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2009 European Young Journalist award


2 EDITORIAL Thirty winners of European Young Journalist Award have already spent their three last days in Berlin: celebrating the prize, feeling history together, talking, drinking, dancing… Already one European couple appeared (information due to orangelog sources), there will for sure be more contact and networking between them in the future. How do I know it? Because I took part in the final EYJA conference in 2008 and I’m every day in touch with the people whom I met with there. Even in our team from European Youth Press (EYP) which prepared this magazine we have today two last year winners. So what does EU enlargement mean for me personally? More and more of these contacts. And that is what I wish also for all of you, winners of 2009! EYP invites you to read the magazine, check our website: www.youthpress.org and join our team. Anna Sulewska Editors-in-chief a.sulewska@youthpress.org

Greeting The turning point – 1989. Another brick in the wall and it was demolished. It was the beginning of a new era. Twenty years after, three different generations speak about their memories of this historic moment. by MOJCA FINC

CONTENT Greeting the liberty 20 years ago – Mojca Finc – page 2 and 3

Vox Pops: Anatomy of the border – Anna Morawiec – page 8 and 9

Berlin: more than memorial city – Marco Riciputi– page 4

Europe in a new phase: people are different – Emre Caliskan – page 10

“I don’t like labels” – interview with Gisela Gauggel- Robinson Anna Morawiec– page 5 Numbers – Yannick Brusselmans – page 6 and 7

Yes borders, no borders: from map to people, the European enlargement – Damiano Razzoli – page 11

Young Journalist Award revisited – Mihaly Balassy – page 6

Balkans, the face of problems in an interactive environment – Isidor Koti – page 12

What next?! by Kaan Mustafa Kosenmehmet – page 7

Turkey support has fallen deeply – Emre Caliskan – page 13

Europeans, all people – Damiano Razzoli – page 8 and 9

EU accession, five years later – Mojca Finc – page 14

Surprise in statistics? Not only... – Isidor Koti - page 9

Orange team – page 15 Vox Pops: What do you take with you from this trip? - Mihaly Balassy – page 16

“It was a huge enthusiasm among my German colleagues. Some of them were prepared to take a plane to go to Berlin as soon as possible. All media was reporting about it. Television and radio programmes were broadcasting the fall of the wall live”, Christian de Bruyne, European Commission Representative from Belgium, described what was happening on the historic day of the fall of the wall in his country. The 25-year old German winner Kathrin Breer was five years old, when the wall fell. She has no memories about it. “I grew up in the western part of the country, next to Netherlands. I actually didn‘t know that there were two ‘Germanys’. We weren‘t taught about it in primary school. We were learning everything about the First and the Second World War, but not about the Fall of the Wall. I heard about it when I was ten years old”, she explained. Although the history was so close to her as a child, it was actually pretty far. “My parents weren’t telling me about it, because for them it wasn‘t really important, it actually didn‘t have an impact on our lives. But today, I realize that it was a big thing. I should have known more about that”, she pointed out.


2009 European Young Journalist award

29 august - 02 september 2009 · final conference in Berlin (Germany)

the liberty 20 years ago Even now, when she is older, she doesn’t have much contact with the eastern part of her country. She studies in Münster, a city in western part of the country. She hasn’t been eastern than in Berlin. The story of Željko Ivanović, the journalist of Montenegro’s Vijesti, connected to the Fall of Berlin Wall, brings another chapter in another issue: Ex-Yugoslavia’s. “When the Berlin wall was falling down, I was trying to demolish the Milošević regime. At that time he just took over the authority. I was a part of a very little group of analysts, politicians, journalists and professors, who recognized the catastrophe that such politics may bring. After the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the liberation of half of the European continent, we actually didn’t feel the benefits of it. Our generation did not have time to enjoy this fascination”, he explained. It was different with people from Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Poland, who were happy and awaiting the freedom and western democracy, he pointed out. “But we went into regression, a war, crimes, basic human rights”, he said and pointed out that also nowadays generations do not connect the year of 1989 with the Fall of Berlin Wall. “When you mention the year 1989 to people, maybe one percent of them will connect the year with the fall of the socialism. They will rather mention the beginning of Yugoslavia’s breakdown, beginning of a hard life, a war, looses and refugeeing …”

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Berlin more than a memorial city

Photos de daniel @ FLICKR

erlin is first of all ‘the wall’ - „anti-Fascist protective rampart“ for the Eastern Block -, which today is reduced to small pieces with the exception of the East Side Gallery, famous for the colorful graffiti. The wall means the breakdown of communication between East and West part of the City as well of East and West part of Europe. The end of any relationship is immediately comprehensible at the ‘Gedenkstätte Berlin Mauer’, the memorial spot on Bernauer Strasse. Here the visitors can see how politics dues a systematic and slow destruction of the houses, turned the residential area in an empty space, the dead strip, between 2 lines of walls. Berlin is also the symbol of the end of 2 wars. Many bunkers of the World War II are today touristic attractions, in the Reichstag people can read – if

