On 9 May 2011 Europe will celebrate the 61st anniversary of the Schuman Declaration.
Sixty-one years ago, on 9 May 1950, the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made the first move towards the creation of what we now know as the European Union. He read a declaration to the international press in Paris, calling on France, Germany and other European countries to pool their coal and steel production as "the first concrete foundation of a European federation". It is remarkable that only five years after the end of the most dreadful conflict in Europe, the Second World War, he proposed the creation of a supranational European institution, to take charge of the coal and steel industry, the very sector which had made the war possible. The countries which he called upon had almost destroyed each other, and reconciliation was a brave thing to imagine at that time.
The 9 May became the Europe Day in 1985, with many public manifestations in Member States to celebrate European achievements.
Members of the Commission will take part in events across Europe: President Barroso made the following statement: SPEECH/11/312. Commissioner Vassiliou will be in Florence for the Festival dell'Europa organised by the European University Institute. Vice President Almunia will attend the raising of the EU flag ceremony and the "Dia de Europa" event in Marid. Vice-President Tajani will be speaking at a conference in Milan focused on youth unemployment. Vice-President Šefcovic will take part in the European Parliament celebrations in Strasbourg. Commissioner Barnier and Commissioner Oettinger will celebrate in Berlin where they will take the "Europe Bus" to go to the Brandenburger Tor. Commissioner Potocnik will take part in the celebrations in Ljubljana. Commissioner Geoghegan-Quinn will address Dáil Éireann (the Irish Parliament) on the occasion of Europe Day. Commissioner Georgieva and Commissioner Füle will remember their school years going back to their schools - 7th Secondary School "Sveti Sedmochislenici" in Sofia and the school of the town of Kadan. Commissioner Hedegaard will celebrate with the citizens of Copenhagen.
-Footage from various events will be available on EbS
President Barroso's website:
The Festival of Europe website:
Pia Ahrenkilde-Hansen +32 2 295 3070 firstname.lastname@example.org