9 May has become “Europe Day”, one of the symbols of Europe. © nyul - Fotolia
On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, the French Minister of Foreign Affairs, gave a visionary speech in the Clock Room at the Quai d'Orsay in Paris. He proposed placing French and German coal and steel production under a common authority. The stakes were high: making war impossible between these two nations 5 years after the Second World War!
his initiative devised and championed by Jean Monnet, Plan Commissioner at the time, consisted of bringing the European states together through economic cooperation in order to keep peace in Europe. The Schuman Declaration led to the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1951, which founded the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
Nowadays, 9 May has become “Europe Day”. It is a European symbol like the flag, the anthem, and the single currency.