What does Berlin mean? How many keywords suddenly come to us when we think about Berlin as a symbol? If we want to play a game and pick up the most representative things – places, concepts, etc. - of the city probably the list will be long: communism, East\West, city and Europe, the wall, techno clubs, Nazis, Judaism, architecture, gay culture, bicycle. Our ‘tag cloud’ will contain serious issues that would actually summarize the history of the 20th century. by MARCO RICIPUTI one knows Russian – the old graffiti made by the Soviet Army. Few steps close to the Brandenburg Gate, is the Holocaust Memorial consisting of concrete steles. Also the Cold War was ‘made history’ in Berlin. On the evening of January 15th, 1990 demonstrators took possession of the headquarters of the Ministry for State Security (MfS) in Lichtenberg (East Berlin). There was founded a memorial place and research centre, in the former Stasi-Headquarters, one of the negative “symbols” of the communist rule. But Berlin is much more than a memorial city. It is a symbol of creativity too, the point where past and present touch, as one can see at the East Side Gallery. After the Wall came down in 1989, hundreds of artists from all over the world gathered and transformed the east – and untoucha-

ble -side of the Wall with their paintings, giving the Wall a new face in a new time. Comic author Flix describes well the atmosphere of the post Wall Berlin in his book ‘Da war mal was’: as soon the wall came down, building in the gray East Berlin became suddenly colorful, to witness the era of joy and possibilities. Berlin is today the only European City appointed by UNESCO as a City of Design, part of the network of creativity cities. The young people who live here chasing a dream make the city more than a place full of history, memories and modern buildings. The sense of freedom and tolerance, the role played by the gay community, the relaxed atmosphere together with a reckless night life, all lead to a Berlin way of life that make this city a symbol among the young people.


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2009 European Young Journalist award

29 august - 02 september 2009 · final conference in Berlin (Germany)

“I don’ t believe in labels.” Gisela Gauggel – Robinson, head of Communication, DG Enlargement of the European Commission. talks about the fall of communism, a famous TV spot and the Television Tower in Berlin. by Anna Morawiec -Who integrated Europe in 1989? Integration is a voluntary act where people take the initiative to become part of something. In Europe, it worked from both sides. What happened historically was an existing project which was the EU as a project in progress, not defined yet, to bring together parts of Europe artificially divided by the Iron Curtain. The EU wanted to use the opportunity to bring them back together. - A common effort? Absolutely. - If it’s a common success, why did the EU Communications unit produce a short spot, that was to present the short history of the fight against communist regimes, in which most time is dedicated to the Berlin Wall and German unification? How was it possible to marginalize the role of Eastern Europe? I cannot imagine that it was done with any bad intention. There was probably a certain amount of insensitivity. It is true that the 1989 celebrations focused on a lot of changes that happened. For good or for bad reasons the Berlin Wall was a huge symbol, not because it was German but because it was the most obvious border between two camps. Of course, the fall of communism started before November ’89. Many movements in Eastern Europe did it. It seems to be a problem of communication…

The reality is so complex and consisted of so many components. While communicating, people try to pass simple messages. Introducing different issues in a complex message is always hard. The challenge is to learn about this complex reality, then we will be able to communicate. So maybe Europe does really need one obvious symbol of the fall of communism. That should make the communication easier… I am not sure. I have been discussing with my colleagues from the DG Communication who were observing the kind of activities taken by different member states asking: What are you going to do in Warsaw? Prague? Brussels? London? Paris? And there wasn’t much happening in Lisbon or Madrid. ? Well, the Iron Curtain was not a real curtain for them. It was much more neutral and important in the reality of people who were living with it daily. Making a big symbol of the Berlin Wall? I don’t think it would be proper. What we should do is rather to overcome divisions than thinking of its symbols. Can the EU consider itself as an inspiration for the fall of communism? There were many components of this process, for example the influence of the Americans, but the European Union as well. But in Germany at that time we were saying Wir sind das Volk (“We are the people”). The people simply wanted

Gisela Gauggel – Robinson

to decide what is happening, similar to many other East European movements. Inspiration lied in the people. The EU supported the development, but it was not the EU that brought it about. The TV Tower in Berlin, the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw: along with the enlargements from 2004 and 2007, the EU had to face the half century of communistic heritage of those countries. Is it also the part of the European identity? I don’t believe very much in labels. The palace in Warsaw is part of Polish reality and the lives of Poles. They should also decide whether it is worth preserving. It has also been the value of Europe and thanks to such different backgrounds we are so rich.


6 NUMBER CRUNCHING

600

“A little less than

million

Population of the European Union, should it be expanded with the candidate and potential candidate countries.

400 000 57 “

Total budget of the European Young Journalist Award, in euro.

Number of Italian entries for the EYJA, the highest total of all participating countries.

