RTL Infos – May 9: Why do we celebrate Europe Day?

RTL Infos – May 9: Why do we celebrate Europe Day?
RTL Infos – May 9: Why do we celebrate Europe Day?

This Thursday, the European Union celebrates “peace and union in Europe”, and it also happens to be a public holiday celebrated here in the Grand Duchy.

Luxembourg is one of the few European countries to celebrate Europe Day as a public holiday, and has done so since 2019. Before that, the European Union already celebrated it as a public holiday for all its employees of the different European institutions.

So let’s start with a very brief history of WHY we celebrate Europe Day.
On May 9, 1950, Luxembourger Robert Schuman, then French Minister of Foreign Affairs, presented the Schuman Declaration, a plan that he developed with Jean Monnet. The idea behind the plan was to unite German and French coal and steel production under a single authority and thus maintain peace.

The cooperation was a success and more European countries were encouraged to join, with Luxembourg being among the first.

The European Coal and Steel Community was officially established in 1951 with the signing of the Treaty of Paris, laying the foundations for the European Union we know today.

If you would like to learn more about Robert Schuman and the beginnings of the EU, click here.

WHERE is it celebrated and HOW?

In the majority of European countries, Europe Day is recognized, but most often it is not celebrated in any special way.

Only a handful of countries actually celebrate Europe Day as a national holiday and so it was only in 2019 that it was declared a public holiday in Luxembourg.

Besides the Grand Duchy, it is also a public holiday in Kosovo. Interestingly, the people and officials of Kosovo celebrate this day even though they have not yet achieved EU membership.

Germany celebrates Europe Day as a “flag day”, where flags must be shown by federal decree.

In Croatia and in LithuaniaEurope Day is legally recognized, but not a public holiday.

And finally, she is celebrated in EU institutions where the celebration began. Every year, institutions open their doors in Belgium, France and Luxembourg to citizens, allowing them to visit the places where legislators and politicians make their decisions.

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