|date||May 9, 2015|
|location||Robert Schuman Building (SCH) i|
|attending||R. (Robert) Schuman i et al.|
|organisation||European Commission (EC) i, European Parliament (EP) i, European Court of Auditors i, European Council i, European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) i, European External Action Service (EEAS) i|
Europe Day (9 May) celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration'. At a speech in Paris in 1950, the French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.
His 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 considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.
To celebrate Europe Day, the EU institutions open their doors to the public on 9 May in Brussels and Luxembourg.
Each year thousands of people take part in visits, debates, concerts and other events to mark the day and raise awareness about the EU.
The European Parliament, the European Council, the European Commission, the European Court of Auditors, the European Court of Justice, the European External Action Service, the European Economic and Social Committee, the Committee of the Regions, the European Ombudsman and the European Data Protection Supervisor will open their doors to the public. Join the celebrations and learn more about the European Union with events and activities for all ages.
The European Commission is the executive body of the EU and runs its day-to-day business. It is made up of the College of Commissioners, 27 European Commissioners, one for each member state, who are each responsible for one or several policy areas. In addition, the 'Commission' also refers to the entire administrative body that supports the Commissioners, consisting of the Directorates-General and the Services.
The European Commission is the sole EU body capable of proposing new legislation. The Commission also performs an oversight function, monitoring whether European legislation is properly implemented in the member states. In the event of non-compliance, the Commission can coerce a member state to comply by starting a legal procedure at the European Court of Justice.
The European Parliament is the EU's law-making body. It is directly elected by EU voters every 5 years.
What does the Parliament do?
The Parliament has 3 main roles:
As the EU's independent external auditor, the European Court of Auditors (ECA) looks after the interests of EU taxpayers. It does not have legal powers, but works to improve the European Commission's management of the EU budget and reports on EU finances.
What does the ECA do?
-Audits EU revenue & expenditure, to check EU funds are correctly raised, spent, achieve value for money and accounted for.
The European Council brings together EU leaders to set the EU's political agenda. It represents the highest level of political cooperation between EU countries.
One of the EU's 7 official institutions, the Council takes the form of (usually quarterly) summit meetings between EU leaders, chaired by a permanent president.
What does the European Council do?
The European Economic and Social Committee (EESC) is an EU advisory body comprising representatives of workers' and employers' organisations and other interest groups. It issues opinions on EU issues to the European Commission, the Council of the EU and the European Parliament, thus acting as a bridge between the EU's decision-making institutions and EU citizens.
What does the EESC do?
It gives the interest groups a formal say on EU legislative proposals. Its 3 key tasks are to:
-ensure that EU policy and law are geared to economic and social conditions, by seeking a consensus that serves the common good
The External Action Service (EEAS) of the European Union is officially an autonomous body within the EU. It is in part the successor to the directorate general for external affairs of the European Commission, elements of Council's secretariat and supplemented by personnel from the member states. Its main task it to support the EU in making and implementing foreign and development policies. At the request of member states the EEAS acts as a diplomatic service.
The EEAS also co-ordinates EU activities such as the missions to Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan. The European intelligence services is part of the EEAS as well.