Celebrations today for #EuropeDay brought me and Austrian Trade Commissioner, Josef Treml, to two schools in Callan, #Kilkenny - Coláiste Éamann Rís and Bunscoil McAuley Rice.
It was wonderful to hear what the students have been learning about EU membership and what Europe they want to see in the future.
#EuropeDay - a day each year when Europe commemorates the signing of the 'Schuman Declaration' on 9 May 1950. The Schuman Plan was an ambitious plan to secure long-term peace in post-war Europe and is considered the beginning of what is today’s European Union.
This Europe day is important as it coincides with an important anniversary for Ireland – 50 years tomorrow (10 May) since Ireland voted to join the then European Economic Community, today’s European Union.
The decision to join the EU at that time was a courageous decision – we had gained our independence just 50 years before that. But Ireland understood the potential benefits of joining the EEC and, following the referendum, Ireland became a full member on 01/01/1973.
While not perfect, the EU is working together to confront our major shared challenges like climate change and, of course, the war on Ukraine. At this time of tragic conflict on the continent of Europe, it is more important than ever that the Union is united and internally strong.
Many thanks to both schools! Your creativity, enthusiasm, and hospitality has been such an energizing start to the week! #EuropeDay #IrelandEU50