Europe Day

Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe. There are two separate designations of Europe Day: 5 May for the Council of Europe, and 9 May for the European Union (EU).For the EU, the day is also known as Schuman Day, commemorating the historical declaration by French foreign minister Robert Schuman, who proposed the pooling of French and West German coal and steel. Europe Day iwas established in 1949 and is one of a number of European events designed to foster unity among Europeans.

The Council of Europe was founded on 5 May 1949, and chose that day for its celebrations when it established the holiday in 1964. In 1985, the European Communities (which later became the European Union) adopted the European symbols of the Council of Europe such as the Flag of Europe. However, the Community leaders decided to hold their Europe Day in commemoration of the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950. The declaration proposed the pooling of French and West German coal and steel industries, leading to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, the first European Community, and hence is considered a principal founding moment. Hence, at the 1985 Milan European Council, 29 September was adopted as the EU’s flag day and The European Parliament formally recognised the 9 May holiday in October 2008 and it is celebrated on May 9th in most member states of the European Union and EU candidate countries such as Turkey.

Due to the political nature of the day, people are taught about the European Union and the reasons to support a European integration. The flag plays a major role in general celebrations. Despite a preference for 9 May, with the European Union’s greater visibility, 5 May is still observed by some Europeans due to the Council’s role in seeking to defend human rights, parliamentary democracy, and the rule of law.

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