Today, on 9th of May we celebrate Europe Day.
The date marks the anniversary of the historic ‘Schuman declaration’. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.
His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.
In Paris that day, against the background of the threat of a Third World War engulfing the whole of Europe, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman read to the international press a declaration calling France, Germany and other European countries to pool together their coal and steel production as “the first concrete foundation of a European federation”.
What he proposed was the creation of a supranational European Institution, charged with the management of the coal and steel industry, the very sector which was, at that time, the basis of all military power. The countries which he called upon had almost destroyed each other in a dreadful conflict which had left after it a sense of material and moral desolation.
Everything, therefore, began that day. That is why during the Milan Summit of EU leaders in 1985 it was decided to celebrate 9 May as “Europe Day”.
Every country which democratically chooses to accede to the European Union endorses its fundamental values of peace and solidarity.
These values find expression through economic and social development embracing environmental and regional dimensions which are the guarantees of a decent standard of living for all citizens.
The EU motto is “United in diversity” and it first came into use in 2000.
It signifies how Europeans have come together, in the form of the EU, to work for peace and prosperity, while at the same time being enriched by the continent’s many different cultures, traditions and languages. This motto represents what EU is all about and why we honor this day. Main purpose of EU is to live in a societies without conflict, to live in peace, to respect other citizens and to grow together. Since the establishment of EU, none of the countries within EU entered or started a war.
Joining Europe Day
To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions traditionally open their doors to the public in early May. Local EU offices in Europe and all over the world organise a variety of activities and events for all ages.
Each year thousands of people take part in visits, debates, concerts and other activities to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU.
Since the start of the COVID-19 crisis, the EU is inviting citizens from across Europe and the world to discover it in a safe and mostly virtual way, with physical or hybrid events and visits taking place where sanitary conditions allow it.