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. The latter is the EU’s flag day and has a greater visibility. The Council of Europe’s day reflects its own establishment in 1949, while the European Union’s day is also known as Schuman Day and celebrates the historical declaration by French foreign minister Robert Schuman in 1950. Europe Day is designed to foster unity among Europeans.

The Council of Europe was founded on 5 May 1949, and hence it 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. The European Constitution would have legally enshrined all the European symbols in the EU treaties, however the treaty failed The Constitution’s replacement, the Treaty of Lisbon, contains a declaration by sixteen members supporting the symbols. The European Parliament formally recognised the 9 May holiday in October 2008.

9 May is celebrated in various forms in most member states of the European Union and EU candidate countries such as Turkey. people are taught about the European Union and speaking in support of European integration.The flag as another symbol 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. In contrast, the Schuman declaration was merely proposing the pooling of French and West German coal and steel. Since 2003, Ukraine has celebrated Europe Day on the third Saturday of May.

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