< SWITCH ME >
In the wake of last week's "Karlspreis" being awarded to Martin Schultz, president of the European Parliament, guest author Frank Burgdörfer reflects upon this predictable choice and suggests David Cameron as a better candidate given his European achievements.
The city of Aachen has awarded Martin Schulz, the president of the European Parliament, with the "Karlspreis" – an annual prize named after the medieval emperor Charlemagne. It comes as no surprise at all, as the prize is usually given to people who hold key functions in European institutions. Thus the group of potential recipients is rather limited. Council president Donald Tusk and commission president Jean-Claude Juncker were already awarded the prize. As former president of the European Central Bank Jean-Claude Trichet got one previously, it will most likely be the turn of his successor Mario Draghi next year. Truly exciting...
Do not get me wrong: Schulz definitely has merits with regard to Europe. However, this is not exceptional because we as European tax payers remunerate him well for his work. He has indeed increased and consolidated the EP’s influence over the last years. Still, giving him an award for that is a bit like awarding the Pope for special achievements in the field of leading the Catholic Church.
Are there no committed citizens, innovate business men, progressive researchers or clerics building bridges in Europe? Cartoonists, journalists, historians, teachers or doctors, who have used their positions to give "exceptional contributions in political, economic or spiritual regard for the unity of Europe", as a declaration from 1990 puts it? It seems that the Charlemagne Prize actually puts the city of Aachen more into the spotlight than the awardee – which is in fact often the case with other prizes too.
They say a picture paints a thousand words, so we've set out to discover what photography might be able to tell us about today's Europe.
Here at E&M, we don't just want to know what young Europeans think about Europe, we also want to find out how they see and feel the continent. On the blog, we host a photo competition called Europe Through a Lens and regularly publish a selection of our readers' photographic work. All you have to do is submit images that you think best represent our selected European theme.
For the May / June edition of the competition, we've gone with the topic of "Colourful Europe" and can't wait to see what you come up with. So long as your photo has a component of colour, you're free to interpret the theme however you wish. Entries could be images of anything from a patchwork landscape in full bloom to a gaudy street festival – it's entirely up to you and your powers of imagination!
E&M is looking for new editors and project managers to join our exciting and innovative online magazine and help us redefine European journalism.
About the magazine
E&M is Europe's first online lifestyle magazine created by young Europeans for young Europeans. We believe that modern, connected Europe deserves a modern, connected form of media. With this as our guiding mission, we publish transnational writing across a broad range of topics, from politics and identity to travel and sex. We aim to "make Europe personal" and want your help in doing so.
We are looking for passionate, inventive and committed editors to join our editorial board and help guide the project either as editor of one of our five magazine sections (Brain, Heart, Diaphragm, Baby and Legs) or of our blog Sixth Sense. You will:
- Pitch, commission and edit five articles for each quarterly issue (magazine editors) or at least one article per week (blog editors) by authors from our international network
- Contribute to decision-making in the running of E&M through editorial Skype conferences
- Develop projects beyond the magazine such as workshops, debating events and journalism prizes
The group who met in Berlin to launch the EVS4ALL project
At the end of April 2015 the Allianz Cultural Foundation welcomed a variety of different groups from across Europe to their Berlin headquarters to launch the EVS4ALL project. As one of the media partners of the event, E&M’s Chris Ruff was there to witness two days of knowledge sharing, diligent planning and infectious optimism for the future of Europe.
"We are Europe!" was the rallying cry of the late, great German sociologist Ulrich Beck as he, with his close friend and fellow European titan, Daniel Cohn-Bendit, sat down to write a manifesto for the future of Europe.
What they envisaged was a Europe built "from the bottom-up". A Europe far removed from the technocratic elites who so often dominate the news. A Europe "for taxi drivers and theologians, for workers and the workless, for managers and musicians, for teachers and trainees, for sculptors and sous-chefs, for supreme court judges and senior citizens, for men and women".
In order to disentangle ourselves from the clutches of the euro-crisis, we must re-build our civil society and rediscover those traits which bind us together, instead of those which tear us apart.
But how, I hear you ask, is this wonderful Europe of people supposed to happen? And haven’t we been moving precisely in the other direction in the years since the great crash of 2008?