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European Commission - Press release

Europe Day: Celebrating 65 Years of Peaceful Cooperation

Brussels, 08 May 2015

Tomorrow, 9 May, Europe Day will be celebrated across the EU. This year we mark the 70th anniversary of the end of World War II, and the 65th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. Today the Commission has adopted a Report on the landmark 2014 European Elections, looking back at the first campaign to feature lead candidates from European political parties.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said on the occasion of Europe Day:

"The European Union was born in the aftermath of a terrible war and we still live in an unpredictable world. Robert Schuman's words therefore remain as valid today, as they were at the time. I want a Europe at the heart of the action, a Europe which moves forward, a Europe which protects its citizens, its interests and serves as a model for others."

Commission First Vice-President Frans Timmermans, who will be participating in the 'State of the Union' debate at the European University Institute in Florence, said:

"I believe in Europe because it's still the best answer that we have for the challenges we are facing in the world. In this Commission we want to be more actively engaged with citizens directly in their countries, and hear their concerns first-hand. That's why I'm delighted that so many of my colleagues are representing the Commission at Europe Day commemorations around the Union."

The Commission is represented by its Commissioners and staff at many events at European and national level to commemorate both of these important anniversaries. The Commission will open its doors to the public from 10.00 to 18.00. There will be 25 stands representing different Directorates-General, structured around 5 priority themes: Jobs, Growth and Investment; The Energy Union and the Environment; The Digital Single Market; The EU in the World and the European Year for Development; and The Union working for its Citizens.

Other Europe Day events include Open Doors Days in EU Representations in the Member States, Citizens Dialogues, and cultural events such as concerts, dance performances, food markets, street art exhibitions and film festivals. At the EXPO 2015 in Milan, High-Representative/Vice-President Federica Mogherini and European Parliament President Martin Schulz will take part in a Citizens' Dialogue.

The first Europe Day since the new Commission took office is also the occasion for the Commission to publish its Report on the 2014 European Elections. The selection of candidates for the Commission Presidency by major political parties in Europe was a new step towards European-level democracy, resulting in the election of Commission President Juncker and the entire Commission by the European Parliament, on the basis of a clear political programme.

Commenting on the Elections Report, Commissioner Věra Jourová said:

"The introduction of lead candidates was a game changer, empowering European citizens to participate more actively in the democratic life of the EU. For the 2019 elections, I want more citizens to exercise their right to vote."

 

Background

The Schuman Declaration was presented by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950. It proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC), whose members would pool coal and steel production.

The ECSC (founding members: France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg) was the first of a series of supranational European institutions that would ultimately become today's "European Union".

Commission Members participating in events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the end of WWII

  • Commissioner Bulc (Official State Ceremony, Ljubljana, Slovenia, 8 May)
  • Commissioner Hahn (Liberation Ceremony at the Mauthausen concentration camp, Austria, 10 May)

Commission Members participating in Europe Day events

  • First Vice-President Timmermans (State of the Union conference, European University Institute, Florence, 8 May)
  • HR/VP Mogherini (Interinstitutional Citizens’ Dialogue with European Parliament President Martin Schulz at the World 2015 Expo Milan, 9 May)
  • Vice-President Georgieva (Back to School project, Europe Day Reception of the President of Bulgaria for Ambassadors, Sofia, 8 May; Open Doors Day of the EU Representation in Sofia, 9 May)
  • Vice-President Šefčovič (European Commission Open Doors, Brussels, 9 May)
  • Vice-President Katainen and Commissioner Malmström (Citizens’ Dialogue at Stockholm University, 8 May)
  • Commissioner Vella (Europe Day activities with school children, Malta, 8 May; EU Representation celebration 9 May)
  • Commissioner Andriukaitis (EU Representation in Vilnius Europe Day event “EU exam”, 7 May)
  • Commissioner Thyssen (European Commission Open Doors, Brussels, 9 May)
  • Commissioner Moscovici (Inauguration of Europe Day events at the Town Hall, Paris, 9 May)
  • Commissioner Stylianides (Open Doors Day of the EU institutions, Brussels, May 9)
  • Commissioner Bulc (Citizens Dialogue, Ljubljana, 8 May)
  • Commissioner Jourová (EU Representation Prague Europe Day event, 7 May)
  • Commissioner Moedas (EU Representation Lisbon Europe Day events, 9 May)

 

For More Information

Report on the European Elections of 22-25 May 2014

Press Release on the Mogherini-Schulz Citizens' Dialogue

The Schuman Declaration

Details of Open Doors Days at the EU Institutions and Representations in Member States

IP/15/4948

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