Europe Day 2022: A Day in the Spirit of a United Continent

More+Events ♦ Published: May 9, 2022; 13:42 ♦ (Vindobona)

Today, 9 May, Europe Day is celebrated all over Europe. Many events are held to celebrate peace and cohesion in Europe. Alexander Van der Bellen also gave a speech in the House of the European Union and underlined the importance of European unity and condemned the Russian war of aggression against Ukraine, which is particularly dependent on the help of its European allies in such difficult times.

Europe Day is characterised above all by numerous events, including in Vienna. / Picture: ©

Today, as every year on 9 May, Europe Day is celebrated. The day, which is celebrated across the continent, stands for peace and unity in Europe and is the occasion for numerous online and on-site activities by the EU institutions in the member states or directly in the institutions in Brussels.

2022 is the European Year of Youth and the conference on the future of Europe. This year, young people in particular will be listened to in order to discuss the challenges of tomorrow with them and together shape a better future for all people in Europe.

Europe Day is characterised above all by numerous events, including many in Vienna. For example, Austria's Federal President Alexander Van der Bellen gave a speech in the House of the European Union that revolved around the enormous importance of cohesion among Europeans, especially in the context of the Russian war of aggression in Ukraine.

Addressing the many representatives of EU Member States, EU accession countries and Members of the European Parliament in the House of the European Union, the President said: "In these dark days, the stars of the European Union shine particularly brightly".

He expressed that the European Community upholds fundamental rights, freedoms, human rights and minority rights, for they, together with the rule of law, are the foundations of a liberal democracy.

The Federal President repeated his appeal to Russian President Vladimir Putin, "even if it seems useless at the moment", as he said: "Stop this war! End the killing!" The cruel and terrible war in Ukraine appalled everyone, he said.

In this context, the Federal President also mentioned "the shocking reports of atrocities committed by the Russian army" and "the unspeakable suffering of the Ukrainian civilian population".

A report on the results of the conference on the future of Europe will also be presented today to the President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, the President of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, and the President of the French Republic, Emmanuel Macron, for the Council at a closing ceremony in Strasbourg. Afterwards, citizens from the European and national citizens' forums will also present the key messages of the proposals.

Background to Europe Day

9 May 2022 - Europe Day - dates back to the day of the so-called "Schuman Declaration": On 9 May 1950, the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman gave a speech in Paris in which he expressed his ideas on a new type of political cooperation in Europe. In the "Schuman Declaration" he proposed that several states should pool their coal and steel production.

This should lead to wars between European nations becoming "not only unthinkable but materially impossible" according to the wording of the Schuman Declaration.  Only 5 years earlier, the Second World War had ended. Cooperation was to prevent another war between the rivals France and Germany.

The proposal is considered the cornerstone for the emergence of the later European Union and eventually led to the creation of a supranational European institution to manage and pool coal and steel production - the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).

This first supranational European institution with its founding members France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg eventually developed into the European Union with 27 member states as we know it today.

Haus der Europaeischen Union Wien

Presidential Chancellery of Austria

Federal Chancellery of Austria