9 May has been established in 1985 as “Europe Day” and symbolizes unity and peace in the European Union. This date marks the anniversary of the historic “Schuman Declaration”, which was the starting point for the creation of the EU.
On 9 May 1950, the French Finance Minister Robert Schuman issued a public declaration calling on France, Germany, and other countries to pool their coal and steel production as part of a new policy of cooperation to ensure peaceful coexistence between European states, which was becoming necessary after the turbulent years of the Second World War. Thus, it was proposed for the first time to create the European Coal and Steel Community, the first of a series of supranational European institutions that eventually evolved into the present ‘European Union’ (EU), with France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, and Luxembourg as founding members.
Since 1951 and the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community, in 1957 with the creation of the European Atomic Energy Community and the European Economic Community, and in 1993 with the creation of the European Union through the merger of the three European Communities mentioned above, the European framework has evolved considerably. By 2020, with the departure of the United Kingdom, the European Union will consist of 27 Member States, with approximately 447.7 million citizens and a GDP of almost €13.4 trillion. The EU is called upon to face increasingly complex challenges such as climate change, the digital transformation of the societies of the EU Member States, the current economic crisis, the SARS-Cov-2 pandemic, and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which require active and immediate action by the Member States to adopt new methods, measures, and solutions in cooperation with each other.
The active participation of citizens in European affairs is becoming increasingly important. By establishing a Europe Day, the EU is encouraging action at Member State and Union level to help raise citizens’ awareness of the importance and role of the EU and the nature of the major European issues that should be of concern to them. At the same time, Europe Day is also a reminder for the EU institutions and the Member States of their obligation to ensure peace and cooperation at Union level to defend the interests of all the Member States of the Union on the basis of the fundamental values recognized by the EU (a.3 TFEU).

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