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Saturday, 17 December 2011 06:52

Welcome to Berlin!

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When students arrive in cities for language courses, conferences or workshops one of the first things they usually do is walk around the city centre. But Berlin is different. To explain why, a group of friends created the “lettuce theory” a few years ago. Please forgive them for the name and try to take them seriously! The theory states that most European cities are “lettuce like”, that is, they have a heart - which is the city centre -, and the rest of the neighborhoods grow around it like the lettuce's leaves. Unlike them, Berlin is what we decided to call, “the package of lettuces”. There is no real unique heart, but lots of them. And instead of having the classic city centre, the German capital has several important neighborhoods with individual hearts. Yesterday, the participants at the E&M workshop “Do you speak European?” didn't do the classic city centre tour but instead, ventured in the many different hearts of Berlin.

KREUZBERG: The flower bud
Asked to choose a symbol that described each of the neighborhoods, some of our group walked around Kreuzberg decided to go for a flower bud. “Just like it,”  they said, “the neighborhood is about to bloom”. Described as dirty before the fall of the Berlin wall, suffering from high crime rates in the 70's and after having received big waves of immigration, the neighborhood is now the favourite destination for young people. As we were told by some of the young people we asked on the street, it is becoming more and more popular, and is “the European Brooklyn”.

This is a special day in Berlin, the first Berlin Foreign Policy Forum has just started in the beautiful Humboldt Carré and E&M are reporting about the events throughout the day. Most importantly though, we are there to make the voice of young Europeans heard. We're very excited to discuss the views you expressed in the survey with politicians, media representatives and policy analysts from around the world. If you want to know all about the EU foreign policy survey in which over 6,500 of you participated, check out our presentation with the outcome of all questions here.

You can access the main points of the results here.

Sunday, 27 November 2011 12:33

Who has the most influence in the EU at the moment?

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Most of you think that Van Rompuy and Ashton have little power in the EU... Without that, is it still possible to create a more unified EU foreign policy?

Most of you believe the EU should focus on humanitarian aid (26.8%) or longterm development of the Southern hemisphere (25.2%). Do you think European involvement actually helped or worsened the development of countries of the Southern hemisphere thus far?

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