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Celebrating Europe – open day on 4 May - 01/05/2013

Poster: “It’s about Europe, it’s about you, join the debate: 9 May – Europe Day” © EU

Europe’s open day is a time to reflect on the EU’s achievements – and look at how to make it work better for everyone. Join in the debates, events and activities for all ages.

On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, France’s foreign minister, sparked the creation of what is now know as the European Union by calling on France, Germany and other European countries to pool their production of coal and steel.

The anniversary of his declaration is celebrated as Europe Day –recognising a union of 27 countries that upholds respect for freedom and the rule of law while valuing the diversity of its citizens.

Open days

On Saturday 4 May, EU institutions will mark the anniversary by opening their doors to the public. Events will also be held at Commission offices in each EU country, and at some local offices around the world.

Each is holding a variety of fun, educational activities for adults and children, including live music, cultural shows, and quizzes

In Brussels, you can visit the Berlaymont (home to the European Commissioners) and participate in a series of debates françaisNederlands on the economic crisis, citizens’ rights and Europe’s future.

For example, Commissioner Viviane Reding will be chairing a debate at 2.30pm as part of a series of dialogues with citizens on Europe’s future. You can register to participate in person or watch it live online

The EU Council building, where EU leaders and ministers gather for their top-level summits, will also be open to the public, along with the debating chamber of the European Parliament, where MEPs debate the issues of the day.

Visitors can also tour other major European forums – the meeting places of representatives from Europe's regions (Committee of the Regions) and the EU’s various interest groups (Economic and Social Committee).

Other events

On Sunday 5 May, the Commission is joining up with the 'Iris Festival françaisNederlands ', which will see the streets of Brussels come alive with concerts and street entertainment.

On Europe Day, 9 May, Commission President José Manuel Barroso and Commissioner Cecilia Malmström are participating in a “state of the union conference in Florence, Italy about Europe’s current economic challenges and further integration.

Festival of Europe – open day events, 4 May

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