What does WeMove Europe do?
At the center of what we do are two key beliefs: that people hold the power to drive change, and that the Europe we live in today needs real, deep-rooted transformation so that its politics reflect the needs of people and planet rather than corporations and profit.
We run campaigns that give people across Europe the chance to be part of this change by signing petitions online or talking directly to their European representatives, or donating small amounts to make our campaigns a huge success. These individual acts, when put together, create something bigger than we can ever achieve alone, and that is when our leaders really start listening to us, dogmas fall, and a Europe that puts people and planet first becomes reality.
What is different about WeMove Europe?
When we ask this question to our partner organisations, this is what they reflect back to us: we are the only politically independent campaigning organisation in Europe that explicitly works on mobilising people to take action on Europe (we work beyond just the member states that make up the EU).
We are political -- we take sides - with people seeking justice, with the planet , and we have a clear vision for the Europe we do and don't want. We know our own limitations and explicitly seek to work with partner NGOs and movements to achieve our goals. We also know our strength: 30% of digital magic tricks and 70% of people power. We know that people power is pan-European, multilingual and has so much potential to change things.
What is your vision for Europe?
But for us it is not about giving up on Europe. On the contrary, Europe is the only way forward. But it is about looking at where these problems originate, and tackling those. We don’t want to put plasters on problems, no one does. We want to go to the core of what is wrong and fix that -- we want change to the system and the goals of the very system that, for example, are telling us economic growth should come at any cost.
We have plenty of ideas on the Europe we want to be seeing more of. But in short -- we are not trying to reinvent the wheel. The solutions we seek are already there, scattered across the continent --- from a well-being index to replace GDP to community gardens, from divestment campaigns to establishing pesticide free regions, from fearless cities to zero homelessness in Finland. The alternatives are already there.
How do you select your campaigns?
We have multiple criteria according to which we select our campaigns. They are listed below. The reality is that no single campaign will meet all the criteria we have. The best ones however will meet as many of the below as possible.
The campaign addresses the heart of what is causing the problems we see and offers clear opportunities for change there, i.e. long and systemic change
The campaign and its narrative do not uphold the existing problematic systems
The campaign can deliver smaller changes and wins along the road to a bigger vision of change
It is clear that there is a value add for the WeMove Europe community to be involved in this campaign
People can connect with the campaign and want to take part in it
The campaign offers potential for European transnational solidarity
How do you plan to achieve the deep-rooted change you are after?
The way we work is that we engage people on things that matter to their everyday lives – climate change, human rights, clean water, wildlife protection and much more. Through campaigns on these issues, we tell the stories of that specific issue, but also how that issue sits within a wider story of Europe, of power, of what it is that needs changing, and shifting so that the Europe we are fighting for can become reality.
So it’s about taking people on a journey to expose just how connected our daily struggles are to some deep-rooted problems, and to show why shifting power back to people is so central to winning on all fronts.
If enough people are persistently “loud” over time and connected to others who make the case for change, decision makers will be forced to hear them.
We will continue to reach out to those who share our values and want to take action, but we will also seek to speak to people who sit on the fence and can be persuaded to fight towards justice on different fronts. Equally, we will not focus on trying to convince those who are clearly not going to be convinced to join us any time soon.
Who is part of the WeMove Europe community?
WeMove Europe's strength is in its community, made up of people who take action because they want to be an active driving force of change in Europe. The community is made up of people from all walks of life who call Europe their home – whether they were born in Europe or elsewhere.
How do you work with others?
We actively seek to work with partner NGOs and movements, to achieve our goals because together we are stronger and partners offer complementary strengths. This means identifying those strengths and combining them towards more people power and more campaign wins. Some partners like us because we have particular skills in moving people through online campaigning which they don't have. Others like us because they are working on the local to national level, but have a gap at the European level. They see the potential for Europe to make or break people's lives and that of the planet. They want to work with us because we can influence things in Europe.
How are you funded?
Our financial and political independence is our guiding light. We do not allow the pursuit of financial stability to get in the way of our independence. We will not take funding from corporations, governments or state institutions to ensure we can continue to direct campaigns on issues related to corporations and remain politically independent. We work with donors who do not impose political conditions that restrict our mission or limit our independence. Our funding comes from individual members across Europe who support our work (80%), progressive foundations (15%), and partners (5%).
As a digital organisation, what is your stance on privacy and technology?
Without the use of online tools we would not be able to connect people at the scale and speed which we need to be successful. With that comes great responsibility in how we use technology and data. We manage data using open-source software and hosting on servers protected under EU legislation. We never share individual data or information about our member’s interests with companies.