A political and poetic journey ahead

Bonjour ! I’m Pierre-Mickaël Carniel, a 22-year-old journalism student. This year, I will be the young Frenchy of the group. I am originally from Courcelles-Chaussy, a village in Lorraine near Luxembourg. I studied political science in Mulhouse, in southern Alsace, near Switzerland. Today, I am studying journalism in Strasbourg, on the German border. All my experiences are linked to Eastern France but I have always been nourished by the cross-border culture of this territory, which is naturally European.

I am in a journalism school, CUEJ (Centre Universitaire d’Enseignement du Journalisme) in Strasbourg, which is very focused on European issues. We recently covered a plenary session of the European Parliament. We worked with journalists, MEPs and administrators to cover the debates of the moment. In particular, what member countries were considering before the invasion of Ukraine.

The press quarter in the European Parliament in Strasbourg is very qualitative, developed and used by all European journalists

My European interest quickly turned to the Nordic countries. It was in this context that this semester I participated in
a Eurodocumentary project with my school. I went to Sweden to film and interview politicians and trade unionists. This gave me the opportunity to discuss the Nordic model. Sweden, together with Denmark and Finland, are
sometimes presented as the model countries of social Europe. I was able to talk about the European minimum wage project, because there is no minimum wage in countries like Sweden or Finland. It was very enriching. I think that the stay in Finland, with all the conferences, will be just as important.

After reporting, you need to take a step back and have a good coffee, like here in Stockholm

Today, my main professional project is to become a political journalist in France. In fact, at the beginning of the school year I will continue my training with an apprenticeship contract at the LCP (La Chaine Parlementaire) television  channel, which covers the National Assembly, the French lower house. Since I graduated in this field, I am very interested in power, participatory democracy at the local level and popular activism. These are subjects that I will be able to cover in a journalistic way in the autumn. But I have another desire. In the next decade, I would also like to be a correspondent in a Nordic country. I would like to report on important political events for the French media, as Anne-Françoise Hivert does so well for the newspaper Le Monde. But I would also like to report on Nordic culture, as the French journalist Emilie Cochaud-Kaminski does, for example.

I have a point of view shaped by France, especially at the moment with the presidency of the Council of the European Union and the strategic place of my country in the various alliances. This year I am followed by the French Presidential Press Association, a group of political journalists who follow Emmanuel Macron. Their views on the top of the state in France help me a lot. France has a particular voice to carry, in the context of the war in Ukraine. Sweden and Finland, which want to join NATO, are also known to have a particular voice, in terms of neutrality for example. I’m really looking forward to learning more and seeing what public policies are in place to deal with neighbouring Russia. I want to know about Finland’s political culture. How this country distinguishes itself, overcoming the clichés of a strong Swedish and Russian influence.

Next week will be a very strong moment in my life. I will discover a country, but also twelve others thanks to my colleagues, but potentially future friends. I can’t wait any longer.

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