Campaign announcement by Commonsense.it initiating the campaign for a European Charter of the Commons under Lisbon Treaty Regulation No. 211/2011. In solidarity with those resisting the privatization of resources e.g., in Italy with the water referendum, the recent occupations of 2011 and 2012, we are provided a glimpse into their vision of an emerging Commons based future.
Republished campaign announcement from Commensense.it
The dichotomy of private property and the state, on which the current constitutional tradition is grounded, has proven itself incapable of resisting the distortions produced by more than 20 years of neoliberal order. The outcome has been a global and severe constitutional imbalance, favoring the private sector and specifically corporate interests at the expense of the people.
Massive transfers of common resources from the public to the private sphere are occurring throughout the world, with total disregard of any constitutional guarantees of the public interest, due process, and just compensation. Our democracies are increasingly being jeopardized by collusive state and market actors; government representatives that put the short term profits of individuals and corporations ahead of the interests of the common people.
From Greece to Spain, from Tunisia to Egypt, from Italy to Bolivia, Ecuador, rural India and China, the people are increasingly aware of the need for a different model of globalization. These activists are currently engaged in acts of reclaiming commons all around the world. From those resisting the privatization of resources (for example in Italy with the water referendum) to the recent occupations of public spaces against neoliberalism ( for example the Indignados in Spain and the people of Greece). In solidarity with these movements, we initiate a campaign for the European Charter of the Commons.
What is the Objective of the Campaign?
The International University College and its Institute for the Study of Political Economy and Law together with the Municipality of Naples, the Institut international D’etudes et recherches sur les biens communs, and European Alternatives are launching under the Lisbon Treaty Regulation No. 211/2011, a European Citizen Initiative for the European Charter of the Commons, pursuing the legal status and protection of the commons within the European Union.
What are Commons?
We define the Commons as two part; it is both about reclaiming access to fundamental resources as well as the very democratic process that governs their distribution Resources that are fundamental to human life include both natural commons like water, food, energy and the atmosphere, as well as man made commons, like technology, medicine, the internet and culture. Reclaiming the commons also requires a reshaping of the democratic process as it stands today, offering an alternative to the model that has prevailed under state and market models. Governing the commons demands a shift of power from the centralized state and free market to local communities, placing the power to satisfy the long term needs of these communities as well as those of future generations, back into the hands of community member through bottom up, local and direct democracy.