9 May 2014 – Europe Day

There’s a lot of truth in the statement that “this time it’s different”, as our colleagues at the European Parliament put it, with the 2014 European elections approaching in a climate of unprecedented politicization; party candidates for Commission president campaigning from Triest to Szczecin* and beyond; the European project no longer the object of permissive (and uninterested) consensus but subject to debate – sometimes not really a well-informed one**.

Nevertheless, we like to mark this year’s anniversary of the declaration of 9 May 1950 by pointing to the collections of documents put together by the Fondation Robert Schuman and by CVCE. They offer a good perspective on the intergovernmental beginnings of the adventure launched by Schuman and the other founding fathers. The text of the declaration, with its reference to “le ferment d’une communauté plus large et plus profonde”, is in itself a good reminder of how much the subsequent integration was already contained in the revolutionary idea of sharing the control on heavy, war-related industries such as coal and steel.

Bonne Fête de l’Europe by your Library team, and do not forget the Council’s Open Day on 17 May.

* in fact we are not aware of any campaign event in Szczecin, but we could not resist the temptation to mark re-united Europe echoing, by contrast, a quote which went down in history as a sanction of Europe painfully divided. To re-establish geo-political truth, two of the presidential candidates did in fact stop in Triest and, respectively, in Poznan.

** to counter that, we humbly advance that there’s a role for libraries

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