Europe Day is a celebration of everything the EU has achieved – Donohoe

9th May, 2014

Anniversary of the Schuman Declaration acts as a reminder of the past and how far we have come


Speaking on Europe Day, today (Friday), the Minister for European Affairs, Paschal Donohoe TD, said the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration which lead to the foundation of the European Coal and Steel Community ECSC; the forerunner of the European Union, served to remind us of the horrors endured by the people of Europe in two world wars and of the peace and stability we have enjoyed in recent decades.


Minister Donohoe is marking Europe Day by visiting two schools engaged in the Blue Star programme (Mary Help of Christians GNS, Navan Rd and Gaelscoil Bharra, Fassaugh Avenue) and taking part in the big ‘Handshake for Europe’ at the mansion House with the students from St. Brigid’s NS in the Coombe.


“The peace and stability we have come to enjoy in Europe stems from the ideology of Robert Schuman whose idea for the ECSC sought to make war ‘not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible’. It is vital that we continue to remind our children of what some of us might sometime take for granted and of the importance of celebrating the diversity and solidarity that comes with being part of the EU.


“The Blue Star programme and the ‘Handshake for Europe’ are some of the ways in which we can bring the EU alive for our children and teach them of the benefits that come with being part of that Union. Now in its third year, the Blue Star programme, which is run by European Movement Ireland on behalf of the Department of An Taoiseach, the European Commission Representation and the European Parliament, has seen more than 120 schools and 5,500 pupils participating to date. This academic year alone, 106 schools across 24 counties are involved in the programme, which aims to teach children about the history, geography, culture, creativity and Institutions of the EU.


“I am delighted to be a part of the celebrations this year and to be able to engage with the children in the classroom and beyond as we mark this anniversary and continue to raise awareness of that day more than 60 years ago when the face of Europe was changed forever.”