News > The European Movement International in 2019

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  • 17th December 2019 - 16:10 GMT

The European Movement International in 2019

With the year coming to an end, we would like to share with you our key activities, from our events and communications to our policy output and lobbying work. Aside from changes in the EU leadership, 2019 has seen civil activism drive social and political change, whether in the context of defending democratic rights, enhancing social equality or calling for stronger climate protection.

2019 was marked by the European Elections and our network’s efforts in mobilising citizens to vote. With many European countries raising their voter turnout, millions of citizens across Europe used the occasion to defend the issues that they care about, cast their vote in the elections and encouraged others to do the same. Tied in closely with the European Parliament’s ‘This Time I’m Voting’ campaign, we organised a range of activities and streamlined our network’s communications to strengthen the voice of citizens at a time when nationalistic and populist ideas are gaining ground.

Our projects

This Time I’m Voting – #TTIV

In 2019, we contributed to the European Parliament’s campaign ’This Time I’m Voting’ as an official partner, to encourage citizens to engage and vote in the EP elections. As part of this campaign and in support of the European Parliament, we kicked off preparations for our flagship event ‘Democracy Alive’ which took place from 11-13 April 2019 on the Dutch island of Texel.

Democracy Alive

Ahead of the European Parliament elections, we organised a European Democracy Festival to bring citizens, stakeholders and politicians together to engage on the important issues of today. After the European elections, we transformed Democracy Alive into a community where activists from across Europe can come together and take action to defend, strengthen and promote European democracy. The platform now serves as a space where people can find support for their initiatives, can take part in weekly campaigns, and where we promote the various activities of our members throughout Europe.

Listen to Europe

Ahead of the European elections, together with a group of researchers led by Matthew MacWilliams and with the support of the Open Society Initiative for Europe, we conducted a poll that was fielded by YouGov, on the drivers of behaviours and attitudes of citizens in 13 European Union Member States towards democracy and authoritarianism. The results of the poll, disseminated across Europe, now provide useful campaigning tools and outreach strategies that can be tailored towards the different Member States but also a wider European audience.

On Our Watch

Together with the European Youth Forum, Citizens for Europe and the broad range of partnering civil society organisations, we transformed the On Our Watch website to highlight organisations’ election manifestos and pledge campaigns ahead of the European Elections. On top of this, we included an integrated Vote Comparator developed specifically for the elections. Now, with the European Parliament in full swing and the Commission in place, we will continue to use the website to showcase civil society’s demands vis-à-vis policymakers and to use the platform as a resource hub for those interested in the various issues that civil society is working on.

Women of Europe Awards

For the fourth year running, the 2019 edition of the Women of Europe Awards, organised with the support of the European Women’s Lobby, featured four inspiring winners from Romania, Bulgaria, Germany and Czechia:  Laura Codruța Kövesi, Chief EU Public Prosecutor Elect (Woman in Power), Milena Kadieva, Human Rights Lawyer (Woman in Action), Eleonora Azzaoui & Vera Günther, Founders of Mimycri (Women in Business) and Johanna Nejedlová, Co-Founder of KONSENT (Woman in Youth Activism). See more on our social media campaign here.

European Democracy Group

The European Democracy Group is organised by Carnegie Europe and the European Movement International, involving regular discussions between analysts, civil society representatives, and policymakers in Brussels to explore ways to improve democratic participation in the EU. In 2019 we organised discussions around the future of civic participation in Europe as well as the impact of digital technology on European democracy.

Investing in the Future of Europe

As part of the ‘Investing in the Future of Europe‘ series, a partnership between the European Movement and European Investment Bank, we organised events in Budapest, Helsinki, Prague and on Texel this year. The debates offer the chance to highlight the benefits of European integration and to discuss how to best invest in the European Union and the well-being of its citizens.

Europe Day

In 2019, members of the European Movement International network celebrated Europe Day by holding events, discussions and activities throughout Europe in May, ahead of the European elections. From Finland to Croatia, and from Ireland to Turkey, celebrations and events of all kinds took place in EU member as well as non–member states.

