Des Europe & Des Hommes
Citizens feel they have no say on a Europe that's too far away (rhyme intended)? To tackle this challenge, we are building a seven-month "Tour de France" to reach out to people about Europe, i.e. to talk with citizens about how to resolve the main challenges of European integration (institutional reforms, education, EU policies, media coverage...).
Our objective? To publish a book in 2017, gathering all the propositions for Europe elaborated by the citizens we discussed with across France!
We have defined four challenges.
1) Citizens do not feel implicated in European integration, they have the impression they don't have a say on the matter.
2) Citizens feel they lack information on the EU.
3) A general tendency to Euro-pessimism is starting to spread out, notably through the rise of anti-EU, radical and populist parties.
4) Very few politicians do have a vision for Europe, so dynamic change should be pushed in a bottom-up way.
Successful outcomes would be the publication of a book introducing the propositions created by citizens through our debates and exchanges; media visibility of our initiative to initiate public debate on Europe; a petition/letter to all 2017 French presidential candidates asking them to address European issues; the adoption of some of these propositions in their presidential bid. Europe is no longer a foreign affair, and our project will be successful if this is acknowledged!
The first step will be to raise enough funds (by contacting external actors and send them a partnership proposition, and by launching a crowdfunding action) and to develop ties with the media to cover our Tour. During this Tour, we will reach out to citizens notably by discussing with pedestrians, creating a stall in weekly markets, contacting relevant actors (mayors, industry professionals, tourist offices...) to organise public meetings. We have set up a map and a general itinerary for this Tour, with key cities to target. We also have an online strategy (YouTube channel, Facebook, Twitter). The end of the project will be dedicated to publicising our project's results. We will also be contacting publishers during the Tour to explain our project and show them an idea of the book.
We target both the public opinion (through debates across France, through involving the audience online, through publicising the initiative and its results during and after the Tour de France) and the policy-makers (local, national, European) as we want to promote our results to them, so as to inspire them to adopt changes proposed by their citizens.
We had this idea because we saw that many pro-European activists debated and acted between each other. We want to reach out to ordinary, non-involved citizens (either disinterested in Europe or against it). We also enhance a bottom-up approach, by giving citizens a say rather than by only informing them about the EU. Our approach is interactive and wants citizens to develop constructive propositions, beyond sheer Euroscepticism. What would they do or change if they had power on European issues?
Funding requested from Advocate Europe
Main expenses: car 5000 EUR, travel (and insurance) costs 5600 EUR, camera equipment 700 EUR, public relations and activities 1500 EUR, external hard drive 400 EUR, accommodation 2100 EUR, phone expenses 200 EUR
We would be enthusiastic to hear about your ideas to complete this project, as well as ideas on how to approach citizens (beyond random discussions in the streets and organised rendezvous with specific interlocutors)!