Man versus nature is not a fair fight.
I'm an Italian that started in late 2015 and keeps hearing about the old glory days of 100p leagues every weekend and 300p tournaments. I'd be really long to explain what happened to Vintage in EU, it's probably a mixture of factors, each local scene having his own.
The rise in popularity of Legacy saw many migrate to it for a variety of reasons and each other new flavour of the month format would also bring away some more. Old School especially has received a very different treatment in EU, here it's not a nostalgia format were one can drink and play like Garfield intended, but it's been a vendor promoted format with TOs actively pushing it at the expense of Vintage due to being invested, just look at what happened with Ovino years ago.
There is a complete lack of information/publicity, if the only thing everyone says about Vintage is that no one plays it anymore, that's bound to become true. Sadly we don't get to take much advantage from the VSL spotlight, Rodrigo asked by Randy how EU Vintage is doing replied "just fine" and I've never heard Andreas talk about paper events. They're not obliged to do anything, but I'm sure it'd be of some help. The lack of general interest also reflects on how much the avg Vintage player from EU is up to date, not many get to play in P9Challenges due to timezone difference and a quick glance at the decklists of a random event will outline the situation.
In the US almost ALL events other than EWNA allow some number of proxies, here thanks to Wotc EU/Italy policy in open contrast with the mothership not many TOs dare to organize them. And even local leagues have been suffering from that, here in Italy we're left with only two (ours in Florence and Senigallia) that get 20ish players per month.
Events have also a big part in this. Ovino it's a shadow of it's former self, in general decline, with the TO withdrawing support to Vintage, pushing Old School at its expense and stubbornly refusing to allow proxies despite having no sanctioning at all. (Ovino will be the upcoming weekend, I can tell you Vintage won't even fire, I myself will drive twice the distance to the Senigallia league). BoM killed Annecy, the other major, creating their own series with no Vintage, pursuing GP organizing. Sadly someone at WotC decided to task them with EWEU which has been REALLY disapponting, confirming the bad reputation they acquired after Annecy. MKM also with all those different TOs is generally considered really bad in terms of logistic, prizes etc, I can tell you close to no one is going to fly to an MKM from Italy. They have an history of dropping Vintage or putting it into terrible timeslots.
As I said, publicity and information is really scarce, many do not even know EWEU exists and I know most Legacy top dogs only recently discovered it, but refuse to go to an event held in the expensive Paris, poorly run and routinely scheduled like the weekend before the ONLY Legacy GP in EU after a 1y hiatus or the weekend before Christmas, I'll probably be there, but honestly don't look forward to it.
Also on publicity: you didn't even mention (cause you probably don't even know they exists and this speaks at lenght about the situation) two of the events that I've been recommending to every foreign player and that even friends from the US come to visit for.
Nebraska's War, the defacto Eternal tournament in EU at it's 7th edition, with a 300p Legacy and TWO Vintage events.
4 Seasons, a 4 stop, player run event with a 150p Legacy and a (finally) 15-proxy Vintage that has been ahuge success.
As for what to do, I don't think we can go back to the glory days of old, but we can definitely try to get back old players, introduce new ones thanks to proxies which we should finally get to use like in the US and in general create more "interest around it" so that people would talk about it resulting in maybe higher attendance. Also trying to support the events that are really worth going to (as for me I'm pretty sure which are) the playerbase is old and in EU we're willing to drive way shorter distances than in the US.
I will leave pointing out that there will be a 3 Eternal event streak in Italy in Nov/Dic, comprising the EU Legacy GP.
Viale Sergio Cavina 4
40139, Bologna, Italy
Details will be found on website and facebook and event. 15 proxies (playtest cards) allowed.
On top of it, Legacy on Sunday is going to be an excellent test for the Legacy GP which will be the following weekend in the exact same city, but there is more: read about this streak of Eternal events in Italy and feel free to contact the TOs for any help since they are locals and have Mtg and nonMtg related events prepared for those going to overstay for the GP.
There will be a streak of Eternal events that includes the only EU Legacy GP if anyone fancies spending some time over here.
4 Seasons Fall, 23th-24th Nov, Bologna, with both Eternal formats
Magicfest Bologna, 29th-1st Dec, the only Legacy GP in EU
Nebraska's War, 5th-8th Dec Lucca, with both Eternal formats
Bologna's got an international airport easy to fly to and takes 1h and half of high speed train to reach Venice in case one wants to visit it while using Bologna as base during the first week. Then 30mins by train to the south there is Florence that one has to go through and can visit for a couple of days on his way to Lucca. Close to the latter there is Pisa with int airport to fly back home.
If coming only for one week the best combination in terms of Magic, tourism and time/money saving is GP+Nebraska, visiting Florence in the meantime. I'm a local and usually friends come for Nebraska's War from overseas (Joe Brennan, Dan Miller, etc.) so I can provide information and lodging in Florence, do not hesitate to ask.
And after scheduling with minimal time to plan on the VERY WEEKEND before the only Legacy GP in Europe (more than one year after the previous one) here comes the scheduling on the VERY Christmas WEEKEND.
May I suggest you Nebraska's War?
Same TO, location where MKM Paris was just held in, but at least it won't be June-hot. Area (Nanterre) even further from Paris than last year, less run-down, but there is not much around. Plan ahead for traveling and especially lodging since it's basically Christmas Holiday.
If anyone from overseas fancies spending two weeks in Europe going to both (Nebraska's War and EWEU), I know maybe @IamActuallyLvL1 might, let me know, I can be of help especially for the Italian part of the trip.
This is has been the defacto EU tournament with both Eternal formats for some time, with players coming even from overseas.
Lucca Fiere e Congressi Spa
Via della Chiesa XXXII, 237 (Traversa I)
55100, Lucca (LU) - Italy
TO is probably going to replicate the same formula whe had last year, hosting TWO Vintage events: the main one on Saturday and the premium one on Friday. The latter was sort of a premium "High Stakes, High Rewards" event for the dieahard players, with a registration fee of 100 euros.
TO also is considering the idea of allowing 15 proxies (playtest cards) for the first time which would boost attendance a lot.
Feel free to ask for any logistic help, especially if you plan to go to Florence before or after, friends from overseas have been visiting me for the past years, so you're definitely in for some tough competition.
Viale Sergio Cavina 4
40139, Bologna, Italy
Details will be found on website and facebook. 15 proxies (playtest cards) allowed.
Even if the Summer one might get low attendance for our format, you might want to take a quick trip to Bologna for some Vintage action, Legacy on Sunday is still going to be quite big thus you'll be able to satisfy all your Eternal needs.
Feel free to ask me or the TOs for any logistic help.
Depending on where you're based and if you play Legacy too, you should consider 4Seasons tournament instead of MKM. They do 4 events per year, announced well in advance, in the easily reachable and cheap Bologna, usually min 150p for Legacy and they started doing Vintage with 15 proxies getting a really good turnout last time.