational structure that would facilitate the development of all initiatives proposed at that time and those that would arise in the future, bearing in mind that the social economy and, above all, the cooperative world, needed to take their place in the University of the Basque Country.
To this end, a request for the creation of an Institute University dedicated to these matters was submitted to the Rectorate of the University of the Basque Country. Thus, on 8 May 1987, the Board of Governors approved the creation of the Institute of Cooperative Law and Social Economy (GEZKI).
After twelve years of existence and effective activity, on 19 October 1999 the Department of Education, Universities and Research of the Basque Government decided, by means of Decree 355/1999, to formally and definitively establish GEZKI, with this determination coming into effect on 5 November 1999.