On May 9th, 1950, the then Foreign Minister of France, Robert Schuman, delivered what would be remembered as his most important speech: the Schuman Declaration. He proposed the creation of a common authority between West Germany and France to regulate the production of coal and steel. Robert Schuman would later become the first president of the European Parliament in 1958.
Today, on the 72nd anniversary of the Schuman declaration, we acknowledge the importance of Schuman’s revolutionary idea by celebrating Europe Day. While the elders can remember the times in which peace and cooperation among Europeans were not given for granted, the younger generation is possibly less aware of how crucial the European Union (and its predecessor, the European Community) has been in ensuring a space for dialogue and harmonisation between the different interests, thus avoiding further war outbreaks in the decades since.
Schuman had a dream of peace on the continent and proposed a concrete project that could help achieve that. What are we dreaming about today? What could Europe do to concretely help achieve that?
Read the Op-Ed of our Chief Executive Erika Widegren Staël von Holstein published today on the OECD Network Forum: “The Dream of Europe: Creative efforts to reimagine the EU”