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Europe Day

A conflict of dates represents „Europe Day”. The Council of Europe has celebrated its founding on 5 May 1949 as „Europe Day” since 1964.

On May 9, 1950, Robert Schumann, the then Foreign Minister of France, made the historic declaration that „The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations”. He laid out his plan for the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community, the ECSC.

The now European Union adopted 9 May as „Europe Day” at the Milan summit in 1985, to honor Robert Schumann's declaration. 9 May is now the more commonly observed date; though some Europeans still prefer 5 May. Incidentally May 9, is also celebrated in Russia as Victory Day which in most western European countries (VE Day) is celebrated on May 8. In much of the former Soviet Union, May 9 is also celebrated as the anniversary of the end of the Second World War.

The European idea
On 25 March 2007 Europe celebrated the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Treaties of Rome. These documents are regarded as the „Birth Certificate” of the European Union. The Europe of six Founding Nations has today become a community of 27 countries. What it would be like Europe, if this treaty had never existed? It is time for a look back, but also for a look into the future.

The 50th anniversary should be regarded as an opportunity to renew and strengthen the European Union and its values; a Europe that contributes to the preservation of peace and freedom for its citizens and for the world. „The desire for world peace unites the peoples of the new Europe”. The one-time deadly hostile states are now joined together in an alliance of which Europe utopians would not have dared to dream.

Other visions for a future Europe contemplate a social insurance system, preservation of its cultural heritage and maintaining its cultural diversity; sustainable environmental protection. Europe is the pioneer and source of inspiration in environmental policy. Europe has supported the fight against the dramatic threat of global warming from the very outset. (