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8th May 2021

Magazine

20 years of EUobserver

Twenty years doesn't seem a lot. Certainly not in the light of European history.

But while we were writing this magazine for the 20th anniversary of EUobserver, we were surprised just how much happened in the European Union in those two decades.

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  • EUobserver celebrates its 20th anniversary with an overview of the major events of the last 20 years in this special magazine (Photo: EUobserver)

Twenty years ago, there was no euro, no Treaty of Lisbon and no European External Action Service.

Not only that, the EU only consisted of 15 member states.

It was a time before 9/11, before the war in Iraq, before we realised that there probably would never be an 'end of history'.

During these 20 years, we have witnessed how the world moved from a unipolar to a multipolar order, with the spectacular rise of China.

We saw revolutions in the Balkans, in the South Caucasus, in Ukraine, the entire Arab world and now in Belarus.

Europe has been surrounded by wars in Ukraine, Syria, Libya and Nagorno-Karabakh. These wars triggered unprecedented migration towards Europe.

The Union has been hit by a financial and economic crisis, a euro crisis and now a pandemic crisis.

Not only has the European Union survived these crises, it came out stronger, more united and more integrated.

Despite some setbacks, the magic of European enlargement again turned formerly poor dictatorships into prosperous democracies.

In its initial goal to stop war and dictatorship, the European project has been extremely successful - indeed, it won the Nobel Peace Prize for precisely this reason. But it is a goal that needs to be worked continuously, even today.

This magazine gives an overview of the major events of every one of these 20 years, and for every event we talked to one of the key players. Some gave us new insights or facts previously unpublished. It makes this magazine a historic document.

EUobserver had the privilege of sitting in the front row at all of these events. With a small but independent team of dedicated journalists we have tried to cover these events, and explain what the impact on the lives of European citizens would be.

For 20 years, we have tried to provide our readers with objective expertise. We will continue to do so in the 20 years to come.

This article first appeared in EUobserver's latest magazine, 20 years of European journalism & history, which you can now read in full online.

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20 years of EUobserver

Our special anniversary magazine gives an overview of the major events of these past 20 years - and, for every event, we talked to one of the key players. It makes this magazine a document of recent EU history.

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