What’s the deal with Europe Day?

If you spend any appreciable amount of time on social media, then you may have noticed #EuropeDay tends to trend on May 5th and May 9th. So what’s the history of this annual celebration and do people in Europe really celebrate it?

Europe Day is celebrated on two different days in May, with the Council of Europe celebrating their Europe Day on May 5th and the European Union celebrating their day on May 9th. The days are designed to foster unity among European nations and they loosely mark the conception of the union. The Council of Europe celebrate their day on the date of their establishment in 1949, while the European Union celebrates a few days later, marking the day that, in 1950, French foreign minister Robert Schuman made the historical declaration that marked the conception of an organization that aimed to create common interests between European nations and gradual political integration. Known as the Schuman Declaration, it sparked the Treaty of Paris and created the European Coal and Steel Community, and is seen as the beginning of the European Union that we know today.

Although May 9th was only officially recognized by the European Parliament in October 2008, it is celebrated with enthusiasm by many members of the European community with parades and decorations, and is even celebrated by EU candidate countries, such as Turkey.

May is a particularly lovely time to visit Europe thank to the seasonally fine weather and blooming botanic gardens, but these celebrations make a visit to Europe in May even more enjoyable!

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