May 9 is celebrated as Europe Day in the European Union (E.U.) and around the world.
The holiday commemorates the day in 1950 when French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, presented his proposal to create an organization of European countries. Also sometimes known as Schuman Day, the day aims to garner continuing support for the European Union and to educate citizens in member states and people in the rest of the world about the benefits of such an organization.
How to Celebrate?
If you live in a member country or are visiting one, this is the time to visit European Union institutions. EU institutions in Brussels and Strasbourg hold open days where they organize public outreach events. Other E.U. countries and cities hold festivals, concerts, and other events to raise awareness about the E.U.
If you don’t live in an EU member state, do not despair - you can learn more about the E.U. in many other ways. Find out if the E.U. expat community in your city is having public events that you can attend. And if there is nothing going on, remember that Europe Day is at its heart a day to celebrate peace and unity, and you don’t have to be in the European Union to do that!
Did You Know…
…that when the Euro was introduced in 2002, the initials for the countries adopting the currency spelled BAFFLING PIGS? The countries were Belgium, Austria, Finland, France, Luxembourg, Ireland, Netherlands, Germany, Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain.