Pulse of Europe

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"Pulse of Europe": Public meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, 19 February 2017
Pulse of Europe in Munich, Germany in front of the Opera House, 19 March 2017

Pulse of Europe is a pro-European citizen's initiative, founded in Frankfurt, Germany, by the end of 2016. It aims at "encouraging citizens of the European Union to speak out publicly in favour of a pan-European identity".[1] As Europe is facing democratic deficits, the imminent Brexit as well as the growing popularity of right-wing populist and nationalist political parties, the initiative aims at counteracting euroscepticism.

Basic principles and goals[edit]

Pulse of Europe refers to ten basic principles which guide their actions:[1]

  1. Europe must not fail: The initiative perceives the very idea of the European Union to be at stake in case of eurosceptic parties prevailing in the upcoming national elections in the Netherlands, France and Germany in 2017. It appeals to pro-European citizens to promote and support the European idea in public, and vote accordingly.
  2. The threat to peace: The European Union is seen as the main warrantor of peace in Europe. Therefore, the union must not fail.
  3. We are responsible: All parts of the society are regarded as responsible to counteract any attempts at dividing the union.
  4. Get up and vote: Adopting the idea of the existence of a "silent majority" of pro-European citizens, the initiative calls for voting for pro-European parties.
  5. Basic rights and Rule of law are inviolable: On the background of recent attempts to restrict by law the freedom of the press in single member states of the Union "individual freedom, justice and the Rule of law must be maintained in all of Europe."
  6. European fundamental freedoms are not negotiable: The European basic freedoms are seen as historical achievements, transforming single national states into one community. A balance of legal rights and duties must be maintained in all countries of Europe.
  7. Reforms are necessary: The European idea must be reformed in order to secure and strengthen the ongoing support of the Union by the people of Europe.
  8. Take mistrust seriously: Any concerns regarding the Union are to be taken seriously, and solutions have to be found, in order to restore the trust towards the future of Europe.
  9. Diversity and joint qualities: Maintaining the European identity includes the preservation of its regional and national diversity, which is understood as an enrichment.
  10. We all can, and should be a part of it: Pulse of Europe regards itself as an initiative which remains independent from any religious or political conviction, dedicated to the preservation of the European civil society.

The initiative considers itself independent from any political party.[1] With regard to the upcoming parliamentary elections in the Netherlands on 12 March, the presidential elections in France on 23 April, and the parliamentary elections in Germany on 24 September 2017 "until 12 March 2017, the last Sunday before the elections take place in the Netherlands, as many people as possible should gather in public, stand up for Europe and contribute to pro-europeans parties gaining the majority of votes."[1]

Foundation and development[edit]

The citizen's initiative was founded by the German lawyers Daniel and Sabine Röder. Using their private network of friends and social media, they held a first public meeting in Frankfurt, Germany, by the end of November, 2016. About 200 people joined them.[2] Further demonstrations followed at weekly intervals in January 2017. On 5 February 2017, about 600 participants met in Frankfurt.[3] People in the German towns of Karlsruhe, Freiburg, and Cologne as well as in Amsterdam, the Netherlands, followed suit.[2] During February 2017, the numbers of individual participants, as well as of locations, was rising.[4]

The initiative also gained media attention in the Netherlands, Denmark,[5] the United Kingdom, Korea[6] and France. The first French demonstration took place in Paris on 26 February.[7] In preparation of elections in the Netherlands on 12 March 2017, the demonstrations adopted the campaign and its accompanying slogan "Blijf bij ons" from the pro-European initiative WhyEurope.[8][9]

Originally demonstrations took place in various European cities on a weekly schedule, every Sunday at 2 pm. On 5 March, public meetings were held in 35 European cities. 28 of these were German,[10] but citizens also met in Amsterdam, the French cities of Paris,[7] Strasbourg,[11] Montpellier, Toulouse, and Lyon, and in the English city of Bath.[1] On 5 March 2017, the number of individual attendants ranged between 40 and more than 3,000.[10] On 12 March 2017, more than 20,000 people joined demonstrations in more than 40 European cities.[12] Till May the number of participating cities rose to 118 in 18 European countries.

After the runoff-ballot in France the frequency of meetings was reduced to the first Sunday every month. The rallies are planned to continue at least until the national elections in Germany on September 24.

"Pulse of Europe" in Cologne, 19 March 2017


  1. ^ a b c d e Röder, Daniel; Pätzold, Jens. "#PULSEOFEUROPE. Zeichen setzen für die Zukunft Europas = Taking a stand for the future of Europe" (in German (English translations included)). Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  2. ^ a b Haupt, Friederike (5 February 2017). "Tage der Einheit = Days of Unity". Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (in German): 4.
  3. ^ Haupt, Friederike (8 February 2017). "Sie gehen für Europa auf die Straße – They are moving to the streets for Europe" (in German). Frankfurt, Germany. Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  4. ^ Scheh, Christian (13 February 2017). "Pulse of Europe: Bürgerbewegung erfährt immer mehr Zulauf = Pulse of Europe: Civic movement attracts growing number of people" (in German). Frankfurter Neue Presse. Retrieved 13 February 2017.
  5. ^ Irminger Sonne, Mathias (13 February 2017). "De demonstrerer FOR noget (og så er det endda for EU) = They SUPPORT something (and it is the EU)" (in Danish). Magasinet Europa. Retrieved 13 February 2017.[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ ""추가 탈퇴는 안돼"…유럽 40개 도시서 親EU 집회". 뉴스1 (in Korean). 12 March 2017. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
  7. ^ a b Lacour, Jean Philippe (8 February 2017). "Ça se passe en Europe: Francfort, berceau d'une mobilisation citoyenne pro-Europe – It happens in Europe: Frankfurt, the cradle of a civil pro-european movement". www.lesechos.fr (in French). Retrieved 11 February 2017.
  8. ^ "Neunkirchener Hans-Christoph Schlüter mit European Public Communication Award ausgezeichnet". https://www.siegerlandkurier.de (in German). 2017-11-10. Retrieved 2018-03-26. External link in |work= (help)
  9. ^ "Duitsers demonstreren tegen 'nexit': blijf bij ons!" (in Dutch). Retrieved 2018-03-26.
  10. ^ a b "Europa - Pro-europäische Demonstrationen in 28 Städten = Europe: Pro-European demonstrations in 28 [German] cities". Deutschlandfunk (in German). 5 March 2017. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  11. ^ Fugler, Corinne (5 March 2017). "En Allemagne et en Alsace, des citoyens lancent "un signal pour l'avenir de l'Europe" = In Germany and in Alsace, citizens take to the streets "for the future of Europe"". France Bleu (in French). Retrieved 6 March 2017.
  12. ^ Connolly, Kate; Oltermann, Philip (12 March 2017). "Sunday of protest in 40 cities to show growth of pro-EU movement". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 March 2017.

External links[edit]