An estimated 18,000 people dropped by the EU institutions last Saturday to see what goes on behind the scenes.
At the European Parliament, citizens got the chance to debate with MEPs.
And even if the discussions at the EU level are often consensus-based, many openly questioned whether the project had a future.
“I ask myself if citizens are really still interested in Europe with all the misadventures that we’ve seen, with all the problems that we have at the moment. Are citizens really still interested in Europe?,” said one Belgian man.
At the European Council, the institution that represents 27 EU countries, a tour guide shows a group around this room where EU leaders usually meet behind closed doors.
“This building is shut to the public. It needs to be opened up, not just to TV cameras, but to facilitate a dialogue, a debate and open up Europe. There is a lot of work to do,” said another visitor.
Bursting the Eurobubble: that’s what Yacine Kouhen, a communications coach, has tried to do with his own web series of the same name which takes a look into the lives of Eurocrats.
The answer to make Europe more popular? Communicate more effectively.
Kouhen said: “Sellling Europe is something actually difficult because it is very dense but an alternative way of communicating with people must be found, we need something new.”
For Matthieu Lietaert, a documentary maker who recently produced a piece on Brussels lobbyists, points to a large democratic deficit that puts Europe out of reach of ordinary citizens.
“Today everything comes top down from Brussels. It needs to be more bottom up, shift from a representative democracy to a participatory democracy,” he said.
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