It has been an incredibly busy year so far for us at Europa United and the team is going to take some some time off for a short vacation. But before we do, Europa United’s Chief Editor Ken Sweeney has a few short words for all our readers.
I recently decided to look at the article count on our website and was astonished to find that we now have 336 articles published since our inception in late 2016. Of all the stats I keep an eye on, this one actually managed avoid my attention for some reason recently so it was a nice surprise to see such a high figure of publications.
Maybe we missed it because we are so busy each week with submissions from our brilliant team of writers who, come rain or shine, always manage to come up with something that we just can’t wait to publish. And of course, it also needs to be said that our writers do this as volunteers, whose only goal, along with us, is to involve people in discussions that they believe are important issues facing Europe now. Simply put, we at Europa United are facilitators for our writers in that we rarely dictate the issues at all, preferring to rely on their own insight into what is happening and what questions and conversations should be raised.
Sometimes, we make suggestions and may run with them as writers ourselves but we are increasingly putting our own work aside to facilitate what we think are great concepts and ideas from our team. There are times when we don’t agree with their ideas and opinions but we still provide an outlet because we know that what they write is always well structured and thought through.
So what do we have with Europa United?
We think that Europa United is unique amongst the small media outlets across Europe in that we are a civil society media with only non professional writers regardless of age or background, discussing issues that all of us see as having long term implications in our own everyday lives such as Brexit, the refugee crisis and the rise of right wing fundamentalism across Europe. It is our job to make sure that those who agree with our basic liberal principals have an outlet to express themselves in the most professional way possible. We are providing a unique service which we believe will act as library for future readers and historians. Too many great ideas and opinions get lost in the warp like speed of social media nowadays and we want Europa United to slow down the flow somewhat and allow people to read, digest and respond.
In May of this year, we formally registered as a non-profit organisation in Ireland because we felt that this was a logical step towards developing Europa United and establishing our credentials as a serious project that wants to succeed in raising the profile of European affairs. Europa United is looking forward to joining the ranks of the many amazing civil society groups and European associations across Europe.
I read this week with frustration, of the news that Steve Bannon, the man behind Breitbart and former adviser to US President, Donald Trump is planning to establish a right wing think tank here in Europe. His goal is to facilitate and cooperate with the likes of Viktor Orban — Bannon’s hero, a man he’s called “Trump before Trump”, Matteo Salvini, Italian Minister for the Interior along with France’s National Rally (Marine Le Pen’s party, formerly called the National Front) and the Freedom Parties of Austria and the Netherlands.
We cannot rely on national governments, the EU or even the media itself to counter this threat. We need to counter it ourselves as well and we can do this through organisations like us here at Europa United. We can be a the real alt media and prevent fake news while allowing liberal minded citizens of Europe to have a say though our portal. If we stand by and allow the likes of Bannon to get a foothold, who knows what the outcome will be. A well financed right wing media would be detrimental to the liberal and centralist movements but if we act fast, we can counter it with something that they don’t have – people power. If it’s not going to be him to do it, there is no doubt that eventually, someone else will attempt it but Europa United is ready to lead the fight against those who preach separation and division, but we really need your help.
And here is where you can help
At present, all of Europa United’s day to day running costs are personally covered by our team and we currently have no additional sources of funding. We are not affiliated to any political party and we don’t receive any funding other than donations though our website by you, our readers, for which we are very grateful. Our short term plan is to build up our online presence, as well as to develop our reputation while seeking funding through official sources and private patronage in the form of donations and sponsorship. With additional funding we would be able to invest in our website and develop it as a state of the art, custom made portal which could cater for unlimited additional contributors, video presentations and podcasts. Funding would also enable us to carry out vox-pop videos, as well as interviews and reports and online larger publications. Our current website limits the amount of individual writers we have but with a new custom site, the amount is endless.
As a small civil society non-profit media organisation we do not currently qualify for any European media grants due to our size and our time in operation. However, we are determined to build on our presence, as well as to continue to provide a support portal for aspiring writers and commentators and to allow more open discussion on Europe and the EU.
We believe we have the enthusiasm and experience to bring Europa United to the next level and we hope that you would be willing to help support our mission. You can donate as little as one Euro as we are grateful for all donations and they go directly towards our organisation. Remember, this is your project as much as it is ours and while we always appreciate writers we want to be able to accommodate many more and the only way to do this is to build our website though extra funding. Should you wish to donate, you can do it though PayPal here. Any amount is very much appreciated.
I guess that’s all I want to say other then expressing my gratitude and thanks to my administration team, all our writers and of course, you the readers for supporting us and helping us to help you. We will be taking a few weeks off but we will still be keeping our social media platforms busy so stay tuned there.
Have a nice summer beak wherever you are and keep in touch.