|||| From Charlotte Boström
Europe is going to save my career. Europe has to save my career. With that desperate approach I signed up for Europe in the World one month past deadline. Only God (and Arie) knows why I was accepted despite my late effort to conquer Europe.
One year after getting my EitW diploma, I still use the EU as a tool to get my career running. The reason is that hardly any average citizen thinks that it is interesting or important to care about pan-European politics. The same thing goes for journalists. Encouraged by those facts, getting in to EU journalism was a purely strategic decision for me. In college I feared I wouldn’t get one of these most prestigious internships I needed for an outstanding masters diploma. Instead EitW was going to make my CV special.
And the strategy has worked, to some extent. Not the least, it has made me special: I am a bit obsessed with the EU. I think you need some special feature, obsession if you like, in order to get a job as a journalist. Or you will become one of those over-educated unemployed ones.
Evaluation at the down stairs office, yada yada about CAP reforms and Marcel’s indescribable enthusiasm for sustainable housing projects in post-industrial harbour areas throughout Europe, made our whole EitW class into EU ironists. Since most people consider the EU to be very boring, we found out it is remarkably easy to make fun of the historical international peace project. We were some of the few people in the world who made ironic remarks, silly puns and insightful paraphrases when talking about Lady Ashton, Haiku Herman and Brussels sprouts. This EU irony was one of the things that kept us all together. United in diversity (sorry, I can’t help it).
A self-appointed EU ironist, I find it rather fun to carry out my work at the office nowadays. I am a journalist trainee at the European Parliament’s press office in Stockholm. My aim is to get an insight view of how the Eurocrats, MEPs and Presidents work. When I’m done with that (in one month), their behaviour is going to strike right back at them. Encouraged by the lingua Franca – Bureaucratish – words such as sex, shock, rage and alarm pop up in my articles every day. My bosses really don’t like it. One MEP got totally furious when I posted a EU Skype sex article on our Facebook wall last week.
I think that the EU people are helped by EU ironists like me. EU officials are way too boring for their own good. They prove it themselves – as soon as something with sex pops up, they get totally upset. People are always interested in sex, scandals and shocks. The EU officials know this (and they are too, apparently!). They should just embrace it, and not be scared of losing their ‘trustworthiness’, which they are so obsessed with.
And they are wrong about how we should report on EU affairs. There is an urgent need of ironic, witty, funny and surprising political journalism. Europe in the World made the EU project in to something you can make jokes about, laugh at, like, dislike, love and hate. I will keep that approach when reporting on Europe in the future. I rather review Herman van Rompuy’s Haiku poems than write about Brussels the dull and serious way.