The future on the ballot

Are Europe’s voters sending the EU into nirvana, or will the 2019 European elections be the starting point of a new European era? Our special coverage looks for answers for you

To paraphrase a British rock band: Why does it always rain on … Europe Photo: dpa

By Jan Feddersen

On Sunday, May 26, 2019, polling stations will close in all 28 countries of the European Union – that’s when the counting will take place. After that, we will know whether there will be more right-wing populists than ever in the EU’s Brussels Parliament.

We have put together a special team for this time – colleagues from all departments of the taz, who will report day by day. About Europe, about the EU, about the neighboring countries from the Caucasus to the Middle East and North Africa. We report on the fates of refugees, of people who long for nothing more than to become citizens of the EU.

But what is Europe anyway? Is it more than the EU – and if so, what exactly? For some, it is a reality in everyday life, when shopping, traveling, crossing borders, at cultural festivals and demonstrations here and elsewhere: Europe. For others, for example in Great Britain, it is a sellout of national autonomy to the Brussels mega-machine of the European Union. For right-wing populists, the EU is a thing that deserves to be destroyed: the powerful confederation of states in Europe is once again up for grabs. But isn’t that a horror vision?

Coordinated and led by Sabine Seifert and Daniel Schulz from the Research and Reportage department and Jan Feddersen, curator of the taz lab, which was recently celebrated with great success on the subject of Europe, these special pages are intended to reflect all possible aspects of European coexistence, politics and cultures. The Europa-taz motto is "We have a choice."

From the Faroe Islands to Israel

We will send our reporters* to remote areas, so that they report to us from there – from Portugal to Karelia, from the Faroe Islands to a country that is connected to Europe in European soccer as well as in Eurovisionary broadcasting, Israel.

We report about the European right, about its allies and accomplices, with the help of journalistic colleagues from Hungary, Denmark, Austria, Switzerland and France.

But we will also learn about that: How strong and insurmountable are the inner-European borders – for example during a transcontinental train ride from Vilnius to Lisbon. Finally: How do European poets rhyme our reality together – we will present a series of 18 vignettes from 18 languages: Because there has long been a European language, even if it doesn’t sound like one at first.

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