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6 Ways You Didn’t Know People Celebrated Europe Day 2016

Photo: Anthony Mooney/Shutterstock
Photo: Anthony Mooney/Shutterstock

It’s 9 May, Europe Day – a time to take a step back and consider the unprecedented period of peace in Europe since the last world war.

Winston Churchill and Robert Schuman drive through cheering inhabitants of the town of Metz, in France, 1946. Photo: AP
Winston Churchill and Robert Schuman drive through cheering inhabitants of a town in France, 1946. Photo: AP

Europe Day marks the anniversary of the historical Schuman Declaration where Robert Schuman, then French foreign minister, gave a speech in Paris in 1950 to set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe.

In 1950, the nations of Europe were still struggling to overcome the devastation brought on by World War II, which had ended only 5 years earlier.

This declaration would spark developments that now make war between countries in Europe unthinkable, and was the beginning of what is now the European Union.

Here’s a selection of six ways people celebrate Europe Day in 2016.

1. Spend a Day as an Interpreter in Brussels, Belgium

If you’re in Brussels, the EU’s de-facto capital, you can put your language skills to the test and try out being an unofficial interpreter for the day.

The European Commission has organised a set of discussions and round tables for the public the come along and listen to and try to interpret.

The idea is to show you how a professional conference interpreter works so even if you don’t speak multiple languages you’re welcome to take part as there will be a team of interpreters on hand to translate.

2. Party on the Streets of Warsaw, Poland

A Schuman Parade is organised annually, setting off from Plac Bankowy in the heart of Warsaw along the main streets ending in the European Village with a grand finale taking place on Nowy Świat, Warsaw’s most stylish street.

The parade includes performances, colourful costumes, educational quizzes, games, competitions and more.

3. Sample European Foods at the Europe Day Fair in Vilnius, Lithuania

The Europe day fair in Vilnius has a lot to offer including an art installation dedicated to Europe Day, concerts from a range of Lithuanian groups, CPR lessons from Red Cross, and even an auction of confiscated goods from Lithuanian customs!

The restaurant fair boasts a huge selection of foods from Greece, Belguim, Spain, Romania, Hungary, Ireland, Germany, Netherlands, France and, of course, Lithuania.

4. Check the European Film Festival in Tallinn, Estonia

The European Parliament is putting on a European film festival showcasing a selection of LUX Film Prize winning films to celebrate Europe Day.

The LUX Film Prize is a quality label that backs European film productions putting the spotlight on urgent topical issues.

5. Watch EU Staff Run a Marathon in Geneva, Switzerland

Nestled between lake Geneva and the snow-capped peaks of the Alps and Jura mountains the Geneva Marathon is one of Europe’s most picturesque city marathons.

The EU get involved by entering two teams of staff members from EU member states into the Relay Marathon and some colleagues run the half-marathon.

6. Other Countries

Check out the Europe Day 2016 website for an overview of Europe Day activities in other countries.

Climate-KIC and the European Institute of Innovation and Technology are examples of how people unite across Europe to solve common challenges such as climate change. Find out how you can get involved!

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