Today May 9th, is Europe Day, a day that commemorates the peace and unity of the European continent. That same day, 70 years ago, Schuman’s declaration marked the beginning of what we currently now know as the European Union.
Taking advantage of this day of European pride, European institutions, located mainly in Brussels and Strasbourg, open their doors to all citizens interested in learning about their facilities and meeting spaces. Moreover, many institutions linked to the European Union organize activities of all kinds for people of all ages, to make May 9th a special day. This year, due to the particular situation we are experiencing due to the coronavirus, the European day will look very different.
Taking a look to the past, it is interesting to recall the reason why Schuman’s declaration took place, which resulted in the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). So in 1950, countries of the old continent were still struggling to recover from World War II. In order to avoid further confrontation and destruction, the idea of pooling coal and steel production emerged, in order to share economic interests at the transnational level to work for joint interests.
More than half a century later, we can see first hand the evolution of the European Union: 27 member states, 7 main institutions, 4 interinstitutional services, 36 decentralized bodies and dozens of other bodies working for more than 400 million people living in European territory.
The significant development of the European community is obvious, both politically and economically, guaranteeing freedom, security, justice and free competition. In fact, although the functioning of the European Union is quite unknown to citizens, we benefit from certain inter-community aid measures such as the ERASMUS + program for Youth volunteering mobility or LIFE financial aid for the improvement of the environment, among others.
In any case, we must be aware that this great cohesion of countries has much to improve, particularly in the social sphere. At this point in history, the earth is showing us how vulnerable we are and we need to act accordingly. It is very important to know how to prioritize accessible and quality education for all over the monetary system, sustainable economic development over multinational corporations interests and poverty reduction over the enrichment of elites.
We keep moving forward European Union, we still have a long way to go!