Europe Day – a celebration, but also a chance to find out more about the EU and what it does, with events and activities for all ages.
On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, 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 was a major step on the road towards lasting peace in Europe and the first step towards later economic integration. Today, 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.
For the 60th anniversary of the declaration, the EU institutions are in celebration mode, organising concerts, dance shows, a giant quiz, information stands and all sorts of other activities.
In Brussels, the base for festivities taking place in Belgium, various EU buildings will be opening their doors to the public on Saturday 8 May: the Berlaymont building (home to the European Commission), the debating chamber of the European Parliament and the main hall of the Council building where European leaders and ministers meet.
Younger visitors will be able to make a European-themed kite at the Parliament, or explore biodiversity at the Economic and Social Committee. At the Commission there will be games to get them thinking about animal welfare.
European culture will be in the spotlight at a conference organised by the Committee of the Regions – one of the many conferences taking place around the city. In the European Parliament, members will be hosting public debates. Meanwhile visitors to the Council can take part in a simulation of a meeting between national ministers: will they manage to draw up a European green-car initiative?
Film buffs will be treated to a feast of European cinema in all its richness at the seventh EuroCine festival, with 27 films from the 27 EU countries being screened in 5 European capitals.