Marking Europe Day 2008
On 9 May 1950 the first move was made towards the creation of what is now known as the European Union.
In Paris that day, against the background of the threat of a Third World War engulfing the whole of Europe, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman read to the international press a declaration calling France, Germany and other European countries to pool together their coal and steel production as "the first concrete foundation of a European federation".
What he proposed was the creation of a supranational European Institution, charged with the management of the coal and steel industry, the very sector which was, at that time, the basis of all military power. The countries which he called upon had almost destroyed each other in a dreadful conflict which had left after it a sense of material and moral desolation.
Everything, therefore, began that day. That is why during the Milan Summit of EU leaders in 1985 it was decided to celebrate 9 May as "Europe Day".
Every country which democratically chooses to accede to the European Union endorses its fundamental values of peace and solidarity.
Marking Europe Day 2008, here is our selection of Europe-related features:
Is Europe too lenient with sentencing convicts?
Are eastern Europe's migrant workers heading home?
European Monetary Union: More gain than pain
Euro misses 10th birthday bash
Old Europe - glorious or just mouldy
9 May 2008
[Copyright Expatica + European Communities, 1995-2008]