Brandenburg Minister-President Dr. Dietmar Woidke has assumed the patronage of this year's M100 Sanssouci Colloquium. Against the backdrop of the 70th anniversary of the Potsdam Agreement and the 25th anniversary of reunification, this year’s Colloquium will focus on the present state of Europe. Dietmar Woidke

The M100 Media Award will be presented following the conference, this year honouring the editorial team of French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo. Through his patronage, the minister-president underlines the significance of the event, which for years has served as a forum for international media representatives, and is committed to the defence of democracy, press freedom, and the freedom of speech.

German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier will deliver the political keynote speech at the conclusion of this year's M100 Sanssouci Colloquium in Potsdam. On September 17, in the Sanssouci Park’Steinmeier FW Webs Orangery, the international media conference will examine the present state of Europe against the background of the 70th anniversary of the Potsdam Agreement and the 25th anniversary of German reunification. The Colloquium, originally launched in 2005, will this year feature 50 to 60 top editors, historians, politicians, and representatives from policy-relevant institutions from across Europe.
Following the keynote speech, the M100 Media Award will be presented. This symbolic prize is awarded each year as a part of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium's international media conference to persons who have rendered exceptional services to the causes of democracy, press freedom, and the freedom of speech. This year's award honours the editorial team of the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, which was victim of a terrorist attack on January 7, 2015. The award encompasses by proxy all journalists, bloggers, and artists worldwide who are persecuted, threatened, imprisoned, tortured, or killed on political or religious grounds.

Prize ceremony on September 17 as part of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium

“If we stop it means, the others have won.” Gérard Biard, editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo.

Potsdam’s M100 Media Award will this year be awarded to the editors of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. The (non-monetary) prize will be presented at the closing evening of the international media conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium on September 17th in the Orangerie of the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam. Gérard Biard, editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo, will receive the award on behalf of the entire editorial team.

On January 7 2015, 12 people were killed in a terrorist attack carried out by two perpetrators with Islamist motives on the editorial office of Charlie Hebdo in Paris; the victims include 8 Charlie Hebdo employees and the publisher Stéphane Charbonnier. In 2011, the offices were also subject to an arson attack, following the publication of special edition on the electoral success of Islamists in Tunisia.
Yet, of the 520 Charlie Hebdo covers that have appeared over the past ten years, fewer than 20 have dealt with the topics Islam, Islamism or Mohammed. Charlie Hebdo – like every other satirical publication – targets all relevant social issues.                                                                                              
In 2006, however, the magazine was one of the few publications worldwide to re-print the Mohammed caricatures out of the Danish paper “Jyllands Posten”. The Danish cartoonist Kurt Westergard, who has since been under constant police protection, was the recipient of the M100 Media Award in 2010.

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“If we stop, it means, the others have won.” Gérard Biard, editor-in-chief of Charlie Hebdo.

On the 70th anniversary of the historic Potsdam Agreement, this year's M100 Sanssouci Colloquium will address the topic, “70 Years of Potsdam Agreement: At a new crossroads?”
On September 17, only a stone’s throw away from Potsdam's Cecilienhof Castle, where in 1945 the heads of the Allied governments – Winston Churchill, Harry Truman, and Joseph Stalin – signed the Potsdam Agreement, 50 to 60 editors-in-chief, politicians, historians, and representatives of theme relevant organizations from Europe and the United States will gather in the Sanssouci Palace’s Orangery. There, in three sessions, Colloquium participants will discuss the effects of the 1945 decisions as well as the current political and economic situation in Europe.

“The Potsdam Agreement 70 years ago, along with the ‘Two Plus Four Agreement’ that superseded it 25 years ago and the major expansion of the EU 10 years ago, was supposed to lay the foundations for a long-term, stable era of peace in Europe,” says Jann Jakobs, Potsdam’s Lord Mayor and chairman of the M100 advisory board. “For a long time it looked as if this was successful. However, in recent years those high hopes for peace and stability in Europe have begun to falter, and we find ourselves in one of the biggest economical, geopolitical, and humanitarian crises since the foundation of the EU. We take the historic event and the current situation as an occasion to talk about the prospects for a liberal and democratic Europe in an increasingly uncertain world order – about a Europe that stands today at a new crossroads.”


