European New Year



The team

Michel Le Roux, Emmanuel Bourcelet and Jean-François Sauvenier (entrepreneurs)


Our goal

Get the citizen closer to Europe


Big idea

Despite its common history and culture and its open borders, Europe has not succeeded in building a shared identity. Indeed, Europe is increasingly perceived as  a top-heavy bureaucratic  institution posing  a threat to our individual regional identities.


We, the initiators of European New Year, believe in the legitimacy of Europe, based on its universal democratic values, its traditions, its quality of life and its diversity. European citizens often overlook these aspects, and take Europe for granted.


When the EU enlarged with 10 new members, in 2003, we decided to launch an event, which would celebrate the European spirit beyond our cultural differences. We went to the EU and obtained the official support of Romano Prodi, the then president of the European Commission. We decided to organize this event the evening before the official Europe Day, the 8th of May 2004. The European New Year was born! We launched it small scale at first in France, Belgium and The Netherlands. The following year, we invited artists, musicians and DJ’s from 21 countries to perform at the Hotel Arena in the presence of Secretary of State Nicolaï and the writer Geert Mak. A beautiful spirit of exchange and tolerance was floating in the air. The same year, French and Dutch people said No to Europe which prevented us from moving forward with the project, but the concept as well as the intention remain present in our minds.





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