9 May 2019

Today, 9 May, marks Europe Day: an annual celebration of peace and unity throughout the EU, with commemorative events taking place worldwide.

Europe Day commemorates the anniversary of the 1950 Schuman Declaration, a speech delivered by the then-French foreign minister Robert Schuman proposing the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC); the ECSC, formed in 1951 by Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany, was the first in a series of post-war cooperative endeavours between nations which would eventually become the European Union.

The occasion was established to raise awareness on the European Union, celebrating its diverse cultures and traditions. It also highlights the symbol of unity: its twelve-star flag, its hymn and its motto “United in diversity”. For the euro-zone countries, the single currency is also a symbol of unity.

The 2019 Europe Day celebrations will focus on the theme of “choosing your own future”, encouraging citizens across the EU to participate in the European elections between 23 and 26 May.