12 to 18 September 2015, Potsdam, Germany

Held in cooperation with the Federal Foreign Ministry, the workshop invites young journalists between 18 and 26 years from the Eastern Partnership countries Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Belarus, Armenia and Azerbaijan as well as Germany. The event will offer a six-day intensive workshop led by expert subject-area trainers. Participants will be taught how propaganda works and what its objectives are, how it can be recognised, how to verify information (including within social networks), and how as journalists they can defend themselves against propaganda, co-optation, and manipulation by governments and lobbyists. The workshop takes place in English. Please find here the application call.



Against the background of ‘70 Years Potsdam Agreement’, on successive days in September the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium and the Alfred Herrhausen Society will hold two conferences. The M100 Sanssouci Colloquium will take place on Thursday, 17 September 2015 in the Orangery of the Sanssouci Palace in Potsdam. The following day, the Alfred Herrhausen Society in conjunction with the FAZ will host its ‘Denk ich an Deutschland’ (‘When I think of Germany…’) conference in the Deutsche Bank’s atrium on Unter den Linden.

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M100 Webteaser 2015

As chairman of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium advisory committee, Potsdam's Lord Mayor Jann Jakobs has expressed his sympathy for the victims – and their loved ones – of the bloody attack on the French satirical newspaper, Charlie Hebdo. He claims that terror must be faced not with anger and powerlessness, but with a defence of our constitutionally protected values, such as our freedom of speech and of the press.

Lord Mayor Jann Jakobs: "It is with deep dismay and profound sadness that we commemorate the victims of the cowardly and brutal attack on the editorial offices of the Parisian satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo. Our thoughts and feelings go out to the family members and colleagues of the victims, but also to all the people of France. Like none other, their country represents the values of a pluralistic, tolerant society. Indeed, France has inscribed freedom, equality and fraternity in its flag. It is shocking to see these values trampled on in so drastic a manner. As mayor of a tolerant and open-minded city such as Potsdam, which is no less a strong media hub as well, this attack hits me particularly hard.

We have constantly fought for freedom of expression and a strong media. In 2010 we made a statement by awarding the M100 prize to the Danish caricaturist Kurt Westergaard, who still fears for his life and lives under police protection because of his Mohammed cartoon; once again, the Media Summit demonstrated its accord with the pulse of the times. Freedom of the press is a must for democracy to function properly. If this principle is not heeded, fundamental rights become baseless. With the new Potsdam Edict of Toleration of 2008, our city‘s civil society is showing that it is active, open and interested in diversity and multiplicity. Thus, I am certain that the overwhelming majority of Potsdamers stand behind me when I declare: Je suis Charlie!"

In the area "About M100" you can find two films about the history of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium: one about the inception phase in 2005 (including interviews with Jann Jakobs, Mathias Döpfner, Wolfram Weimer, Josef Joffe amongst others) and a portrait of Lord Weidenfeld.

Italian journalist and writer Roberto Saviano received the M100 Media Award / Chancellor Angela Merkel held the key political speech of the evening

Italian writer and journalist Roberto Saviano (Gomorrah) accepted the M100 Media Award at a festive award ceremony, while the international media conference M100 Sanssouci Colloquium came to a successful close at the Orangery Palace in Potsdam this evening.

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The dazzling evening featured a keynote political speech from Chancellor Angela Merkel, who attended the M100 Media Award for the third time.

