Advocate Europe – Together for Europe

An ideas competition for innovative practical projects relating to Europe.

Which innovative practical projects strengthen cohesion in Europe? Ideas can be entered for the annual Advocate Europe competition ( Advocate Europe offers an opportunity to identify potential partners for a particular project, benefit from expert and methodological support from the MitOst e.V. and Liquid Democracy e.V. implementation partners, and help shape a joint Europe. Many ideas have already been put into practice.


To shape the Europe of tomorrow

Stiftung Mercator believes it is very important to promote anyone wishing to get involved in innovative European activities, be they university graduates at the start of their careers or people switching from other fields. We are keen to encourage those who wish to shape the Europe of tomorrow. We regularly want to learn about and consolidate relevant future-oriented and practical ideas designed to strengthen cross-border cohesion throughout Europe. In founding the annual Advocate Europe ideas competition, we have created a platform for fostering talent and a laboratory in which to promote new and unconventional projects.


Open competition for unconventional ideas

An annual open competition, Advocate Europe welcomes the submission of innovative projects intended to strengthen cohesion in Europe ( During its first funding phase (2012-2014), Advocate Europe already evolved to become a barometer for identifying trends in transnational civil society. Through our annual open competition, we encourage new and unconventional actors in particular to submit their ideas for Europe – projects of relevance to the Ruhr region are especially welcome. During the first two competitions, nearly two dozen entrants in Germany and Europe had the chance to realize their ideas and projects, ranging from an interactive school theatre project entitled “Die Euro-Wohngemeinschaft” (The Euro Flatshare) and a fact-finding mission undertaken by the “Herr und Speer” team of authors, to Brussels fact-check platform “Pagella Politica”. From the autumn of 2014, Stiftung Mercator’s competition will be run by our partner organizations MitOst e.V. and Liquid Democracy e.V. in Berlin. The key aspects will be an open online approach, powerful community-building and further-reaching activities and a multidisciplinary jury of experts which will engage with the project ideas.


Across boundaries

Thanks to its open competition form, Advocate Europe is able to gain access to highly promising and often small or medium-sized individual actors and consortiums. They commit themselves in a contemporary and effective manner to cohesion in Europe and offer follow-up funding, as well as involvement in many cases in the current “European community”.From the autumn of 2014, Stiftung Mercator will be looking at specific models devised by potential project initiators: we encourage multidisciplinary projects since this is the only way in which to access the best ideas for our Europe of tomorrow, even outside the conventional professional frameworks, and to exploit their full potential. Tandem models, that is to say long-term partnerships between two or more actors, will play a special role in the next application phases of Advocate Europe. Tandems can be created across geographical or language boundaries, though they can also be set up across the cultural boundary that can be drawn between actors from the established European scene – such as those involved in activities designed to educate and teach people about European politics or members of traditional think tanks and academic institutions – and those actors in the contemporary European scene who for example use online participation as an instrument. Such tandems frequently make trendsetting contributions to transformative European activities.


Winners 2018:

Stiftung Mercator’s contribution

Approved funding: 2,500,000 Euro Duration: 2012 - 2016

Additional information

Project news

"Advocate Europe" – the new European idea challenge for game-changers

Grants of up to €50,000 for non-profit projects