Share Europe


Under Share Europe, we design, develop and fund a portfolio of projects that promote a functioning and safe European public space. Share Europe highlights the importance of Europe as a shared public sphere in which people with different cultural and national backgrounds and views are connected, providing an alternative to looking at Europe only through national lenses.

Under Share Europe, we design, develop and fund a portfolio of projects that promote a functioning and safe European public space. Share Europe highlights the importance of Europe as a shared public sphere in which people with different cultural and national backgrounds and views are connected, providing an alternative to looking at Europe only through national lenses.

In 2021, this included the building of a coalition to shape a European media landscape, a research and advocacy project for a safe European digital public space, and enabling safe physical cultural spaces. This year also, the three-year Cities of Change programmes – co-funded by the EU – were concluded.

Initiative for a European Public Space

Since online spaces are controlled by private interests and traditional media is giving us mostly national perspectives, the citizens of Europe lack the space to debate a shared interest for Europeans, based on solid facts and a culture of care. The Initiative for a European Public Space (IEPS) supports the development of a digital infrastructure and a media landscape that both re-constitute the citizen at the centre. This is of fundamental value for democracy in Europe.

1. Networked European Media

Within IEPS, we supported the development of a network of free, independent and inclusive media actors across Europe with the aim of elevating the European public space, by testing different collaboration models, bringing the European perspective into the spotlight. The learnings of these combined models form the basis for the development of a pilot European media platform, which will be instrumental in making the case for major public investments in the European media space.

Together with Culture of Solidarity Fund grantees, such as Hostwriter, Eurozine and Voxeurop, ZEMOS98 developed the blueprint for a media platform aggregating curated content produced by a diverse network of large and small media organisations. It will reveal a multi-layered and complex landscape of events and news, but also perspectives and approaches to themes composed by an inclusive and diverse group of content creators.

Good Conversations further developed their concept Europe Talks – an initiative supported by a large network of media organisations across Europe. Europe Talks is challenging polarisation and fostering solidarity by matching people of different political views for a one-on-one conversation. In 2021, the Europe Talks software was adapted for an asynchronous and continuous matching process, instead of an annual, one-day event. The network of media partners has been expanded and diversified. More than 10,000 people took part in the Europe Talks event and, through the extensive media coverage, Europe Talks reached out to millions of Europeans.

Are We Europe developed Collective, a European distribution model for newsletters on a diverse range of topics. As a result of the project Summer of Solidarity, which ECF supported in 2020, a cross national, diversity-driven network of curators and creators emerged. Collective has curated the best  under reported stories from that network, adding a personal touch. The Collective Creator Database features more than 450 creators, which have millions of followers (accumulated). Collective has over 15,000 original subscribers.

At the MediActivism European Policy Forum in Brussels outcomes and learnings from the above-mentioned initiatives were discussed and various stakeholders decided to lead by example and made a commitment to the idea of developing a pilot for a European media platform.

2. Digital European Public Spaces

Europe is facing real challenges in coping with market-driven and mainly non-European online platforms on which dis-/and misinformation and nationalistic tendencies easily grow and threaten democracy. Within IEPS, ECF supports the development of a European digital public space, built on democratic values and public digital infrastructures. These infrastructures will promote more sovereign societies and individuals through the democratisation of access, transparency and accountability, while shared standards and interoperability will allow knowledge and culture to flow, helping people to connect.

Our project partner Waag developed the conference in partnership with ECF. During the conference, ECF Director André Wilkens made a plea for shared European public spaces. Connected to this plea, an open call was announced in our Culture of Solidarity Fund, inviting media-activists to collaborate on co-creative solutions for our internet. Take a look at all the video recordings and recaps of the conference on our. Take a look at all the video recordings and recaps of the conference here.

Together with Waag we also initiated a series of in-depth conversations and research entitled Digital European Public Spaces (DEPS) to define the public values that are at stake in the current digital environment. The research builds a powerful coalition of developers, researchers, advocates and policymakers; it devises prototypes of key building blocks for an alternative digital infrastructure; and it constructs a digital city in Amsterdam, which is replicable in other European cities. ECF joined this programme to help reclaim the internet for the common good.Over the course of 2021, so-called design labs were organised with stakeholders from different sectors and interests

In the fourth round of the Culture of Solidarity Fund we supported the capacity of several partners of the Coalition for Shared Digital European Public Sphere (SDEPS), such as the Cultural Broadcasting Archive, Public Spaces, European Digital Rights Initiative, Project for Democratic Union, Commons Network and Open Future. At the MediActivism European Policy Forum in Brussels, outcomes and learnings from the above-mentioned initiatives were discussed. The forum provided a space for movement building