Mon 30 Jan 2017 3:31PM

Next ECA in Madrid?

MP Martin Pairet Public Seen by 30

Dear all,

Happy new year to everyone, just in time before the end of January! I am sorry I am making this a separate threadas it seems there were already existing discussions about the topic.

Before I left at the very end of the first ECA in Brussels, I had mentioned the possibility for the next one to take place alongside European Alternatives' Transeuropa Festival which is planned the last week of October in Madrid. We see it as a great opportunity for the commoners and a process we definitely support.

The main advantages of the next ECA to take place in Madrid is that we have already developed partnerships in (and with) the city, most venues are organised and lots of people both locally and internationally will attend. That is an opportunity to promote the idea of the ECA and the practices of the commons movement further while taking time for commoners around Europe (and beyond) to exchange with each other, with locals and possibly with the city. This would then be the Assembly of Madrid commoners inviting friends from Europe.

The cooperation with Transeuropa Festival in itself can be further discussed, if it is a proposal that you would consider and if you are interested to take advantage of the week of festival events. My colleague Daphne will be temporarily based in Madrid in March and April to develop existing contacts.

Let us know what you think! We look forward to hearing from you.



Stacco Troncoso Mon 30 Jan 2017 3:41PM

Sounds peachy. I'd recommend our friends at Media-Lab Prado as the place to host it.


Ivor Stodolsky Mon 30 Jan 2017 5:20PM

Great to see this, Martin! I don't know if you can see it, but I had just raised this idea again on the internal discussions of the Re-Build Refuge Europe group of EA in the Basecamp system.

While in Madrid for the kick-off meeting, the TransEuropa festival was a key issue. We raised the idea of having the ECA there, but felt we would need a strong locally-based group to make that invitation with us.

​We stayed a few extra days, and did make some contact with local organisers and curators close to the commons scene. We all still need to learn more about the local, and especially self-organised networks, however. There are, of course, a huge number of initiatives. These include old and new ones (now apparently moving to the outskirts of town) as well as the new leftwing city-government's created fora for collective decision-making.

Does someone have a good mapping of what is going on?

Perpetuum Mobile ry


Martin Pairet Mon 30 Jan 2017 6:11PM

@staccotroncoso Yes! We are already in touch, this is one of the venue of the festival.

@ivorstodolsky This is the most important point. The event has to be locally run and organised, and if the idea of the ECA in Madrid is supported by the group, a quality mapping would be helpful. I just wanted to mention that one of the people working on the Idea Camp of ECF (this year taking place in Madrid http://www.culturalfoundation.eu/idea-camp and locally organised by Platoniq http://platoniq.net and Goteo http://www.goteo.org) will work with us as of July and will probably be a good support for networking. The team of the Idea Camp should also be relatively well connected, at least relating to this event. But they are not locals.


Stacco Troncoso Mon 30 Jan 2017 6:38PM

Here's a recent interview I conducted with Madrid's heads of citizen participation and transparency.

There have been many mapping efforts in and around Madrid, but most resources are in Spanish. Here's a good one. It is a close community though which includes those commoners working within city halls and those working outside (yes, with all the conflicts, good vibes, bad vibes and wide ranges of human emotion that you'd expect)


Ivor Stodolsky Mon 30 Jan 2017 7:07PM

That's good news @martinpairet ! If poss. why don't we also get together on the basecamp group(s?) to discuss overlaps and ways of working together.

I've been reading that interview anyway, @staccotroncoso, yes. Very informative.

What we really need is a Spanish liaison. Someone who is deep ini it, but who want to work with us too. You're in Barcelona though, right, Stacco? We have Zemos in our project, but they are in Seville...


Stacco Troncoso Mon 30 Jan 2017 7:16PM

I actually live in a small mountain village near the Portuguese frontier, but am originally from Madrid. Regarding a "Spanish liaison" I gracefully de-volunteer myself :smiley: due to other commitments but I'll be happy to assist as I'm able.


sophie Mon 30 Jan 2017 7:05PM

Hello there, having a next ECA in Madrid in collaboration with TransEuropa festival would be great! It also works very well with the ideas Fred & Gaelle put forward on learning from the local government and movements. @staccotroncoso you are from Madrid right, or you lived there for a while? You know all those people :)


sophie Mon 30 Jan 2017 7:24PM

We should agree on a decision making structure asap in the ECA infrastructure and governance group so we can settle the location and date and work towards it. Las year it was of course just a few people taking the initiative and inviting all the others but now there is an actual assembly so were have to see how we go about it.


Ivor Stodolsky Mon 30 Jan 2017 7:57PM

Yes, that's for sure. We def need some kind of collective decision making on big questions like this.

And London / St. Ives sounds good too. Maybe both are an option .. Although, just one at a time, perhaps? ;)

Both, of course, would need a group of people embedded in the local commons.


Daphne Büllesbach Thu 16 Feb 2017 9:33PM

Hi everyone,
just wanted to add a few more details on this proposal to use synergies and organise the next ECA in Madrid in autumn when European Alternatives will organise its next edition of Transeuropa.

Transeuropa is a festival of European alternatives, a cultural, political and artistic event seeking a transnational debate and exchange on the future of our European (common) space. This takes place now in its 10th year!

Transeuropa is a festival that happens in partnership with a variety of actors, individuals and partner organisations (most of these being in the ECA) and will be in Madrid most probably from Oct 23-29. 2017.

The three main and broad themes of the festival are: refugee rights and Europe as a place of refuge, new municipalist movements and the Commons. We aim to address them not separately but in their interconnectedness.
We will definitely work on the issue of Commons 1) from the perspective of the city as a place of commoning (stacco posted his great interview with 2 members of Ahora Madrid, Madrid city hall that brings the issues to the foreground, i.e. new participation methods, public space, local self-managed culture or food initiatives, managing ressources, common city vs smart city, etc..) 2) from the perspective of a framework to guide our discussion on a future Europe (Europe as a common good, a place of shelter, of shared responsibility, not a place for right-wing populism, return to nation-state politics, etc..)

This is where our proposal comes from to have the ECA in this. We have some funding secured for the festival and hence activities connected to above themes. We have a partnership with the city hall of Madrid and with Zemos98. Media Lab Prado could potentially be a place to host the ECA, that is tbc.

What would be needed now from my perspective is an understanding from us in the ECA, if we want to organise another assembly, like we had in Brussels (or indeed differently) in October in Madrid and who are the individuals making it happen? Apart from European Alternatives' basic funding for some activities, we would need to make additional fundraising and a team of people to put this together + who feel ownership over it (i.e. a general, big support for it from a majority of ECA members).

So far from me ! What do you think? Can this be brought to attention to the governance call? ( I will be out of office and internet for 2 weeks).

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