Oh come on, you knew didn’t you? 9th May, the day back in 1950 when Robert Schuman called upon European nations to pool together their coal and steel resources, paving the way to the European Union?
Well OK, we don’t do “being European” very well in the UK – maybe we should (I’m unashamedly pro-Europe so have a natural bias). Cyprus has certainly got the balance right, with a weekend of music concerts, dancing performances and community activities in the beautiful city of Paphos, before starting the more serious events today. And rather surprisingly, Europe Day 2011 is being celebrated in Hanoi and Ho Chi Min City – with a mini series of cultural activities (presumably European ex-pats drive those initiatives). I’m a little more suspicious of the giant “euro-karaoke” at the doors of the European Parliament in Brussels but can see potential for the same next year in Westminster (I’m seeing images of our erstwhile coalition leaders kicking-off the event with a duet of ‘So Happy Together’ but maybe I’m a little ahead of myself on that one). But as far as the UK is concerned, it has to be hats off to Wales – which does seem to be embracing its European side with a number of Europe Day events (although rather more serious than those already mentioned). So, whether celebrating or not, have a great Europe Day.