COMMEMORATING THE 70th ANNIVERSARY OF THE SCHUMAN DECLARATION, DEBATING EUROPE’S FUTURE
Robert Schuman, French foreign minister between 1948 and 1952, is regarded as one of the founding fathers of European unity. In cooperation with Jean Monnet he drew up the Schuman Declaration, issued on 9 May 1950, proposing the creation of a single authority to control the production of Steel and Coal in France and West Germany, opening it also to other European countries. This declaration was inspired by federalists principles. It was aiming to lead, in the long run, to a ‘European Federation.
“Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity. By pooling basic production and by instituting a new High Authority, whose decisions will bind France, Germany and other member countries, this proposal will lead to the realization of the first concrete foundation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace. ”
The project: Schuman 2.0
The “Schuman 2.0” project, co-funded by the Europe for Citizens Programme of the European Union, is aimed at contributing to citizens' understanding of the EU, its history and diversity and to raising awareness of remembrance, common history and values and the aim of the EU.
The project is organized by the Union of European Federalists (UEF), with the collaboration of partners as UEF France, UEF Spain (Unión de Europeístas y Federalistas de España), UEF and JEF Graz, Europa Union Landesverband Hamburg, Movimento Federalista Europeo (MFE IT), Young European Federalists (JEF), and the University of Tartu.
Between September 2019 and June 2020, the UEF will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Schuman declaration on 9th May 2020 with a double purpose: raising a renewed awareness of the deep roots of the European project at a time it is challenged by raising nationalism and fostering the debate on a common vision of the EU’s shape and mission in the years to come to complete the long-term project that was already envisaged in the Schuman declaration.
In order to reach these objectives, the project will organise a series of 6 grassroots events addressed to citizens from all social and economic backgrounds in European cities across the continent, hosted by the local university, and a final Citizens Summit on 9th of May 2020. Throughout the project, participants in the local events will reflect and debate their own “new Schuman Declaration” to address the challenges of modern Europe, which will be presented, discussed and awarded in a final event, the Citizens Summit on 9th May 2020. This project website will host historical perspectives on the Schuman declaration and host the “new Schuman declarations” developed by participants to the grassroots events.
The project will begin with the Schuman 2.0 Ambassador training on December 2019 in Brussels and will continue with the following grassroots events addressed to EU citizens across the continent:
Lille (France) on 25 January 2020, in collaboration with UEF France;
Trieste (Italy) on 20 February 2020, in collaboration with Movimento Federalista Europeo (MFE IT) and the Erasmus Student Network;
Tartu (Estonia) on 28-29 February 2020, in collaboration with the University of Tartu;
Bilbao (Spain) on 6 March 2020, in collaboration with the University of Deusto;
Hamburg (Germany) on 28 March 2020, in collaboration with Europa Union Landesverband Hamburg;
Graz (Austria) on 2 May 2020, in collaboration with UEF-Styria (EFB-Steiermark) and JEF-Styria (JEF-Steiermark).
In each grassroots event, participants will be encouraged to form and share their perception on the initial aspirations of the European project as stated in the Schuman declaration, confront it with the view of participants from other EU countries and reflect on the best way to renew the EU’s mission in the framework of the current challenges facing the Europeans.
During these events, participants will have the opportunity to reflect on the original Schuman Declaration and propose their “new Schuman Declarations” to address current EU challenges. All declarations will be published on a project website organised by themes and countries.
The cities for the events have been chosen to meet three criteria:
represent a mix of cities from the original founding countries and the more recent member states so the outcome (and the interaction from participants in the final event) can reflect different historical perspectives and expectations on the Schuman declaration;
be close to a border with at least another country, to add an additional cross-border dimension not only in terms of participants but also of intercultural exchange and symbolism in the event, and;
be not a capital city, to reach out to circles normally left outside the European debates that take place in capital cities.
The project will end with the final Citizens Summit on Europe Day, the 9th May 2020. It is meant to present the meaning of the Schuman declaration and discuss on its long-term perspectives.
It will be an occasion for participants to share their ideas and reflect on Schuman’s vision: discussion among direct witness, MEPs and representatives of CS will be held, as well as debates on current challenges and prospects. During this event, 5 declarations from each grassroots event will be presented and the most successful “Schuman 2.0 Declaration” will be awarded during the Citizens' Summit.