Moderated by Pascal Verdeau France3's correspondent in Brussels, the debate was introduced by Juilen Zalc who presented the state of the European public opinion. In particular it seems that European citizens are quite pessimistic about the European Union and feel that their voice is not taken into account. Gaps are growing between socio-demographic groups and also between EU Member States.
Thierry Chopin, Studies Director at the Robert Schuman Foundation believes that Europeans tend to look at things too negatively. He believes that the Union is still attractive and that it is an economic power if we look at it from a fundamental point of view and consider its position in world trade. However Europe cannot simply grow with a discourse of discipline - we need a long term project backed by European principles. The European Union needs to be recognized and understood by its citizens and to this end we need to be able to put faces to titles and associate them with the ideas they embody.
The upcoming electoral year may lead to this acknowledgement by the citizens. MEP Françoise Castex, highlighted the fact that the European elections should not become the focus of decision for or against the European Union but that it had to be a movement in a political, economic, social or even military direction. In addition to this Philippe Juvin MEP insisted on the need for a common narrative, of common symbols in order to raise European interest. During the conference mobility and the idea of a European constituency were discussed to strengthen the feeling of being European amongst the Union's citizens.
In order to win back Europe's heart the European Union has to improve its profiles, its cohesion and the understanding citizens have of how it functions. Jean-Dominique Perret, Chairman of the Executive Committee of the European Human Resources Club notes that the EU should avoid being self-satisfied and use its basic principles to explain its action: why and how is European political action undertaken.
Julia Wahl, a young graduate of the Collège d'Europe provided a note of optimism since the European situation is the envy of many countries, regions or continent in the world and that her generation does not question Europe as such but looks at how Europe responds to present challenges and the future of young people.
Julien Zalc, Thierry Chopin, Françoise Casteix, Pascal Verdeau, Jean-Dominique Perret, Philippe Juvin, Julia Wahl
le panel : Thierry Chopin, Françoise Casteix, Pascal Verdeau, modérateur, Jean-Dominique Perret, Philippe Juvin, Julia Wahl
Thierry Chopin, Françoise Casteix, Pascal Verdeau, Jean-Dominique Perret, Philippe Juvin