9
May

May 9th: Europe Day

Written on May 9, 2011 by Ángeles Figueroa-Alcorta in Culture & Society, Europe, International Law & Organizations

May 9th is Europe’s birthday!

Video message [in French] by the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy

Our great European adventure began 61 years ago today. In the wake of World War II, on the ruins of a vast battlefield, Europe reinvented itself and became a byword for peace and prosperity.

Today the European Union is a united and free area, in which 500 million men and women from different countries are living, sharing the same values.

In today’s turbulent world, Europe is facing two challenges: ensuring our citizens’ well-being and spreading stability through the rest of the world, starting with our neighbors in the south and in the east.

In terms of the economy, we are going through a difficult period. But even if some of our economies are struggling, in most European countries growth and employment are clearly picking up. The recovery is even stronger than we hoped.

Unfortunately, in some countries, the errors of the past have to be corrected, but the measures adopted should help bring about prosperity and sustainable employment.

Internationally, the democratic awakening of the Arab world has taken us by surprise. These young people have reminded us that we ourselves have to defend our values more. The demonstrators are demanding jobs, are longing for justice and want a better future. This has nothing to do with extremism.

Europe has the means to fulfill the hopes of our southern neighbors. We want the countries of North Africa and the Middle East to become an area of prosperity. We are working on this in the European Council, with the 27 Heads of State and of Government.

Download Press Release

As published in www.european-council.europa.eu on May 6, 2011.

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