On Tuesday 21st of February 2023, all partners met in Bergamo (Italy), whose Municipality is the administrative coordinator of the project Time4All, which aims to promote cooperation among citizens, towns, and cities on time policies, to foster them, and ensure the recognition of the right to time as a right for all citizens.
Time policies promote a better time organisation to improve citizens’ health, equality, productivity, and sustainability, as well as increase civic participation. Promoting a new time organisation, local and regional authorities can respond to the popular demand in recent years — which asks for a more sustainable, more egalitarian life, and a new relation between paid work, unpaid care work, and life. The local and regional dimension has been identified as the area where people live their daily lives, and where a real and crucial difference can be made in the way they organise their time.
European municipalities have pioneered in promoting time policies since the 1990s and, in order to collaborate, they created the Local and Regional Governments TIME Network in 2008. Now, with the “Time4All project”, the Network aims at: 1) expanding, deepening and intensifying the cooperation and exchanges of towns, cities, and regions to improve the use of time; 2) fostering time policies among European municipalities by contributing to build up a new narrative for Europe; 3) promoting the involvement of citizens in the definition, implementation, and evaluation of time policies. The project is led by the city of Bergamo and the Barcelona Time Use Initiative for a Healthy Society (BTUI), the international organisation promoting time policies and the right to time, whom currently manages the Secretariat of the Network.
“Time is an extremely unequal resource in society. It is urgent and necessary to recognise the “right to time” for a more balanced use of time, for greater equality and for human wellbeing and sustainability. Time policies are a well of untapped benefits for society, which they must have a central role in the local and regional agenda of the XXI century in Europe” stated Marta Junqué, co-secretary of the Network. Ariadna Güell, co-coordinator of the BTUI has stated that “Time4All will help us enhance time policies across Europe, and place the right to time as a key pillar of social rights within the EU”.
Women, young people and local institutions are the main beneficiaries
The Time4All project is part of the European Commission’s CERV programme, which awards projects that promote social equality and citizens’ rights. The project expects to reach about 1,700 participants, specifically the youth and women, who are the ones suffering from time poverty affects the most. The project will have a duration of two years, between 2023 and 2024, and will carry out several activities aimed at local policymakers, citizens, research institutions, and other social partners:
- Kick-off meeting in Bergamo: Time4All is launched and shared with all the Municipalities and the Network.
- Annual networking events to raise awareness and set common priorities for the Network, including the international Time Use Week in 2023 (16 to 20th of October) and 2024, both in Barcelona.
- Exchange events where good practices in time organisation will be shared. From these events, a publication will be elaborated (the Local and Regional Time Agenda) and one of them will also include Latin America experiences to enrich the European approach.
- Events to raise awareness of citizens, awarding cities as Capitals of Time (in 2023, Bolzano will be the World Capital of Time Policies); fostering citizens participation and providing training activities (European Summer Time School in a hybrid format, on-line and in Barcelona).
The Network includes, among other cities, Barcelona, Milan, Bolzano, and Strasbourg, and it is open to all interested municipalities to join in the upcoming months.
The project is formed by 20 partners from 7 EU countries (France, Italy, Spain, Germany, Austria, Belgium and Greece):
- Public institutions: the Municipality of Barcelona (Spain), the Municipality of Bergamo (Italy), the Municipality of Bolzano (Italy), the Municipality of Esplugues de Llobregat (Spain), the Metropolitan City of Strasbourg (France), the Metropolitan Area of Barcelona (Spain), the Municipality of Milan (Italy), the Metropolitan City of Milan (Italy), the Municipality of Lleida (Spain) the Municipality of Terrassa (Spain), the Provincial Council of Barcelona (Spain), the Catalan Government (as dynamiser of the Catalan Network on the Right to Time), the Municipality of Trikala (Greece), the Municipality of Graz (Austria), the Municipality of Zwickau (Germany), the Municipality of Verviers (Belgium), and the Municipality of Cremona (Italy).
- European Time Policies Associations: Tempo Territorial (France), Barcelona Time Use Initiative for a Healthy Society, BTUI (Spain), and Synergie Wallonie pour l’Egalité entre les Femmes et les Hommes (Belgium).