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Brussels, 8 May 2008

"It's not them and us, it’s you and me": thousands to celebrate cultural diversity across Europe on 9 May

In each EU Member State, European Commission Representations and EUROPE DIRECT Information Centres will organise over 500 events to celebrate Europe Day on 9 May. The main theme this year is intercultural dialogue. Through the celebrations thousands of people will be able to explore the many faces of the EU.

European Commission Vice-President Margot Wallström said: "Europe Day is an occasion for the EU Institutions to show their human face and for people to see that Europe is about people, and not just institutions or legislation."

Celebrating unity and diversity

For the 22nd time this year on 9th May thousands of people across the European Union will celebrate Europe Day: the fact that Europe is more peaceful, democratic and united.

The date is significant because on 9 May 1950, France's then Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, issued a statement known as the Schuman Declaration. In it he set out a vision for a more united Europe, and for the institutions needed to make it work.

This year's 9 May events will form part of the European Year of Intercultural Dialogue with the theme: "It's not them and us, it’s you and me". They will celebrate the many strands of Europe's rich cultural mix, and promote dialogue between people from different cultures living in Europe.

Over 500 events to choose from

Events will include everything from concerts to competitions, from open-air festivals to film screenings, and from debates to round-tables with politicians. In fact, European Commission offices and EUROPE DIRECT Information Centres will hold over 500 events.

In 2007 hundreds of thousands of people took part in the fun. And this year's calendar is busier and more varied than ever.

Highlights include :

  • Greece – an open air concert at Syntagma Square anchored around climate change and the environment featuring international and Greek singers and musicians.
  • Germany - an international conference on Jewish music as a force for integration in Europe.
  • Spain - "Madrid in Dance" festival.
  • Poland - a Europe Day Street Parade in Warsaw
  • Malta - secondary school students will take classes in the cuisines of different European and non-European countries.

Find out more

There is a wealth of information online to help you make the most of what is on offer in your country:

- European Commission offices

- EUROPE DIRECT Information Centres

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