How and where can Europe lead the world?


THE FOUNDATION’S aim is to help continental writers understand Britain and British writers understand continental Europe

The Nico Colchester fellowships were established in memory of Nico Colchester, who died in 1996 after an outstanding career at the Financial Times, The Economist and the Economist Intelligence Unit. Nico had a passion for writing about European politics, economics, and society—and his sharp, witty, authoritative analysis would have been especially precious today.

This year, Europe is grappling with the continued health-care and economic crisis triggered by the pandemic, and the struggle of many countries, and the EU as a bloc, to rapidly roll out vaccinations. The challenge in mounting a co-ordinated response has come in a period of political flux across the continent, with Germany moving towards finding a successor to Angela Merkel, Mario Draghi emerging suddenly as prime minister of Italy, and Emmanuel Macron preparing for his own difficult re-election bid. Though the forces of populism in Europe have been contained, they are far from extinguished. Meanwhile, the economic impact of Brexit could still prove to be a drag on both sides of the Channel.

All this would certainly have given Nico, one of the finest reporters on European affairs of his generation, plenty to write about in his original and inimitable way, which included such ideas as a Mars Bar index and the division of countries and their leaders into the “crunchy” and the “soggy”.

In yet another momentous year for the European Union, here is your chance to emulate Nico’s successful career by launching yourself into the world of journalism at two of the world’s most global and well-respected news organisations.

What do the prizes involve and who is eligible?

Two awards are on offer:

British or Irish citizen – a three-month fellowship in London linked to The Economist.

EU citizen – a three-month fellowship linked to the Paris or Brussels bureau of the Financial Times.

The fellowships are open only to citizens of the EU or UK. Both winners will receive a bursary of £6,000 to cover accommodation and travel.

Who are the fellowships suited for?

The fellowships are intended for aspiring or early-career journalists with bold ideas and a lively writing style, each capable of working amid the excitement and pressures of a modern newsroom. The fellows should have a particular interest and curiosity about European affairs, as the prizes aim to help continental writers better understand Britain and British writers better understand the continent.

What is this year’s subject?

How and where can Europe lead the world? The EU may be squeezed geopolitically by the US and China, but in some areas it is emerging as a superpower in its own right, from trade, to climate, regulation, science and human rights.

Drawing from your own personal or professional experiences, or those of your community, please tell us where you think the EU has the greatest potential to set global norms.

How to apply:

Please send a submission on the subject above, together with a CV and covering letter. The submission can be

● an unpublished written article, blog post
● data-rich essay of max 850 words (pdf or doc)
● an unpublished 2-minute video (avi or mp4)
● an unpublished 2-minute podcast (mp3)

Please make sure you submit your work in one of the formats specified. Big files can be sent using a file transfer or file-hosting service or by submitting a password-protected link.

Entries should be sent by 7th June 2021, via e-mail to [email protected].

Shortlisted candidates will be asked to provide confirmation of their citizenship.

Successful applicants will be notified by the end of June 2021.