Rock the Union

Together we change Europe!

Über

Why "Rock the Union"?

Today we see that there are a lot of things in the European Union going in the wrong direction. A lot of people lost their jobs during the crisis in Europe, many of us did not get a job since we graduated from school or university; we see people all over Europe who have more and more problems to pay for their rents, their lives; many have lost all they had, some lost parts of their families’. All this is sad but it is true.   

The idea of the European founding fathers and mothers was a Union of all the different peoples of the European continent in order to live in peace and prosperity. What a great idea, what a noble task. But today we see that there is not much of this left. The European Union has become a nightmare for many. We, the people living in this Union do not feel represented anymore, nor do most of us trust the politicians who form the governments of the states we are living in anymore. In many different places all over the Union there are people demonstrating against the decisions taken by politicians in Europe, the trust into the political systems we are living in diminishes and Europe, as the once so great hope and dream of many, fades.

We ask, is this the Europe we want to live in?

The European Union has two decision taking bodies: the Council of the European Union and the European Parliament.

The Council of the European Union represents the 28 governments of the European Union Member States. They represent the interests of employers, companies, banks, insurances etc. and citizens who are part of their constituency.

The European Parliament represents the citizens of the European Union.

In other words, the 766 representatives in the European Parliament represent YOU, ME & US!

But sadly most of us do not know that we, the citizens of the European Union, have representatives in the European Union. Most of us do not know that there are elections every five years. Most of do not know who our representatives in the European Parliament are. Most of us do not know who we can vote for. Most of us do not know what difference it makes to have a representative in the European Parliament. Most of us never cared.

This is sad, but it is true.

But worst of all, it means that the voice of the European Parliament in the decision making process of the European Union is not as important as the voice of the European Council.

In other words: As long as we all do not care about the European Parliament, about who represents us and when to vote for the European Parliament, the voice of us, the citizens of the European Union, will not have the same weight, will not count as much, as the voices of the big employers, companies, banks, insurances etc.

Do we really want this?

The Rock the Union team says NO! We do not want this!

Rock the Union is the tour to change Europe. We are five people, who all come from different places, we all have different reasons to do this tour, but we all agree on these three ideas:

  1. We want you to know who represents you!
  2. We want you to know when the elections for the European Parliament take place!
  3. We want you to be informed about who you can vote for!

In other words: We want to change Europe with YOU!

Together we change Europe!

How will we do it?

  • We will get us 1 red double-decker bus.
  • We will go for 9 months on tour with you.
  • We will go to all 28 European Union Member States
  • We will come to 123 cities and have four events in every of these cities.


View #Rock the Union - Locations in a larger map

What we want to do with you:

Morning: Breakfast debate

Every morning we want to have a breakfast debate with you. We ask you to discuss with us about what you think about Europe while we all have breakfast together. We ask you to tell us your ideas, we ask you to put your thoughts on the table and to discuss with us your experience from your life as a citizen of the European Union.

Afternoon: European Dreams Fare

In every city there are people & organisations who are dedicating their work or their free time after work towards the European idea. We want to bring all these people together and have them show us all, what they are doing. Their work is important, they want to help us and support us, and they answer questions and give advice about the role of European Union and the European Parliament in our lives.

But this is not all, we know that many of you are great artists; this is why we want you to come to the European Dreams Fare and do your art. Europe is so great because of its culture there cannot be a great discussion about the European Union without the arts.

Evening: You, Me and the European Parliament

Did you know that up to 80 percent of all laws which affect your daily life are decided on the European level? We ask you to take a seat on the panel and discuss with all of us what we should do to make the decision making process for laws that are important in our daily life easier and better accessible.

Night: Rock the Union! The Party on tour in Europe!   

We said we will party! So for all of you who visited minimum one of our three events during the day you are welcome to join the party and celebrate with us all! We are Europeans, we always have a good reason to party! ;)

 

If you want to know more about the Rock the Union tour you can visit our blog for a short description of the project in another langauge please click here.

