Democracy Needs Imagination: granted projects

In February we launched the new action grants call Democracy Needs Imagination looking for your ideas, projects, and experiments that breathe new life into European democracy. On this page we list granted projects:

European Songbook, photo credit: Colourbox

European Songbook, photo credit: Colourbox

European Songbook

The Goethe-Institute in Norway launched a small project, as charming as simple: European Songbook.
Special Europeans from all over Europe are invited to contribute a short essay on a song. The written texts deal with personal memories on the song, and they connect the song with Europe. The Goethe Institute Norway will soon announce a media partner for the project, but they will also publish the stories – with youtube and Spotify playlists of course – on their website. This way you – and all other Europeans – can find inspiration and imagine your own songbook.

Granted: 5000 euros.



Europe Talks

Do we Europeans know ourselves? Do those of us not from France know how the French truck-driver who joined the yellow-vests actually thinks? What about the Poles who vote for PiS and the Hungarians who support Viktor Orbán? Do some in Britain regret their vote in favor of Brexit? What about the Greeks, who used to make daily appearances in European media but who have lately faded from the spotlight? Do we Europeans know enough about each other?

We're not so sure. That's why die Zeit Online has joined forces with other European media outlets to launch Europe Talks, a platform to bring together people with divergent political views from across Europe for face-to-face debates. Until the European Parliament elections in May, you will find a small box on the ZEIT ONLINE website and on the pages of 15 media partners. Included are seven politically controversial yes-or-no questions that are currently under debate in many EU countries. Should all European countries reintroduce strict national border controls? Should rich European countries support those states that are less well-off?

Once readers have answered these seven questions and subsequently registered, the initiators will try to bring them together with another European from a neighboring country – someone who has answered the questions completely differently. In mid-April, readers will be introduced to their debate partners. As soon as both of them have agreed to a meeting, they can establish contact to each other via email.

On the afternoon of May 11, they then have a choice: Either get on the train, climb into a car or board an airplane to meet a debate partner in person at a place of your choosing for a walk or a coffee. Or they meet up in a video conference for their debate about Europe. If all goes well, strangers from Belgium and France, Austria and Italy, Germany and Poland will meet up for a face-to-face discussion. The project partners will also be inviting some participants to Brussels, where a festival will take place, co-organised with all media partners at the conclusion of Europe Talks.

The project is supported by the German Federal Foreign Office, Allianz Cultural Foundation, Mercator Foundation and Interrail. The following media partners are on board: in France and Germany, Capital in Bulgaria, Delfi in Estonia and Latvia, De Standaard and Knack in Belgium, der Standard in Austria, Efimerida ton Syntakton in Greece, Financial Times in the UK, Gazeta Wyborcza in Poland, Helsingin Sanomat in Finland, HuffPost, La Repubblica and Sky TG24 in Italy, Morgenbladet in Norway, Politiken in Denmark and die Zeit online in Germany.

Granted: 50.000 euros.