Whether it is about public spaces, natural resources or information and knowledge, more and more citizens are organizing themself to manage “commons”. Such initiatives are diverse, from urban commons charters to initiatives around free software, for example.
In 2018, la 27e Région started a new program which is questionning the notion of ‘commons” with several partners: POP, Savoircom1, Esopa Productions, the cities of Brest and Grenoble with the objective of giving it a European dimension. Since then, our project has been selected within the framework of the EU Erasmus + program, which will allow us, during 2 years, to lead together various learning trips in Europe on the topic! Erasmus + supports adult mobility and informal learning, with the aim of creating European professional communities, sharing practices, developing new skills, and so on.
The commons movement refers to initiatives concerning material (forest, water, etc.) or immaterial resources (knowledge, creation, etc.) shared between a community of users who define themselves the management, the use, the enrichment of their resource; it relies on a set of collaborative and contributive practices. This movement is now experiencing an expansion in Europe. Such initiatives are often carried out by private organizations (associations, informal communities, etc.). Although they often emerge without elected representatives and public administrations, they must nevertheless find support and legitimacy with them to continue. A growing number of local governments are also seeking to develop approaches around the commons.
How, then, does this notion come to question public action? What is the role of local governments, administrations and elected officials in this context of governance shared with citizens? How to equip public actors to enable them to design and implement public policies and services that take these concepts into account, in a renewed framework of governance? These are the questions we would like to explore with our partners.
The preparation of the application allowed us to identify inspiring projects in Europe. You can find, in this article, some examples of initiatives on the side of civil society and parapublic organizations.. or you can explore this website to learn more about our project!