What is it that upgrades a good breakfast to a really good breakfast? Yes, a good newspaper. Despite the omnipresent internet, newspapers are still a key source of information. And regional media are the most important amongst them. „Europasplitter" is the title of a regular columne on European Affairs in a regional newspaper published in German language in the very North of Italy. In 2019 the Series was awarded the European Journalism prize MIDAS. The full text of close to 80 past editions of Europasplitter can be accessed HERE (all in German)!
What the Europasplitter add to your Cappuccino and Croissant: a mix of EUropean topics
Past Europasplitter dealt with a rich mix of issues, including: fairness in the EU; the reform of consumer protection; the European Arrest Warrant; intellectual property rights in the EU; the protection of linguistic and ethnic minorities; the legal avenues to make sure that EU law is respected; the European capitals of culture; the reform of the judiciary in Poland; the UN Convention on the Protection of Persons with Disabilities; the discussion sorrounding the EU agencies situated in the United Kingdom and other questions related to Brexit; the situation of religions and religious organisations in the EU; how to best address antigypsism; the debate about the rule of law within the EU; the question whether refugee quota are legal; the first experiences of the EU Solidarity Corps; questions related to the EU asylum system; what the EU Court has to say on the prohibition to wear a Burqa; the EU Presidencies and their respective work; the rights of air passengers as enshrined in EU law; violence against women; the use of the European Citizens Initiative; the fight against terrorism and the need to respect human rights; the digitilisation and the need to protect personal data; the question who forms a 'family' under European law etc.
Why Europasplitter are a needed source of information: closing the „regional gap"
As the European Commission stressed in its White Paper on a European Communication Policy: „Regional and local newspapers reach a larger number of people but generally give little space to European issues." This phenomenon was labelled as the „regional gap" in the supply of information about Europe and European politics. This regional gap appears especially problematic in times of "disenchantment" with the EU and persisiting low levels of the citizens' understanding and ownership of the European project. Citizens need objective quality information about European issues in order to assess European Affairs and reconnect to the European Union. This information is best delivered where the real lives of real people develop: at regional and local levels.
What is the ambition: inform about EUrope ‘at home‘ in an understandable language
TheEuropapslitter aim at informing the local audience objectively about issues related to EU law and politics. Expert knowledge is translated into a language that is understood by the general public. The provision of solid factual evidence is paired with short but spicy analysis so that both the patient as well as the quick reader are offered an adequate menu. This is done by combining a longer text with a short expert interview. Where appropriate, examples from Italy and Austria are provided so to reflect the transcultural character of the specific regional reality of South Tyrol/Südtirol/Alto Adige.
Who stands behind the Europasplitter: a regional newspaper and an EU expert
The Europasplitter are published in the daily newspaper „Dolomiten" – the first and biggest German daily published in Italy. Initiator and expert behind the Europasplitter is Gabriel N. Toggenburg. He is an Honorary Professor for European Union and Human Rights Law at the University of Graz (Austria). Whereas he is working as a lawyer for the EU administration, for the Europapslitter he is exclusively working in an honorary capacity. All views expressed in the Europasplitter are of private nature and cannot be attributed to his employer.