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07/05/2007 in Amsterdam

Discussion between journalists about the European public sphere

In co-operation with the Goethe-Institute Amsterdam, Post Amsterdam and Dare2Connect, presents

Let's talk European!
Beyond provincialism – Towards a European public sphere

Friday, 11 May, 2007
8:00-10:00 p.m.
Where: Felix Meritis Foundation, Amsterdam, Keizersgracht 324

Endre B. Bojtar (Budapest), editor-in-chief of the Hungarian weekly paper Magyar Narancs
Gerbert van Loenen (Amsterdam), deputy chief editor of the Dutch daily newspaper Trouw

Arne Ruth (Stockholm), former chief editor of the Swedish newspaper Dagens Nyheter
Arno Widmann (Frankfurt), head of the Feuilleton and Media section at the Frankfurter Rundschau

Chaired by:
Hans Maarten van den Brink, journalist (Amsterdam)

Media partner: Trouw

Why does Europe exist as an idea and as an institution, but not as a public sphere? Debates about the Muhammad cartoons, climate change, European history, the "no" in France and the Netherlands – Europe's most pressing questions should be debated across the continent. But despite the high quality of Europe's newspapers, its public spheres tend to end abruptly at national borders.

The Internet offers new alternatives. The English-language cultural magazine, for example, reflects European discussion, launches debates of its own and probes deep into the European press landscape.

How can cross-border debates be initiated? How do print and online media complement each other? What role does the English language play? How can international media networks be extended?

Endre Bojtár
Endre Bojtár was born in 1963 in Budapest, where he lives today. Since 1999 he has been working as editor in chief of Magyar Narancs, an independent political weekly. He has been employed as a junior researcher for the Institute for Central European Studies, the Teleki Foundation and as consultant editor of East European Reporter, a Budapest-based English language bimonthly, focusing on the political changes in Central Europe. As a historian and political scientist, his speciality was the question of national myths in Central and Eastern Europe. He is an expert of Central and East European ethnic issues and in ethnic conflict theory. As a journalist, Bojtár has written on various Central European affairs, focusing mainly on the Balkans.

Hans Maarten van den Brink
Hans Maarten van den Brink is a journalist and writer. Born in 1956 in Oegstgeest, he is director of the Dutch Cultural Broadcasting Fund (Stimuleringsfonds Nederlandse Culturele Omroepproducties) and former director of the "Witte de With" centre for contemporary arts in Rotterdam. He has been a correspondent for NRC Handelsblad in New York, and Madrid and editor in chief of VPRO television. He writes for several European newspapers and magazines. His first novel "De Vooruitgang" was published in 1993. His international literary breakthrough came with "Over het water" (1998).

Gerbert van Loenen
Gerbert van Loenen was born in 1964 in Alkmaar. He has been working for Trouw newspaper since 1990, where he started as a reporter on European economics and central desk editor. In 1993 he was awarded the "Gouden Pennetje" for journalists under 30. From 2000-2004 he worked as German correspondent for the paper. On returning to Amsterdam he headed the Trouw De Verdieping from 2004-2006. Since 2006 he has been deputy editor of Trouw.
Gerbert van Loenen also presents on the websites of the Goethe Institute, and asks whether rather than creating a unified European public sphere, the Internet doesn't engender a multiplicity of European public spaces.

Arne Ruth
Arne Ruth was born in 1943 in Gollnow. He is founding chairman of the Swedish Rushdie Committee. In 1977 he became cultural editor at the daily newspaper Expressen and was editor in chief and cultural editor of the leading liberal Swedish daily, Dagens Nyheter, from 1982 to 1998. He resigned when the owners made a move to buy the rival quality daily and create a monopoly. Ruth has published works on Nazi aesthetics, European culture and politics, and international human rights. He has been a visiting professor in Sweden, Norway and the USA, and has won several European prizes for his journalistic work.

Arno Widmann
Arno Widmann was born in 1946 in Frankfurt/Main. Today he heads the Feuilleton and Media section of the Frankfurter Rundschau. Widmann was co-founder and later editor in chief of the Tageszeitung (taz), vice editor in chief of German Vogue, director of the Feuilleton of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, and executive editor of the Berliner Zeitung. Widmann made his own literary debut in 2002 with the novel "Sprenger".

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