European Alternatives is not only an NGO: it is at the same time and above all a movement of citizens and the emergence of a new political subjectivity. We place members at the heart of our organisation, and empower them to take key decisions on elect the most important positions in the organisation. We are neither a federal nor a national organisation, but a transeuropean organisation which acts in a democratic and transparent way to promote its values both within Europe and beyond.
European Alternatives (EA) is a transnational civil society organisation and citizens movement promoting democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation state. We believe the nation state is no longer the appropriate political form in which to define democratic decision-making and active citizenship, equality between people, the respect and extension of rights; it not the appropriate political form to promote a responsible politics for the environment, ensure democratic control over the economy and an equitable distribution of wealth, or promote peace between people. Accordingly, new forms of transnational citizenship and new practices of transnational participation must be fostered.
Through 7 years of activity throughout the continent, European Alternatives has developed a unique model of citizen activism to promote democracy, equality and culture beyond the nation state. That model is unique because:
- It is simultaneously transnational and very local: our activities take place throughout Europe but often at a very local level, when for instance several cities or towns simultaneously and in a connected way have debates or events on similar issues.
- It is bottom-up and participative: our workprogram and activities are developed and led by our activist volunteers across the continent, working together physically and on- line to discover common issues of importance. Our activities for the public are often highly participative and take place in public space.
- It is creative and experimental: whilst we see the importance of conferences, debates and lectures, we try to innovate with formats for campaigns and actions attracting public interest through festivals, art exhibitions, video projections, games and other creative activities, and we integrate artists and culture workers into our working groups on all issues.
- It is social, political and cultural: our workprogram is generalist, we do not focus on only one issue or problem, or one locality. We aim to cross between disciplines and sectors, taking a wide view of social, political and cultural issues, and seeing how they interact.
European Alternatives is composed of different national legal entities united in a transnational grouping and working as a single transnational office. EA staff and management are supported by a network of local groups and individual members and volunteers stretching to 18 countries throughout Europe. The different parts of our movement work together in a joint commitment to a common vision, mission, values and guiding principles.