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This was Presseurop

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Presseurop, the pan-European web magazine has officially stopped to exist since the 20th of December after four years and half of existence only.

Presseurop had an original approach: gathering all the EU member States national press to deal with news of the moment with a point of view, an European point of view. This strategy was effective because in four years and half, Presseurop got credibility and respect, allowing the possibility of a European media space.

But this hope was broken at the beginning of December when the European Commission decided to stop its collaboration with Presseurop. Without any source of founding, the magazine did not have other solutions than put an end to its activities, waiting for a hypothetic resume.

The end of Presseurop is a very bad signal sent by the Commission, at the eve of very important European elections for the European integration and at the moment Europe is less and less understood by our citizens. On this point, one of the causes of this misunderstanding is probably the lack or the quasi-absence of a European media and public sphere easily findable and in which anyone can identify himself. Admittedly, there are some media which do that as Euronews for instance but Presseurop wanted to be more ambitious.

Indeed, as Eric Maurice, editor in chief, explained Presseurop “turned into a living laboratory of what the European public space could amount to.” The initiative was original insofar so as it was interesting to have a Romanian, a Latvian or a Spanish person’s point of view regarding the rise of the Front national party in France or the policy led by our current European and national leaders, and not a French point of view only.

Not giving subventions to Presseurop anymore, the European Commission did not end to an encouraging journalistic experience, the Commission shot itself in the foot surprisingly. Indeed, at the moment the European integration is more and more questioned, it seems important to know it better, which also supposes to know the point of view of the another, what he thinks. Presseurop had the merit to propose a large portal of what was going in our neighbours’ in original version and translated in ten languages. 

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Thus, anybody should not complain about the lack of interest of our fellow citizens for European Union especially when its main institutions do not give themselves the means to build a real and strong European public space. Europe should not be regarded as a foreign affair and it is time the European Commission takes its responsibilities, backing a real European press with a European point of view. The initiative is all the more so as salutary if we want to build a European public space, first important step to a hypothetic European identity.

This was Presseurop, a webmagazine which gathered the best of the European press in ten languages, outcome of an ambitious challenges and an beautiful adventure and the closure of this media is like the image of our current leaders: sad and tragic. Waiting for the future, you can find the Presseurop edition staff who just opened a blog on which you can keep supporting them and following their current projects and future initiatives.

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One thought on “This was Presseurop

  1. I think the PressEurop funding cut, while regrettable, was inevitable. Any such effort to stimulate the emergence of the EU online public sphere *with EU funds* is going to be targeted as biased, as illustrated by the “EuroPravda” remarks which followed the call for proposals for PressEurope’s renewal, and (coincidentally? 😉 preceded its withdrawal by the Commission.

    I speak from experience: when I launched Blogactiv I was accused of being somehow part of an EU plot to ‘take over the blogosphere’, despite the fact we had no EC funding (and the fact that it is impossible to take over a blogosphere!).

    However there are other ways to kickstart the EU online public sphere. I discovered your post, for example, through bloggingportal.eu, which aggregates and classifies blog posts from across Europe. We’re currently trying to reboot it, enlarging it to cover all longform content (newspapers, academic papers, etc.) and integrating machine translation and semantic analysis tools, without EU funds. All help gratefully received.

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