You may have Sunday down as Mother’s Day and still be debating where to get candy or flowers, but it is actually also Europe Day. And you do not have to send us any flowers, either.
Every year, the 9th of May is observed in all European Union member states as the day when it all began, the birthday of the political vision of a united European continent. On 9 May 1950, exactly five years after the end of World War II in Europe, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, in a speech to the French parliament, first publicly formulated his ideas of creating pan-European institutions which could bring the former enemies together, starting with the creation of a joint administration for the production of coal and steel - vital industrial resources which had played such a huge role in the political machinations which had led Europe into two devastating world wars and to the brink of destruction.
71 years on, the European project is still evolving. In spite of recent setbacks and signs of public discontent, the process of European integration has proven to be irreversible. The old continent has learned the lessons of its history. While we observe Europe Day in recognition of how far we have come on this road together, we also celebrate our diversity, the national identity and rich cultural heritage that each member states has brought into the fold – according to the European Union’s official motto “United in Diversity”.
Happy Europe Day!