Narratives for Europe (2009-2012)

ECF's 2009-2012 four-year plan focused on “Narratives for Europe”, built on our previous themes of “Diversity, the Power of Culture” (2005-2008) and the “Enlargement of Minds” (2002-2004). Narratives for Europe set out to rise to the challenge that Europe needs new narratives. There is an increasing gap between people and the project Europe that must urgently be bridged. We have not been seeking a “mega” or singular narrative, but instead strive to gather, weave together, share and amplify the many new narratives that are being written all around us, every day. 

Are there emerging European Narratives

– new visions – that can connect people across Europe? What’s Europe’s position in today’s global world? What will be its future role? These are the type of questions ECF has been exploring and putting forward for debate through Narratives for Europe.

ECF has invited thinkers and activists from Europe and beyond: 

  • to share their thoughts and observations…
  • to juxtapose, compare, dare, contemplate, open new perspectives, provide food for thought… 
  • to build Narratives for Europe. 
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Writers Ece Temelkuran, Neel Mukherjee, David van Reybrouck, Rodaan Al Galidi, artists Bogomir Doringer, Ruud Gielens, Laila Soliman, change agent Kirsten van den Hul, journalist/ editor Claude Grunitzky share their visions and thoughts on four timely topics at the heart of European public debate and media.

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We invite you to read the contributions of internationally renowned thinkers who are investigating and questioning European Narratives and their making in the present and the future, in the form of essays and publications. Contributors include: Wolfram Kaiser, Svetla Kazalarska, Sywert van Lienden, Jason Dittmer and many more…

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Europe gets captured by the pens and pencils of up-and-coming and established comic artists. In partnership with comics collectives as Comixiade, we are pleased to introduce you to such new talents as: Aneta Bendakova, Dzaizku, Joseph Kaï, Maja Veselinovic, Vladan Nikolic, Guido van Hengel and more...


Writers Abdelkader Benali and Jan Brokken open this series of very personal online exchanges on whatever European topics that strike them – one reflects, the other reacts and back and forth. Their fierce and heated exchange, sparked off by Jan with an outcry on the sadness of the discourse on Europe.

These opinions, analyses and exchange were made around four main topics:

  • Historical taboos
    Certain issues still sit heavy in Europe’s stomach. Our contributors spotted among others: WWII, racism and freedom of expression. Are there ways we can aid the digestion?
  • Flirting with stereotypes
    An emotional (and potentially violent) Balkan walks into a café where there’s an uptight German (still flirting with certain WWII ideologies). Go ahead: scratch that wound!
  • Labour force / humans
    Europe has seen centuries of migration and mixing of cultures. Here, we take on Max Frisch's quote: “Wir Riefen Arbeitskräfte und es Kamen Menschen.” /‘We called upon the labour force and the people came.’
  • Next Generation Please!
    he EU apparatchik is often seen as an administrative monster happily gorging on all of our hard-earned national budgets. Is it time for Brussels to get a make-over?