Investigating on a changing Europe

Making transnational structures visible and actors accountable

Faced with a series of crises that paralyse the Old Continent, Europeans are dismayed. Most know that our lives are affected by developments well beyond our national borders. Most know that globalisation has made us massively dependent on one another and that Europe has never been as integrated as today.
But big changes influenced by forces and decision-makers that people find too distant, create insecurity and breed political distrust. This opens space for populist movements that promise people a return to a simpler world behind national borders.

But today’s world doesn’t stop at national borders. Journalists shouldn’t either. However, facts and analysis of our interdependence are rare issues in European media.

Only networks and teams with members from across Europe are able to collect and decipher this information.

We are such a team.

Coming from France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Norway, Poland, Portugal and Great Britain, we are nine experienced reporters. Our working method is to research issues simultaneously, share all information and report in our respective national media, having crosschecked facts and potential national bias.

Our investigations deal with key issues related to this changing Europe, such as waste of public money, precarisation of work and European border control. We identify responsible structures and actors in order to make it possible to hold them accountable. Additionally, we blog regularly on topics of European-wide relevance.

Collaborative cross-border journalism is more necessary than ever to explain a changing world. The success of our project heavily depends on sources, information and support from among the public. We are grateful for such input. Help us Investigate Europe!

Meet the Team

Wojciech Ciesla studied literature at Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan. He has worked in different positions for the Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza, at the daily Rzeczpospolita and at the investigative desk of the daily Dziennik. Since 2012 he has been investigative reporter with the magazine Newsweek Polska. Wojciech has won several awards, among them the 2009 Grand Press Award for investigative reporting for articles about dirty business connections of the Polish chapter of Transparency International. Wojciech lives in Warsaw.
Ingeborg Eliassen studied political science, literature and journalism in Norway. She was staff reporter at Vårt Land (1985-1991) and at Stavanger Aftenblad (1991-2015), with postings as correspondent in Washington DC and Brussels. A freelance since 2015, she has written books: “Borgerlønn. Ideen som endrer spillet” (Universal basic income. A gamechanger) (with Sven Egil Omdal, 2018), “Angrep eller forsvar? Kampfly, norske verdier og sikkerhetspolitiske ambisjoner” (“Attack or defense? Fighter jets, Norwegian values and security policy ambitions”) (with Cathrine Sandnes, 2016), and “Harde tider. Det nye arbeidslivet i Europa” (“Hard times. Europe’s new labour environment”) in 2014
Nico Schmidt studied cultural science in Hildesheim and Berlin. He attended the Henri-Nannen-Schule in Hamburg. As a freelance journalist his articles were published by among others Der Spiegel magazine, the weekly Die Zeit and Vice. He worked on a stipend by Robert-Bosch-Stiftung in Eastern Europe and was awarded the Grimme-Online-Award for the project “Werpeloh – ein deutsches Dorf”. Nico lives in Berlin.
Nikolas Leontopoulos reported for 10 years for the newspaper Eleftherotypia. Since 2010 he has been reporting on the financial and the migration crisis for the international media. He collaborated in investigations with Reuters on banks, shipping and the media, and with the New York Times in the “Outlaw Ocean” series (winner of the Polk award). He is the co-founder of ReportersUnited. In 2017 he made two documentaries for VICE Greece: “Lobbies without Borders”, based on Investigate Europe’s research, and “The German Big Brother” revealing that the German BND was spying on hundreds of Greek political and business targets. Nikolas lives in Athens
Maria Maggiore studied international law in Palermo and European journalism in Strasbourg. She has been reporting on European issues from Brussels for twenty years, amongst others for the daily newspaper La Stampa, for Italian Radio Popolare and for the TV-channel Euronews. In 2008 she launched, with a group of friends, the first European Parliament web TV, and for eight years she was its deputy editor-in-chief, in charge of TV reports from all of Europe. Maria now lives between Brussels and Turin, where her family lives.
Leïla Miñano studied international public law, political science and journalism in France. She’s a member of Youpress, a free-lance collective based in Paris covering international news around the world. She has reported for several medias such as Vanity Fair, Mediapart, Libération, Marianne, Le Parisien Magazine, Le Figaro Magazine. She has written two books : La Guerre Invisible, about the sexual violences committed in the french military (with Julia Pascual, Les Arènes, 2014) – this work has led to a govenmental national plan against violences in the army – and Le Sacrifice de Palmyre (Grasset, 2016) an investigation about the fall of Palmyra in Syria.
PAULO PENAJournalist
Paulo Pena studied journalism in Lisbon and in Washington DC. For years he was a reporter, and editor, of the weekly newsmagazine Visão, since 2014 he has been senior reporter at the daily newspaper Público. Paulo has won several awards (for his reports on the Genoa G8 Summit, on Iceland and about labour market reforms), most recently the 2013 Gazeta journalism award for his reporting on the Portuguese banking scandal, also published as a book under the title “Jogos de Poder” (“Power Games”) (2014). Paulo lives in Lisbon.
Harald Schumann studied landscape architecture in Berlin and has worked as a journalist since 1983, amongst others for the daily newspaper Tageszeitung (1984-86), Der Spiegel magazine (1986-2004), and since 2004 for the daily Berliner Tagesspiegel. He has written several books, among them “Die Globalisierungsfalle” (“The globalisation trap” ) (1996), co-authored with Hans-Peter Martin and translated into 24 languages. Harald has won multiple awards, among them the 2012 Ernst-Schneider-Preis of German business for testing speculation during the Greek crisis and the 2013 German Television Award for the documentary “Staatsgeheimnis Bankenrettung” (“The secret bank bailout”). Harald lives in Berlin.
She has worked in the UK for the Telegraph and the BBC, starting out with BBC World Service radio and ending up on the BBC’s investigative programme, Panorama. She works part-time for IE, sharing her days with the Centre for Investigative Journalism. She is also a trainer in data journalism. Juliet lives in London.


ELISA SIMANTKEEditorial Director and Journalist
Elisa Simantke studied economy and politics at the University of Cologne and journalism at the Journalism School Cologne. She worked for the daily newspaper Berliner Tagesspiegel (2011-2016), initially reporting on daily news, from 2014 on European affairs in general and the Greek crisis in particular. In 2015, Elisa won the Otto-Brenner-Preis for critical journalism for her multimedia research project “Europoly” about forced privatisations in the crisis countries of the eurozone. Elisa lives in Berlin.

Together with Oliver she co-leads the organisation, being responsible for the editorial side of Investigate Europe.

Oliver Moldenhauer studied Physics at the Universities of Oldenburg, Waikato (New Zealand) and Boulder (Colorado). He worked 1996-2000 at the Potsdam-Institute for Climate Impact Research before going on to co-found Attac in Germany. 2007-2013 he worked for Médicins Sans Frontières as a campaigner for the access to essential medicines. Today he serves as a volunteer board member for Médicins Sans Frontières Germany. Oliver lives in Berlin and Bielefeld.

Together with Elisa, Oliver co-leads Investigate Europe, being responsible for Finances, organisation and outreach to readers.