The defence and regeneration of the commons depends both on meaningfully strengthening EU participative policy processes, and on greater responsiveness to local civic communities. Following the first European Commons Assembly, Sophie Bloemen and David Hammerstein consider current and future options for co-creation, stewardship and social and ecological sustainability.
Housing estates can accommodate many people, but they rarely bring residents together, creating instead an atomized mass of individuals. However, public space can be cultivated, even among blocks of flats. And the school can play a key role in creating a shared environment and civic involvement, as seen in the example of a project in Košice, Slovakia.
Urban life requires that less land be developed for settlement and reduces traffic volumes. Moreover, commoning practices can provide products required on a daily basis at reduced cost, while using fewer resources and improving quality of life. Fred Frohofer argues for the restructuring of our cities and their relation to rural regions.
Beginning in Athens’ Syntagma Square in summer 2011, a new wave of anti-austerity protest swept across Europe. Commoning practices became crucial to sustaining these movements’ momentum. Lazaros Karaliotas considers the implications for reorganizing urban life today.
Not content with controlling service providers and intimidating users, the Kremlin is turning to China for technology to filter Russian cyberspace. Beijing is all too willing to lend a hand.
Citizenship: A relic of European legal culture?
Global economic, informational and migratory flows cause the nation state to seem increasingly outdated. Yet individual rights are still best protected through national citizenship, argues historian Dieter Gosewinkel. In the course of the twentieth century, ethnic and discriminatory forms of citizenship gave way to an inclusive concept that is worth preserving today.
Living in limbo
Award-winning filmmaker Marco Salustro describes the journalistic challenges of covering the plight of the thousands of migrants who have fled sub-Saharan Africa and are now being held in Libya.
The unexpected dangers of 'extreme vetting'
Screening immigrants to identify radicals, as is now happening again in the US, may also filter out migrants with moderate world-views. The political influence of the hardline anti-communist diaspora during the Cold War shows how ideological vetting can exacerbate geopolitical tensions.
Nitra is a small city of around 78,000 in western Slovakia, nestled at the foot of a castle-crowned hill. A walk down the main drag, Štefánikova Street, paints a picture seen across provincial former Habsburgia: there’s brand new infrastructure, shiny new buses but no jobs. Since December 2015 a small group of Christian refugees from Iraq have called this small town their home away from home.