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‘Robert Bosch Fellows’: National journalists trained in Brussels


01 Mar 2011


EU Priorities 2020
Public Affairs

Six journalists from four countries have been selected for the practical phase of a pilot ‘EU Journalism Fellowship’ scheme. They will spend up to eight weeks in EurActiv’s Brussels Network Office as fellows in a pilot training programme for journalists, devised by Fondation EurActiv PoliTech and supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung. They will be mentored by experienced colleagues in Brussels, where they will gain an insight into EU politics while at the same time report for their home media. Among other things, they will learn about new techniques in online journalism (portals, blog platforms, web video, etc.).

Their selection was preceded by a one-week assessment workshop in Berlin, which prepared 12 participants from six countries to address some of the most important current EU topics, including shifts in power since the Lisbon Treaty’s entry into force, financial reform of banks, insurance firms and capital markets, the Digital Agenda, energy policy and regional policy. In Brussels, the trainees will deepen their research into these topics and process them for their home media. Participating media in 2011 include Die Presse, Mittelbayerische Zeitung, MDR, Axel Springer Verlag/ and the Wiesbadener Kurier. The programme aims to help journalists gain greater knowledge of EU policies and to experience work at an online media firm.

The winning fellows are six experienced journalists from Austria, France, Germany and Poland: Jeannine Hierländer (Die Presse), Emilie Binois (, Simon Bartélemy (L’Alsace-Le Pays), Hanna Gieffers (Mittelbayerische Zeitung; Neue Westfälische), Miriam Kuck (MDR Info) and Filip Dutkowski (Polish Press Agency; PAP). While in Brussels, they will deepen their knowledge of EU affairs and contacts within the European institutions and the many stakeholders active at EU level. They will become members of an alumni journalist network offering regular opportunities for exchange and encounters.

“In order to gain experience as Brussels ‘insiders’, each fellow will have a senior editor from EurActiv as a mentor and coach. At the same time, to keep in touch with national realities, the journalists will continue to file stories for their home media,” said Julian Oliver, secretary-general of Fondation EurActiv PoliTech. “This provides the fellows with opportunities to participate in various events, including press conferences given by heads of state or government.”

“With this programme we want to contribute to better visibility of Europe in the media”, explained Christian Hänel, deputy head of the Department for International Relations Western Europe, America, Turkey, Japan and India at the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

“Europe still does not get the attention it deserves at national level. Some journalists find it difficult to research EU topics. But this is exactly what we need: journalists who manage to penetrate the dynamics of the EU political sphere and manage to convey this dynamism to their readers in gripping stories,” said Joachim Weidemann, a former director of the Georg-von-Holtzbrinck School for Economic Journalists. Today he is the founder and publisher of, which hosted the workshop in Berlin. “The best way to do this is through case studies and online journalism that transcends borders, just like the EU abolished borders in Europe.”

Fondation EurActiv PoliTech was assisted in the selection of candidates by an international jury comprising Christian Haenel of the Robert Bosch Stiftung, Joachim Weidemann, publisher of, Peter Kramer, secretary-general of the Association of European Journalists, Ann Cahill, president of the International Press Association in Brussels, Quentin Dickinson, European affairs director at Radio France Internationale, and Christophe Leclercq, founder of Fondation EurActiv and publisher of

Christophe Leclercq declared: “The jury and many other leading journalists have been helpful in handling this pilot project. It is important for the EU to multiply contacts with national journalists. There are several ways of doing so: short information seminars relayed online, training like the EU Journalism Fellowship or indeed postings as correspondents.”

Media contacts:
Julian Oliver, Secretary General, Fondation EurActiv PoliTech, Tel. +32(0),

Joachim Weidemann, Publisher,, Tel: +49(0),

Christophe Leclercq, Publisher,, Tel. +32(0),

Radu Magdin, Communication Manager, Tel: + 32(0)2.788.36.88,

Note to the editor:
Fondation EurActiv PoliTech has integrated in a social media department the activities of PoliTech and is the independent online media network dedicated to EU policy, counting 609,000 monthly unique visitors together with the Web 2.0 platform Set up in 1999, the network is an important working instrument for actors (institutions, industry federations, NGOs, think tanks, the press and others) involved in defining or influencing EU policies. The EurActiv Network publishes EU policy news and information in 12 languages from offices in the capitals of 12 European countries: Bulgaria, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Poland, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Spain, United Kingdom and Turkey. The Network's national policy portals are accessible here
In order to provide free services and ensure independence, EurActiv's services are financed from four sources: corporate sponsoring, EurActor membership, online advertising and EU projects. EurActiv's CrossLingual Network is supported by the European Commission’s Small Business Act / SME Week campaign and by the Directorates General for Regional Policy and for Enlargement. General sponsors of are: Assembly of European Regions / GE Energy, Enel, ExxonMobil, the Nickel Institute, TUSIAD, United Technologies and VISA Europe. Section sponsors of are: ArcelorMittal, Boeing, Coca-Cola, Dow, Euro-ciett, Gasunie, General Electric, Honeywell, IBM, MSD, Nike, Swiss Mission to the EU, Syngenta, Trans Adriatic Pipeline, Unilever and Veolia. Further supporters include: Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. EurActiv also has 60 “content partners” (NGOs & think tanks) as well as ca. 500 “contributors”, providing their policy positions for free publication, based on EurActiv's editorial discretion. Input welcome:
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The Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbHis one of Germany’s large company-associated foundations. It was founded in 1964 and continues the charitable pursuits of Robert Bosch (1861–1942), the founder of both the company and the foundation. The foundation is primarily involved in activities that promote international understanding, education, and health.


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