Today, on 9 May, we celebrate Europe Day. It is hard to overestimate how important the European Union is for Flanders. EU policy has a major impact on our daily lives.
At the Flemish government, we are of course in daily contact with the institutions of the European Union, through the Representation of Flanders to the EU. At Flanders Chancellery and Foreign Office, the EU and Trade team is one of the central pivots of Flemish EU policy. For three colleagues of that team, these are particularly busy times. From 1 January 2024 to 30 June 2024, Belgium (and thus also Flanders) will preside over the Council of the European Union. They are already busy preparing for this Flemish EU presidency.
Europe Day is celebrated on 9 May because it was the day in 1950 when the Schuman Declaration was signed: an ambitious plan for long-term peace in post-war Europe. Today we have another war close to the EU borders. The EU Member States have unanimously condemned the Russian aggression against Ukraine. Many Member States are making great efforts to receive refugees from Ukraine. So this year's commemoration of the founding of the EU and the values that lie at its heart is extra special.
For more information on Europe Day and the activities organised by the European institutions in May, see Europe Day - European Union.
Source map: https://europeday.europa.eu/eu-your-country_en