The project has already some partners & patrons:

Partners:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patrons:

Jo Leinen

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

President of the European Movement International

 

Ulrike Guérot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Head of the European Council on Foreign Relations, Berlin Office

 

Henri Malosse

 

 

 

 

 

 

President of the European Economic and Social Committee (EESC)

Wofür ist das eingesammelte Geld?

In order to make this whole tour possible we will need 375.000 Euro. But we do not ask you for any money without telling you what we need it for. In order to see in which ways you can support the projet financially please follow the link How do I provide financial support to a project?

Right now in the organisation period we need 7.500 Euro to have all members of the team come together to one place for a few days so that we all have a chance to get to know each other. Hans started an open call a few weeks ago and this is how the team members all came to the team. Since we all want to do a tour of 9 month together we would need to meet before to get a first impression of who will be or fellow travellers.

One of the really big parts is the bus. We are contacting different companies to sponsor us a bus for the tour but in the worst case we would have to buy one. This means we will have to spend around 50.000 Euro to purchase a used double-decker and change the interior for our needs.

The bus has a motor and as such is fuel consuming vehicle. The approximate cost for fuel for the whole tour will be around 17.000 Euro, if the prices for fuel do not rise horrifyingly.

We have talked to some people about the emissions of the bus, which worry us a bit. So we decided that if we raise the full 375.000 Euro we will give 5.000 Euro to tree planting organisations in Europe.

Europe as a continent is huge but even though we are just visiting all the European Union Member States we will go from Portugal to Cyprus and from Malta to Finland. In order to do so we will need to take a few ferries with the bus, for this we will need some 5000 Euro.

Since the organisation of the four events, in all the 123 cities is real work and needs concentration as well as real dedication towards the project, every team member will get a reimbursement to cover costs in their homes and to have the possibility to afford once in a while a drink with you all. For the 243 days or nine month for five team members we will need 67.500 Euro to be fair.

We will be on tour for 243 days, which means in the end we will have also had 242 nights all over Europe. We want you to be able to come with us on the bus and to visit the bus when we are in the cities. But we all need to sleep somewhere, which is why we will need approximately 73.000 Euro for hotel rooms. In case you run a hotel or know someone who runs a hotel in the cities we are visiting, contact us, we are happy to stay there if you invite us.

In order to have great breakfast debates with you and to have food for the volunteers and the team we need around 30.000 Euro for the nine months.

This tour will have some merchandise; parts of it will be sponsored by the great team of Old Continent, the guys behind the EuroBubble web series and inventors of the P-Lux T-shirts. But for stuff like buttons and posters we will have to invest some 35.000 Euro in advance. To have these ready for you. If you give us two Euro for in the funding, and then check in at one of the events on Foursquare with the name that funded us, you get your button at the place.

We said we want to party with you. So we need a budget for equipment. As with the bus we asked different companies to sponsor us, but if they don’t want, we need to buy the equipment, which would mean for this we need approximately 70.000 Euros.

Finally we are all hoping that everything will work out fine on this tour, but we ask for 10.000 Euro emergency budgets. In case something will go wrong, something bad happens or someone needs to take a flight because of family to the other side of Europe within two hours, we need to have some money to allow this to happen without using the money we need for the tour as such.

We are asking you all for a lot of money. And we could have asked the European institutions to finance this tour. But we said we wanted a tour which is run by citizens and not by institutions. We do not want to maintain the situation in Europe with money of the European institutions. We do not want any EU logo on the bus or the sentenced “financed by…”

We want to change Europe with YOU!

This is why we ask for your support instead of asking the EU.

Thank YOU!

Über den Projektträger

 

Hans

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Founder & Organiser

I am the one who had the idea to do this great tour. I studied Modern European History & Politics in Germany. Today I am a communication consultant for social media & organizer of what I call the greatest tour in Europe. And I am the one asking you foryour support in the first place.

