Democracy and participation, Migration

What´s up, Europe? The “Balkan Route” referred …


Who is behind this?

Jan Roessel

Deutsche Gesellschaft e.V.


Who is joining forces?

Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN)


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

The “Balkan Route“ has become a synonym for Europe’s incapability to find a solution to the refugee crisis. EU countries act alone, ignore EU laws and then justify this to the public because “it´s what the sovereign people want”. The idea of our project is to bring journalists from both Germany and Serbia together in order to change this discourse. We need to understand the impact of press or blog coverage on public opinion and how journalists can contribute to a more open-minded discourse.

Where will your idea take place?

Ruhr region, Belgrade region

Why does Europe need your idea?

We will address the challenge of the EU refugee crisis and the underlying lack of solidarity within the EU. The “Balkan route” is a synonym for the incapacity to find a solution to this crisis. Part of the problem is a nationalist discourse in both EU and non-EU countries. Populist and nationalist parties are the profiteers. We will discuss how journalists can positively influence the debate and will show them the situation on the ground. We will transnationalise the debate on this issue.

What is your impact?

The goal of the project is to assemble a total of 20 journalists from both Germany and Serbia and to organise workshops in both countries. A successful outcome of the project would be the publication of 10 written reports or other forms of digital media coverage by the participating journalists which reach altogether 100,000 people. After a year, there will be a network of journalists who – as multipliers – will spread the word of European solutions and possibly change the debate.

How do you get there?

We will plan the project in cooperation with our partner on the ground in Serbia, "BIRN”. Together, we will set up a timetable and generate content for two workshops, one in Berlin, one in Belgrade. We will communicate the project and acquire journalists as participants in Serbia (capital area) and in Germany (Ruhr area). The goal is to assemble 20 journalists – 10 from Germany, 10 from Serbia. Exchange meetings in both areas will be organised in October and November 2016. Each exchange will last for up to five days and include a program of “discourse workshops” and meetings with external experts as well as study trips. The journalists can participate free of charge if they write and / or publish an article on the issue afterwards in the other country.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

Our target group comprises, first, of journalists in Germany and Serbia who are directly participating in the project and also their colleagues in their editorial offices. Since journalists are multipliers, the target group then also consists of their readers and/or listeners. Therefore, we will reach a large audience beyond the participants and can guarantee a high visibility not only of our project but also of the funding too.

What makes your idea stand apart?

The project is special because the public discourse is largely national, not European. In publishing articles by Serbian journalists in German newspapers and articles by German journalists in Serbian newspapers (or blogs), we change this modus Vivendi and establish an “outside view”. Correspondents from other countries enrich the national debate and offer insights into other opinions, which are often neglected.

€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

Personnel costs: 20.000,00 € Interpreter’s and speaker’s fees: 8.000,00 € Travel and accommodation costs: 15.000,00 € Transportation: 2.000,00 € Documentation: 2.500,00 Office expenses: 2.500,00 €

What do you need from the Advocate Europe community?

We are interested in your feedback! Feel free to compliment or criticise our project!



Idea created on March 4, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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