Our policy and influencing

The 2019 European elections saw a large number of Europeans go to the polls to make their voice heard. These citizens now want to see their concerns and aspirations taken seriously and their priorities turned into actions. Only through working together can we provide common solutions to the challenges Europe faces and ensure that Europeans’ wishes are reflected in the EU’s work throughout the next 5 years and beyond.

Take a look at our main policy proposals that guide our current activities and get in touch if you want to join forces for any of the issues.

Protecting EU values

  • Publication of a position on engaging citizens ahead of the Sibiu Summit inviting leaders to commit to a transparent, representative and consistent consultation tool

Protecting EU values

  • Publication of an opinion piece following the Polish general elections, by linking the results to the findings of our Listen to Europe research and looking at the attitudes that drove Poles to support the PiS party
  • Communication around the topic of enhancing the rule of law in Europe



  • Advocacy on the benefits of EU membership in the context of Brexit and information and communication on the different scenarios
  • Roundtable event with Stefaan de Rynck, Senior Advisor to Michel Barnier, EU Chief Negotiator for Brexit

Foreign and Security Policy

  • Breakfast briefing ahead of the European Council summit to discuss the state of play and future challenges of EU security and defence cooperation.

Enlargement and Western Balkans

Our communications

This year, the European Movement International put particular emphasis on communications due to the European elections, with social media outreach being central to our communications campaigns. We have reached millions of people with our posts on Twitter alone. Hashtags from events such as the Democracy Alive festival and the Women of Europe Awards had a particularly wide reach.

With our focus being on Twitter and Facebook, we currently have:

Over 26.600 followers on Twitter

Over 14.600 followers on Facebook

So far in 2019, we have reached 4.305.362 total impressions on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn combined.

European elections

Our EP election communication campaigns on social media were particularly popular.

3.620.000 people reached throughout our communications campaign.


76.000 people watched on Twitter our videos on freedom, democracy and peace

300.000 people watched on Twitter our promotional video for the Democracy Festival

300.000 people watched on Twitter our post-festival video

Social media campaigns

Commissioner campaigns

With the election of Ursula von der Leyen as new European Commission President and the appointment of her new team of Commissioners, we organised three campaigns in which we put forward our suggestions as to how to work together on a pro-European, pro-democratic agenda. Our first one was with the Commissioner-designates prior to the European Parliament votes (#FutureOfEurope), the second was during the European Parliament hearings in the form of questions directed to the Commissioners (#EPHearings2019), and the third is currently underway in the form of a Christmas Wish List (#EMIWishList).

Listen to Europe campaign

With the launch of the Listen to Europe website in October, we wanted to present the data we had collected during the project in the form of flashcards, posted on Twitter and featuring in bus stop advertisements around the European Quarter in Brussels.

Women of Europe Awards campaign

The Women of Europe Awards were well-promoted over our social media channels and we received a lot of external interest in the awards. Thanks to our promotion of the nominees, the shortlisted, the jury, and the winners both via social media and at the bus stops around the European Quarter, we caught the attention of various news outlets around Europe. Our #WomenOfEurope Twitter hashtag was the second most trending hashtag in Belgium during our awards ceremony and our WoE Facebook posts reached 33,460 people on the day of the Award Gala alone.

Our network gatherings

Members Council

On 11 April our members met on the Dutch island of Texel where the European Democracy Festival took place. Gathering around 75 delegates coming from all over Europe, the Members Council allowed for our members to discuss key policy issues and share views on the European elections campaigns from the EMI and other topics such Europe Day.

Federal Assembly

On 8 November, members of the European Movement International met in Helsinki to discuss the state of the network, debate the big issues that face Europe and set out priorities for the coming year. Ahead of the Federal Assembly, hosted by the European Movement Finland, members participated in a ‘Fringe Event: The Future of Europe: Legacy of the Finnish EU-Presidency’. Guest speakers on both days included representatives from civil society, members of European Parliament, Finnish Minister for European Affairs Tytti Tuppurainen and Vice-President of the European Investment Bank Alexander Stubb.

National Councils’ meeting

On 2 October, representatives of the European Movement National Councils met in Brussels to plan joint activities and strategies for the coming year and to discuss the theme of the 2020 Europe Day celebrations.

Our events in 2019

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