Europe Day 2021

Europeans are celebrating Europe Day today, 9 May 2021. Europe Day is an annual holiday in the European Union.

A Conference on the Future of Europe is coordinated to coincide with Europe Day this year. The conference organizers explain that “The Conference on the Future of Europe is a unique and timely opportunity for European citizens to debate on Europe’s challenges and priorities. No matter where you are from or what you do, this is the place to think about what future you want for the European Union. The European Parliament, the Council and the European Commission have committed to listen to Europeans and to follow up, within their sphere of competences, on the recommendations made.”

Euronews explains the significance of Europe Day: “The date marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, which proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community, the forerunner to the European Union. Europe Day intends to ‘celebrate peace, solidarity, diversity and unity in Europe,’ according to EU institutions. But it is also an opportunity for European citizens to find out more about what the EU does and to debate the issues that will shape its future.”

The Schuman Declaration arguably laid the political and economic groundwork for the European Union, which emerged later. European Union politicians and historians consider Robert Schuman one of the key architects of European integration. The Schuman Declaration has thus become integral to the historical narrative of the European Union’s formation.

Euronews summarizes the significance of the Schuman Declaration: “In a historic speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, who was France’s foreign minister at the time, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable. Schuman proposed that the community’s founding members – France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg – would pool their coal and steel resources and create a common market by lifting import and export duties. The idea was partly economic: Schuman’s proposal came just five years after World War II that left the continent devastated. But it was also political. The idea was that by merging the economic interests of France and Germany together, it would reduce the risk of conflict in the future.”

Celebrations of Europe Day are being held online this year, due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. A Music Europe Day is being broadcast online.

This entry was posted in Conferences, European History, European Union, French History, Human Rights, Idea of Europe, Museums and Historical Memory, Strategy and International Politics. Bookmark the permalink.

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