Young Europeans Speak to EU


This report is the result of three years of qualitative and quantitative research, international conferences and Zoom webinars, which included a wide range of experts, students, the European public and funding bodies. Without their commitment and dedication, this project would not have been realised.

The Academic Advisory committee provided invaluable guidance and oversight throughout the life of the Europe’s Stories project. In addition to the chair and Dahrendorf Programme Director Professor Timothy Garton Ash (European Studies Centre at St Antony’s College), the many leading academics to thank in Oxford and beyond include: Professor Paul Betts (European Studies Centre at St Antony’s College), Dr Jonathan Bright (Oxford Internet Institute), Professor Faisal Devji (Asian Studies Centre at St Antony’s College), Professor Carolin Duttlinger (Wadham College), Professor Robert Gildea (Faculty of History), Professor Ruth Harris (All Souls College), Dr Sudhir Hazareesingh (Balliol College), Professor Andrew Hurrell (Balliol College), Dr Hartmut Mayer (European Studies Centre at St Antony’s College), Professor Kalypso Nicolaïdis (European University Institute), Professor Rasmus Nielsen (Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism) and Professor David Priestland (St Edmund Hall).

For the countless hours of meticulous research and project support, we would like to thank the entire Europe’s Stories research team, past and present, including our video editors. We would also like to express our gratitude to our web developer William Turrell, who enabled us to develop our continuously evolving online resource, We also thank our former research manager, Selma Kropp, for her exceptional organisational and intellectual work in moving the project forward. Our current research manager, Luisa Melloh, has brought the entire project to fruition with exceptional dedication, intelligence and professionalism.

We are deeply grateful to all our colleagues at the European Studies Centre at St Antony’s College and their valuable contributions and comments that helped shape the project along the way. We would also like to thank Jessica Dancy, the European Studies Centre Administrator, for her logistical and promotional help in putting on the Dahrendorf Programme seminars.

We thank the Warden of St Antony’s College, Professor Roger Goodman, and the Bursar, Dr Tanya Baldwin, as well as the entire College staff for their invaluable institutional support.

In relation to our polling, we would like to thank our partners in the eupinions project of the Bertelsmann Foundation, especially Professor Catherine de Vries, Isabell Hoffmann and Dr Hardy Schilgen, for their ideas, comments and expertise that allowed our opinion polling vision to come to life. We also wish to thank Dalia Research for taking our surveys to the field and sharing with us the resulting data.

We are grateful for the insights of all the experts who participated in our interviews and conferences, from the inaugural conference on ‘What stories does Europe tell?’ in 2019, to the 2020 Dahrendorf Lecture and Colloquium on ‘Germany, Europe and the West’, to our first ever online Dahrendorf Lecture and Colloquium in 2021, which focused on the central question of this report: ‘What do European citizens want the EU to be?’ The ideas and comments put forward in interviews, conferences and the many virtual events we have hosted proved an invaluable source of expertise and laid open the critical questions and difficult tensions this project has sought to examine.

For the “Europe of the post-89ers” workshop in Berlin in November 2019, we would like to thank Professor Dr Axel Klausmeier of the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer, Dr Werner Krätschell, the Zeitzeugen and all those involved in making the various sessions a success.

Finally, we are most grateful to Professor Dr Michael Göring and Dr Anna Hofmann at the ZEIT-Stiftung Ebelin und Gerd Bucerius; Michael Schwarz, Matthias Stepan and Davide Bracci at the Stiftung Mercator; and Professor Dr Karl-Heinz Paqué and Johanna Hans at the Friedrich-Naumann-Stiftung für die Freiheit. Without their generous intellectual, financial and logistical support, none of this would have been possible.