Every year, on 9 May , the whole continent celebrates Europe Day to mark the historical Declaration of Robert Schuman. At a speech in Paris in 1950, the then French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, shaped up his visionary idea for a new political construction of cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.
His 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. Schuman’s proposal, on the creation of an organised Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations, is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.
On 18 April 1951, six states, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and Holland signed the Paris Treaty creating the first European community: the European Coal and Steel Community. This ushered in a new stage in the evolution of the Old World, based on economic cooperation and legislative harmonization, instead of violence and coercion. In 1985, when the European project was clearly defined, the ten states forming the European Community declared 9th of May Europe Day.
The same European Council was the one who decided back in 1972, that “Ode to Joy” (last part of the Ninth Symphony by Beethoven) became his anthem and in 1985, EU member states have adopted it as the official anthem of the European Union.
Today, for almost 500 million people, EU means fewer borders, more opportunities, a cleaner Europe, studies abroad, equal opportunities, rule of law, freedom, security and social justice.
May 9 is now a symbol of Europe, with the single currency, euro, European Union flag and anthem.
Europe Day is an occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and the peoples of the Union closer to one another.
For Romania, however, May 9 marks also two other important historical milestones and is a triple opportunity to celebrate.
On this day, 138 years ago, Romania won its independence from the Ottoman Empire.
May 9 it is also celebrated worldwide as Victory Day, marking the end of World War II .
“The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations”, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman said in his historical address of 1950.
Comprising 28 Member States, the EU is a unique construction in the world, relying on the economic and political solidarity of participant countries.
Romania became a full EU Member State on January 1, 2007, an accession that has deeply impacted the lives of its people. This year, Romania celebrates also the 10th anniversary since the signing of the Accession Treaty to the European Union.