European Community Organizing Network (ECON)

Mission and Guiding Values of ECON

  • The mission of ECON is to promote, support, and expand community organizing in Europe.
  • ECON is guided by the values of justice, compassion, democratic participation, and appreciation for ethnic, racial, and spiritual diversity.  It promotes community organizing in a variety of forms.

Community Organizing

Community organizing is a democratically-governed long-term process by which people are brought together to act in their common self-interest to identify community problems and solutions, and to take action by engaging existing power structures to make those solutions a reality.

4 steps of community organizing process:

  • Systematically listening to residents and citizens in order to select and prioritize problems and visions
  • Identifying potential solutions, and the people and institutions that can make those solutions possible
  • Take action to solve problems by engaging those people and institutions identified through negotiation, using confrontation and pressure when necessary
  • Build large, sustainable, and democratic groups capable of addressing numerous problems, needs, and wishes in the community

ECON Members, National Representatives, and Coordinating Team

  • Bosnia: Tuzla Community Foundation – Jasmina Mustacevic
  • Germany: Forum Community Organizing – Marcus Rößner
  • Hungary: Dorcas Aid – Barnabas Balogh
  • Moldova: Association of Citizens with Initiative, Contact Cahul – Sofia Ursul
  • Poland: Bona Fides – Grzegorz Wojkowski
  • Romania:  Resource Center for Public Participation (CeRe),
    Romanian Association for Counseling and Support – Nicoleta Chirita
  • Slovakia:  Center for Community Organizing – Milan Kajo Zboril
  • Sweden:  St. Johannes Parish Norrkoping – Maria Bard
  • Ukraine:  Opora L’viv – Iryna Shvets


ECON was established in January, 2008 following three European-wide, four-day community organizing trainings held at the Le Pont Center in Paris.

Partial List of Activities

  • Four-Day Annual Meeting and Training (2010 Debrecen, Hungary; 2011 Szczecin, Poland)
  • USA Community Organizer Trainer and Consultant Visits in cooperation with the Center for Community Change (2009 Don Elmer in Ukraine and Germany; 2010 & 2011 Dave Beckwith in Poland and Slovakia;  2010 Ed Shurna in Romania; 2011 Joe Szakos in Hungary; 2011 James Mumm in Bosnia, Moldova, and Romania; 2011 Cris Doby and Margie Fine in Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia)
  • Exchange Visits 2009-2012 supported by EU Grundtvig Program (eight visits and three common trainings/meetings involving organizations from Germany, Hungary, Poland, and Romania)
  • Youth Trainings 2009 and 2010 supported by EU Youth in Action Program
  • Professional Exchange Program 2012-2013 supported by US State Department (28 Europeans to USA for five weeks and 17 Americans to Europe for three weeks)
  • Assisting local organizations with training, consulting, and fundraising; ECON website (new website currently under construction); ECON Facebook page; best practices collection; and training materials translated into numerous languages.

For More Information

  • European Community Organizing Network

ECOS Training Programm

Einige der Netzwerkpartner_innen haben die European Community Organizing School (ECOS) initiiert.

ECON Fundraising Workshop

ECON Fundraising Workshop from ViraFilms on Vimeo.

How to organize – a snapshot of a community organizing training