The current vaccine crisis in the midst of a pandemic could be a tipping point for the current order of global governance. The global policy response and vaccine rollout have proven too inept to counter the catastrophic moral failure of affluent countries' vaccine hoarding. The WHO Director General’s performative pleas for vaccine equity have done little to move an intransigent system of global governance to address an emergency of this scale. What do these overlapping and related failures mean at national and international levels?
Is there a culture of European solidarity? Yes, if you look at the local level. Many local communities in Europe have transformed their context by experimenting with new forms of democracy. The M2M Solidarity project creates peer-learning exchanges between these collectives, and seeks to contribute to a revival of European solidarity.
Over the past decades, private corporations have increased their control over prison services in the United States and around the world. Despite enormous lobbying efforts by the private players, citizens have started to reject this agenda of profiting from the criminal justice system, and instead demand to return prison management to public authorities. Biden has announced an end to renewing federal private prison contracts, which should be the starting point for wider changes.
Covid-19 has once again demonstrated the significance of safe, accessible and affordable water for all. It has also highlighted enormous disparities in service provision while at the same time dealing a blow to public water and sanitation operators around the world due to massive drops in revenues, rapidly rising costs and concerns about health and safety in the workplace. This book provides the first global overview of the response of public water operators to this crisis, shining a light on the complex challenges they face and how they have responded in different contexts. It looks specifically at ‘public’ water and asks how public ownership and public management have enabled (or not) equitable and democratic emergency services, and how these Covid-19 experiences could contribute to expanded and sustainable forms of public water services in the future.
Winners of the Transformative Cities Award were announced at an international online event yesterday, following a global online vote with 11,000 participants. The 2020 Transformative Cities People’s Choice Award went to four initiatives for their work in the areas of water, energy, housing and food systems. The winners were chosen from a selection of 12 international finalists through a process that is likely the most participatory public city award in the world.
The second ‘Municipalize Europe’ conference was held on 5 November online, while two years ago we organised the first edition in the European parliament. In that interval, municipalism, a new political movement, has been growing in Europe and beyond. It is a new way of doing local politics putting social rights and citizen engagements at the center. Municipalize Europe is an attempt to look at European politics through a municipalist lens and to build pressure for change of the top-down European politics.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, ‘staying at home’ has become the main strategy to minimize the spread of the pandemic. Consequently, affordable housing with adequate living conditions has become a matter of life and death, which demonstrates why it is essential to prioritize the right to housing. What have cities done to secure adequate living conditions before and after COVID-19, and what should the EU do to help cities achieve a breakthrough in terms of affordable housing? Those were the questions guiding the Housing panel during the Municipalize Europe conference on November 05, 2020.
On November 5th, the last session of the online Municipalize Europe! event brought together a variety of municipalists who power and practise progressive policies on the local and system-wide level in the fight against the climate crisis. They discussed which municipal actions the EU should support for a European Green Deal (EGD) to have justice, democracy and regeneration at its heart.
On 2 December 2020, the Transformative Cities Initiative will announce which four initiatives received the most popular support and are thus the recipients of the Transformative Cities 2020 People’s Choice Award. Join us for this unique global celebration of transformative practices!
The Cloughjordan Ecovillage models the transition to a low-carbon society and shares its learning through various educational activities. With 55 low-carbon homes, a carbon-neutral district heating system, a community farm, green enterprise centre, a planned reed-bed treatment plant and Ireland’s lowest ecological footprint, the ecovillage is demonstrating different ways to achieve ecological, economic and social sustainability.
An outcry from city governments has helped shelve the European Commission’s power grab over services. The Commission has failed to install a Services Notification Procedure, which would have given it advance veto power over new laws by regional and local governments, and could have further limited local democratic initiatives in areas as varied as affordable housing, energy supply and waste management. The Commission should learn its lesson and support municipalities to enact social and environmental measures, respect their democratic right to regulate, and roll back obstacles that prioritise corporate interests over local residents.
Catalan Network for Energy Sovereignty (Xse), Transnational Institute (TNI)
29 October 2020
This is the Municipalist Manifesto for building energy democracy and energy sovereignty locally, presented to you by the Catalan Network for Energy Sovereignty (Xse) and the Transnational Institute. The Municipalist Manifesto aims to be a tool that can be used as a guide by (municipalist) citizens platform, municipal councils and opposition parties, organisations and collectives, and any person who wishes to take action.
TNI is excited to announce that the People's Vote for the Transformative Cities Award 2020 is now open! Vote for you favourite initiatives in the following categories: food, water, housing, and energy. You can cast your vote until 16 November, by doing so you help to promote transformative practices around the world that deserve more global attention. You will help to highlight the interventions that show us how access to basic rights can be guaranteed even during the times of COVID-19.
This report from the Institute for Policy Studies, The Transnational Institute, and Focus on the Global South brings together experts from the frontlines of global policy to tackle the implications of Covid-19.
We, the undersigned, express our strong support for the report on “The Privatisation of Water and Sanitation Services” of the United Nations (U.N.) Special Rapporteur on the human rights to safe drinking water and sanitation, Mr. Léo Heller. He will present the report to the U.N. General Assembly today. We also express deep concern about the attempts by a group of private water operators to undermine the independence of the Special Rapporteur and his work.
Municipalize Europe! is a unique opportunity to learn about the efforts of transformative cities during the COVID-19 crisis and the solutions that they are putting on the agenda for the social and economic recovery. This one day online event on 5 November is split into four sessions, please register below for each session you wish to attend. There will be simultaneous translation available in English, French and Spanish.
Join the webinar Transforming Towards Energy Democracies - On The Local, Regional & National Level, organised by Transnational Institute (TNI) and Friends of the Earth Europe (FoEE) and in collaboration with the Transformative Cities coalition. You will hear three energy stories from around the world.
Privatisation and public services: A conversation with current and former UN Special Rapporteurs.Join us for an online discussion on 19th October 2020 bringing together for the first time current and former UN Special Rapporteurs to reflect on the impacts of privatisation and on renewed momentum and strategies for the public provision of services related to economic, social and cultural rights such as health, education, water sanitation and housing.