Mon 6 Mar 2017 9:28AM

Welfare Commons / Social Protection as Commons

FS Frédéric Sultan Public Seen by 12

This a proposal of ECA moment for 2017. The idea is to propose a process of discussion on the policies and the mobilisation to be developed for social protection as a commons in Europe. It follows Welfare Commons proposal elaborated for the meeting at Brussels.

A meeting to develop proposals and a trans-European mobilization agenda for social protection based on the commons in Europe.

This proposal follows that made for the Brussels meeting on the same theme by Sunna Kovanen, Francine Mestrum and Sarah Deheusch Ribassin: Welfare commons as a fundament of work and social protection

The aim is to bring together the European commons activists to a seminar on social protection based on the commons in Europe and to draw up proposals for the articulation of the local, national and European social movements around this idea.

The proposal consists in putting into discussion different analyzes and proposals:

  • the proposals elaborated for the European Assembly of Commons (Brussels 2016);
  • the results of the research group "Social Protection and Commons", led by the Coop des Commons in France*;
  • the other proposals of the movements involved in the ECA (Francine Mestrum’s works, and others)

(*) The Social Protection and Commons Action Research Group of the association Coop des Communs met throughout 2016 to produce an analysis on the subject "Social Protection and Commons". This group is in the process of finalizing several notes which are intended to feed the reflection of actors who wish to defend and develop social protection as commons. Several participants in the Brussels meeting are also involved in this working group.

The meeting could take the form of a seminar of mutual critical reading of the analyzes and proposals for social protection in Europe. The idea would be to share the texts before the meeting so that the participants prepare their readings / criticisms of these texts and can present them. Then there would be a discussion on the possible strategies of social movements and activists of the commons and the contribution of the ECA.

The meeting would be followed by the publication of political proposals and a trans-local mobilization agenda in Europe.

Individuals and organizations that may be interested:

  • The drafters of the proposal for Brussels: Sunna Kovanen, Francine Mestrum and Sarah Deheusch, RIPESS, UFISC (France), Coop des communes, Smart, ...

- 15 to 20 people could meet for 2/3 days.
- This meeting could take place during the autumn (October / November). It would be preceded by the sharing of notes and other resources during the summer.

Needs :

  • Translation and distribution of texts:
  • Transport of participants: 200 € x 15/20 participants = 3000/4000 €
  • Accomodation for 15/20 x 3 nights : 4500/6000 € - It is possible to ask the FPH for a financial support to organize this meeting at the ecocenter at Villarceaux (the place where was organized the meeting Commons Watch) -This option is not confirmed yet.

Ivor Stodolsky Fri 10 Mar 2017 4:51PM

Hello all,

Thank you for working on these topics. IMHO, they are key to making the commons movement valuable to "the common person". For talking about a European Welfare State/Society/Commons is something everyone can understand.

The welfare state is one of the greatest achievements of the past century, and one we are all fighting to maintain, sustain and update. One real problem is that it is very much limited to the nation state, while many Europeans have long since left the "single-state life" behind. I think you raise this issue somewhere.

I believe the ECA should be part of creating an agenda for a "Welfare State 2.0" on the European level.

Wouldn't this be precisely the sort of vision which would give the European project a whole new lease of life?

A Basic Universal Health Care card, allowing you free-at-point-of-delivery care (unlike the current European Healthcare Card), and similar systems are possible, I believe. You may have heard that Varoufakis and Diem25 is speaking of a Basic Income for all Europeans, which goes in the same direction.

Politics needs grand new gestures to give the European project new life, and in a time of serious crisis, this would be proof that Europe can do something "for you"..

Of course we are speaking here of major projects with huge political and financial implications. Ideas are easily imagined and much much harder to implement. But perhaps we have to think big in this time when the European project as such is in question.