Last year, Commons Network became a coordinating partner of the European Municipalist Network (EMN). EMN was developed in 2019 to function as an informal network and collective strategy to strengthen the emerging municipalist ecosystem in Europe and its capacity for social and political advocacy. Currently, dozens of organizations from all over Europe, from Lisbon to Warsaw, are part in one way or another of this very rich and diverse network. EMN was established by some of the more active actors of an informal network of organizations, projects, and individuals in Europe interested in supporting the municipalist hypothesis: the belief that communities, cities and regions, rather than nation-states, represent the future of Europe.
Municipalists propose the building of political power from the ground up to challenge how the institutions are managed. It experiments with radical and direct forms of democratization and feminization of the way institutional politics work. This way supporting the primacy of municipalities as a means of enacting political change locally, and by extension grassroots movements to enact political change at higher levels of government.
In 2019, Commons Network was a core member of the 99 of Amsterdam which organized the ‘Cities for Change’ Conference in 2020. The 4 month during conference which changed to an online platform due to the pandemic brought together many social movements from Amsterdam and across Europe to discuss municipalist politics. During this period, Amsterdam became part of the network of ‘Fearless cities’ within Europe. Commons Network helped to set up a public-civic think tank to bring municipalism to Amsterdam, did research into the communitarian, caring economy in Amsterdam and worked with many different actors in the city.
Commons Network is a coordinating partner of the European Municipalist Network alongside Commonspolis, Transnational Institute and Research for Action. The main focus of Commons Network within EMN is facilitating ‘peer to peer’ exchange, aimed at skill and experience sharing, strengthening the trans-local movement, and developing joint imaginaries and narratives. In the upcoming year, the EMN will be focusing on the themes of ‘Cultures and Practices of Care’ and ‘Ecological transition and Ecofeminism’.
Duration: April 2021 – June 2023
Project lead: Sophie Bloemen