Young Journalist Award revisited

Two of last years´ EYJA winners are now national coordinators for the award. Orange sat down with them in Berlin to talk about their experiences as a winner and how they succeeded as a coordinator. By Mihály Balassy Mojca Finc from Slovenia heard about the EYJA from one of her colleagues at Delo, a daily national newspaper where she has been working for four years now. She finished her media studies last year at the University of Ljubljana. Before submitting the article she was hesitating because she didn’t think the article would fit to the topic of the award. The jury consisted of two famous journalists and a mentor from

Slovenia, who made the final decision. The mentor also had a possibility to join the winners on the final conference the last day. Mojca thinks it is very important to get some experience and support from the national mentor, although the trip was to Slovenia. Although she has already been to these countries it was interesting for her to see how the media operate in these countries and visit the Serbian B92 radio station, a medium that won MTV’s Free Your Mind Award. As a child she heard a lot about this radio and now she had the possibility to see the whole media system. The other participants were surprised by how this area is developed. As a Slovenian she introduced her country to other winners from her own perspective. When telling stories about the trip she pointed out that she was very satisfied with it and that the organisation was perfect. This year she is the national coordinator of the EYJA and now she sees how the award works from the inside. She also used last year’s experiences a lot. The effect was that Slovenia this year got five times more applications than last year and has been selected as one of the most active coordinators promoting the competition. Mojca is always open for sharing thoughts and getting new ideas and is still in touch with last years´ winners. They also established a cooperation with Cafebabel and did some stories together for different media with other

winners. Last year’s winner Kaan Kösemehmet from Turkey is also acting as a national coordinator at this year’s EYJA. He first heard about the award on the internet and found a great possibility in it. His article: “Evening sun Europe, Europe where the sun sets” focuses on the relation between the EU and Turkey, a country that is currently an associate member. Kaan checked ten years of published articles in which he tried to point out misunderstandings and facts about the relationship between Turkey and the EU. He also tried to promote the EU for Turkish people. On the winners trip he expected brainstorming about the EU and wanted to know more about the euro. Kaan expressed his thoughts in one sentence: “The trip was really cool!” Although he hadn’t been to the Balkans before, he has some family connections in the region. It was also interesting for him to meet people from Cyprus and Greece and become friends with them, even when there are political conflicts between the countries. He still keeps in touch with these people. Because he was satisfied with the award he decided to promote it to a wider audience in Turkey and become the national coordinator. He also helped the Italian winner, Giacomo Rosso, to come to his home city, Istanbul, for a photography project and showed him around. Kaan Kösemehmet would be happy to be coordinator next year again.


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2009 European Young Journalist award

29 august - 02 september 2009 · final conference in Berlin (Germany)

42

Number of people from European Youth Press working on the coordination team of the EYJA.

27

Average age of the 34 national EYJA winners. Youngest is 19-year-old Karl Haljasmets from Estonia, the oldest winners (both 35) are Austrian Ulla Ebner and Turkish Faik Uyanik.

2

Number of Romanian EYJA winners, one awarded for a print article and one for a radio piece.

What Next?! By KAAN MUSTAFA KÖSEMEHMET What kinds of success will the “European Young Journalist Award” bring to your career? Eleni Fotiou (Greece) : The EYJA is important for my career. This award will motivate me to work on issues concerning EU integration in Europe and the Mediterranean region. Faik Uyanik (Turkey) : The EYJA will help me to establish a huge network for my work. I work for BBC Turkish Service. I can invite people whom I met during the Berlin trip and conference to discussion programmes on BBC radio. I have met really valuable people during my Berlin trip. Elif Kayi (France) : I am not sure if the EYJA will change my career. But an important thing for me was to try and open a discussion about the EU membership of Turkey. I also have to say that I enjoyed the idea of being a French citizen with Turkish origins winning a prize for an article about the EU membership of Turkey, especially at a time when anti- Turkish feelings are growing in France. The great thing of the prize was the possibility to meet journalists from all over Europe and realize once more how much we share even though we have differences. Clara Bergström (Sweden) : The EYJA will look good on my resume, but for me the most important things I gained by winning the EYJA is taking part in the Berlin trip with the other winners. I met with my colleagues from all over Europe and we discussed our work and common future. It was a really good experience for me.

Whats kind of projects would you maybe start with the previous winners? Could you give any examples? Eleni Fotiou (Greece) : Actually it’s a really good idea to get involved in projects with the other winners. We can establish a mail network with them and thus we can promote EYJA in our workplace while coordinating. And also we can publish a quality magazine about journalism, the EU, enlargement and the EYJA once a year. We can work about it over the internet all together. Faik Uyanik (Turkey): We can join existing projects on our interests, like the Balkans, South Europe. Also we could try to develop internet-based projects. Elif Kayi (France) : I have worked since one year on the issue of illegal migration. My next topic will be the influence of illegal migration in Turkey, especially refugees from African countries and their refugee status in Turkey. Marios Psaras (Cyprus) : I`m open for any project. I would like to be involved in environmental, cultural and art projects. Clara Bergström (Sweden) : I don’t know the Swedish winner of last year yet, but of course if it is possible to use what we learned during the trip in some way, I will do it. Does your country have any special media strategy about the EU? Do your national media feel any responsibility to inform and educate the public about EU issues?

