Representation of the diversity of Europe and its Member States in the form of a garden. A Europe united in the diversity of its cultures and traditions. A Europe to be traveled by a sensory path to discover how what seemed a utopia after the end of the Second World War could be achieved with a huge challenge, guaranteeing lasting peace for Europeans and solidarity between its peoples. A polyphony of cultures that come together under a common project that is constantly evolving and that needs to be preserved in the face of nationalist threats that are being constructed to discredit European values. A garden as a place for the development of new ideas through an educational exercise that allows us to learn about our history as Europeans. A metaphor for Europe where different paths intersect, showing our multiple origins. A small commune in the Marne region that has been able to raise awareness about the privilege of being European and the importance of preserving the environment. An invitation to discover the privilege of being European.

Presentation of the project

The Garden of Europe is an example of Leader’s contribution to the development of rural areas. A project led by this small municipality of 144 inhabitants of the Marne Department (France), which wished to show two issues of our time: the need to preserve biodiversity and the promotion of the feeling of belonging to the European Union. An awareness raising action with a “bottom-up” approach, which manifests itself through a sensory and educational path, two concepts, which are part of our daily lives but which seem to escape us by fear, ignorance or simply detachment. Biodiversity and Europe, two realities that need the commitment of all Europeans so that they can leave a better future to future generations at a time when Europe is defining the biodiversity strategy for 2030 in the context of the Green Deal, in a context of claiming national sovereignisms and Europe’s mistrust, which is often blamed for all our ills. This project aims to raise awareness of the importance of solidarity between nations, because the European community could not have been built without dialog and respect among all. A project that raises awareness of democracy as a foundation that we must all preserve. Two alleys that cross like a braid, surrounded by large patches of blue perennials, old yellow kilometer markers that represent the Member States, the capitals and the distance from Haussimont, arranged chronologically from the entrance to the European club. Blue and yellow are the symbols of the European flag. Interpretive materials with the major dates of the construction of the European Union, its history, its geography and its institutions allow to better appropriate this common good. But this project is not alone. It is part of the municipality’s commitment to the protection of the environment and biodiversity: ‘Le Labyrinthe des Cépages’, place of discovery of the vineyards of France, ‘Le Parc des Latitudes’, where plants act and evolve in response to global warming, ‘Le Verger Participatif’, an educational support through the planting of old varieties. Leader participates in this project with other public contributions because environmental protection is one of the objectives of the Leader strategy 2014-2022 of the LAG Pays de Châlons en Champagne and environmental education through the transmission of knowledge is one of the eligible operations of the program.

The emblematic character of the project

The biodiversity of a garden and the diversity of Europe are part of our wealth. Europe, “the only feasible Utopia,” as the writer Javier Cercas defined it. While the European institutions are a forum for debate and decision-making between the Member States, the garden also symbolizes a space for reflection and the construction of utopias based on the divergent ideas of one another, which have in common, to establish barriers to nationalism and to guarantee permanent peace and harmony between peoples, while respecting the specificities of each. Here is a project carried out by a small village with great ambitions: to bring Europe closer to the rural environment. The shape of the garden in spirals that intersect as a metaphor of the diverse origins of each of us, but also as a meeting point in a path that has no beginning or end… but constantly evolving. Here is a project that aims to offer a sensory and educational experience for all generations by playing with the symbolic character: the garden. The garden as a space for reflection, debate and the construction of “real utopias”. If biodiversity is under threat, if Europe is in crisis, this project brings a breath of fresh air to raise awareness among men, women and young people about the importance of preserving nature and believing in Europe as a destiny. The Leader European Congress is a showcase for this project, so that other regions can also build their own gardens and claim the need for an open, united and united Europe in its diversity.


Commune de Haussimont

Pays de Châlons en Champagne

Grand Est