Barcelona En Comú’s manifesto was drawn up through citizen participation and its policy priorities include radicalizing democracy, stopping evictions, fighting touristification, remunicipalizing the city’s water company, and reducing economic inequalities between neighbourhoods. The organization won the May 2015 city elections, forming a minority government under the leadership of mayor and former housing rights activist Ada Colau.
Barcelona En Comú is structured as a ‘confluence’, meaning that it brings together ordinary people and members of local political movements and parties in a new project that puts shared goals above partisan interests. According to this philosophy, activists in Barcelona En Comú participate as individuals, rather than in the name of any party or group they may belong to. It seeks to achieve small victories that demonstrate that change is possible and that serve to engage more people to work towards even greater change
One of its first steps was to crowd-source a code of ethics for its elected representatives that limits their salaries and terms in office, and subjects them to strict transparency requirements. Feminism is at the heart of Barcelona En Comú’s municipalism. The organization uses mechanisms to ensure gender parity in both formal representation (electoral lists and governing bodies) and informal participation (speaking time in assemblies). It also seeks to feminize politics; that is, to promote values and practices that have been traditionally undervalued in political life, including consensus-seeking, empathy and co-operation, non-academic expertise, collective leadership and care work.