On 5 May 2018, the European institutions in Brussels will be open to the public, a unique opportunity for citizens to take a look inside the EU’s emblematic buildings and learn about the European project. The hemicycle of the European Parliament, the meeting room of the college of Commissioners, the new Europa building and the meeting room of Heads of State and government; these are just a few examples of what people can discover at the Open Day.
The organisers say that this year, the day will be themed around the European year of cultural heritage, an initiative that aims to encourage more people to discover and engage with Europe’s cultural heritage, and to reinforce a sense of belonging to a common European space.
Throughout the Open Day, visitors can take part in themed debates, join guided tours of the buildings, or explore the institutions on their own. There will be information stands, concerts, exhibitions, and interactive animation for all ages. A little train will transport visitors through the European quarter. It will also be one year after the opening of the House of European History: a year of learning, reflection and debate on European history.
The new Europa building with its unique lantern shaped structure fits meeting rooms in different circular dimensions.
The Open Day will also coincide with the Fête de l’Iris, a vibrant festival, from 5-6th May, that celebrates the anniversary of the Region of Brussels and its municipalities. Throughout the weekend, over 100 organisations from the city will gather in Parc de Bruxelles for interactive workshops, dance demonstrations, theatre performances, circus acts and more. The Iris Food Corner boasts over 60 food trucks that extends from the place des Palais to Place Royale. To conclude the Saturday evening, the festival will host a concert, featuring Electro Night, at the Place des Palais, along with other artists.
With the Open Day, the institutions remember and celebrate French foreign minister and founding father of the EU Robert Schuman’s declaration of 9 May 1950. In this declaration, he proposed that France and Germany share their natural resources in a bid to make conflict between the countries ‘not merely unthinkable, but materially impossible’. Other European nations joined the endeavour, which made European cooperation a reality.
This year is the 26th edition of the Open Day in Brussels. Taking part: the European Parliament, the European Council and Council of the EU, the European Commission, the European External Action Service, the European Committee of the Regions, the European Economic and Social Committee and the House of European History.