Saturday

23rd Jan 2021

EUobserved

Celebrate with us. EUobserver's 20 years of independent EU news

When EUobserver started in September 2000, we were one of the first online newspapers publishing for a pan-European public.

There was a lot of news, important for all Europeans - but usually only to be read in national newspapers and via domestic perspectives.

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That's why we wanted to offer news through a European lens as a way to help democratise debate across the borders.

Our type of independent journalism for European citizens was only made possible thanks to the Internet.

We chose to publish in English because it was the most broadly-understood language among the younger Europeans, who flocked to our new service.

Much to our surprise we saw a huge interest from people living in the former communist countries who then aspired to join the European Union.

Today, 20 years later, EUobserver's readership has remained strong in the eastern EU states, and also among young people.

Many universities around the world sign up to our services because their students want to study European politics.

In the last couple of years EUobserver's global audience has also been growing. One-third of our readers are now located outside Europe. Just this week people from 197 different countries read EUobserver.

We believe it is because the European Union has become an inspiration across the world in solving pressing problems of our time and showing an example of how to rule in a democratic way across borders.

Freedom of press was one of the vital values cherished by people breaking away from communism.

Freedom of speech is still vital for people demonstrating in the streets of Minsk and should never be taken for granted.

Journalistic investigation of power is always needed to keep democracy clean, non-corrupt and transparent.

Lately, we have ourselves come under pressure to delete stories or face legal challenges. Not that our articles had mistakes - they were simply not liked.

For a small publication like EUobserver, such legal battles can quickly eat up limited human resources and reduce our ability to keep producing quality journalism for readers.

During the past 20 years the world has seen a financial and economic crisis, a crisis of the euro, and a refugee crisis due to the wars in Syria and Libya.

And now we also face a climate crisis and the human and economic pandemic of Covid-19.

We witness how the US is virtually paralysed due to internal splits, which could soon result in a completely new European geo-political reality, without a strong transatlantic relationship.

During the past 20 years, more and more people have come to understand that such massive challenges can only be dealt with at the European level.

That is why today, perhaps even more than in 2000, there is need for independent, European, journalism.

EUobserver has been providing this, year-after-year, with a small but committed team of independent-thinking journalists.

Our entire team wants to thank you, our loyal readers for your interest, feedback and support.

We very much look forward to providing you with the news, analysis and expertise that you need for the 20 years to come.

Author bio

Lisbeth Kirk is the founder of EUobserver.

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