A Celebration of Europe
In the aftermath of World War II, Europe found itself grappling with the impact of a devastating conflict, marked by division and the challenges of rebuilding. It was during this tumultuous period that Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister, presented a visionary plan in 1950 to unite six European countries through the creation of the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
On May 9th, 1950, Schuman’s declaration marked the birth of Europe Day, symbolizing unity and solidarity. This declaration was inspired by the ideas of French politician, Jean Monnet. Over the years, the ECSC evolved into the European Union (EU), fostering greater integration and prosperity.
Europe Day, officially designated on May 9th in 1985, became a symbol of the progress made by the European Union. Today, Europe Day serves as a reminder of Europe’s triumph over division and a celebration of its diverse cultures, common values, and shared aspirations for peace and progress.
Earlier this month, the Hamburg Representation Mumbai was invited by the Swedish Consul General, Ms. Anna Lekvall, to celebrate Europe Day together.
The evening comprised a fireside chat on the relevance of the day and of the EU in today’s world in general, and in India in particular, moderated by Consul General Anna Lekvall.
A ‘Taste of Europe’ menu that included a famous dish from each country of Europe was interesting and refreshing! Even a Spotify playlist for Swedish Presidency of the Council of the European Union that included popular music tracks for all of Europe! As a symbol of solidarity, sunflowers were spread across the venue to symbolize the war and Ukraine.
As we know, the EU was born out of a need for greater peace and economic solidarity in Europe, which remains a priority today, as the EU and Sweden stand resolute in the face of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.
Europe Day not only celebrates the achievements of the European Union but also highlights its relevance in the global context, including its connection with countries like India. The celebration of Europe Day in Mumbai exemplifies the strong bond between the EU and India, fostering cultural exchanges, diplomatic ties and economic collaborations.