Eleni Fotiou (Greece) : Greece, which is an old EU member state has a media strategy which aims at raising awareness and fostering active citizenship. But since it is already a member state the strategy and the needs have changed a lot from the media strategy in non-EU member states. Faik Uyanik (Turkey) : There isn’t any media strategy in Turkey about the EU and membership. Liberal media support EU membership but their voice is not strong. They take risks in supporting the EU membership as nationalists are becoming more powerful day by day in Turkey and also in the EU. For that reason people who support the EU membership feel lonely. Elif Kayi (France) : The French media usually focus on national issues, therefore there is very little space for EU affairs. French people are very uninformed about the EU. Marios Psaras (Cyprus) : Yes there are many EU programmes on the TV channels in Cyprus. I made a TV programme about young Cypriot people who live abroad. I visited some cities in the EU like London, Budapest, Athens, Sofia and had interviews with Cypriot students about being abroad and the EU. Clara Bergström (Sweden) : The Swedish national media don’t have any special strategies about the EU as far as I know. Newspapers in Sweden have different views about the EU. At present, Sweden holds the presidency of the EU, thus the EU is more central for us than usual. In these times it is very necessary for journalists to keep criticising the EU perspective.


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EUROPEANS, Searching for a European audience, longing for European people. That is the feeling of young European journalists, and not only. “If we want to engage people in the European idea, if we want them to participate, if we want them to identify with Europe, without the media who produce a public sphere and public opinion, we are lost” says Andrea Despot, seminar director of the European Academy in Berlin. By Damiano Razzoli Bram Peeters, the Dutch EYJA winner, thinks “there is dynamism among young European journalists, they are really motivated, they travel like crazy, they study and live abroad, they are informed about Europe and the advantages of Europe”. So, they are “great ambassadors for Europe”, able to recognize when news media go too national. Elif Kayi, the EYJA winner from France, says she comes from a country “where usually national issues are discussed, but there is little space especially for European issues. These kinds of meetings and the facts that journalists have the possibility to do internships in foreign media opens their view and helps create more bridges”. And these bridges are real and effective. Antoniu Adrian Bumb, one of the EYJA winners in Romania, explains it has been interesting for him “to meet colleagues coming from countries that are not yet member of the European Union, because two years ago I was having the same fears. So, I think this has been the most interesting part,

seeing myself a few years ago in my colleagues”. Being part of Europe or not being part of Europe? The problem might be resolved going to the United States. Nadya Ivanova, winner from Bulgaria, studies journalism in the United States at the Northwestern University of Chicago: “The fact that I went to study in the US made my European identity stronger. When I am in the US I feel more European than when I am in Europe, probably because I take it for granted even though Bulgaria has joined the European Union only recently. She also adds: “I think the biggest advantage for young journalists is that they don’t have many of the prejudices the previous generations had. Probably, it is a problem in Europe that we still have many stereotypes about each other. Especially when you go abroad you have obvious views of the other. As a Bulgarian, sometimes I feel people do not know enough about me”. But in the US, Nadya considers herself “European first”. Kurt Sansone from Malta, is sure

Anatomy of the border

Andrea Despot, seminar director of the European Academy Berlin The first associations? There are almost none. For me borders are not what they used to be. There were times when crossing borders was very unpleasant. These days it is great because travelling across borders is fully possible.

while saying “the job of young European journalist shouldn’t be to create a public sphere, but to talk about people, their stories, difficulties, and expectations. Europe should be what it is meant to be: a Europe of people. I think statistics, numbers, and financial reports are missing the point. Our duty as European journalists is to focus on people. People may express their views in different ways, but in the end they are the same all over. You can’t have a public sphere unless you focus on people in each country, on how disparities should be addressed, on how environmental problems are addressed all over Europe”. Janne Tolvonen from Finland says „the most important thing is to be open-minded and to avoid cynicism and prejudices. It is very easy to be negative and critical about Europe, while it is difficult to look into things as they are and try to catch their real meaning. I think the most important point is your attitude as a journalist.” The EYJA winner from Denmark, Sara Maria Glanowski, invites young

We have asked our expert about their associations connected with the term border. Have a look at their various answers.

Umut Topcuoglu, second secretary in Turkish Embassy in Germany I have the legalistic point of view on this. I am a government official and borders for me are delineation of the state territory. Within borders states have their integrity and sovereignty. Borders are also signs of crosscultural and cross-economical relations.

Leyla Tavsanoglu, \ Cumhuriyet, Turkey Border means division.


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2009 European Young Journalist award

29 august - 02 september 2009 · final conference in Berlin (Germany)

ALL PEOPLE European journalists “to create a common language which is not too formal. Europe seems far away from everyday life even though the European decisions deeply influence it, so the task should be to bring Europe closer to the audience and citizens”. Then as editorial advice: “I think it should be good if European news were inserted not in the foreign news section, but in the internal affairs section and in the beginning of newspapers or TV news. It is not foreign news but related to the decisions and processes that affect the everyday life of each European country and its citizens”.

There is an important role for young European journalists, like Nico Schoofs, the Belgian EYJA winner, who grew up in a peaceful Europe: “The next generation of people will be able to create a new identity cleaned up from past divisions and angers. If you are open and aware of the differences within the Union of countries, then you can make a good journalistic product, because Europe is not only about creating a big bunch of consumers, but about respecting views, cultures, and bringing the European Union to an understandable level for ordinary people. As young European journalists, we can surely work in this direction”.

