Income, Commons & Democracy – From A European People’s Campaign to the Building of an Alternative Europe

Income, Commons & Democracy

From A European People’s Campaign to the Building of an Alternative Europe

Throughout Europe, we are witnessing massive transfers of common resources from the public to the private sphere. Our democracies are increasingly being jeopardized by collusive state and market actors; government representatives that have prioritized the short term profits of individuals and corporations ahead of the interests of the people, resulting in the lowering of incomes for common people while raising them for those that created the crisis. From Greece to Spain to London and Rome, the European people are increasingly aware of the need for a different model of globalization. From those resisting the privatization of resources (for example in Italy with the water referendum) to the recent occupations of public spaces against neoliberalism (for example in Spain and Greece), we see these movements as efforts to reclaim the commons, both of resources and democratic spaces, which belong to the 99% and have been appropriated by the 1%. The moment is ripe for the building of an alternative Europe, one which is not merely the product of neoliberal economic policies but rather the political will of the European people.

The Rome forum brings together over forty organisations, networks and social movements from at least seven European countries to take forward common transnational campaigns on the themes of the commons and minimum income within the fight for precarious working and living conditions, relying also on the new instrument of the European Citizens’ Initiative. The event will be a real 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 Citizen’s Initiative for a European Charter of the Commons was initiated by the municipality of Naples, with the the first high level technical meeting of jurists taking place recently (in December) at the International University College of 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.

The Italian organisations behind this the event are the International University College Turin, European Alternatives, Teatro Valle, Centro Studi per l’Alternativa Comune, Municipality of Naples, Basic Income Network, Tilt, Il Manifesto, Rete della Conoscenza, Altramente and Arci.


Simultaneous interpretation from and to English will be available

Friday 10th – Opening assembly: An Alternative Europe is Possible

  • 17:00 Intervention from participants from Italy, Hungary, Romania, France, Spain UK and Bulgaria to launch a new Europe in response to austerity, based on common goods, income and participation.
  • 19:00 Aperitif and networking

Saturday 11 – Towards a European Charter of the Commons

  • 9.30 Coffee and Registration
  • Ugo Mattei (International University College Turin)
  • 10:00 – 13.00 Commons, Direct Democracy & Fundamental Rights in Europe
    Reclaiming the commons requires not only the reshaping of the democratic process as it stands today by offering an alternative to the model that has prevailed under state and market models, but also the protection of access to such resources as fundamental rights.
    Interventions by:
  • Alberto Lucarelli (Municipality of Naples)
  • (to be followed by additional speakers from throughout Europe)
  • Open debate to follow
  • 13.00: Lunch break
  • 14.00-18.00 International Round Table & Working Groups
    Different organisations will confront each other on the themes of the morning as well as break down into smaller working groups on specific themes.
  • Translating the commons in different European contexts
  • Creating a Transnational Network Around the European Charter of the Commons
  • Legal & Technical Requirements of the ECI Campaign
  • Roadmap & Timeline: Future Steps Towards the Campaign

Sunday 12: Towards a European Basic Income

  • 9.30 Coffee and registration
  • 10:00 Basic Income in Europe
    On Sunday, a campaign on Minimum Income at a European level will be discussed, as a solution to precarious working and living conditions.
    Intervention of:
  • Basic Income Network
  • Riccarto Petrella (Italy/Belgium)
  • Adrian Dohartu (GAS, Romania)
  • Mariya Ivancheva (Red House, Bulgaria)
  • Aitor Girona i Tinoco (DRY, Spain)
  • Ben Little (Radical Future, UK)
  • Ilian Livanos (University of Coventry, UK Greece)
  • (to be followed by additional speakers from throughout Europe)
  • Open debate to follow.
  • 12.00 Thematic Workshops
  • Income, work and precarity
  • Income and financial sustainability
  • Income and gender or Income and legality (tbc)
  • 13:45 Lunch
  • 14.30 – 16:30: International round table on income: how to translate demands for a minimum income in different European contexts and roadmap towards the construction of a European campaign
  • 16.30 Plenary: Launch of campaigns or common initiatives and shared roadmap for the next months.
  • 17:30 Closing