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Sunday, 11 March 2012 10:10

Who was E&M's first fan ever?

You’ve probably already circled the 1st of April 2012 on your calendar: after all, it’s the publication date of E&M’s 16th issue. But it’s also the deadline for applications to the Studienkolleg zu Berlin, the international programme where E&M was born.

If you happen to be planning to found a new transnational project, you’ll need a lot of different ingredients. A group of motivated people, plenty of unrealistic ideas, a lot of patience... plus, somebody who believes in you, who supports you with resources and with encouragement. For E&M, the Studienkolleg zu Berlin was that “somebody.”

In September 2007, five students met at the Studienkolleg induction week. They came from Germany, Bulgaria, Poland and Latvia, and they had at least two things in common: they all wanted to create a medium which would make Europe personal, and they all felt that now was the moment that they could really do it. The Studienkolleg invites 30 young Europeans each year to take part in its programme of talks about Europe and work together in groups on Europe-related projects, while studying at a Berlin university. For a year, they receive a monthly stipend which supports them through their studies. It gives them a bit of space and time to think about what Europe is, and what Europe needs.

In June 2008, E&M was ready to go online. It had five unusually named sections, an awesome design, a great team of writers, and five exhausted and excited editors. The other members of the Studienkolleg all danced manically at the launch party to celebrate the very first issue, which - among many other things - explored the complex voting dynamics of the Eurovision Song Contest, told the Erasmus Love story of Susu and Fede, and - my personal favourite - featured a Baby article called Sexy Bum.

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