Young journalists from German Youth Press.

Surprise in statistics? Not only… By Isidor Koti Hundreds of articles of young people from across Europe offered something new this year. 35 European countries and more than 630 participants in the contest can be marked with letters of gold in the history of this event. The coordinators feel proud about their work. “As the Italian EYJA promotion team, we did a lot of work by organizing

seven conferences all over Italy with students and young journalists in Turin, Genoa, Rome, Milan, Messina, Reggio Emilia, and Perugia at the International Festival of Journalism. We also took care to spread the word about the Award by means of a rich mailing list with hundreds of contacts that reached youth offices in many municipalities, universities, schools of journalism, youth associations and magazines focusing on

communication and European affairs”, says Damiano Razzoli, the coordinator from Italy, the country that collected the biggest amount of applications. “I am happy that I was able to come here from Albania. My country was in the top five of the amount of applications and it makes me appreciate the work of the coordinators and staff that enabled us to come to Berlin”, says Thimi Samarxhiu, the EYJA winner of Albania.

Anatomy of the border

Ljubica Gojgic, B92, Serbia Border – dated, oldfashioned project. Europe has shown that borders can be pretty irrelevant with good organization. It works perfectly in the EU. I hope the idea of borderless Europe will expand in my country as well.

Milan Gojkovic, deputy ambassador of Serbia in Germany For me border means ghetto. First impression reminds me of closed and isolated Serbia in the 80’ without opportunities.

Nazlan Ertan, director of the EU information centre in Ankara When I think border I think “absence” at the same time. I would like to see no sort of intellectual borders delimitating the human intelligence which is our greatest capital.


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Europe in new phase:

‘People are different’

While the European demographic structure is changing fundamentally due to Europe’s low birth rate and increasing migrant flows, European culture and society is being shaped by immigrants. Europe is set to face the situation that “people are different”. by Emre Caliskan

Photo by Kaveh Rostamkhani

Berlin Declaration, adopted on 25 March 2007 to mark the EU‘s 50th anniversary, gives a description of European identity by underlining „common ideals“, including the individual, human dignity and equality of men and women. Other values stressed by the declaration are peace and freedom, democracy and the rule of law, as well as tolerance and solidarity. However, the celebratory text did not mention anything on religion, an issue which has been playing an important role in European history, society and culture. And it is getting more important than ever. Islam is widely considered as Europe‘s fastest growing religion, with

immigration and above average birth rates leading to a rapid increase in the Muslim population. The exact number of Muslims is difficult to establish, but approximately between 40 and 60 million Muslims live in the European Union. Many countries´ ethnic and religion policies regarding Muslims are alarmed by the fact that they may not share common European values. Regarding the new social structure of Europe, the Danish Muhammad cartoon crisis was a telling sign of the new social and cultural situation of Europe. Many Muslims, even in Europe, say that the cartoons are extremely and deliberately offensive, expressing a growing European hosti-

lity towards and fear of Muslims. Meanwhile, French migrants from Arab and African families, especially ones with Islamic backgrounds, feel excluded by the French state. In 2005, civil unrest in France sparked a series of riots with youngsters burning cars and public buildings spreading to various parts of France. The government decision which bans wearing religious symbols like the hijab at public offices causes anger among French Muslims. On the other hand, the compatibility of Islam with European values is another question for European society. Is Islam ready to respect democracy, cultural pluralism, equality of men and women? In many European countries there is a sense of secular values being under fire from conservative Islamic traditions among immigrant communities. Moreover, regarding Muslims there are also issues of integration: how much should the host society compromise to accommodate immigrant populations who have different backgrounds? European society and culture has been shaped by demographic changes. What is clear now is that Europe is not the same as it was in the past, preventing a new clash among different ethnic and religious groups. European values may be challenged by different groups including Islamic communities in Europe. Europe may for example be home to a new generation of alienated young Muslims whose anger may turn into radicalism. The future of Europe is still not clear, but it is clear that now Europeans are different.


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2009 European Young Journalist award

29 august - 02 september 2009 · final conference in Berlin (Germany)

Yes borders, No borders: from map to people, the European enlargement Six hundred articles from an award involving young journalist from 35 countries all over Europe is a big deal. Not so many for a union of countries of 500 million citizens, but a lot considering that there are not a lot of people interested in issues connected to EU enlargement. By Damiano Razzoli

