Journalism without borders: why we are deepening our Europe coverage | World news | The Guardian

In the depth the and economic that was causing misery across much , particularly in 2011, I set off on a reporting trip that contained the germ what, nearly a decade later, would find expression in This is .

A significant commitment to deepen the ’s coverage of Europe, This is Europe is a new editorial strand aiming to explore the challenges confronting the continent, that respect no national borders, and how are to them.

Europe on the Breadline, a four-country road trip in of some of the behind the impersonal of the eurozone crisis, took me from and marches in to the of a national citizens’ movement in Málaga.


In I met a youth whose projects with in difficulty had been hammered by austerity; in Thessaloniki, a whose budget had been slashed by 60% – and a young start-upper determined to succeed regardless.

That , which led to a second one, this time confined to , talking to those Greeks who were organising to themselves, was an attempt at the kind of transnational reporting implied in my current title – and which This is Europe aims to take a good deal further.

The whole idea of transnational reporting (journalisme sans frontières, anyone?) recognises that organisations to report the from the institutions in , and from member states in .

Only occasionally have we tried to make sense of issues across Europe – from the to data , to the rise of , the working poor to caring for an population, avoidance to the urban/rural divide.

It is an issue I have always been aware of, and tried to address before the paper created the role of roving Europe in 2016.

In 2013, I went back to Thessaloniki and Málaga – with a stop-off in – to talk to members of southern Europe’s “lost generation”: the 59%, 56% and 40% of under-25s who were then out of in, respectively, Greece, and in .

In 2014 I made a tour of the populist, Eurosceptic and mainly far-right parties in , , the and that were looking to make gains in the run-up to parliamentary of that year.

In 2015, we tried a different approach: for an published on international day, 1 May, about taking over their factories, I reported from and Greece, and Guardian colleagues contributed pieces from Spain and .

In similar efforts, for in 2018 and this year on the far-reaching impact of the rise of short-term rental such as , and overtourism in , on Europe’s most , I about and colleagues covered , , and .


But of this has really only been a taster of what we could accomplish, and, over the past three years, my time – and that of many of our correspondents – has been massively taken up by , leaving precious bandwidth to think of much else. This is Europe aims to rectify that.

Why is it transnational reporting ? Because it is only when start comparing and contrasting how different countries are experiencing the same challenges, and how they are addressing them, that start to see who is doing well, who has developed best practice.

It allows you, for example, to discover that perhaps surprisingly, Finland leads in tackling both fake and homelessness. That France has a hugely successful consumers’ cooperative that is beginning to ensure farmers get paid a fair price for the food they produce.

And that while it may represent a potentially existential challenge to winemakers in Bordeaux, global heating represents a startling for their colleagues – and, in the not too distant future, rivals – in .

This is Europe: a new Guardian series

This is Europe is a new stream of Guardian that investigates the big challenges that transcend national boundaries, and seeks out the solutions that could benefit all. These are testing times, and crises are not limited by national borders. But then neither are we.

Was this helpful?

Migration, , and contagious are continent-wide problems. When we report on them through a pan-European , we not only understand the challenges better but can tease out solutions wherever they crop up: in , for example, or teenage wellbeing in the Netherlands.

We’ been talking about something similar to This is Europe for years at the Guardian, and now we’re doing it.

It’s a Brexit had to happen , of course. But if we can now report Europe as Europe – as a continent rising (we hope) individually and collectively to the cross-border challenges it – more concretely and more informatively, that be a small consolation.

Be part of the conversation. Sign up to the This is Europe to get a weekly selection of the most pressing stories and debates for Europeans – from to to the .

Related posts