Europe Day 2014
In Russia every schoolboy knows that May 9 is Victory Day. But his peer from Western Europe will not agree with him. And by no means because in France or Italy they do not honor the bright date of the surrender of fascist Germany. Just Victory Day in Europe celebrate a day earlier than we have. It was on May 8, 1945, Alfred Jodl, the German general, signed the surrender of the Third Reich. This document marked the end of the most terrible of wars in world history. And what about the next day? When May 9 in the sky over our cities, fireworks salute, "they" are also celebrating the anniversary of the significant event. This is Europe Day. "What kind of holiday is this?" - they will surprise us. And they will doubt. Is not this an attempt to distort, distort the meaning of the victory over fascism with which our grandfathers fought? By no means. With the Third Reich, by the way, not only our grandfathers fought, but also the ancestors of modern Europeans and Americans. And it is still unknown what would be the outcome of the war, if it were not for the troops of the allies of the USSR. But now it's not about that. Let's talk about the Day of Europe. What is this holiday, when it is celebrated and how.
History of Europe Day
As Hegel said, history moves along a dialectical spiral. There are certain dates that are key. Take at least the newest history of Ukraine. On November 21, 2004, the Orange Revolution began, and ten years later Viktor Yanukovich refused to sign the Association Agreement between Ukraine and the EU in Vilnius. What comes of it - you know yourself. The beginning of May is not less significant time for Europe. Four years after the Second World War ended, a significant event occurred. On May 5, the Council of Europe was established. In 1964 this date was approved as a holiday. The Victory Day summed up the long history of the disengagement of European peoples into two warring camps. In 1985, the EU prototype, the European Community, adopted the symbols: flag, anthem and day. State men opted for May 9. It was then, on the date of the Schumann Declaration, that Europe Day was celebrated.
Why May 9?
As we have already noted, the day of the creation of the Council of Europe is May 5, 1949. He was the only holiday dedicated to the idea of the unity of the peoples of the continent for a year. On May 9, 1950, Foreign Minister Robert Schumann spoke at a briefing to journalists, where he announced the main provisions of the previously adopted treaty. According to this document, such irreconcilable opponents as France and Germany, as well as Italy and the Benelux countries (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg) agreed to unite the coal and steel industries of their states. This speech was later called Schuman's Declaration. To commemorate this date, which gave impetus to the formation of the European Union, on May 9, 1985, in Milan, a government meeting was organized, at which the EU flag was adopted - the same one, blue, with the stars, going around. And in 2008 this date was officially approved as a holiday - Europe Day.
Why is the ECSC so important?
How could a purely economic agreement on the unification of the spheres of industry play such a paramount role that the date of its signing became an international holiday? In the modern world, politics, alas, permeates all areas of public life. Until 1950, European countries were afraid of Germany. And what if suddenly revanchist attitudes prevail in the state? The "economic miracle" of Germany frightened its neighbors. At the same time, such an attitude towards Germany was holding back the growth of its potential on the international market. The steel and coal industry are two whales, in which the military-industrial complex was at that time. The creation of a supranational structure, called the European Union of Coal and Steel (ECSC), decided the notorious "German question". All countries participating in the agreement were subordinate to the Supreme Council with the elected president at the head (he was in 1952 close associate of Schumann Jean Monet). Since that day, the countries have been able to mutually control their military power, and this has become a pledge of peace on the continent. This is also why the Day of Europe is celebrated on the anniversary of the victory over fascism. Such are the parallels.
Is the holiday a day off?
In October 2008, the European Parliament officially recognized the date of May 9 as a holiday. But the fifth day of the last month of spring did not remain forgotten. May 5 emphasizes the role of the Council of Europe in the protection of the rule of law, human rights and parliamentary democracy. But the date is not always the same. When Europe Day is celebrated, it is left to the government of a particular country. It is celebrated in all EU countries. But in the UK, because of the mood of Euroskepticism among citizens, this day goes unnoticed. But it is noted in some countries, which only apply for membership in the EU - in Turkey, Croatia, Ukraine, Macedonia. In most EU countries, May 5 or 9 was declared a day off. But sometimes the celebration is combined with work or transferred on a Saturday.