Do you imagine Italians waiting with anxiety for news on what is going on in Portugal, or in Finland or in Latvia or vice versa? And more, what about the candidate and potential candidate countries´ affairs? If there is geographical proximity, then there could be a journalistic interest; not yet if the factor is European membership. It seems a long road still needs to be covered, but at least young European journalists have started to walk it since 2008 and the European Commission of course has an even longer track record. In 2009 the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Iron Curtain; the 5th anniversary of the accession of the Czech Republic, Estonia, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia; the 2nd anniversary of the accession of Romania and Bulgaria; a reflection on what is going on should be done focusing simply on the future of the enlargement process. The agenda of the European Commission is simple: the European Union will work on the process of accession with the Western Balkan countries, Iceland and Turkey, while working on the consolidation of the Union. For this task, communication and European journa-

lism are strategic keys for a better and stronger integration among member countries, in particular from a cultural, and not always economical, point of view. Jean Monnet was saying in the 50s that after and beside economic agreement, or the recent common market space achieved by Jacques Delors, the civilization process was at the top of the European agenda. All the millions of European citizens should see themselves as “we, Europeans” and the other as “you, Europeans”, and media have a role to play in this. The enlargement calls for this approach. Presently, the candidate countries are Croatia, Turkey and Macedonia. Accession negotiations with the first two started on 3 October 2005. Macedonia became a candidate country in December 2005 but accession negotiations have not started yet. Recently, Iceland submitted the request to become a candidate country. Gisela Gauggel-Robinson specifies that Iceland is in another position than other countries as it has already signed economic agreements with the EU such as EEA-Efta. As the European Commission writes on its website in the Enlargement section, “the other countries of the

Western Balkans - Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia and Kosovo under UNSC Resolution 1244/99 – have all been promised the prospect of EU membership as and when they are ready. They are known as potential candidate countries”. For now, it is a big task to open the European Union up to these countries, but still the future is knocking at the door of present time. Are European borders fixed once and for all? After Turkey and the Balkans, no more European enlargement? Well, voices are being raised with such a frequency that an expert, long time observer of International politics like Werner Weidenfeld, Director of CAP and Professor of Political Science at LMU Munich, ask himself what it will happen with Ukraine, Caucasian countries such as Armenia, Northern African countries, and even Israel.

All the millions of European citizens should see themselves as “we, Europeans” and the other as “you, Europeans”, and media have a role to play in this. The debate is thus questioning European identity. Where are the European borders? “If I had to find an answer to this question, I would not be able to find one now”, says Professor Weidenfeld. “But the borders will not be visible on a geographical map, but in the perception of people. They will be set where people will call themselves ‘we, Europeans’ or asking themselves and each other ‘what do we have in common?”.


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Balkans,

the face of problems in an interactive environment After decades of regional instability, the Western Balkans stand at the dawn of a new political and economic reality. But a coordinated effort is needed to proceed on the path of integration. By Isidor Koti

B

Photo by Sinor Favela on FLICKR

alkan citizens are living in a highly interactive environment. If we think about people who live there as historical personages, we must understand that they are not passive tools that can be manipulated or simply a reflection of natural processes. Instead they are committed and constantly changing. Their status indicates when to offer cooperation, not submission, they offer it generously. This peninsula of ethnic problems and wars is now facing a new political and economic reality. All regional governments are elected through free elections and they have chosen to become members of Euro-Atlantic organizations. After potential ethnic and historical injustices that have been the cause of innumerable problems, now we face the extraordinary effort to change the course of history. For example in Albania, the economy and the work that is being done to establish self-governing institutions is proceeding at a fast rate, prompting the European Union to send an invitation to become part of this very important organisation. Not only Albania, but all Balkan countries should act to coordinate their efforts in a single trend as an „acquis communitaire“ of EU regional specifications establish a Regional Charter that determines the rights and obligations for these countries. But there are cases

where politicians misuse this dream of the citizens, for example whenever there are delays in the integration process of their country or when delays are related to unfounded or unfulfilled promises. The regional problems are not only caused by historical issues. The political situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina, the clear unwillingness of Belgrade to recognize Kosovo, the lack of cooperation with the The Hague tribunal, the issue whether to extend the commencement of negotiations for the EU membership of Macedonia taken together and in their regional dynamics are also consequences of the regional problems. In conclusion: the Europeanisation of the Western Balkans will be delayed again. Of course, that the Western Balkan countries can benefit from the deepening of integration which is solving the institutional crisis and increasing the efficiency of European institutions, increased the opportunities and benefits for new memberships. There are some positive developments that are expected very quickly in this region. Free trade areas, a customs union, or the creation of a Regional Schengen zone are some concrete actions to achieve this aim. The spirit of integration, with safe and easily passable borders are of first hand importance to correspond to the common values

of European integration. But there are some serious problems. While organized crime extends beyond the borders, it presents a real threat to all countries. Inspired by territorial ambitions or nationalist theories, some powers are at the root of the region‘s problems. The governments in the region still need to ensure the proper functioning of democratic institutions and uphold the rule of law. Further efforts are also becoming in the areas of administrative capacity building that still have gaps, as well as the establishment and implementation of legislation and reforms, together with achieving reconciliation in the region. In the economic field, unemployment remains high, the informal sector still accounts for a large part of the national economies and a large portion of people in the region live below the poverty line. Countries are facing reality and want to improve the business climate and competitiveness of their industries, attract foreign direct investment and increase the pace of reforms. In this context, European policies aimed at a new dimension of Balkan integration, which must move away from ideological and nationalist divisions, are the basic axis of a broader regional integration and a way to consolidate peace, security and the rule of law.


