Anna Bird leaves the European Movement after 3 years as CEO

Published on May 11, 2023

Today, Anna Bird is leaving her position as CEO of the European Movement after almost 3 years at the helm of this vital campaign.  

“I'm so proud of everything this movement has achieved over the last few years. Here's a quick message I recorded, reflecting on my time as CEO and where our campaign is headed. 

I'm leaving to return to my roots in the charity sector, supporting families with disabled children at Contact. But even though I'm stepping down from my role here, I am still European and always will be.  I'll never stop believing in the power of our shared European values and supporting the campaign to reverse the calamity of Brexit.  

The team are currently recruiting your next CEO (stay tuned for more news very soon). In the meantime, I know the campaign is in very safe hands, with Mike Galsworthy in place as your chair, and my excellent colleague Emma Knaggs stepping in as interim CEO, supported by our brilliant and dedicated staff team.  

Thank you for being part of this movement with me over the last few years. Throughout the many political challenges, we've weathered together, it's been the energy and enthusiasm of you, our members, supporters and campaigners up and down the country that's inspired me the most.   

We’ve come so far from the dark days of withdrawal negotiations when I joined, to the growing political momentum and energy for reversing Brexit we see today. I can’t wait to see what happens next – but I remain convinced that the European Movement is the organisation that will take us back into the EU”.  

Since Anna joined as CEO, EMUK really is unrecognisable from the organisation it once was, it has now firmly established itself as the only organisation with the courage and resources to expose and reverse the calamity of Brexit.  

We’d like to take this time as an organisation to thank Anna for all her hard work and to reflect on just a few of the things the European Movement has achieved over the last three years under Anna’s watch.

  • Membership has grown from 7,000 to 19,000 members and annual income has more than doubled.  
  • Anna has helped to put in place a powerful and skilled staff team of 21 staff members located right across Britain.  
  • EMUK appointed two new Vice Presidents – Caroline Lucas MP and Vince Cable – to add heavyweight cross-party political experience to our leadership, alongside Michael Heseltine, our President. 
  • Anna has assisted in improving internal systems and processes to make EM a responsible employer and ensure sound financial management. 
  • EMUK has been transformed into a democratic, member-led organisation and has begun to improve internal diversity.
  • EMUKs local groups network is rebuilding its strength after the double blow of the UK actually leaving the EU and the global pandemic.
  • and; EMUK has developed partnerships with European Movement Scotland and the Young European Movement, Wales for Europe (including a reciprocal membership scheme) and are in the process of growing the movement in Northern Ireland.   

From a campaign perspective, Anna has helped facilitate a number of campaigns, some of which are listed below:  

A statement from Deputy CEO Emma Knaggs:  

“We will miss Anna and are grateful for all the work she has done for the European Movement over the last three years. We are confident that the members she has encouraged to join, the staff team she has developed, and the partnerships she has made will carry us through to the next step of our campaign.” 

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