When I am asked why I do this I only have one answer, because I love Europe; the people, the culture, the food, the languages & all the different places.  I also love politics, the idea of people coming together to find the best solutions for all the societies they represent. But right now there are a lot of things in the European Union not going right. Many of us are unemployed, more & more people have to leave their countries to find work and on the same time decisions are taken in favor of those who do not want a Europe in which we all have a common and positive future. I say we have to change this.

The European Parliament is the political institution that represents all of us in the European Union, who have the right to vote. It is the place where our ideas, whishes and demands are represented on the European level. Still it isn’t well known and lacks legitimacy because not enough people voted for it. I want to change this.

I want you to know about the European Parliament, about its powers and limitations. I honestly do not care about whom you vote for, that’s your choice, but I want you to know that you can vote, when you can vote and whom you can vote for!

I am looking forward to meet you in one of the 123 cities we are visiting with the Rock the Union tour. We will have great fun! And don’t worry, if you do not like my idea, that’s ok, as long as you come to discuss yours with me ;-)

Gabriela

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a young environmentalist and an adventurer, driven by the strong belief that we hold the future in our own hands, only that we have to play our card wisely!

I graduated from college last year, and since then I was involved in several projects and initiatives. I’ve done pretty much everything, from organizing events and writing communication materials, to holding educational session and working closely with local communities in order to raise awareness on a wide range of concerning trends.

I love traveling, especially if challenge comes included. Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine with things going on nice and smoothly, but a bit of thrill won’t do any harm.

 

Alessandro

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every day I read in the news about raising populism, clash among European countries, huge strikes blaming “politics” and “the European Union” as a whole. I ask myself what could be done. I believe that much at European level has been done already, but that is poorly communicated. As European citizens we have many rights, but rarely we claim them. Sitting in a bar, you can overhear how often European institutions are confused. Eventually, too often Europe is perceived as something far and fastidious.

I’ve asked myself what I could do. And #rocktheunion suddenly filled this vacuum, the idea of being powerless. The more we know about the Parliament, the better we can judge it and improve it. And elections are just one year away!

I’m from Italy, I’ve been studying economics and politics, and I have experienced what it means living abroad for quite a long time. I’ve been working in Bruxelles for a while and I look forward to meet and discuss with as many Europeans as possible, you as well!, on the pros and cons of our Union and on how valuable is our vote!

 

Constantina 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When I came across Hans's idea about a tour around Europe with a red London bus, with the objective of bringing Europe together and sharing the ideal of European Union by direct communication with the people, I became very excited. How original. The tour itself is a symbol of the unity between the simple people, starting with the motivation of a group of a few young people, starting with the five persons lucky to be on that bus, and extending it to the thousands and millions from the very west of Portugal/Ireland to the very east of Cyprus, and from the profound north of Finland to the southern point of Malta. We come to you this time, bringing a hopeful message about the future of Europe, rebuilding the shaken trust, only hoping to be heard and taken seriously. In times of crisis it is normal that people lose their trust among one another, fear is created and hope vanishes gradually, the key ingredients to building a common future together. We need to find a way to communicate our needs, and put together a Europe for our children and our children's children, that will respect each and every citizen to the very last handicap or elderly citizen living in the smallest community, and will be the composition of the best cultural features of every European country that wishes to be part of it. It will be the front for citizen's rights and wellbeing and the community that everyone can be part of. Today is the day to start doing something about this and not tomorrow. We must participate actively and share what we feel, fear or dream with the other Europeans. Start by voting at the EU Parliament elections, showing our presence and confirming its validity as many important decisions are being made every day without us instead of with us.

 

Besides: Follow us!

You can already follow the preparation of the tour here on the blog. You can follow the tour on Facebook and on Twitter. The hash tag to follow is #rocktheunion. And if you want to get regular weekly updates you subscribe to our newsletter here

 

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