9 May: Europe Day 2013 – 63rd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration
Tomorrow Europe will celebrate the 63rd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration.
Sixty-three years ago, on 9 May 1950, the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made the first move towards the creation of what we now know as the European Union.
He read a declaration to the international press in Paris, calling on France, Germany and other European countries to pool their coal and steel production as “the first concrete foundation of a European federation”.
Only five years after the end of the most dreadful conflict in Europe, the Second World War, he proposed the creation of a supranational European institution, to take charge of the coal and steel industry, the very sector which had made the war possible.
The countries which he called upon had almost destroyed each other, and reconciliation was a brave thing to imagine at that time.
9 May became Europe Day in 1985, with many public manifestations in Member States to celebrate European achievements.