Rome Forum on Income, Commons, Democracy

As the Commons is moving increasingly in the centre of thinking about the future among Occupiers, including the #OWS Making Worlds Forum on the Commons, Feb 16-18, we came across this very interesting event leading up to the event in New York. In solidarity we share the below…

via European Alternatives

Income, Commons, Democracy
From European campaigns to the construction of an alternative Europe
10-12 February
Teatro Valle Occupato, Rome

Throughout Europe, we are witnessing massive transfers of resources from the public to the private sphere. The political responses to the crises are defined by austerity measures and by cuts to social spending, driving Europe further into recession.

From Greece to Spain, from London to Rome, European people are increasingly aware of the need for a different model of globalisation. From those resisting the privatisation of resources and services (for example in Italy with the water referendum, and currently in Romania) to the recent occupations of public spaces against neoliberalism (for example in the UK and Spain), this is the moment to construct an alternative Europe, one which is not a product of neoliberal politics, but the political expression of European citizens.

Within this context, over forty organisations, networks and social movements from eight European countries will meet in the 600-seat Valle Theatre in Rome to organise a common front to construct an alternative European model. This three-day forum will focus on the construction of common transnational campaigns on the thematics of the commons and guaranteed minimum income, also utilising the new method provided by the European citizens’ initiative. The event will be a true opportunity to build European networks and campaigns that will take concrete forms in follow-up meetings in Spain, the UK, Romania, Bulgaria and France in the following months to continue the work begun in Rome. The emphasis on concrete campaigns will be the starting point to engage in a reflection on the revision of the EU Treaties, to propose an alternative vision of Europe.

A European Citizens’ Initiative for a European Charter of the Commons was initiated by the Municipality of Naples, and take forwards recently by the International University College Turin. Proposals for an Initiative on minimum income have been taken forwards, amongst others, by the Basic Income Network, following the proposals advanced by the European Parliament in October 2010.


European AlternativesInternational University College TurinCentro Studi per l’Alternativa ComuneARCI, Municipality of Naples, Il ManifestoBasic Income Network,TiltAltramenteTeatro Valle OccupatoRete della ConoscenzaCilap-eapn,Movimento Federalista Europeo

For full Program of the Forum including Mediaography on the Commons and Income leading up to the event click here and of course there is also a substantial store of information about the transition to a commons-based society in the Community Knowledge Garden of the School of Commoning.

Categories: Commons, Europe


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3 Comments on “Rome Forum on Income, Commons, Democracy”

  1. March 18, 2012 at 8:57 pm #

    After the Rome conference:

    “We are now working on a clear follow-up to make sure a transnational political process is started over the coming months. Here are the main points of conclusion:

    We have agreed to launch a European campaign on basic income, also using the new tool of the European Citizens Initiative (ECI), which allows at least one million citizens from at least 7 member states to present a legislative proposal directly at the European commission by collecting signatures online and offline. Proposing a European basic income means fighting for stronger social protection for young people, precarious workers, the unemployed and the poor, demanding that everyone be granted the right to a dignified and independent life. The European Parliament, in a Resolution from October 2010 (here), already demanded such a policy. With this campaign we wish to take up this demand and directly oppose the attack on welfare protection in Europe. Over the coming months we are looking to organise meetings in as many European countries as we can on the theme of precarity, youth unemployment, and basic income. We are already planning forums in London and Barcelona.

    We have agreed, in particular with the artists and intellectuals of the Teatro Valle, to explore the theme of “commons” and common goods, as a response to the drive towards continuous privatisations of basic services at European level (water, health, digital commons and intellectual property, etc.). We want to construct a Europe based not on the enclosure of fundamental goods and services and their subservience to profit, but a Europe where all citizens can enjoy access to them. We will explore this theme in a series of meetings during Transeuropa Festival, and are planning a forum in Bucharest to take forwards the work started in Rome.

    Finally, we have concluded it is essential to go beyond specific demands (basic income, commons) and think of new ways of federating together all those groups and realities resisting the current response to the economic crisis – from the work of NGOs to the occupations of public spaces, from current protests in Eastern Europe to calls for greater European democracy. We are therefore imagining a large transnational forum to conclude Transeuropa festival in May, bringing together network members, activists, organisations, and social movements from throughout Europe to work together for the construction of a transnational, bottom-up, citizens’ counter-power to the Europe of inter-governmental agreements and austerity measures.”


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