13

2009 European Young Journalist award

29 august - 02 september 2009 · final conference in Berlin (Germany)

Turkey’s EU support has fallen deeply Support for Turkey‘s European Union membership among Turkish citizens has fallen dramatically, according to the survey “Eurobarometer” from 2008. Only 42 percent of Turks think EU membership would be a “good thing”‘, down from 49 percent last year and 73 percent in 2004. By Emre Caliskan

ccording to Eurobarometer 08, for Turks, the EU means, first and foremost, economic welfare, whereas, in the EU member states, it means, above all, freedom to travel, study and work anywhere in the EU. Low levels of subjective as well as objective knowledge and a low level of importance attributed to EU institutions are also coupled with a low level of trust in EU institutions. For all EU institutions, Turkey’s trust levels are about half of those of the EU member states. There is no member country with levels.

Even Turkey has had a long association with the project of European integration, Turkey is a candidate country for EU membership following the Helsinki European Council of December 1999. Accession negotiations started in October 2005 with the analytical examination of the EU legislation, the so-called screening process. Turkey denied opening its harbours and airports to the Greek Cypriot Administration of Southern Cyprus despite the additional Protocol until the embargo will be lifted on Turkish Cypriots. Then, European Union introduced a decision that 8 chapters shall not be opened and none of the chapters shall be closed temporarily until confirming the commitments relating to Additional Protocol of Turkey. Former United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s proposal to settle the Cyprus dispute of the divided island nation of Cyprus was approved by Turkish Cypriots, but rejected by Greek Cypriots. However, the embargo remained over the Turkish Cypriots. Not only the suspension of the chapters but also the speeches that are against Turkey’s EU membership caused anger in the Turkish society in which it led to a decrease of the public support of a EU membership. Turkey’s accession talks with EU have been debated as a domestic issue within Europe. The German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the French President Nicholas Sarkozy reject

Turkish membership and want to offer a “privileged partnership” instead of membership. Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused EU officials several times for applying double-standards in their judgments regarding Turkey’s membership. Even it is a common sense, but most of the Turkish people started to think that EU’s enlargement process will lead the Turkish nation to be dissolved. Thus nationalist movements are on the rise. Moreover, some believe that religion will be obstacle in Turkey’s accession into the EU. Turkish officials have announced that “Without Turkey, the EU is a Christian Club“ These arguments led society to be more skeptical against the EU membership. Not only EU politicians but also Turkish government has used Turkey’s membership as an inner-policy argument which causes doubling the anger in the society. In the European Young Journalist Award Final Conference Meeting, the Second Secretary of the Turkish Embassy in Germany, Umut Topcuoglu, has recalled that Turkey will not accept any solution except full membership, adding “We only welcome loyalty commitment. Even the majority of the Turkish society has fears on the EU membership; they support EU accession.” The remaining question is whether both sides will be able to achieve to carry on the Turkey-EU talks independently from their own domestic policies or not.


14

EU accession, five years later

From privilege to standard »When I was an Erasmus student in 2004 it was not really normal to study in West Europe, it was rather a kind of privilege. But five years later, this way of education is pretty common. It is an improvement, that became a standard,« Tomáš Lindner, the Czech EYJA winner, explains one of the advantages the EU membership brought to his country. by Mojca Finc

hen Tomaš decided to enroll in the international exchange program, the whole procedure was a bit complicated. »All formal and technical issues needed to be put in order, all the papers had to be collected. Nowadays, the Erasmus exchange is something completely normal. Students are looking even for other possibilities like making their whole Masters program abroad«, he says, pointing out that this is the progress that his generation could not imagine in the past. Nowadays, such student opportunities almost became a new value. Although the Czechs greeted the membership positively, he stresses that they are very famous for being sceptical about the whole notion of the EU. »We are no ‚euro ideals‘, we do not really believe in European ideas, we rather see things in practical way,« he concludes. Polish winner Maciej Zasada is convinced that entering the European Union was a big chance that

his country needed to take. »People were a bit scared at the beginning, but now after some time they see the changes,« he explains. »Streets that were more communist-style are now different, new buildings are erected«, he describes how EU funds were used. He sees the EU as a great opportunity for further development, but stresses that the nation is scared about changing currency to the euro. Slavomira Gasperova, the Slovakian EYJA winner, confirms Maciej‘s fear. The only disadvantage she sees joining EU is the change of currency from Slovakian crown to euro. She is still counting the value of the previous currency in her mind, sometimes overpaying things. But in general she sees more advantages than disadvantages of being an EU member. »The EU provides us with a lot of money and financial grants. It is visible in our university, which is brand new, not just the buildings but also all equipment« she gives an example. In her opinion, all funds that the EU offers are very welcome.

Comparing crossing borders in the past with today´s open space, she enjoys the fact that Europe is open for people to move freely. »I can travel around Europe without any stops. When I was younger, travelling with my family to some other countries, for example Poland, we needed to wait in huge queues for a long time, sometimes more than four hours. The borders dissappeared and now I can go to Germany or Austria without having to wait. It is perfect!« she expresses her thoughts. She noticed that more people speak English now and that her country is much more cultural and touristic. »I am very happy that we entered the EU, that is why I have this rosy view and cannot see the disadvantages. But lots of people do not like it. I think they are afraid of a multicultural society. But this kind of thoughts are more common among the older generation, which is normal, I guess. They are a little bit afraid about new things. But I am sure the fears will disappear soon in the future«, the 21-year-old concludes.


