Proud to be European
Published on May 10, 2018
Yesterday we celebrated the Europe Day. Unlike many national holidays, such as National Day（国庆节）here in China, the history and background of Europe Day is not as well known globally.
Firstly, what is the significance of Europe Day? Europe day is recognized as an international celebration in order to mark the peace and tranquility in Europe. The holiday is celebrated on two separate dates by two organizations, the Council of Europe celebrates the date on May 5th while the European Union celebrates it on May 9th. Europe Day, as celebrated by the European Union on the 9th of May, marks the anniversary of the historical ‘Schuman declaration’. In the year 1950, in the aftermath of World War 2, Robert Schuman, at that time the foreign minister of France, set out his idea for political cooperation between European nations, in an attempt to make avoid further conflict in Europe.
Schuman’s original 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, The European Steel and Coal Community’s 6 original members were France, West Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, the European Union now comprises 28 European Nations. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.
Europe Day is celebrated in many different forms as the various member states of Europe all have their own unique way of honoring the day, for example, in Warsaw, a Schuman Parade is organized to commemorate the contributions of Schuman towards the establishment of the European Union. Many member states consecrate the festival by decorating government institutions with EU flags and symbols, speeches of unity are also given by prominent leaders in the different states to mark the day.
On a global scale, EU offices and delegations all over the world organize a variety of activities and events throughout the month of May in order to celebrate. In keeping with European matters globally, there is even more reason to celebrate this year: consular protection will be provided to all EU citizens living or travelling outside of the EU from any EU Consulate, even if a person’s particular country of origin is not represented.