Europe Day, held on 9 May every year, celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration'. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe's nations unthinkable.
The eighth edition of the European Youth Week will take place across Europe from 1 to 7 May 2017. It will highlight the solidarity and social commitment of young people in Europe, inform and celebrate the Erasmus+ programme and serve to listen to young people's ideas on how to shape the future of EU youth policy.
When public authorities fail to respect the rights and obligations under environmental laws, the public can hold them to account. On 28 April, the European Commission adopted a guidance document on access to justice in environmental matters which clarifies how individuals and associations can challenge decisions, acts and omissions by public authorities related to EU environmental law before national courts.
On 27 April, the European Commission presented the results of a Special Eurobarometer survey on EU citizens' views on development, cooperation and aid. The survey is based on fieldwork in the 28 EU Member States performed in November-December 2016.
In addition to the reflection paper on the social dimension of Europe by 2025, on 26 April the Commission adopted its proposal for the European Pillar of Social Rights. The Pillar takes direct inspiration from the changing welfare realities of Europe's society and the world of work. It concerns euro area countries, but is applicable to all Member States that wish to be a part of it.
The European Commission has adopted a new Action Plan to improve the protection of nature and biodiversity in the EU, for the benefit of its citizens and the economy. The Plan consists of 15 actions to be carried out by 2019 to rapidly improve the implementation of the Birds and Habitats Directives, which are the EU's flagship nature policies.
Following the launch of the discussion on the future of Europe via the Commission's White Paper on the Future of Europe presented on 1 March, on 26 April the Commission zoomed in on the social dimension of Europe by 2025.
On 24 April, the European Commission and the World Health Organisation (WHO) have issued a joint statement on the crucial importance of vaccination for immunisation and disease prevention in the European Union and the wider WHO European Region.
The European Union Prize for Literature is awarded annually to new and emerging authors, recognising literary talent from all corners of Europe.
The Juncker Plan has backed a European Investment Bank (EIB) loan agreement with ABN Amro, a Dutch bank, to unlock EUR 150 million in financing to support green shipping. The loan will support the refurbishment of older shipping units and the construction of new ones that so as to reduce the sector's carbon footprint.