Whether concerning public spaces, natural resources or information and knowledge, more and more citizens are getting organized today to manage the commons. These initiatives are diverse, from urban commons charters to free software initiatives for instance.
In 2018, the 27th Region opened an exploratory program around the commons and public action with several partners: POP, Savoircom1, Esopa Productions, the cities of Brest and Grenoble with the aim of giving it a European dimension. Since then, our project has been selected within the framework of the European Erasmus+ program, which allows us, for 2 years, to carry out together various exploratory trips to Europe on the topic! This program indeed supports adult mobility and informal learning, with the aim of generating European professional communities around the commons, the sharing of good practices, the development of new skills, etc.
The commons movement designates initiatives concerning material resources (forest, water, etc.) or immaterial resources (knowledge, creation, etc.) shared between a community of users who determine themselves the terms regulating management, use , the regeneration of the resource; it is based on a set of collaborative and contributory practices. This movement is experiencing a boom in Europe today. Such initiatives are often carried out by private organizations (associations, informal communities, etc.); if they emerge frequently without elected officials and public administrations, they must however find support and legitimacy from them in order to live on. An increasing 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 communities, administrations and elected officials in this context of shared governance with citizens? How to equip public actors to enable them to design and implement public policies and services taking these notions into account, within a renewed governance framework? These are the questions we would like to explore with our partners.
The preparation of the candidacy allowed us to identify inspiring projects in Europe, reported on this blog post, on the side of the initiatives of civil society and parastatal organizations, and on the side of local governments who are taking up the issue .