[WATCH] 9 May 2021: Take part in Europe Day

Come pay a virtual visit to the European Parliament, the Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters, as well as other EU institutions

Europe Day is observed every year on May 9 and this Sunday will be no exception despite pandemic restrictions.

The date marks the anniversary of the Schumann Declaration, which proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community, the forerunner to the European Union.

Europe Day celebrates “peace, solidarity, diversity and unity in Europe” and is an opportunity for European citizens to find out more about what the EU does and to debate the issues that will shape its future.

This year’s Europe Day takes on added significance since it will mark the launch of the Conference on the future of Europe, a year-long series of debates and discussions that aims to reshape the bloc with the participation of its citizens.

European citizens are also invited to pay a virtual visit to the European Parliament, the Commission’s Berlaymont headquarters, as well as other EU institutions. A full list of online events is available on the Europe Day Portal.

What is the Conference on the future of Europe?

The inaugural event to launch the Conference on the Future of Europe will take place this Sunday at 2pm CET in the European Parliament in Strasbourg.

French President Emmanuel Macron, European Parliament President David Sassoli, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen will speak on the occasion.

The Conference is a forum for debate on how to reshape Europe in the changing global context marked by Brexit, climate change, the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise of nationalism.

“The conclusions of the conference could be the backbone for reforms in the Union in the future,” one of the leaders of the initiative, MEP Guy Verhofstadt told a news conference last month.

“A new direction is needed. This conference can give an answer to that,” he said. Conclusions from the discussions are to be presented in the second quarter of 2022.

Last month, the bloc launched a multilingual platform to help citizens participate directly in the Conference.

Before the pandemic, EU institutions traditionally opened their doors to the public for a wealth of in-person activities and events.

For the second consecutive year, Europe Day will be commemorated online due to COVID-19 restrictions.

From 7pm CET, Music Europe Day will stream a concert with 12 European artists from different countries, including Croatian Band nemanja or Girls in Hawai from Belgium.

Ewropej Funded by the European Union

This article is part of a content series called Ewropej. This is a multi-newsroom initiative part-funded by the European Parliament to bring the work of the EP closer to the citizens of Malta and keep them informed about matters that affect their daily lives. This article reflects only the author’s view. The European Parliament is not responsible for any use that may be made of the information it contains.

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