Joachim Nagel ©Walter Vorjohann

Mr Nagel on Europe Day: “For me, Europe essentially means freedom, democracy and diversity”

9 May is Europe Day – an annual day of commemoration to celebrate unity and peace in Europe. On this day back in 1950, Robert Schuman set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, ultimately creating the European Union. For me, Europe essentially means freedom, democracy and diversity, said Bundesbank President Joachim Nagel, honouring this anniversary. But how did this day come about and why is it so important for Europe? 

Europe Day was first introduced by the heads of state or government of the European Communities (predecessor organisation of the EU) at the Milan Summit in 1985. They wanted to celebrate the anniversary of the “Schuman Declaration”, which was presented on 9 May 1950 by Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister. This declaration proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community, with the aim of safeguarding peace in Europe, and it laid the foundations for today’s European Union (EU).

Europe Day – a reminder of peace and economic progress

Europe Day also reminds us of the importance of European unity for peace and prosperity in Europe. The continent has experienced many wars and conflicts in the past, and the EU has helped to overcome these conflicts and promote cooperation between countries. The EU is one of the largest and most influential political and economic organisations in the world and plays a major role in the daily lives of around 500 million people in Europe.

The EU has been pivotal in creating a single market that allows the free movement of goods, services, people and capital within its borders. This has driven closer economic integration in Europe and improved prosperity in the region. As President of the Bundesbank, a stable euro in a stable Europe is very high on my agenda, Mr Nagel stressed on Europe Day.

Celebrating diversity at the Bundesbank

Another important aspect of Europe Day is the emphasis on diversity. The EU consists of 27 Member States, which share a wide range of languages, cultures and traditions. This diversity is an important element of what constitutes Europe. The Bundesbank, as the central bank of Germany and part of the European System of Central Banks, benefits from Europe’s diversity. 

The variety of cultures and perspectives within the Bundesbank also contributes to the development of innovative ideas and solutions, and promotes an inclusive working culture. With a photo campaign entitled “All the best for Europe Day!”, the Bundesbank supports the non-profit initiative “Do something for Europe”, with the aim of committing together to actively and visibly stand up for Europe.