Democracy and participation, Environment

9 countries – 1 river


Who is behind this?

Christian Schwägerl

Riff freie Medien gGmbH


Idea Sketch


Idea pitch

Rivers have a message for us: They transcend national borders, make cooperation a necessity to avoid conflict. That’s why 5 journalists from 5 nations along the EU’s grand river Rhine team up – to explore how an amazing endeavour, the International Cooperation for Rhine Protection, fosters shared decision making about the future river. In visitor centers we will find out how people view progress and problems. Our goal: to share lessons from river cooperation for the future of European democracy.

Where will your idea take place?

Austria, Switzerland, France, Luxembourg, Germany, Netherlands

Why does Europe need your idea?

For European democracy to function the rise of a European public sphere is needed. We enable a team of 5 journalists from 5 nations to take stage and explore the river. This will create a truly European perspective on Rhine's future and help people understand the value of shared decision making.

What is your impact?

The team will mobilize people along the Rhine to share stories about connectedness, cooperation, shared decision making. It will publish an attractive, truly European journalism product – widely read, seen, heard and provide ideas whether natural units like rivers are better units for democracy.

How do you get there?

The team will strive to cooperate with visitor centers and other organizations along the Rhine to invite views and comments about river cooperation in a participatory way. This will be followed by a period of joint investigative expeditions for interviews and site visits. The team will then create a truly European multimedia journalism product together – which is still a very rare thing but pivotal for European democracy. The team will then enter a period of public dialogue about its findings.

What is your story?

One of the main missions of Riff freie Medien gGmbH is to foster international cooperation and understanding through fostering innovative journalism. This project embodies the European spirit and will help the public understand the value of European democracy and cooperation.

Who are you doing it for?

Our working target group are journalists willing to cooperate. The target group for the product are all people living along the Rhine plus decision-makers who shape the future of rivers plus people who are frustrated about democracy/politics and are looking for positive examples that it works.

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We warmly welcome comments and suggestions about our project proposal. Do you know interesting people and players along the Rhine who would like to share her/his story? What do you think about the Rhine project? Are you interested in stories from the project?




Idea created on Jan. 19, 2018
Last edit on Jan. 19, 2018

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