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Who was celebrating Europe Day this year?

Posted by Nick Prag at 11 May 2017, 22:20 CET |
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In the UK the only official Europe Day event took place in Scotland, which voted overwhelmingly to remain in the EU in last year's Brexit referendum. And a large EU flag was hung from Maidenhead Bridge near here.

A gesture of defiance by some 'remoaners', one might think.

Or an understanding of the fact that May 9 marks the day in 1950 when Robert Schuman, one of the founders of the EU, made a speech in Paris, the 'Schuman Declaration', which outlined a vision to unite separate European states into a single community.

Europe Day is a celebration of the European Union and its institutions. At this time, doors open for the public and celebrations are held in places like Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg, as well as in the other EU member states.

Schuman's 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 seen as the beginning of what is now the European Union.

Schuman hoped his plan would ensure future peace in Europe - particularly between France and Germany.

At this difficult time for Europe, it is not a bad thing to remember Schuman's dream, which was to create a different Europe which would work together to overcome conflict, and would grow stronger step by step.


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Nick Prag

Nick Prag

Nick Prag is founder and managing editor of Prior to EUbusiness, he was senior editor at Europe Online SA in Luxembourg, where he played a major part in the launch of Europe Online International.