At last, someone at the European, presumably Andrew Neil, has a
clearer understanding of what European high-flyers want to read. But
what a front cover - love it or hate it, you can’t ignore it.
’Achtung!’ seems an odd choice of headline for a pan-European newspaper
and suggests confusion about the direction in which the European bird
The decision to turn it into a modern-looking news and business magazine
makes sense and is long overdue. The better typography and visuals give
a clearer and more authoritative stamp, yet the editorial flow is a bit
of a muddle.
With a notional front-cover blast from the Eurofighter, you then have to
turn through three spreads to reach the start of the story. News follows
on page 14 which is, not surprisingly, largely analytical and
I enjoyed the flow of news, business and finance through to sport. I
then arrived at a section called ’the Continental’. This gives the paper
the feel of a weekend supplement. Is the European supposed to be an
essential read for European business people or is it a leisure magazine
to flick through over a weekend?
When it comes to selling a pan-European medium, you must be targeted,
not generalist. Although the new tone of the European is more serious,
this is clearly only the first step on the way to creating the finished
When Robert Maxwell conceived the idea of a weekly news title for
Europe, it was designed as an antidote to Newsweek and Time, where the
’voice of Europe’ could have its own platform.
At present it’s not a newspaper and it’s not a magazine - I’m not sure
what it is - but it’s a vast improvement on what went before.