The process of setting up a new local group doesn't need to be onerous or time consuming. All you need to get started is the passion for more pro-European campaigning to take place in your area.
On this page we give you an overview of the key steps that are involved in taking your idea of a new group from conception to reality.
The information contained on this page is a summary of what is involved, but our Field Team will be there with you every step of the way. They can help you get started and help you find more people to join your group. They will also be there once your group gets set up to support you, and to help you get your campaigns off the ground.
We are in the process of putting together a more comprehensive guide that will give you a detailed breakdown of all of the steps that are needed to get a group going. But, until then, check out the steps below, and if you think that you would like to set up a new local group in your area - or you just want to ask some questions - then get in touch with us and we'll be happy to help you.
Step 1 - Check if there are other groups in your area
There may already be a group in your area
The fiest step is to check whether there are any other groups in your area. There may be a local group that already exists in your area, but that just needs more activists in your town or your part of the city to become more active in your local area.
If that is the case, get in contact with them and discuss ways in which you might be able to help them expand their campaigns in your local area.
Alternatively, there may not be a group which covers your area but there may be an established one that covers a neighbouring area.
If there is a group in a neighbouring area then get in contact with them, chat about how they operate, maybe go along with them to a planning meeting or a local campaign day, to get a feel for what it's like to be part of a local group.
However, there are some areas of the country that unfortunately don't have any local groups operating there. If that is the case for your local area, then could you be the person to get something going?
Step 2 - Get in contact with us
We can help you through the rest of the process
At the European Movement UK, we have a team that is dedicated to supporting branches and local groups, ensuring that they have everything that they need to deliver effective local campaigns.
They can also help to guide you through the process of setting up a new group in your area, and answer any questions that you may have about the movement.
They come from a campaigning background, including in party politics and pro-European grassroots campaigning, with members of the team having also been Chairs of their local group.
You can contact them by emailing [email protected] and they will be happy to help you.
Step 3 - Organise a welcome meeting
This is the first step towards forming a leadership team
The next step is to organise a welcome meeting in your local area, to encourage more people to get involved with forming a new group in your local area.
Once you have spoken to the European Movement team, and decided that you would like to set up a new group, pick a time and a place for a welcome meeting. This can be something simple like meeting in a local coffee shop on a Saturday afternoon - it doesn't need to be anything complicated.
The European Movement team can help to signpost people to your meeting by contacting members and supporters in your area, and invite them to come along.
This meeting is your chance to meet like-minded people in your area, who share a passion for pro-European campaigning, and to get the ball rolling on the process to formally getting the group set up. You can discuss your shared passions, what you would like to see from a new campaign group, and get the ball rolling by forming a leadership team with those who are interested.
Not yet ready for a meeting in person? No problem - we can also invite people to contact you via e-mail if they are interested in hearing more, and you can then set up a welcome meeting once a few people are on board.
If you go down this route, we recommend setting up another e-mail address just for this purpose that can be used to coordinate group activity. For example, [email protected] if you lived in a place called Townsville.
Step 4 - Agree on the details of your group
It's time to get your group set up
Once you find some like-minded people who share your passion for getting a group set up in your area, it's time to decide on a few key details of your group.
For example what area will your group cover? If you are from a large town or city then it may be simple, in that you would just cover that town and the surrounding area. But if you come from an area with lots of small towns which doesn't currently have a group then you may wish to cover that part of the county.
After you decide on the area that you want to cover, what about a group name? Most groups use one of two models - for example, if you were based in Townsville, you could either call yourself European Movement Townsville or Townsville for Europe. But it's up to you.
You should also decide amongst yourselves who will take on various roles. The most important role to fill is that of Chair, who will lead the group, but if you have lots of people who want to help you then you may want to fill roles such as Vice Chair, Secretary, Membershop Officer, Campaigns Officer, or anything else that you can think of. The choice is yours!
At this point, you're probably eager to get campaigning. You can start campaigning straight away, and we'll be happy to help you get that going, but there are a few more steps to take to fully integrate your new group into the European Movement network in order to take advantage of the full range of support and resources that we are able to offer local groups.
Step 5 - The formalities
Let's get your new group set up formally
There are a few formalities that you will need to go through to fully join the European Movement's Branch Network, to take advantage of all of the resources and support that the European Movement makes available to groups.
The first is completing an affiliation agreement with the European Movement UK. This is just a short document that tells us you would like to join our network which outlines the responsibilities of an affiliated group and the support that we are able to give. It's your gateway to being part of a nationwide family of local groups.
Once this is complete, you'll need to give us all of the information that we need to get you set up on the groups map on the website and to give you access to all of our resources. This information includes contact details of the Chair and other officers, which parts of the country you cover, any social media profiles that you have set up, and other things like this.
Further down the line you will need to formally set up a constitution for the group, which helps to set out the rules and procedures for your group - such as elections to roles, AGMs, membership etc. This may sound scary but it isn't - we have model constitutions that you can work from, and we will be there to help you get everything sorted.
To be formally approved as a local European Movement branch your request for affiliation will go to our National Council, the democratically elected body which steers our movement, and they will formally accept you into the movement. This is just a formality, but you can still campaign and form links in your local community while the approval process is ongoing.
Step 6 - It's time to campaign!
You're ready to make a difference in your local community!
The European Movement UK orgsnises a range of local and national campaigns throughout the year which branches and local groups can join. We also encourage groups to launch their own local campaigns and outreach activity in their local area, in ways that make sense to them.
To help groups with their campaigning, we provide a wealth of information, training, and resources that allow groups to take ownership of their developmet and campaign needs, and to become the best local activists that they can be.
We also make funding available to groups who have specfic campaign ideas for their local area, which can help you to get things going in your community.
The steps described above are just a summary, and an indication of the key steps in the process to setting up a group. Once you get in contact with us we will guide you through the whole process, to help you set up an active and effective local campaign group.