Celebrate Europe Day with ECHO!

Celebrate Europe Day with ECHO! On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, called the press together for a major announcement. He called on France, Germany and other European countries still recovering from the Second World War to pool their production of coal and steel. This announcement – the Schuman declaration – is seen as the birth certificate of the European Union and, every year, 9 May is celebrated as Europe Day.

Forty-two years after Schuman's declaration, in 1992, the European Commission created the European Community Humanitarian Office – ECHO – in direct response to a series of large-scale disasters in the early 1990s: the bloody conflicts in the former Yugoslavia that claimed thousands of lives and forced hundreds of thousands to flee their homes and countries; a deadly cyclone that hit Bangladesh, killing over 100 000 and leaving millions homeless; and a famine in Somalia claiming the lives of over 200 000 people.

This year, both Europe's foundation and ECHO's 20th anniversary are being celebrated together through a series of ECHO events all over the world. They will help increase awareness of the need for further, coordinated EU action in Humanitarian Aid and Civil Protection. Since its creation in 1992, ECHO has channelled around €14 billion to victims of conflict and disasters in over 140 countries around the globe.

Have a look for events near you!

  • Belgium, BrusselsEuropean Institutions’ Open Day – ECHO's 20th anniversary information stand. 12 May
  • Chad, NdjamenaFestival de Cinéma Euro-Africain, ECHO's 20th anniversary short-film broadcast. 10 May, opening session
  • El Salvador, San SalvadorEU Delegation: ECHO's 20th anniversary information stand
  • France, Paris – 7th edition of "Faites l'Europe" – ECHO quiz and information stand. 8-9 May.
  • Israel, JerusalemEU Delegation: Photography exhibition and presentation of projects, 9-16 May. TV show "Palestine this evening", 9 May.
  • Jordan, AmmanEU Delegation: ECHO's 20th anniversary photography exhibition at motion dance festival, highlighting the crises in the MENA region. 9-13 May
  • Kenya, NairobiEU Delegation: ECHO's 20th anniversary information stand
  • Nepal, KathmanduEU Delegation: ECHO's 20th anniversary short-film broadcast. 12 May.
  • Norway, OsloEU Delegation: ECHO's 20th anniversary photography exhibition
  • Occupied Palestinian TerritoryEU Delegation: ECHO's 20th anniversary information stand
  • Pakistan, IslamabadEU Delegation: ECHO's 20th anniversary information stand
  • Senegal, DakarEU Delegation: ECHO's 20th anniversary photography exhibition
  • Switzerland, GenevaEU delegation to the UN and the EU Mission to the WTO: ECHO's 20th anniversary information stand
  • Thailand, BangkokEU Delegation: "The future of Humanitarian Aid in Southeast Asia"

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