In the European Union, more than 122 million people (about 24% of the population) are at risk of poverty or social exclusion. Even after social transfers, 17% of the population remains in such conditions. Among them, 9% of the European population is severely materially deprived – for example, being unable to pay the bills or face unexpected expenses (Eurostat, 2016).

In this context, the PIE News project is building a Collective Awareness Platform, commonfare.net, that will enable people in Europe to access information about poverty support measures, share good practices, and be engaged in networking activities. These are three components of the Commonfare, a new concept of welfare provision based on commonality and grassroots initiatives. The research project and the digital platform aim to supplement the existing public measures contrasting social conditions of Poverty, lack of Income and unEmployment, but also to promote experiences of Participation, Imagination, and Empowerment among European citizens.

How will the platform work?  Imagine an unemployed single mother, Helena, living in the Netherlands. Because she has no access to childcare, her ability to work, volunteer, or develop herself through education or social engagement is limited. Using commonfare.net, Helena finds other women in the same situation in her city. Together, inspired by an Italian experience they see on the commonfare.net digital platform, they organize a self-managed, communal childcare arrangement. By coming together in this way, Helena and the other women in the childcare cooperative have been able to take more control over their own lives.

The commonfare.net platform will initially run in three countries: Croatia, Italy, and the Netherlands, but the team hopes to expand the platform to all other European countries. Initial launch is expected in Spring 2017.  More information about the project is available at www.pieproject.eu

About PIE News – The PIE News project aims at improving conditions for the “new poor”: that rising part of the European population composed of precarious workers, the working poor, people unprotected by safety nets, and young people who are no longer in the education system and experience difficulties in finding a job. In order to cope with these conditions, the project aims to promote experiences of Participation, Imagination, and Empowerment among European citizens.

More information at www.pieproject.eu

Pictures available at: www.facebook.com/PieNewsCommonfare/photos

Contacts – The PIE News Team is available to answer any questions, and can be contacted by e-mail (info@commonfare.net)

About the Project Pilots – The project will be developed by leveraging existing collaboration with local communities: the Centre for Peace Studies in Zagreb, Croatia; Basic Income Network Italy in Milan and Rome; and Museu da Crise in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and The Hague, in the Netherlands.

About the Consortium – The project is being undertaken by an international team, comprising 8 organisations from 5 different countries, and it is funded by the European Commission Horizon 2020 programme. The team comprises the Abertay University (United Kingdom), the Basic Income Network Italy, the Centre for Peace Studies (Croatia), CREATE-NET (Italy), Dyne.org (the Netherlands), Madeira Interactive Technologies Institute (Portugal), Museu da Crise (The Netherlands) and the University of Trento (Italy, Project Coordinator).

About Horizon2020 – This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 687922. Horizon 2020 is the main EU Research and Innovation programme with nearly €80 billion of funding available over 7 years (2014 to 2020).

Eurostat (March 2016). Europe 2020 indicators – poverty and social exclusion. Retrieved from http://ec.europa.eu/eurostat/statistics-explained/index.php/Europe_2020_indicators_-_poverty_and_social_exclusion

For this short version in PDF: short_pie-news-final-pr-dec2016

For the longer version in PDF: long_pie-news-pr-dec2016