Why the municipal movement must be internationalist

Municipalist debate in Naples, May 2016

Why a global municipalist network?

To explain this idea, it’s important to underline that by ‘network’ we mean a way of working, rather than a formal structure. And we are not referring to an institutional network of cities. Rather, we mean a political space made up of movements and organizations that may be in government, opposition or not participate in electoral politics at all. Obviously, our city halls should work with its counterparts in other cities to achieve shared goals. The agreement between Barcelona and Paris to collaborate on the issues of tourism, public water management and historical memory is a good example of this, as are the networks of refuge cities or of local governments who oppose the TTIP. But there are still very few city halls outside of the Spanish state that are governed by political parties that share our goals and ways of working. We must create a political space so that we can work with others to challenge, with greater strength and from more areas, the democratic deficit imposed by states and markets.

Ideas for global municipalist action

Once we set ourselves this challenge, the question becomes: what to do? We’ve identified four areas of action. The first is related to strengthening the idea of municipalism through communication and training. In order to internationalize our movement, we have to communicate with the rest of the world, explaining our values and practices and the policies that are being implemented by our city hall. This means producing materials in different languages for an international public, as we do through our weekly Facebook posts — #InternationalSundays -, our international Twitter account — @BComuGlobal — and our municipalist guide. But we also have to introduce the international context within our organizations through debates and workshops that involve our neighbourhood assemblies, committees and policy groups in global debates.

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International Committee of @bcnencomu Comissió Internacional de @bcnencomu

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BComú Global

BComú Global

International Committee of @bcnencomu Comissió Internacional de @bcnencomu