Vers une citoyenneté européenne: de l’importance de la société civile européenne – l’action de l’association Nouvelle Europe

Par Alexandra Yaghil | 26 février 2013

Pour citer cet article : Alexandra Yaghil, “Vers une citoyenneté européenne: de l’importance de la société civile européenne – l’action de l’association Nouvelle Europe”, Nouvelle Europe [en ligne], Mardi 26 février 2013, http://www.nouvelle-europe.eu/node/1646, consulté le 14 août 2020

A l'occasion de la Journée de l'éducation partagée organisée par la Direction départementale de la cohésion sociale (DDCS) des Hauts-de-Seine (92) le 13 novembre 2012, Nouvelle Europe intervenait durant l'Atelier Europe dédié aux actions de la société civile européenne et aux programmes européens dédiés à la jeunesse et à l'éducation. Nouvelle Europe participe également à la publication post-colloque de la DDCS des Hauts-de-Seine à travers un texte sur l'importance de la société civile européenne dans la construction citoyenne européenne. 

"Il y a aujourd'hui une nationalité européenne, comme il y avait, au temps d'Eschyle, de Sophocle et d'Euripide, une nationalité grecque." Victor Hugo le pressentait déjà, c’est aujourd’hui une réalité: nous, Européens, si différents, avons décidé de suivre un chemin commun vers une Europe toujours plus unie.

La "citoyenneté européenne" est un fait, une réalité tangible qui sous-tend l’octroi de droits et de devoirs. Introduite par le traité de Maastricht en 1992, la citoyenneté européenne s’ajoute à la citoyenneté nationale. Elle la complète. Donnant accès au droit de vote et d’éligibilité aux élections municipales et européennes ainsi qu’à la protection consulaire, elle permet la libre circulation à l’intérieur des Vingt-sept. Parallèlement, l’Union européenne (UE) s’est également dotée d’un nombre élevé d’attributs relatifs à une appartenance commune et comparables à l’appartenance nationale: institutions communautaires, droit européen, élections parlementaires directes, drapeau, hymne, etc.

A cette citoyenneté de juris, s’ajoutent ces fils invisibles qui lient les citoyens de Madrid à Riga, de Sofia à Dublin, et qui tissent une "identité" commune, l’"esprit européen" si cher à Paul Valéry. Des valeurs, des racines, un passé communs forment un patrimoine collectif mêlant histoire et culture d’une part, principes juridiques et politiques d’autre part. La définition historico-culturelle de l’Europe associe, en effet, la continuité historique du continent (depuis l’Empire romain) à l’héritage philosophique humaniste (Etat de droit, conscience politique). Quant à l’identification juridique, morale et politique de l’Europe, elle repose sur les fondements démocratiques ainsi que sur certaines valeurs sociales. Nos systèmes politiques et sociaux sont certes dissemblables, mais des données objectives permettent de penser un socle commun.

L’existence de cette citoyenneté européenne de juris permet-elle, pour autant, d’affirmer l’ancrage d’un "sentiment citoyen européen"? Certainement non… La citoyenneté européenne demeure encore largement passive. Et, si notre identité commune est indéniable, elle semble ne pas avoir pris toute sa place dans la conscience des Européens.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Il est donc nécessaire de sensibiliser les Européens, en particulier la jeunesse, à la citoyenneté européenne, aux valeurs qu’elle sous-tend et aux droits et devoirs qui l’accompagnent. Il faut dire et répéter ces références communes dans lesquelles, d’un bout à l’autre du continent, nous nous reconnaissons. De même, il s’agit de rendre toujours plus compréhensible le fonctionnement de l’Union européenne et plus accessibles les programmes et opportunités offerts par celle-ci.

La mondialisation appelle, de façon urgente, l’Europe politique à exister. Pour cela, elle doit parvenir à "l’unité dans la diversité", tel que l’affirme la devise européenne. L’importance de l’échelon local et de la société civile européenne pour donner corps à cette citoyenneté européenne est, dès lors, majeure. Nouvelle Europe est née de cette idée même et a souhaité mettre les jeunes au cœur de sa démarche.

Organisation transnationale, Nouvelle Europe est un groupe de réflexion sur l’Europe élargie et son voisinage. Le projet, né en 2004, est aujourd’hui porté par une quarantaine de jeunes Européens d’une quinzaine de nationalités différentes. Professionnels, jeunes chercheurs ou étudiants, ils sont réunis autour de l’idée que la réunification européenne est encore devant nous. Seul un apprentissage mutuel de "l'autre" permettra au projet européen de prendre la dimension continentale et historique qui est la sienne. Il faut, pour cela, promouvoir la mobilité et l'information ; telles sont les vocations de Nouvelle Europe.

Nos objectifs sont de favoriser la compréhension des grands enjeux européens et de l’élargissement de l’UE, contribuer à un débat d’idées, penser la construction européenne d’un point de vue nouveau et permettre aux différents acteurs institutionnels, universitaires et de la société civile de débattre sur des thèmes clés. Enfin, Nouvelle Europe œuvre à l’éveil d’une conscience européenne via des programmes d’éducation non formelle, en particulier des jeux de simulation.

Nouvelle Europe est devenue la principale revue en ligne en langue française consacrée à l’Europe élargie et à son voisinage. En contrepoint des articles et dossiers mensuels, nos rédactions de Paris, Londres et Bruxelles organisent des débats et conférences. Programme phare de l’association, "S(t)imulation européenne" est un exercice pédagogique et ludique qui consiste en l’organisation de simulations parlementaires européennes. Il est principalement dédié aux élèves du lycée, toutes filières confondues: en quatre heures, une classe se transforme en Parlement européen, chaque lycéen devenant député d’un jour pour débattre des questions énergétiques et auditionner un candidat commissaire à l’énergie. Ce programme, qui existe en français et en anglais, remporte toujours l’enthousiasme des élèves et des professeurs.

Si le "Mur de la Honte" est tombé il y a maintenant plus de vingt ans, la réunification européenne reste à achever. Les Européens doivent être informés de manière plus simple et plus directe. Nouvelle Europe veut réfléchir mais également donner à réfléchir, dans le respect de toutes les opinions et croyances: décrire, comparer, analyser pour mieux se comprendre, mieux communiquer. Toutes nos activités s’axent autour de nos points communs et nos différences. Loin de vouloir les effacer, l’Union européenne a choisi de faire de ces dernières une richesse. Qu’il s’agisse de la perception mutuelle des citoyens européens ou de la connaissance des citoyens de l’Union européenne, c’est l’opacité qu’il s’agit de combattre. Nouvelle Europe s’est donc donné pour but de soulever ces barrières existantes, bien qu’invisibles.

(Sources : Charte éditoriale de Nouvelle Europe, articles de Philippe Perchoc et Tanguy Séné sur www.nouvelle-europe.eu)

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