It will be a busy September as our team prepares for two important events in the European affairs calendar. Ken Sweeney will be a guest at the international media conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium 2018 which will take place in Potsdam, Germany in mid-September, while the team will also be in attendance for the Juble Festival of democracy in Brussels on the 22nd of this month.

M100 Sanssouci Colloquium 2018

The M100 Sanssouci Colloquium was initiated in 2005 by a group of leading media and public figures when Potsdam was running for European Capital of Culture 2010. Since then the conference takes place annually in Park Sanssouci. The international forum brings together Europe’s top editors, commentators and media owners (print, broadcasting and internet) alongside key public figures to assess the role and impact of the media in international affairs and to promote democracy and freedom of expression and speech. As a modern-day East-West bridge-builder, the Colloquium fosters media relations and not only exposes differences, but also common ground in the challenges faced by media from different cultures and regions.

The conference is followed by the M100 Media Award which honours personalities who have left their mark on Europe and the world. The award reflects their contribution to the safeguarding of freedom of expression and the deepening of democracy, as well as their outstanding achievements in promoting European understanding and communication.

This year international editors-in-chief, historians and politicians will discuss the new transatlantic relationship, Europe’s agenda for the post-American era and the role of the media, and we are delighted to have a seat at this prestigious conference.

Ken Sweeney is representing our organisation in Potsdam and is looking forward to a lively debate:

“I am delighted to be one of the few representatives for this great event and wish to thank Project Manager Sabine Wessels and her team at the M100 for such a wonderful invitation. The subject matter for this year’s event is certainly one that affects us all. The conflicts resulting from the Trump presidency are not just an American issue – it’s one that has an impact around the world and Europe needs to prepare and adjust in order to be ready for the unpredictability that has already started. The world media is also dealing with changes both to its reputation and its methods, but we need to take back what has been unfairly stolen from us by a small percentage of people who are using fear and disinformation to slur the great work of journalists and news agencies across the world.

However, we must also be ready to introduce new concepts such civil society media, where citizens can voice opinions outside of the warp factor reactions of social media. We want to lead the way in this concept and we will be speaking for the people at the M100 in Potsdam.

Jubel Festival 2018

Later in the month the Jubel Festival of Democracy will be taking place in Brussels. Based in Leopold Park, the 22nd of September will be a day long event of discussion, interaction, music and information – all focused on engaging citizens in democracy in Europe. The Jubel festival wants to propose an innovative approach in engaging a dialogue with citizens about their concrete concerns and proposals regarding European democracy and the functioning of the European Union. One of the main goals of the festival is to identify alternative methodologies to consult and dialogue with citizens.

The core question at the heart of the Jubel European Democracy Festival is how to strengthen democracy in Europe, identify European citizens’ priorities, concerns and ideas for the EU’s future and their place in this future.

By means of a bottom-up approach, Jubel aims to contribute to the idea of citizen consultations launched by French president Macron and endorsed by his fellow heads of state and government, as well as the consolidated initiative of the European Commission, with the help of a structured output about the future of the European democratic project and the current functioning of the European Union.

The Jubel festival is something completely different than anything that has been seen so far under the European sky – in expression, content and crowd. We are a partner in the event.

Martina Brinkmann tells us that the Jubel Festival is exactly how Europa United sees democracy: “We are delighted to help promote Jubel and our aim is to be a regular partner for future events such as these across Europe. We believe in the goals of Jubel and subscribe to the innovative way that the organisers have envisaged: to speak with the people at local levels and to engage all sections of society literally in an open field.”

You can follow Jubel on Facebook or through their website and keep up to date with all developments up to the day of the event. Many more events are in planning and will be announced in the forthcoming weeks, along with more guest speakers and music. Jubel is also a family event, so do bring the kids along.

We look forward to both of these great events in Potsdam and Brussels and will be giving detailed reports right here, so don’t forget to follow us for the latest publications.

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