"The language of European is translation," Umberto Eco once said. This linguistic and cultural energy has given rise to one of the world’s most creative civilisations, and also to innumerable conflicts. Today, where 500 million Europeans live (not without occasional misgivings) in an increasingly close-knit Union, language is no longer a divisive factor. But it’s difficult to get to know one another when you have to juggle with twenty-three official languages – not forgetting the regional tongues that seek recognition in Brussels.
For news and entertainment, these 500 million Europeans watch satellite TV, listen to the radio via internet, read newspapers in print and online versions. Distance is no longer a barrier. But wherever they are on the continent, most turn to media in their own language, or in one or two others. "When it comes to getting information about Europe there isn’t a single transnational medium that Europeans can turn to," said recently Marc Leijendekker, European editor for the Dutch daily NRC Handelsblad. "There is no European newspaper that is read by Italians and Czechs alike, no single website where both Spaniards and Swedes go to get their news, no TV news programme that is broadcast to every living room in Europe at 8 p.m."
Our ambition which, we hope, is shared by many, is make this dream a reality. Launched at the behest of the European Commission, and managed by four magazines with experience in the international press - (Courrier international in France, Internazionale in Italy, Forum in Poland and Courrier internacional in Portugal), Presseurop’s team of journalists, hailing from the four corners of the Union, enjoys complete editorial independence. Every day, we will choose, translate into ten languages, and engage with the freshest and most original writing there is about Europe in the European and international press. Not an institutional Europe, already thoroughly covered, but a Europe in which men and women live. Welcome to Presseurop.