On May 9, the European Union celebrates Europe Day to commemorate the declaration made on 9 May 1950 by Robert Schuman (29 June 1886 – 4 September 1963) – the then French Foreign Minister, who also had Luxembourg origins – that led to the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (CECA). The Schuman Declaration is considered the founding act of the European Union, of which Luxembourg is a founding Member State, alongside France, Germany, Belgium, Italy and Netherlands. The capital of the Grand Duchy – Luxembourg Ville – is one of the permanent capitals of the EU institutions.
In 1986 the European Council instituted the date of May 9 as the “Europe Day”, which became, together with the European flag, the European currency (euro), motto (“United in diversity “) and anthem (“Ode to Joy” by Ludwig van Beethoven), one of the symbols of the European Union.
In Luxembourg, Europe Day has been declared a legal holiday in 2019, making the Grand Duchy the only country to have made this choice so far.
Thus, on May 9, 2023, the Festival of Europe – entitled “United in diversity” – took place on the Place de l’Europe (Kirchberg), organized by the Representation of the European Commission in Luxembourg, in collaboration with the City of Luxembourg and the Luxembourg Government, and with the participation of the Europe Direct Centres and other European programmes, the European institutions, the embassies of EU Member States in Luxembourg. This year, the Day of Europe was placed under the sign of the 30th anniversary of the European Single Market.
H.R.H. The Grand Duke participated at the Festival of Europe 2023 in the company of Fernand Etgen, President of the Chamber of Deputies, Xavier Bettel, Prime Minister, members of the Government, Lydie Polfer, Mayor of the City of Luxembourg, Marc Angel, Vice-President of the European Parliament, as well as other deputies, Nicolas Schmit, European Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs and Anne Calteux, Representative of the European Commission in Luxembourg.
The stand was visited by H.R.H The Grand Duke, the Prime Minister Xavier Bettel, the Finance Minister Yuriko Backes, as well as of a wide international public. ED-UNILU informed the visitors about the contribution of the University of Luxembourg to citizen education, especially among young people, raising awareness about the European Union’s history, institutions and policies and helping develop teaching and research on European integration process in the Grand Duchy.
©Représentation de la Commisssion européenne au Luxembourg