Stepping stones to the EUROPEAN UNION
EUROPE CELEBRATES 60 YEARS OF PEACE AND UNITY
May 9 is Europe Day, marking the date in 1950 when French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that European nations unite their coal and steel production.
This European Coal and Steel Community marked the birth of ‘Europe’ as a political entity.
It aimed to make war between member states impossible and encourage world peace.
It began the rebuilding of the post-war European economy through gradual economic integration.
It marked the triumph of international law and common governance over the narrow nationalist motivations which had led to WWI and WWII.
Schuman’s vision for a peaceful, united, prosperous Europe seemed a distant dream at a time when Europe was still suffering the effects of war and divided by the Iron Curtain. But together we have come a long way:
In 1957, the Rome Treaty was signed by six European countries, establishing the European Economic Community which would evolve into the EU. This year, we celebrate its 60th anniversary.
In 1973, the Communities expanded for the first time to welcome Ireland, the UK and Denmark.
After the fall of the Iron Curtain, the EU welcomed the new democracies of Eastern Europe, reuniting the continent after decades of division.
Today, the EU guarantees the rights of over 500 million European citizens, has the world’s largest single market and promotes peace and development globally as the world’s biggest aid donor.
French Foreign minister, Robert Schuman (June 1886 – September 1963)