Celebrating Europe Day in Luxembourg
Europe Day is a special occasion for #Luxembourg, as it is the only country in the European Union (EU) that has declared it an official public holiday. Every year on 9 May, Luxembourg joins other EU member states in celebrating peace, unity, solidarity, democracy and freedom in Europe.
But why 9 May? This date marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, a speech given by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman in 1950, which proposed to create a European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) among France, Germany and other countries that were willing to join. This was seen as the first step towards a more integrated Europe, as it aimed to prevent future wars by pooling together the resources that were essential for military production. The ECSC was later followed by other treaties and institutions that eventually led to the creation of the EU as we know it today.
Luxembourg has been one of the founding members and most fervent supporters of the European project since its inception. The country has hosted several important events and institutions in the history of European integration, such as the signing of the ECSC treaty in 1952, the establishment of the European Court of Justice in 1958, and the signing of the Schengen Agreement in 1985. Luxembourg is also one of the three official seats of the European Parliament, along with Brussels and Strasbourg.
Luxembourg’s commitment to Europe is not only institutional, but also cultural and social. The country’s population is highly diverse and multilingual, with many residents coming from other EU countries or having dual citizenship. Luxembourgish, French and German are the three official languages, but English and other languages are also widely spoken. Luxembourg’s openness and tolerance reflect some of the core values of the EU, such as respect for human dignity, democracy, equality and human rights.
On Europe Day, Luxembourg celebrates its European identity and heritage with various activities and events across the country. One of the main attractions is the Europe Day Festival, which takes place at the Place de l’Europe in Luxembourg-Kirchberg, where many EU institutions are located. The festival features a village with 70 stands that provide information and entertainment on various aspects of the EU, such as its policies, programs, achievements and challenges. Visitors can also enjoy a cultural and musical program with performances by local and international artists, as well as a food corner with dishes from different European cuisines.
Another highlight of Europe Day is the open day at the Court of Justice of the EU, which allows visitors to discover the role and functioning of this institution, which ensures that EU law is interpreted and applied uniformly across all member states. Visitors can also explore the garden of multilingualism, which showcases the linguistic diversity and richness of Europe.
Europe Day is not only a celebration, but also an opportunity to reflect on the past, present and future of Europe. It is a chance to remember the achievements and benefits of European integration, such as peace, prosperity, cooperation and solidarity among nations. It is also a chance to acknowledge the challenges and difficulties that Europe faces today, such as climate change, migration, populism and security threats. And it is a chance to envision and shape the future of Europe together, by engaging in dialogue and participation with other European citizens.
Luxembourg invites you to join us in celebrating Europe Day on 9 May 2023. Let’s celebrate our common history, values and goals. Let’s celebrate our diversity and unity. Let’s celebrate Europe!