Christian Spahr is Director of the Media Program South East Europe of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung (KAS) based in Sofia, since 2012. His focus of work is supporting quality journalism and modern political communication. He is co-founder and board member of the South East Europe Public Sector Communication Association (SEECOM) and co-host of the South East Europe Media Forum (SEEMF).
Christian was press spokesperson of BITKOM, the association of the German Internet economy, from 2006 to 2012. There he was responsible for the PR of the digital high-tech sector in regard to media and internet policies.
From 2003 to 2006 Christian was a business editor with Sächsische Zeitung, a high-circulation German regional newspaper. He had previously received journalistic training at Sächsische Zeitung and as a grantee of the KAS School of Journalism.
During his studies in Dresden (M.A. in linguistics and communication), Christian worked for a regional public radio. He wrote his Master’s dissertation on internet policies in French-speaking Canada, for which he received an award.
Christian has participated as a speaker or presenter at: South East Europe Media Forum, SEECOM Conference, Club of Venice meetings, CeBIT (Hanover), Kommunikationskongress (Berlin), and German-Russian Autumn Talks (Berlin).
South East Europe and EU – Mutual Public Diplomacy Challenges
Many countries of South East Europe need to make fundamental decisions on their political directions: More or less EU integration? Pro-Western or pro-Russian? Liberal democracy or strong state? In this context, they have an increasing need of professional dialogue with their own citizens and European partners. How can EU issues be explained to the domestic audience, and how can the perception of South East European countries abroad be improved? In parallel, the EU needs to re-invest in its public diplomacy in the region in order to counter myths and misunderstandings about its political goals.