Speaking to Roberto Saviano, whose life has been threatened by the Mafia since the publication of his book about the Neapolitan Camorra ten years ago, forcing him and his family to live underground under police protection, the Chancellor expressed a clear commitment to press freedom: ‘We have to continue to defend freedom of the press time and again, always bearing in mind how quickly this right can be endangered – even here in Europe. Freedom of the press has a great deal to do with the absence of state interference and censorship, but it is much more than that. It also includes the freedom to uncover abuses and to report on them without fear of reprisal or even personal endangerment.’ She also touched on another commitment in reference to the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium held that afternoon, advocating the need for a strong and united Europe: ‘Just as the M100 Media Award is understood to be a European prize, the colloquium in which the award is being given today focuses on the situation in Europe.’ And further: ‘We must never forget that it is largely thanks to European integration that we no longer live on a continent of war, restricted freedom and antagonism, but what is still a union of peace, freedom, prosperity, stability and good neighbourly relations. The European Union has achieved far more in its history than past generations could have ever imagined. Even with major historical trajectories aside, we benefit daily from European integration in our everyday lives, often without even being conscious of it, including unrestricted travel, our common currency, and diverse personal encounters.’

Giovanni di Lorenzo, editor-in-chief of the weekly newspaper Die Zeit, gave the speech honouring Roberto Saviano. Di Lorenzo praised the award for distinguishing Saviano’s work: ‘Roberto Saviano depends on support from the same society whose eyes he has repeatedly opened with his work – precisely because some would rather close their eyes again, turn away and know nothing about these things.’ And further: ‘An evening like this helps make Roberto Saviano a little bit safer in his home country. It is a great sign of solidarity – through the presence of all of you and by awarding this prize, the M100 Media Award. “There will be situations,” Roberto once said, “where I will become more vulnerable because fewer people are paying attention to me.” To him, public attention is not just a decorative accessory or flattering gesture. It is a kind of life insurance.’

Roberto Saviano himself thanked the Colloquium for the award and called on European media representatives to have the courage to present complex contexts and situations as they are without abbreviating them. He dedicated his prize to Turkish journalist and author Ahmet Altan and his brother, economics professor Mehmet Altan, who were arrested in Turkey on 10 September.

Addressing this year’s topic ‘War or Peace’, some 70 participants in what is now the 12th edition of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium spent the day at round-table discussions having to do with the return of geopolitical strategies, creeping European disintegration, the increasing radicalisation of Western, Middle Eastern and other societies, as well as the role and responsibility of the media in these developments.

The M100 Sanssouci Colloquium was opened by renowned historian Prof Dr Dan Diner, who teaches modern history at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and served as director of the Simon Dubnow Institute for Jewish History and Culture at Leipzig University from 1999 to 2004. Diner warns of clear, discernable echoes from the past: ‘The current pattern of political-military activity is directed at locations that bear an unsettling resemblance to hotspots of the 19th century. First, to the constellation of the Crimean War from 1853 to 1856’ He continues: ‘If this kind of geopolitically-semantisised conflict constellation were to actually solidify, it would raise pressing questions about the future of the European project in general and the role of Germany in particular.’

Kai Diekmann, editor of the BILD Group, interviewed Can Dündar, former editor-in-chief of the Turkish daily newspaper Cumhuriyet in a special talk addressing the current situation in Turkey. ‘The situation in Turkey resembles a Frankenstein scenario,’ Dündar said. ‘The creature – the Gülen movement – has turned against its creator, Erdogan’. Erdogan, he noted, was the one who gave the Gülen movement strength and momentum through earlier efforts to shore up state institutions with loyalists. ‘This also explains how they know so precisely who belongs to it,’ Dündar explained, referring to the swift arrest of thousands of civil servants in Turkey following the attempted overthrow.


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video m100 2016

A visual summary of the M100 Sanssouci Colloquium 2016 "WAR OR PEACE, The return of geopolitics, disintegration and the radicalisation of society in Europe" and the M100 Media Award to the italian author Roberto Saviano. Political keynote: Federal Chancellor Dr Angela Merkel, laudation: Giovanni di Lorenzo (die Zeit)