Europe Day

flag of the European UnionToday is Europe Day!

The ideas behind what is now the European Union were first put forward in Paris on 9 May 1950, against the background of the instability and the need to rebuild a shattered Europe. The then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman read to the international press a declaration calling on France, Germany and other European countries to pool together their coal and steel production.

What he proposed was the creation of a supranational European Institution, charged with the management of the coal and steel industry, the basis of all military power. The countries which he called upon had almost destroyed each other in a dreadful conflict, and Schuman’s proposal to remove coal and steel production from national controls would make sure such a war could never happen again.

Today’s ambition is completely different: to build a Europe which respects freedom and the identity of all of the people who live on this continent. But this ambition is only possible because of the foundations laid by Schuman’s declaration

That is why during the Milan Summit of EU leaders in 1985 it was decided that 9 May should be celebrated as “Europe Day”.

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