In Europe. In action. In conflict.
Europe is an idea that was well-meant. But in the real world? Parts of an entire generation are growing up in perpetual crisis. Young people often without prospects, excluded and left behind. Easy prey for dividers and populists – and therefore an issue of high political significance. We, that is 18 young journalists, want to explore the roots of Europe’s conflicts and are launching the “GENERATION SEPARATION” project.
The European idea of democracy, freedom and prosperity is in danger of withering away. New borders are being created – in people’s minds and perhaps soon for real once again. Right-wing populism, economic crises, autonomous trends, extremism and ethnic conflicts – fewer and fewer people see the EU as the solution to their national problems. But politics too often turns a blind eye to this development. Who can offer a way out?
We are looking for answers. Split into five teams of reporters, we traveled to 15 countries which are representative of the problems facing Europe. A journey to the inner borders – to where the European conflicts are taking place. Equipped with cameras, smartphones and laptops – we reported live with videos, texts and social media for ten days on our research. We did this in English, because this is the language which unites us all.
We wanted our readers to accompany us on this road trip. They contacted us via Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. They posted us their questions and let us know their opinions. We were available to our users around the clock.
What did we want to achieve? We wanted to portray the real world without moralizing. We let our protagonists speak, without condemning them at the same time. Even when we didn’t share their opinions. People who don’t listen to alternative positions cannot credibly defend their own arguments. In this way we want to give you the opportunity to develop your own positions and to react.
In the second phase of our project we returned to Berlin with our search results and evaluated them. In five analyses and videos, which our teams present in front of the camera, you will find out what came out of our journey through the continent.
15 countries, ten days, five teams of reporters – and one question: Does it really exist, the “Generation Separation”?
Mission Europe – An Essay
The idea of peaceful coexistence in Europe is old. As early as the 19th century, progressive thinkers had dreamed of a Europe of the peoples. An institutional Europe was finally established after 1945 – built upon the ruins of the wars which had regularly ravaged the continent previously. “Wherever there is trade, there are gentle customs”, wrote the French philosopher Montesquieu. And thus economic co-operation became the driving force of European integration. And it not only brought along peace, but also a political umbrella, known today as the European Union.
Populism – voices of fear
Recent elections in Europe have shown: the potential for populist ideas is a given fact in Europe. Kai, Mario and Metin want to know what is behind their success – follow them through their journey to England, France and Denmark.
Crisis – unpaid bills
The economy should serve the people and not the other way around. Virginia, Kevin and Ronald are going to those countries where this principle is highly in danger for a whole generation – follow them through their journey to Greece, Italy and Slovenia.
Independence – freedom by division
Why is it to so many people important to establish an independent state? Jutta, Tamara and Michael talk to a generation who is demanding its own boarders – follow them through their journey to Catalonia, the Basque Country and Belgium.
Discrimination – limits of tolerance
Discrimination of minorities is happening every day all over Europe. In some more than in others. Julia, Christoph and Daniel want to meet young people who are excluded from their society – follow them through their journey to Latvia, Hungary and Romania.
Enemies – inherited hate
Ethnical diversity is Europe’s reality – and reason to ongoing hate between people who live right next to each other. Daniel, Jan and Paul want to know how it feels to live in a divided city – follow them through their journey to Cyprus, Kosovo and Croatia.
Sebastian Hochrainer, Marcus Wegerhoff and Kim Sarah Mojecki – we are Team Berlin! We are rocking our project from Germany’s multicultural capital. From six in the morning until our traveling colleagues go to bed, we pull the strings so you get exciting and unique content from all over Europe. As Sebastian would only get on a plane, if the destination is Mallorca, Kimi’s dog needs her at home and Marcus thinks we couldn’t do it without him, the three of us are staying in Berlin. So while the other teams have amazing trips and tell interesting stories, we filter all news for our homepage and social media channels to make sure your timelines will explode! We also produce the daily live show, so you have an overview of what our teams experience every day.