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    EU opens up to the public on 5 May

    © Julie Guiches
    © Julie Guiches

    To celebrate Europe Day, the European institutions in Brussels will open their doors to the public for the annual Open Day on 5 May 2018 from 10.00 to 18.00. Europe Day, held on 9 May every year, celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical “Schuman declaration”.

    At a speech in Paris on 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.

    “Europe will not be made all at once, or according to a single plan. It will be built through concrete achievements which first create a de facto solidarity,” the declaration said.

    Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union but his vision of a democratic Europe based on the rule of law is still work in progress and threatened by Eurosceptic forces.

    On Europe day the public is invited to visit the EU institutions in Brussels, all within walking distance from Schuman Roundabout.

    Visitors can find out about the work in the European Parliament with special exhibitions by the political groups and public debates with Members of the Parliament. Outside, the Agora Simone Veil will host activities to make for a festive European atmosphere (Place du Luxembourg 100).

    The new Europa building at Rue de la Loi 175, where European leaders take their decisions at summit and council meetings, will arrange guided tours.

    At the nerve centre of the European Commission, the Berlaymont building (Rue de la Loi 200), about 30 stands will show the main policies of the EU and will highlight the European Year for Cultural Heritage 2018.

    A series of mini citizen dialogues will give people a chance to talk directly with personalities of the European Commission and a series of outside fun activities will entertain young and old.

    Auditors from the European Court of Auditors in Luxembourg will be available in the Berlaymont building and visitors are invited to test their skills in auditing the EU budget.

    The European Data Protection Supervisor will also have a stand at Berlaymont and explain how data protection works.

    The European External Action Service will showcase the main activities carried out in EU Common Security & Defence Policy missions and operations (Schuman Roundabout 9A).

    The building which hosts the European Economic and Social Committee (civil society and social partners) and the European Committee of the Regions (regional and local administration) will open up its doors at Rue Belliard 99 – 101.

    The Brussels Times