On Saturday 13th May we witnessed the biggest celebration of European unity, culture and entertainment: Eurovision!
This year the UK hosted on behalf of Ukraine, who won last year. It marked a moment of solidarity, and a symbol of unity and harmony with our neighbours. For our movement, this year’s Eurovision was a chance to highlight the positive European identity that many of us still feel, as well as show solidarity with the people of Ukraine. Being pro-European goes beyond politics; it’s about culture and values, too.
We knew here at EMUK that all eyes would be on the UK for this year’s contest, and that this was our chance to show to the rest of Europe that we’re still a welcoming, outward-looking country and that Brexit doesn’t define us.
That’s why we invited everyone to take part in a wave of Eurovision watch parties on Saturday 13th May. We released a number of ‘European Movement Eurovision party packs’ and encouraged those who ordered them to host an event, invite their friends and pro-Europeans in their area, and celebrate the fact that we’re still European.
The pack include the basis of everything one needed for a fabulous evening:
A Eurovision booklet ft. Games, a quiz, recipes and interesting information on all things European.
A Eurovision bingo card.
Decorations and props
Despite the UK coming second last, Saturday night was incredible. Here at EMUK, we watched as our members and supporters hosted parties across the country with friends, family and fellow pro-Europeans. Together, we celebrated shared European values and fun on a world stage, promoting European culture and family with colour, dance, eccentricity and flair.
To all of you involved we want to say a big thank you. From hosting parties to fundraising efforts across the country, we demonstrated to the rest of Europe that despite having left the EU, we are still European.
Here are just a few of the fantastic parties that took place on Saturday night:
Grace and friends enjoying the EMUK Eurovision party pack. Grace said the pack "inspired our group of friends to take part in the predictions and scoring/games plus it even urged us to dress as one of the countries partaking. We had a really fun night and enjoyed using all the props."
Kathryn shared this image from Saturday night saying, "The party was held at my daughter’s house and we managed to get the young people involved in the fun. But our party was actually an international affair too as my other daughter was watching in Italy, as I was in France! It was a fabulous evening of uniting through music. Well done EMUK for the brilliant party packs and here’s to more excellent unifying ideas."
Leeds for Europe hosted a Eurovision Party with help from the EMUK party pack.
Tim shared this photo with us and thanked EMUK for the props provided in the party pack.
Alex shared this image of everything read to go post-party. Alex particularly enjoyed the booklet.
"Thanks so much for all of the flags and the props you sent and the little booklet about Eurovision, the European Union and our movement.
"We used the booklet recipes to start preparing a buffet for the final featuring many different European dishes you kindly provided such as patatas bravas, margarita pizza, cheese and onion quiche, vegetable pie, a vegetarian-friendly schnitzel, as well as some of our own such as Papas Arrugadas with Mojo sauce (Canarian Potatoes which is one of my favourite dishes as I spent most of my childhood in our other home in Lanzarote, which we sadly no longer have due to Brexit and the complications it caused for us).
"Thanks again for providing resources to make this a memorable and enjoyable night!"
EMUK's very own Head of Communications, Pablo O'Hana, also spent the night celebrating with friends. He managed to bag a party pack and even created some of his own ideas using logos and graphics from the pack.
Also on Saturday Cambridge for Europe hosted a fête to celebrate Europe Day and raise money for local voluntary organisations that are helping Ukrainian refugees in Cambridgeshire and sending aid to Ukraine. The fête raised over £700 for local voluntary organisations supporting Ukrainian refugees and providing aid to Ukraine.
Overall, this weekend was a massive success for European Movement UK. We know reversing the calamity of Brexit is no easy task. But on Saturday you showed us that campaigning to rebuild relationships with Europe can be both exciting and fun.