The European Union on 9 May marks the anniversary of the Schuman declaration that heralded the start of the European project.
The Schuman Declaration was made by the French foreign minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950. It proposed to place French and German production of coal and steel under one common High Authority. This organisation would be open to participation of Western European countries. This cooperation was to be designed in such a way as to create common interests between European countries which would lead to gradual political integration, a condition for the pacification of relations between them: "Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. The coming together of the nations of Europe requires the elimination of the age-old opposition of France and Germany".
West German Chancellor Adenauer responded swiftly with a positive reply as did the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium, Italy and Luxembourg. Within one year, on 18 April 1951, the six founding members signed the Treaty of Paris. It created the European Coal and Steel Community - Europe's first supranational Community. This organisation paved the way for the European Economic Community and subsequently the European Union.
European Union missions and delegations all over the world are holding activities to mark the day.
photo: The official poster marking Europe Day 2019
"Let us work together constructively because the endeavour is a united and strong Europe," Ursula von der Leyen told MEPs after they confirmed her in the post. She will take up her new role on November 1.
On Monday, 15 July, yet another incident occurred in the vicinity of the David Gareji Monastery which lies on a disputed area of the Georgian-Azerbaijani border. The monastery has turned from a place of worship to a flashpoint, with Georgian religious zealots trying to state their claim on the land as Georgian territory, and Azerbaijani border guards stopping them.