About the event
Europe Day commemorates 9 May 1950, when the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organised Europe, to help maintain peaceful relations between European countries. This proposal, known as the 'Schuman declaration', is considered to be the act that created what is now the European Union.
How to approach it
Use this as an opportunity to educate students about the inspiring story of European cooperation. Use historical examples such as the World Wars or the Hundred Years War (between England and France) to show that Europe was consistently at war over its long history. Show students that European cooperation and integration was a successful attempt to avert the tragedies and conflicts of the decades and centuries before.
Through the ideals of peace, mutual trust and cooperation European politicians sought for stability and a model in which every country worked together for the common good. As we know from Brexit, the question as to how effective the EU has been at realising these ideals is a controversial debate. Ask students: what has the EU done well, what could be improved? Highlight that whilst there has been stability in Europe, Europe has continued to dominate countries in the Global South. Ask: what if we extended these ideals to the rest of the world? What would this global system look like? What policies would we have to adopt?
The European Union was founded on the ideals of peace and cooperation. How well do you think it has achieved this aim? What would the world look like if we aimed for peace and cooperation on a global scale?