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Europe Day 2023: Date, History, Activities and Facts

The European Union observes May 9 while the Council of Europe observes May 5. Europe Day is a time to commemorate Europe's illustrious past while making plans for its future.

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Europe Day 2023: Date, History, Activities and Facts

Europe Day 2023: Europe Day is an annual commemoration of peace and unity across the continent on two separate dates in May. The European Union observes May 9 while the Council of Europe observes May 5. Europe Day is a time to commemorate Europe’s illustrious past while making plans for its future. It celebrates the unity of the European Union’s member states while provoking reflection on the issues that affect it. On Europe Day, citizens of Europe are brought closer together. Countries within the union strengthen their ties, allowing their citizens to surmount any sense of separation from the various European nations.


In 1964, the Council of Europe, the international organisation founded to promote democracy in Europe, established the first Europe Day. The date of May 5 was chosen to commemorate the first Europe Day because the Council of Europe was established on that date. In honour of the Schuman Declaration of 1950, the European Union did not establish May 9 as their own Europe Day until much later. Consequently, some individuals refer to Europe Day as Schuman Day. The Schuman Declaration or Schuman Plan was a proposal by Robert Schuman, the French foreign minister, to place French and West German coal and steel production under a single authority that would later be opened to other European authorities.

The Schuman Declaration was significant because, as Schuman asserted, the unification of European nations was impossible without the end of France and Germany’s age-old rivalry, which was resolved by combining their coal and steel resources. In 1951, the six signatories of the Schuman Declaration created the European Coal and Steel Community by signing the Treaty of Paris.

The European Coal and Steel Community was the first supranational community in Europe, paving the way for the European Economic Community and ultimately the European Union. Therefore, we can state that the Schuman Declaration was responsible for the creation of the European Union. Europe Day commemorates the calm and unity established by the Schuman Declaration. After the establishment of the European Union, more nations began celebrating Europe Day. Germany even prolonged the celebration to Europe Week.

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Fly your ensign

The flag of Europe is the official symbol of Europe and the European Union. On Europe Day, you can purchase, create, or print a copy of the European flag to display your solidarity and allegiance. You can enlist the help of your family and friends to paint the entire continent blue.

Check out an EU institution

Certain European institutions, such as the European Parliament and the European Commission, open their doors to the public on Europe Day. You can learn about how decisions affecting Europe are made by visiting any of these institutions.

Thrill at a concert

Throughout the continent, official Europe Day concerts are conducted annually. You can experience Europe’s diverse history through music by attending a concert. You can appreciate opera, polka, and pop, three of Europe’s finest musical genres.

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Five essential facts about Europe

The loveliest spot on the planet

Disneyland in Paris is one of Europe’s most visited attractions, surpassing even the Eiffel Tower in popularity.

They enjoy IKEA.

Europe contributed approximately 70.7% of IKEA’s sales in fiscal year 2021.

Tiny but formidable

Europe has the world’s third-largest population and is one of the most potent continents despite being the second-smallest continent.

Not “the West”

Despite the fact that Europe is frequently referred to as “the West,” it is wholly located in the Northern Hemisphere, with the majority of its landmass located in the Eastern Hemisphere.

Greek passion

The appellation “Europe” is derived from Greek mythology and refers to the princess Europa of Phoenicia.


It honours diversity in a diverse world

In a world of such diversity, it can be difficult to maintain unity. Europe Day teaches us that it is possible to work towards a common objective while recognising and celebrating our differences and similarities.

We learn about the past.

On Europe Day, we study the history of one of the world’s most potent continents. We learn how we got to this stage, what mistakes were made, and what we can do differently in the future.

It brings individuals together.

Europe Day draws together over 500 million individuals from 27 European countries. A farmer in Belgium and a trader in Spain will be able to celebrate together despite their geographical distance. You can celebrate Europe Day wherever you are and feel connected to other Europeans around the world.


Year Date Day
2022 May 5 Thursday
2022 May 9 Monday
2023 May 5 Friday
2023 May 9 Tuesday
2024 May 5 Sunday
2024 May 9 Thursday