15

2009 European Young Journalist award

29 august - 02 september 2009 · final conference in Berlin (Germany)

The European Youth Press The European Youth Press is an umbrella association of young journalists in Europe. It involves more than 50 000 young journalists less than 30 years of age. Up to now the young association consists of twenty national youth media associations. The objectives of the European Youth Press are the strong cooperation among national youth media structures in Europe and their support. The overall aim is to strengthen the role of youth media and the freedom of press in Europe. The association sees itself as a service for the national structures and will foster projects of the different partners and projects that are organised by young media makers in Europe. The association provides contact forums and educational seminars for multipliers of the member associations and forces internal and external communication among all partners. With concrete projects, e.g. the international event magazine „Orange“ with print magazines or Blogs, PodCasts and V-Casts, the association wants to give young media makers from all over Europe the opportunity to cooperate directly with each other. Above all, the aim of all member

associations and the umbrella structure is to inspire young people to deal with media and take an active part in society by fostering objective and independent journalism.

Orange Orange is a Europe based event and theme magazine made by young journalists. This creates learning by doing experiences for the young journalists and also a magazine with a young and innovative view for the reader. The fact that the journalists come from different countries with different backgrounds of course makes this magazine very unique. Oranges have been created on a European basis since 2004 on several different topics and events such as political topics, religion and different festivals. The aim of the magazine is to let young journalists from all over Europe meet, work together and create multi-faced magazines with new and interesting contents. Creating it means having an exciting time in a quite unusual environment. Reading it means getting facts and opinions directly from young and innovative journalists. All in all, our Orange is always fresh and juicy.

European Young Journalist Award Young journalists from all over Europe were invited to participate in the second pan-European competition on EU-enlargement issues. The European Commission‘s Directorate-General for Enlargement launched this competition together with the European Youth Press and Cafebabel.com to encourage young journalists to reflect on, express and exchange their views about the European Union‘s enlargement policy. Participants were asked to submit a recently published article on EU enlargement via the competition website www.EUjournalistaward.eu by the end of May 2009. The aim of the competition was to select a national winner for each country, while also initiating exchange and networking among young European journalists. In 33 participating countries national juries of experienced journalists selected the winning article in their country out of more than 600 applications. In the end of August national winners participated in a trip to Berlin and experienced feeling of 20th anniversary of the Fall of Berlin wall. During the final conference from all winners, media representatives and politicians and high ranked EU representatives debate about current EU issues and the winner were awarded. More information on the competition are available on their website www. EUjournalist-award.eu.

This Orange was made by a team of international young journalists from Italy, Iran, Turkey, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Moldova, Albania, Hungary and Italy at the final conference of European Young Journalists Award in Berlin 2009. All articles do not necessarily represent the opinions of the magazine.

European Commission

Publishers line: Orange Magazine, European Youth Press, rue de la Tourelle 23, BE-1040 Brussels, Belgium Editor in chief: Anna Sulewska Photos by: Anna Morawiec Damiano Razzoli Kaveh Rostamkhani

Thomas Alboth Yannick Brusselmans

Anna Morawiec

Anna Sulewska

Damiano Razzoli

Dumitru Iovu

Emre Caliskan

Isidor Koti

Kaan Kösemehmet

Kaveh Rostamkhani

Marco Riputi

Mihály Balassy

Mojca Finc

Thomas Alboth

Layout: Dumitru Iovu

Yannick Brusselmans


What do you take with you from this trip? Elif Kayi (France) I am happy that France is not any longer the centre of EU issues and that the focus has switched to other countries, like the newly accessed member states. Sara Maria Glanowski (Denmark) I enjoyed meeting journalists on the award trip and I also have gained a lot of contacts. It is good that if I need help in any EU country I can contact someone. I would also help when someone would like to visit Copenhagen. Slavomira Gasperova (Slovakia) I enjoyed the conference and especially liked the workshops and learned a lot from them. Especially the one about Kosovo where I got to know more about the current situation was great. Liuminata Mickute (Lithuania) I learned a lot about the connection between Turkey and the EU. I also loved the boat trip and learned new things about Berlin.

Nadya Ivanova (Bulgaria) Being a student in America, I finally learned here about EU issues, but I think these questions are too abstract and clichĂŠ and a more interactive approach is needed. Matei-Marcel Martin (Romania) I think Europe has so many diverse opinions, that it is impossible to solve the questions raised at the conference. Clara Bergstrom (Sweden)

I enjoyed the conference and especially liked the bike trip and how easy it is to travel by bike in Berlin.

Profile for European Youth Press

Orange :: European Young Journalist Award 2009  

Orange covering the European Young Journalist Award, Berlin 2009

Orange :: European Young Journalist Award 2009  

Orange covering the European Young Journalist Award, Berlin 2009

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