As mark this date
Europe Day has become a symbol of the implementation of a new successful model of cooperation between states. This peaceful coexistence is based on common values and interests. Until the 2000s, the celebration was mostly of a cultural nature. Art exhibitions, concerts and other similar events were held. But since the EU began to grow new members, the holiday has gradually acquired a political sound. The day was celebrated in the candidate countries. There, the main emphasis is placed on the choice of citizens of the vector of European integration. In countries that have long been full members of the EU, there are local differences that should dispel the skeptics of fears about the impact of globalization on the identity of individual countries. So, on the Day of Europe in 2014, cultural and entertainment programs and sports competitions, conferences and public debates were held everywhere. Speeches on television of political and public figures are also popular.
How to spend long weekend in Europe
In our country, the period from May 1 to 10 is almost two weeks, if not complete idleness, then a relaxed mode of work. And if you add to these days accumulated time off, so it turns out the second mini-vacation. How to spend it with maximum benefit? You can go to tropical countries, where the hot summer already dominates - to Egypt, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey. But do not forget that spring is a great time to visit the countries of Central and Western Europe. Moreover, in the first decade of May there is an atmosphere of fun. In many countries, 1-2, and also on the 7-9th of this month, are days off. Europe celebrates the day of solidarity of the working people, the anniversary of the victory over fascism and many other, equally joyful events. Everywhere there are interesting performances, concerts, festivals.
Blitz-vacation in Europe
Well, if you break out for a week or two of working days you can not get, you can take advantage of special offers from various travel agencies. Inexpensive, but very full of impressions, rest give a weekend tour. Europe is really so close! Just 2-3 hours - and you are already in Paris, visiting the castles of the Loire and riding with the children on the attractions of Disneyland. Or in the Kingdom of Tulips and windmills - beautiful Holland. Or in Munich - try the beer and inspect the castles against the snow-covered alpine peaks. You can choose a bus tour - a great opportunity to see inexpensively in one fell swoop at once several countries. By the way, Victory Day in Europe is celebrated with no less scope than ours. But the geogrievskie ribbons are not worn there. Well, this is understandable, because the symbol is Russian.
Day of Europe in Ukraine
For this country the date is special. This state is the only one in Eastern Europe, where the holiday is celebrated at the official level. Back in 2003, President Leonid Kuchma signed Decree No. 339 of April 19, according to which the third Saturday of May was declared the Day of Europe in Ukraine. The main goal of all events timed to this date was, as the document says, to demonstrate the desire to rapprochement with the EU countries. Every year on this day, large-scale celebrations were held, not only in the capital, but also in various parts of the country. But usually the officialdom boiled down to the fact that on the street Khreshchatyk in Kiev that day the "European town" grew out of the exhibition pavilions. There, each EU member state represented its country.
Ukrainian Day of Europe-2014
Recent political events have made the holiday more meaningful, one might say, symbolic. After all, we do not forget: the revolution began because Yanukovich VF, then the country's president, refused, despite numerous promises to his people and foreign partners, to sign the Agreement on the Association of Ukraine with the EU. Therefore, the current celebrations of the Day of Europe were particularly large-scale. The third Saturday this year was on May 17. But they began to celebrate the holiday in Kiev on the 11th. The official opening of the Day of Europe was held in the capital's Mikhailovskaya Square. Moreover, the events were organized not only by the European Commission, but also by the Foreign Ministry of Ukraine. Three days later the holiday was celebrated in Odessa, Lviv and other cities of the country.
How to celebrate this holiday with us
In Moscow on the third Saturday of May the festival "Days of Europe in Moscow" starts every year. The organizers of this event are the Delegation of the European Commission to the Russian Federation, the Moscow Center for Students and the Moscow City Committee for Public Relations. Ambassadors of all EU countries are invited to the celebration. Participate in it and members of the Moscow government. Guests of the festival are told about scholarship training programs in the countries of the European Union. In general, at us this holiday passes not absolutely how the Day of Europe in Ukraine. But in this there are many cognitive and useful moments. Citizens of our country can understand that Europe is not an enemy, but a partner of Russia.