Become a Common Good Municipality
A city can become a Common Good Municipality by passing a council resolution in support of ECG adopting at least one of the five approaches listed below. Municipalities can supplement and reinforce their activities with their own ideas and initiatives.
Each of the following activities carries one Dandelion seed (the movement’s logo). Up to 5 seeds can be awarded (like star ratings for hotels):
Create a Common Good Balance Sheet for administrative and economic departments in local authorities, and for city-owned businesses and organisations, then publish them. The steps involved are the same as those for companies.
A separate matrix and handbook have been specially drawn up for use in creating a balance sheet for local or regional authorities:
- Gemeinwohl-Matrix für Gemeinden, Version 1.0 (November 2015) (German)
- Handbuch zur Gemeinwohl-Bilanz für Gemeinden und Regionen (German)
The Common Good Balance Sheet results could have a beneficial impact on (EU) local funding and financial redistribution: if a municipality is doing its share for people and the environment, it should enjoy appropriate benefits compared to those that do less.
Invite all companies that are based and operating in the municipality to create their own Common Good Balance Sheets. This will highlight the pioneers and serve to promote their achievements. This could take the form of annual awards for ECG Companies, which would publicise their exceptional service to the community and provide a platform for meaningful discussions on socio-political principles, or favouring companies with a good Common Good Balance Sheet when awarding contracts or making purchases.
In some regions, consultants and auditors will be on hand to assist groups of pioneer organisations, from initial information about ECG to creating the first audited balance sheet. Municipalities could promote these moderated groups. The process for local companies integrates well with other processes, for example in a LA21 (Local Agenda 21) or regional development process.
Promote the creation of a local Common Good Index, a quality of life index, which looks at both the Common Good Product (national economy) and the Common Good Balance Sheet (companies). The index is made up of the 20 most important quality of life indicators identified in a referendum. Once an index is established, it could be reviewed once a year through polls. In contrast to the Common Good Product, which should at least be uniform throughout the EU, the Common Good Indices could vary from one municipality to another (although this is rather unlikely). The aim is not to have one municipality “better” than another, but to encourage them to take steps to improve the quality of life for their citizens. The performance of policy measures must be assessed according to this quality of life.
Enabling and promoting a local economic convention. Interested citizens use these conventions to determine the 20 most important rules to be applied to the economic process at local, federal and EU levels. They could meet every two months in order to:
- get to know and present the framework
- identify the ten to twenty issues to focus on
- carry out research
- fine tune the results
- vote (using the systemic consensus method)
- follow-up and advise on the next steps (e.g.invitation to other municipalities, calling for a nationwide or EU-wide convention).
The paper “Process Design for a Local Economic Convention” has been drawn up by the editorial team in the Association for the Promotion of Economy for the Common Good. The numerous local economic conventions will give impetus to a nationwide or EU-wide economic convention.
Join a Common Good Region of a province, district, quarter, or state, whose aim is to turn as many municipalities as possible into Common Good Municipalities, and to manage and promote the processes for organisations on a regional scale. A Common Good Region, together with Common Good Municipalities, can ask their respective federal states to become a Common Good State…
Want to learn more about Common Good Municipalities?
Where Common Good Municipalities already exist
As early as 2011, the four Vintschgau municipalities of Mals, Laas, Latsch and Schlanders (South Tyrol, Italy) joined forces to become a Common Good Municipality.
- In Spain, Miranda de Azán (Castilla León), Carcaboso (Estremadura) and Orendain (Basque Country) are among the pioneers. In the latter, the entire citizenship was asked whether it wished to go the way of the Common Good Municipality. The participation rate was 90%, of which 89.6% voted in favour;
- In 2016, Seville signed a cooperation agreement with the Andalusian Association for the Promotion of ECG, in which the fourth largest city in Spain declared its intention to become a Common Good Municipality and to establish a network of cooperation with other European municipalities;
- In 2017 the Valencia Generalitat Regional Ministry for Sustainable Economy developed a law whose aim was to create a public register for companies with an ECG Balance Sheet; to refund ECG balance and audit costs to a maximum of 15.000 €; to create legal incentives for companies with a common good balance sheet and to establish a 100.000 € fund for research and training on sustainable economy.
- The federal state of Salzburg, Austria has been put forward as a model Common Good region;
- The federal state of Baden-Württemberg, Germany is assessing its business operations in the current administration;
- Stuttgart, Germany will soon assess four municipal companies;
- Wessobrunn (Bavaria, Germany) and other communities are seeking to become Common Good Municipalities;
- Nenzing and Mäder are the first Austrian municipalities on their way to creating their Common Good Balance Sheets.