Democracy and participation, Communities

Commons Watch Europe shortlist


Who is behind this?

Sophie Bloemen

Commons Network


Who is joining forces?

Remix the commons


European Alternatives


P2P Foundation

This projects is about bringing together a multitude of organisations in Europe from policy NGOs to local ecological communities.

Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Across Europe there is a surge in initiatives taking responsibility for their direct environment in a collaborative way, a true civic renaissance.

Commons Watch Europe aims to launch the process of a shared political vision, strategy & agenda in Europe. This will allow us to engage in future concrete collective, collaborative and bottom up actions and campaigns in Europe, and ultimately have a strong and flourishing European political civil society movement for the commons.

Where will your idea take place?

Brussels, France, Germany, Spain and other locations in Europe

Why does Europe need your idea?

Europe is stumbling and there is a lack of positive narratives connecting people and posing alternatives to dominant economic paradigms. The commons discourse presents such a positive narrative embracing values of sharing, participation and sustainability. Not only as a narrative of social justice but also as a practice. The discourse is politically alive in some southern EU countries yet at risk of being co-opted and used for political hand-waving only while a civil society is being sidelined.

What is your impact?

1. Development of the stable network and activation of a EU-wide political community and platform for collective action.

2. A joint agenda articulated at various levels of politics and governance (local, national, European)

3. Established political presence of collective and advancement of the commons discourse in political institutions.

4. Identifiable steps towards institutional frameworks that enable the flourishing of sustainable, collaborative and participatory practices.

How do you get there?

Commons Watch will include initiatives in specific areas: the knowledge commons, natural commons and urban commons.
A first kick of strategy meeting(40 activists) will have taken place in May 2016 in France. This project will sustain that effort through forming an ongoing Assembly of the commons: A Commons Watch Europe. Elements are:
• Sustained coordination & cooperation through establishment of joint online tools (list serve, platform) to monitor and alert; live strategy meetings.
• Organization of a Commons Assembly meeting in the European Parliament November 2016. About 200 commoners will come together to discuss amongst themselves and articulate ideas to Members of Parliament
• An ongoing media strategy re the assembly, political developments and articulation of proposals.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

Civil society actors that embrace the values of the commons but are not politically active (outside their region) .
Eventually we target European citizens and policy makers through media and advocacy actions.

What makes your idea stand apart?

Commons Watch builds on both local practices and political developments. This initiative is broad and ambitious yet builds on concrete development and steps already taken. Aiming for movement brokerage and participatory democracy, the process& platform created will be a stepping-stone for coordination of actions and a way to add voices to the hard to penetrate European policy space.It opens up ways for reshaping processes of governance of resources by the community itself.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 120000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Personnel fees: 33.000 Travel & accommodation: 7000 Events hosting: 3000 Communications: 4000 Website: 3000

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

What topics & political processes should we include, tackle or focus on? ?



Idea created on March 8, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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