MAY 9: the "Europe Day"
On May 9, the European Union celebrated the "Europe Day", a day that has become a symbol over the years and that sees, for the occasion, celebrations and activities that can bring Europe closer to its citizens and the peoples of the European Union to each other. A difficult year for Europe, still marked by the pandemic and the consequences of the economic crisis, but also an opportunity to rediscover a new European solidarity and the common will to look to the future.
The origin of the date
On 9 May 1950, Robert Schumann presented the first proposal for European economic cooperation, conceived by Jean Monnet, and set out in the Schuman Declaration which laid the foundations of what we now call the European Union. The Schuman Declaration is recognized as the first formal political discourse in which the concept of Europe appears, understood as an economic and, later, political union among the various European states. The Declaration proposes the resolution of Franco-German rivalries primarily related to coal and steel production for the pooling of European reserves through the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
The date also coincides with the day that marks, in fact, the end of the Second World War following the signing of the Nazi surrender and the capture of Hermann Goring and other Nazi hierarchs. The Council of Europe, initially, celebrated May 5 as 'Europe Day' until 1964, commemorating its own institution on May 5, 1949. Later, however, the European Economic Community adopted instead the 9th of May on the occasion of the European Summit held in Milan in 1985, in memory of Schumann's proposal.
A Day of Celebration
Every year, to celebrate Europe Day, the various institutions of the Union open their offices in Belgium and the local offices within the member states to all citizens and a series of events and activities are organized for all European citizens. This year the celebrations took place remotely on the web. The European Commission, the European Parliament and other institutions organized a series of streaming events to virtually explore the European Commission headquarters, participate in debates and concerts via streaming and many other activities on the website.