Since the emergence of the Spanish “Cities of Change” in 2015, there has been a renewed interest globally in the potential of local politics to achieve broad social and political transformations under the name of “municipalism”. A new wave of politicians and policies that have tackled global pressing issues: social inequalities in the access to essential means of social reproduction, the impacts of the Climate Crisis, and the emergence of Far-Right nationalism. More importantly, this municipalist wave represents a promising way of building political power from the ground-up to challenge how the institutions are managed and experimenting with radical forms of democratisation and feministisation of the way institutional politics work.
These municipalist dynamics have been particularly strong in the European continent. Several international gatherings and summits organised in the past years – including international and local Fearless Cities events in Barcelona, Warsaw, Naples and Belgrade, or The Future is Public confrence in Amsterdam – have nourished an informal network of organisations, projects and individuals interested in supporting the municipalist hypothesis. During the summit in Belgrade in June 2019, some of the more active actors of this loose network developed the European Municipalist Network project as a collective strategy to strengthen this emerging ecosystem.