Europe Day

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Europe Day - Europa-Tag

***** Location: European Union
***** Season: Early summer (9 May)
***** Category: Observance


Europe Day is a public holiday for European civil servants and other EU staff worldwide. But even those who do not get the day off, can join in the Europe Day celebrations and festivities in the European capitals and many other towns and cities.

Elsewhere around the world, there are Press articles, reports to commemorate the event, and the usual diplomatic receptions and celebrations to wish Europe well on its “national day”.

Even though the Treaty of Rome was signed on 25 March 1957 (50 years ago in 2007, a year of celebrations), the foundations were laid earlier, on 9 May 1950, when Robert Schuman made his famous speech (see below), which was soon followed by the creation of the first of the European Communities, that on Coal and Steel.

© PHOTO European Commission.

2007 is special for another reason as well -- Bulgaria and Romania joined the European family, and (it pleases the Irishwoman in me to say!) Irish finally became an official language of the European Union.

The week-end before Europe Day is a day of open doors to the European Institutions, and the public enjoy the information, the little gifts, the fun and the many multi-cultural activities laid on for them in the well-known buildings of Brussels, Luxembourg, Strasbourg and the EU Delegations and Representations elsewhere. My haiku notebook dates back to Europe Day 2004!

Text © Isabelle Prondzynski


The 2007 Europe Day poster is here, together with its predecessors :


The great array of 2007 celebratory events can be seen here :


What is Europe Day?

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.

These values find expression through economic and social development embracing environmental and regional dimensions which are the guarantees of a decent standard of living for all citizens.

[Picture © http://europa.eu/abc/symbols/9-may/images/euday_scaffold.jpg]


Declaration of 9 May 1950

This is the first part of the proposal, which was presented by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman and which led to the creation of what is now the European Union :

World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it. The contribution which an organized and living Europe can bring to civilization is indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. In taking upon herself for more than 20 years the role of champion of a united Europe, France has always had as her essential aim the service of peace. A united Europe was not achieved and we had war.

Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany. Any action taken must in the first place concern these two countries. With this aim in view, the French Government proposes that action be taken immediately on one limited but decisive point.

It proposes that Franco-German production of coal and steel as a whole be placed under a common High Authority, within the framework of an organization open to the participation of the other countries of Europe. The pooling of coal and steel production should immediately provide for the setting up of common foundations for economic development as a first step in the federation of Europe, and will change the destinies of those regions which have long been devoted to the manufacture of munitions of war, of which they have been the most constant victims.

The solidarity in production thus established will make it plain that any war between France and Germany becomes not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible. The setting up of this powerful productive unit, open to all countries willing to take part and bound ultimately to provide all the member countries with the basic elements of industrial production on the same terms, will lay a true foundation for their economic unification.

More here :

Worldwide use

The national holidays and independence days of many countries are comparable festivities.

In the World Kigo Database, see

***** Independence Day worldwide
................. Independence Day (India)

***** Jamhuri Day Kenya
***** Patrick's Day (Ireland) St. Patrick's Day

Things found on the way

The traffic roundabout outside the main building of the European Commission in Brussels (the Berlaymont) is called Rond-Point Schuman, to honour Robert Schuman, whose far-reaching ideas set it all in motion.


Europe Day --
a new haiku notebook
to take away

Europe Day --
the sound of war only
on my radio

a new
Euro coin in my purse --

[Slovenia joined the Euro zone in 2007]

~ Isabelle Prondzynski


Photo © Isabelle Prondzynski

year's first pleasant dream
coming true before its end:
crossing the border!

Admittedly, this haiku needs some explanations.

In Japanese tradition the first dream one has during the year is going to influence the rest of the year. If it's a pleasant one, the year will be good. It was a practice even to sell one's auspicious dream for big money. Some legends even tell of people having their exact dream fulfilled.

In Romania this New Year's Day also meant our country joining the European Union. The first and most obvious consequence thereof was the supression of border control and of the humiliation of having to show a heap of papers and a lot of money (as a proof you had it, so they were just shown not given as a bribe) in order to be free to travel west. Thousands of people crossed the border to Hungary on foot, had a coffee in Hungary, then came back. Among them some elderly people who would never have had the money they were supposed to show...

~ Cristian Mocanu (Romania) (January 2007)


two new faces
in the gathering round
the year's first hearth

first chorus -
this time an extra
lilt of harmony

Best wishes to all, but especially to those from our new family members (Romania and Bulgaria)!

~ Norman Darlington (January 2007)

Related words

***** Eurovision Song Contest

This also takes place in May, is run by the European Broadcasting Union, and includes countries beyond the European Union, so that (in 2007) 42 countries will take part. The contest is held on two days, in form of a semi-final (10 May) and a final (12 May).

The event, which always attracts plenty of snide comments, is eminently watchable and enjoyable, and excitement mounts as countries send in their votes, all the way to a (usually) nail-biting finish.

The official web site is here :

and a detailed Wikipedia write-up can be read here :

eurovision --
the best song of all
is the blackbird’s

Isabelle Prondzynski, May 2007


Croatia is set to become the 28th member state of the European Union on 1 July 2013.

Croatia applied for EU membership in 2003 and the European Commission recommended making it an official candidate in early 2004. Candidate country status was granted to Croatia by the European Council in mid-2004. The entry negotiations, while originally set for March 2005, began in October that year together with the screening process. The accession process of Croatia was complicated by the insistence of Slovenia, an EU member state, that the two countries' border issues be dealt with prior to Croatia's accession to the EU.
© More in the WIKIPEDIA !

this Sunday mass
as the summer purification
before entering EU

- Tomislav Maretic -
Haiku Culture Magazine, June 2013


European Commission July 2017

Good meeting today between EU Commissioner Cecilia Malmström and Japanese Foreign Minister Kishida.
They ironed out the few remaining differences in the #EUJapan trade negotiations and recommended to leaders to confirm the agreement at the EU-Japan Summit on 6 July.

- Look at the video here
- source : facebook.com/EuropeanCommission... -




1 comment:

Gillena Cox said...

Happy Europe Day

coal and steel
units of

much love