Supporting the Commons: Opportunities in the EU Policy Landscape

The current crisis facing the European Union demands new, unifying and constructive narratives. The ‘commons’ is an emerging paradigm in Europe – one that embraces reciprocity, stewardship, social and ecological sustainability and that could reinvigorate progressive politics and contribute to a more socially and ecologically sustainable Europe.

This policy document has the modest aim of reflecting on some of the EU policy barriers and opportunities in the areas of participatory democracy, the urban environment and knowledge in the digital environment. It does not pretend to provide an exhaustive review of policy in these areas but instead points to a few key policies.

This paper will consider new and established EU policies that are either blocking or facilitating the successful and sustainable creation of the commons in line with cultural changes on the ground. At the same time, the authors will try to point to EU policy opportunities that can stimulate and promote commons initiatives in Europe.