Friday, May 9, 2014

Education : Europe Day 2014


Today May 9 is Europe Day ! Europe Day is celebrated since 1985 to honor the the architect of the European integration project, Robert Schuman.

The statesman Robert Schuman, a qualified lawyer and French foreign minister between 1948 and 1952, is regarded as one of the founding fathers of European unity.

In cooperation with Jean Monnet he drew up the internationally renowned Schuman Plan, which he published on 9 May 1950, the date now regarded as the birth of the European Union. 

The visionary leaders inspired the creation of the European Union we live in today. Without their energy and motivation we would not be living in the sphere of peace and stability that we take for granted. From resistance fighters to lawyers, the founding fathers were a diverse group of people who held the same ideals: a peaceful, united and prosperous Europe. Beyond the founding fathers described below, many others have worked tirelessly towards and inspired the European project. 

Every year, Europe Day is celebrated on May 9. For many Europeans it is not yet well known, but since 1985, Europe has its own day to celebrate the specific character of Europe. The unique European mix of numerous different languages, countries, regions, food, music; all in a rather small geographical location; that constitutes Europe.
  • There is an interactive map. a list of the countries that you can observe here

Each year has a different theme. The theme for 2014 is #EUopendoors. 

To celebrate Europe Day the EU institutions will open their doors to the public in Brussels, Luxembourg and Strasbourg. Local EU offices in Europe and all over the world will organise a variety of activities and events for all ages.

Lisbon | Miradouro da Senhora do Monte
Credits : Jeroen Paeleman (Belgium)


Twenty eight European countries are members of European Union. Schools across Europe are invited to participate by organising debates and discussions around these issues on 9 May, Europe Day.

The EU was not always as big as it is today. When European countries started to cooperate economically in 1951, only Belgium, Germany, France, Italy, Luxembourg and the Netherlands participated.

Over time, more and more countries decided to join. Portugal is a member since 1986.

The union reached its current size of 28 member countries with the accession of Croatia on 1 July 2013.

The EU will continue to grow. So there are other countries on the Road to EU membership.

Of course all the European teachers will introduce Europe Day in the school curriculum. 

Curriculum : All curricula or cross-curricula.

Level : All levels. 

Activities :
  • Let the students explore all the links about European Union to be well informed about it.
  • Ask for a debate about the "pros & cons" to be a member of the EU or to become a new member of the EU
Students must practice critical thinking about a subject that is not consensual nowadays when Europe is experiencing a severe financial crisis. 

The austerity measures and social spending cuts extended the child poverty and child deprivation in the world’s advanced economies, a report revealed in 2011.

Some 13 million children in the European Union (plus Norway and Iceland) lack basic items necessary for their development. 

Read my post The Hard Times Generation : Children's rights.

If you teach young students, you will introduce different activities to motivate kids to learn about the EU.
  • Visit the Education corner : Information about the EU for young people and teachers.

You have the time because the EU activities goes around Saturday May 17, Festival of Europe.

"A great time to visit the EU institutions in Brussels on Saturday 17 May plenty of activities for all ages and discover how the institutions work ! "

European Commission


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