In a public appeal on 9 May 1950, French foreign minister Robert Schuman invited European countries, worn out by the war, to create a common authority to govern their coal and steel production, paving the way for much wider European cooperation. Seven years later, on 25 March 1957, his dream turned into reality when the leaders of six countries gathered in Rome to sign the founding treaty of the original European Communities.
As the EU blows out 50 candles, Europe day has something extra special to celebrate this year.
With 9 May firmly fixed in school calendars throughout Europe, this year will see MEPs and officials from the EU and various NGOs visiting schools to engage in discussions with students about EU aid and development work in the outside world. This year's Spring day for Europe will also focus on Europe day, with schools sharing pictures and reports on the "Spring day" website of the events they have organised to mark the occasion.
On Europe day itself, the continent will be lit up by a festival of music and colour. Concerts will be taking place in Luxembourg , Barcelona, Tallinn and many other European cities. In Austria, the Vienna State Opera will be specially illuminated until midnight under the theme “Together since 1957 – 50 years of the European Union”. While in Slovenia, a boat wrapped in the colours of the anniversary logo will cruise through the centre of Ljubljana along the Ljubljanica river.
More events in May