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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?
Photo: Tobias Melzer
Freshly baked Stilton khachapuri
As part of a new feature for Sixth Sense, E&M's Frances Jackson will be creating exclusive European dishes for our readers. First up is her recipe for Stilton khachapuri, a Western European take on a classic bread from the Caucasus.
I first came across khachapuri nearly six years ago during my year abroad in Regensburg. The girl who lived directly beneath me was from Tbilisi, the Georgian capital. Both of us far from home, my vertical neighbour and I bonded over baking and it was she who introduced me to this most exquisite of breads, sun-kissed and welling forth with molten cheese. The following summer – in what would prove to be the most delicious week of my life – I was invited to visit her family in Georgia. Back in Germany, as the memory of "light suppers" that would last for hours, of home-made wine and fiery adjika, began to fade, I finally persuaded my friend to share her recipe for khachapuri, which I have adapted here.
This version is not exactly authentic as it does not contain any sulguni, but the addition of blue cheese adds a hearty pungency that traditional khachapuri often lacks. I've gone with Stilton to create an Anglo-Georgian bread, but if that's not available, you could always use Roquefort or Gorgonzola. Khachapuri is best enjoyed still warm, however it does also make a rather good ready-made sandwich for a packed lunch the next day.
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 and are pleased to announce the winners of our March / April competition.
With the holiday season just around the corner, we asked E&M readers to show us what our continent looks like when it's on the move. We were prepared for anything from joggers to galloping horses, but in the end it was a more sedate scene, quietly capturing the hustle and bustle of an al fresco evening, which most impressed our judges this time around.
Rynek Rhapsody was taken in Wrocław and praised in particular its attractive blue-yellow colour contrast. The photograper behind the image, US-based Magdalena Noga, will be interviewed on Sixth Sense about her work and invited to contribute a piece of photojournalism to E&M. We are very much looking forward to seeing and hearing more about Magdalena's photographic endeavours; in the meantime, feel free to visit her website.
Writers, photographers, video journalists – lend us your talents! E&M is accepting applications for new contributors to join our transnational magazine.
Here at E&M, we aim to make Europe personal – and we need your help in doing so. We are currently looking for passionate and inventive new contributors to help take Europe's first online lifestyle magazine created by young Europeans for young Europeans to even bigger and better things. As part of the contributor community, you will be published on a Charlemagne Award-winning online platform with a wide international readership and more than 4,000 Facebook likes.
You will have the freedom to pursue your own journalistic interests, supported by our team of dedicated volunteer editors. We will offer you the opportunity to collaborate with writers from every corner of Europe and keep you up to date on competitions, workshops and other transnational journalistic events. All we ask for in return is a commitment to writing at least two high quality transnational articles (or other contributions e.g. films, photo stories etc.) every year.
Journalistic experience is an advantage, but it is not essential. If you are under 35 years of age and are keen to make a contribution towards an international dialogue about Europe, we want you to apply. We welcome applications from a wildly diverse range of people – be they writers, photographers, video journalists, illustrators or cartoonists. If you join us you will be involved in at least one of the following tasks:
- Researching and writing articles for E&M, including communication with section editors
- Blogging from events around Europe
- Taking photos of people, events and landscapes to illustrate our stories or publish as stand-alone photojournalism
- Drawing cartoons
- Filming your travels
- Proofreading E&M articles
In the past women have done a variety of jobs: from working in factories during war periods to steamming tobacco leaves.
Women's employment is one of those evergreen issues in the agenda of the old continent. Besides dusty stereotypes that still relegate women to few sectors of care and other social needs, the problem of women's employment has been worsened by the recent economic crisis. E&M author Nicoletta Enria approaches the topic and unveils European trends when it comes to women's education, wages and their presence in decision-making positions.
In the past couple of years, issues regarding gender equality have entered mainstream discourse with cries for gender parity by the likes of American actress Patricia Arquette in her Oscar acceptance speech and British actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador Emma Watson’s #HeForShe campaign calling for men to join the battle. Although proposals for gender equality in the economic, political and cultural spheres seem to have become popular again, how far has this actually gone in providing concrete progress for women? With a backdrop of financial instability bringing forth a rise in unemployment and austerity measures, what is the European job market looking like for women nowadays?
The European Commission stated in its 2014 Report on Equality between Men and Women that gender equality is not only a fundamental right but is also essential for economic growth. Needless to say, the financial crisis affected a whole generation, resulting in a sharp rise in unemployment, especially for young people. However, the proportion of inactive young women remains double that of young men. Austerity measures in countries such as Greece have led to cuts in public, health and care sectors — all sectors which normally employ women. This is leading to a rise in women unemployment and a rise in unpaid care work for women, with currently 45% of Greek women living below the poverty threshold. This also casts a light on the problem of occupational segregation, which is when your gender defines what ranking or job you get based on gender stereotypes deeply engrained in our society.
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