Advocate Europe

Advocate Europe is an idea challenge for innovative European initiatives and projects, implemented by MitOst and Liquid Democracy, and funded by Stiftung Mercator.

We are looking for unconventional and transnational proposals which strengthen connection and cohesion in Europe. Advocate Europe aims to reach civil society actors who are looking for start-up funding and support to implement sustainable ideas in the fields of civic education, arts and culture, democracy and participation, social innovation or innovative forms of advocacy. Around 12 winner proposals are funded each programme year with up to 50.000 euros, receive support and mentoring. 

Why an idea challenge?

Europe belongs to us, the citizens. We can determine its direction. We can gladly ignore the skeptics, the populists and the naysayers. But, we need to start now. And we should do it together - beyond established disciplines and conventional schools of thought. We know that we exist from Reykjavik to Ankara, from Lisbon to Helsinki, in cities and in rural areas: individuals and groups who want to effect change and who want to pursue innovative work on Europe. As the initiators of Advocate Europe, we are convinced that a unified Europe is the best option for our continent. Only together can we find solutions to our challenges. We want to strengthen connection, cohesion and agency in Europe. Connection is created when people in Europe feel like Europeans and experience the advantages of our shared community.

Who are we looking for?

Advocate Europe is open to civil society actors from across Europe: no matter if you are a student or a professional; have many years of experience or very few; if you are looking for a challenge and have long been excited about Europe, democracy and the future – or if up until now you’ve only encountered these topics on television and on election day. We are looking for people who want to actively develop the Europe of tomorrow – and who want to start somewhere today.

We are enthusiastic about unusual partnerships that cross geographical, generational, linguistic or cultural boundaries, and about collaborations that connect branches or disciplines that are usually otherwise separate. We are looking for open, curious, enthusiastic and motivated people who are interested in future-oriented work on European integration – people who know that we can only solve our challenges together.

Who is behind Advocate Europe?

Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through its work it strives for a society characterized by openness to the world, solidarity and equal opportunities. In this context it concentrates on strengthening Europe; increasing the educational success of disadvantaged children and young people, especially those of migrant origin; driving forward climate change mitigation and promoting science and the humanities. Stiftung Mercator symbolizes the connection between academic expertise and practical project experience. One of Germany’s leading foundations, it is active both nationally and internationally. Stiftung Mercator feels a strong sense of loyalty to the Ruhr region, the home of the founding family and the foundation’s headquarters.

Liquid Democracy is a non-profit and non-partisan association which works on innovative ideas and software for democratic participation. Since 2009 the association has developed the open source software library Adhocracy. It enables organisations and individuals to participate in decision-making processes through an online discourse mostly free of moderation. More information can be found at


Julia Hoffmann
Programme Coordinator

Sara Dutch
Programme Officer Communication

Jonas Teune
Programme Officer

Christina Nuhr
Programme Officer
T +49
(0)152 5263 06 80

Advocate Europe Website
Advocate Europe on Facebook

How does the idea challenge work: video

Information about 
Stiftung Mercator at

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