Monday, 3 May 2010

My Europe Week: de facto solidarity

The editors of have invited bloggers and non-bloggers to offer their visions for the future of Europe on the My Europe Week blog, from today 3 May until Europe Day 9 May 2010.

At the beginning of My Europe Week, there can hardly be a better first step than a thoughtful reading of the Schuman Declaration sixty years ago, on 9 May 1950.

We do not have to be great experts on European history to understand the devastation caused by centuries of internecine wars and the fundamental importance of peaceful relations for life, liberty and our relative prosperity.

Robert Schuman was aware of the need for concrete steps to create a de facto solidarity, leading to the federation of Europe.

Already the first Community was entrusted with making enforceable decisions, subject to judicial appeal.

Schuman's invitation sixty years ago was open, but only six countries were willing and able to join at the time.

Deepening has taken us from the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC) via the European Economic Community (EEC) and the European Atomic Energy Community (EAEC or Euratom) to the European Union, now under the Lisbon Treaty.

The enlargement process reflects the gradual restoration of full sovereignty, human rights and representative democracy in many European countries, most notably the “big bang” following the fall of the Berlin Wall.

During these sixty years, Europe has changed profoundly, but has it kept pace with the world around us?

Europe is very much a work in progress.

Sixty years since the Schuman Declaration, we are still far from the federation – the United States of Europe – envisioned by Jean Monnet.

My Europe Week invites us to think about our security and prosperity in a rapidly changing world.

Ralf Grahn

P.S. Write on My Europe Week, or link a post on your own blog, in the language of your choice. Twitter away under #MyEurope and #EuropeDay. Share your Europe.