The European continent has to focus on building a culture of peace and peace-building

Assist. Prof. Dr. Mehmet Direkli, the chairperson of the International Relations Department of Faculty of Economics and Administrative Sciences, Cyprus International University (CIU) said Europe is going through difficult times because of the Ukraine-Russia War, and said, “despite this, Europe Day will continue to be celebrated as the day of peace and solidarity which began on the European Continent following World War Two.”  

The European continent  has to focus on building a culture of peace and peace-building

Direkli said there are two different days that are celebrated as Europe Day in the world. May 5 is observed by the European Council. The Council was established on May 5, 1949 after the Treaty of London was signed by 10 European countries.   The most important component of the Council is the European Convention on Human Rights. May 9 is celebrated as the day when the European Union was established.  

Assist. Prof.. Dr. Dirli noted that Europe Day was established by the European Council  in order to ensure reconciliation among the peoples in Europe who suffered great material and moral losses during the Second World War. By observing this day, they believed it would be possible to establish common institutions, standards, and treaties in place of the ongoing tensions and conflicts on the continent in an environment based on trust and cooperation, 

Direkli gave some information about the Council saying their main purposes can be summarized as  “protecting and strengthening the principles of human rights, the rule of law and pluralistic democracy; seeking solutions to problems related to minorities, racism, intolerance and xenophobia, social exclusion, drugs and the environment; contributing to the formation and development of the European cultural identity.”

Direkli pointed that since 1964, May 5 has been a day of celebration and holiday, in 1985, the European Communities (which later became the European Union adopted the Council’s European symbols.

In addition to this, Direkli stated that the leaders of the community decided to celebrate Europe Day on this date in memory of the Robert Schuman Declaration dated May 9, 1950. Based on the decision taken by the European Parliament in October 2008, May 9 was also accepted  to be observed as the European Union Day. 

The Chair of the Department of International Relations Direkli said both dates are celebrated in many countries throughout Europe to inform people about the European Council and European Union adding various conferences are being organized to support this partnership.  

Direkli mentioned that European Union prefers May 9 which sparks celebrations and a quest for peace, while some European countries tend to observe May 5 as Europe Day due to its role in defending human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law.

News Date: May 9, 2022