Europe Day is a continent-wide celebration of peace and unity in Europe in May every year, on two separate dates. The European Union celebrates the day on May 9, while the Council of Europe celebrates it on May 5. Europe Day is a time to celebrate Europe’s rich history while planning for its future. It celebrates the unity among the countries in the European Union while challenging people to reflect on the issues that affect it. On Europe Day, European citizens are made to feel closer to each other. Countries within the union strengthen their ties and citizens can overcome any sense of distance they feel from the various European countries.
History of Europe Day
The Council of Europe, the international organization founded to uphold democracy in Europe, first created Europe Day in 1964. May 5 was chosen to celebrate the first Europe Day because it was the day the Council of Europe was created. It wasn’t until later that the European Union established May 9 as their own Europe Day in honor of the 1950 Schuman Declaration. This is why some people refer to Europe Day as Schuman Day. The Schuman Declaration or Schuman Plan was a proposal by the French Foreign Minister, Robert Schuman, to place the French and West German production of coal and steel under a single authority that would later be opened to other European authorities.
The Schuman Declaration was important because, as Schuman asserted, the coming together of the countries of Europe would not be possible without ending the age-old opposition of France and Germany, a rivalry that was eliminated by uniting their coal and steel resources. The six founding members of the Schuman Declaration signed the Treaty of Paris, which created the European Coal and Steel Community in 1951.
The European Coal and Steel Community was Europe’s first supranational community, and it paved the way for the European Economic Community, and eventually, the European Union. So, we can say that the Schuman Declaration was responsible for uniting all of Europe under the European Union. Europe Day celebrates the peace and unity that the Schuman Declaration established. After the European Union was founded, more countries started observing Europe Day. Germany even extended it to Europe Week.
Europe Day timeline
The Council of Europe is founded officially on May 5.
The European Council adopts Europe Day on June 29 after a report by the ad hoc commission for “a People’s Europe.”
The European Union is established as a result of the Maastricht Treaty.
In Luxembourg, for the first time, May 9 is declared an official public holiday to mark Europe Day.
Europe Day FAQs
What is Euro Day?
On January 1 every year, Europeans come together to celebrate the monetary unity recognized by the European Union – the Euro, which was created in 1999 and is used by over 300 million Europeans.
What is the capital of Europe?
Being a continent, Europe does not have an official capital. However, Brussels in Belgium is considered the de facto capital of the European Union because it hosts the official seats of many principal European institutions, such as the European Commission and the European Council.
What is EU Regions Week?
The European Week of Regions and Cities is a four-day event held every year in Europe. During the week, cities and regions showcase their capacity to create growth and jobs and implement cohesion policies. It is a time for governments at the local and regional levels to show their importance in governance.
Europe Day Activities
Fly the flag
The European flag is an official symbol representing Europe and the European Union. On Europe Day, you can buy, make, or print a copy of the flag of Europe and wave it in solidarity and patriotism. You can get your family and friends to participate and paint the entire continent blue.
Visit an E.U. institution
On Europe Day, certain European institutions like the European Parliament and the European Commission open their doors to citizens. You can visit any of these institutions and learn about how decisions that affect Europe are made.
Rock out at a concert
Every year, official Europe Day concerts are held all over the continent. You can attend a concert and enjoy Europe’s rich history through music. From opera to polka to pop, you can enjoy some of Europe’s best musical genres.
5 Important Facts About Europe
The happiest place on Earth
Even more popular than the Eiffel Tower, Disneyland in Paris is one of Europe’s most-visited attractions.
They love IKEA
In the 2021 financial year, Europe accounted for about 70.7% of IKEA's sales,
Small but mighty
Even though Europe is the second-smallest continent, it has the third-largest population and is one of the most powerful continents on Earth.
It’s not “the West”
Even though people often refer to Europe as “the West,” it is contained entirely in the Northern Hemisphere, with most of its landmass in the Eastern Hemisphere.
The name “Europe” is derived from Greek Mythology, named after the Phoenician princess Europa.
Why We Love Europe Day
It celebrates unity in a diverse world
In a world with so much diversity, it can be hard to stay united. Europe Day teaches us that it is possible to work together towards a common goal while being respectful of our differences and celebrating our similarities.
We learn about history
On Europe Day, we learn about the history of one of the most powerful continents in the world. We learn about how it got to this point, what mistakes were made, and what differences we can make going forward.
It brings people together
Europe Day brings over 500 million people from 27 European countries together. A farmer in Belgium will be able to celebrate with a trader in Spain even though they are miles apart. No matter where you are, you can celebrate Europe Day and feel connected with other Europeans all over the world.
Europe Day dates