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Encyclopedia > Europe day

The Council of Europe (COE) has developed a series of European symbols for the continent of Europe, and these have since been shared with the European Union (EU).



Main article: European flag

Flag of Europe

The flag of Europe is twelve golden stars (pointing upwards) in a circle on a blue background. Although the flag is most commonly associated with the European Union, it was initially used by the Council of Europe in 1955, and is considered to represent Europe as a whole as opposed to any particular organisation such as the EU or the COE.

The flag was adopted in 1985 all EU heads of State and government as the official emblem of the European Union and, since the beginning of 1986, it is used by all European institutions.


Deutsch Esperanto Nederlands Polski

The European anthem is based on the final movement of Beethoven's ninth symphony, which is based on Friedrich Schiller's ode, An die Freude (Ode to Joy). The anthem was originally adopted by the Council of Europe in 1972 and by the European union in 1985. It is played on official occasions by both the Council of Europe and the European Union. Due to the large number of languages used in the European Union, the anthem is purely instrumental and has no official lyrics.

Europe Day

The Council of Europe has celebrated its founding on 5 May 1949 as "Europe Day" since 1964.

What is now the European Union adopted 9 May as "Europe Day" at the Milan summit in 1985, to celebrate that Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organised Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations, on the 9 May, 1950 . This proposal, known as the Schuman declaration, is considered by many to be the beginning of the creation of what is now the European Union.

9 May is now the more commonly observed date, though some Europeans still prefer the 5th May, since the Council of Europe was designed to defend human rights, parliamentary democracy and the rule of law, while the Schuman speech was proposing a sharing of French and German coal and steel.


The European motto is "Unity in diversity" (Latin: In varietate concordia). It was first established through an unofficial process in 2000. It was selected from entries proposed by school pupils submitted to the website "www.devise-europe.org" [1] (http://www.devise-europe.org), and then accepted by the President of the European Parliament, Nicole Fontaine. The motto is soon likely to be replaced by the slightly modified "United in diversity", which has been written into the draft Constitution for Europe and now appears on official EU websites. See "www.eurominority.org" [2] (http://www.eurominority.org/version/en/devise.asp) for the motto in many languages not listed below.

Curiously, the motto is essentially the same as the South African motto officially adopted in 27 April 2000: !ke e: /xarra //ke in /Xam, an extinct Khoisan language. Bhinneka Tunggal Ika, translated as "Unity in Diversity", is also the national motto of Indonesia. It is also similar to E pluribus unum, one of the mottos of the United States of America.

In the official languages of member-states of the EU

  • Czech - Jednotnost v různorodosti
  • Danish - Forenet i mangfoldighed
  • Dutch - Eenheid in verscheidenheid
  • English - United in diversity
  • Estonian - Ühtsus erinevuses
  • Finnish - Erilaisuudessaan yhdistynyt
  • French - Unis dans la diversité
  • German - In Vielfalt geeint
  • Greek - Ενότητα στην πολυµορφία
  • Hungarian - Egység a sokféleségben
  • Irish - Aontaithe in ilíocht
  • Italian - Uniti nella diversitŕ
  • Latvian - Vienotība dažādībā
  • Lithuanian - Vienybė įvairialypiškume
  • Maltese - Maghqudin fid-diversitŕ
  • Polish - Jedność w różnorodności
  • Portuguese - Unidade na diversidade
  • Slovak - Jednota v rozdielnosti
  • Slovene - Združeni v raznolikosti
  • Spanish - Unidos en la diversidad
  • Swedish - Förenat i mĺngfalden

In other languages used by EU citizens

  • Basque - Ainitzen arteko batasuna
  • Catalan - Units en la diversitat
  • Esperanto - Unuiĝinte en diverseco
  • Galician - Unidos en la diversidade
  • Limburgish - Einheid in väölderheid
  • Luxembourgian - Eenheet an der Verschiddenheet
  • Scots - Ae mynd, monie kynd (Scotland and Ulster)
  • Welsh - Yng glym mewn gwahaniaeth

In languages used in the candidate countries

Draft EU constitution

The Convention on the Future of Europe proposed in Article IV-1 (The symbols of the Union) of its draft Constitution for Europe, July 18, 2003:

The flag of the Union shall be a circle of twelve golden stars on a blue background.
The anthem of the Union shall be based on the Ode to Joy from the Ninth Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven.
The motto of the Union shall be: United in diversity.
The currency of the Union shall be the euro.
9 May shall be celebrated throughout the Union as Europe day.

See also

External links

European flag

  • Council of Europe Logo and the European Flag (http://www.coe.int/T/E/Com/About_Coe/flag.asp)
  • EU Flag Pictures (http://www.proeurope.org)

European anthem

  • The European Anthem and downloads (http://www.coe.int/t/e/multimedia/sound/hymne.asp) - Council of Europe website
  • The European Anthem (http://europa.eu.int/abc/symbols/anthem/index_en.htm) - European Commission website

Europe day

  • Good background by the European Commission Representation in the United Kingdom (http://www.cec.org.uk/whatsnew/may9.htm)
  • Report from a Europe day in the Netherlands (http://www.rnw.nl/society/html/europe_day_express000512.html)

European motto

  • Draft European constitution, July 18, 2003 (http://european-convention.eu.int/DraftTreaty.asp?lang=EN), Article IV-1, The symbols of the Union. (It's on top of p222 in all languages but Swedish.)
  • Une devise pour l'Europe (http://www.ouestfrance-ecole.com/commun/scripts/blocsmetiers/com_frame.asp?lien=/accueil_detail.asp&param=idDOC=2135)
  • The EU at a glance (official EU site) (http://europa.eu.int/abc/index_en.htm)
  • The European motto (Eurominority site) (http://www.eurominority.org/version/en/devise.asp)

  Results from FactBites:
Let's Go Travel Guides | Europe | Suggested Itineraries (2152 words)
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EUROPA - The symbols of the EU - Europe day, 9 May (148 words)
EUROPA > The EU at a glance > The symbols of the EU > Europe Day
Today, the 9th of May has become a European symbol (Europe Day) which, along with the flag, the anthem, the motto and the single currency (the euro), identifies the political entity of the European Union.
Europe Day is the occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and peoples of the Union closer to one another.
  More results at FactBites »



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