May 9, 2022 Europe Day
On this day, Europe celebrates the fact that 72 years ago the first steps were taken towards the European Union as we know it. On May 9th 1950, some 5 years after WW2, which ravaged Europe and brought misery to many on the continent, a group of European politicians shared their vision of a united Europe. They were convinced that, when European countries would pool strategic resources like coal and steel together, wars between rivalling countries like France and Germany would be “not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible”, for the heavy industry based on coal and steel had previously been the prerogative of sovereign states and had been crucial to war-making. Convinced that merging their economic interests would further prevent cartels and monopolies and raise standards of living, the governments of France, West Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg took a historic step towards a united Europe. On 9 May 1950, in what became known as the Schuman Declaration, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman announced the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community placed under the control of a common High Authority, the future EU.