The European Union celebrates peace and unity on the continent with events around the world on May 9 to commemorate the speech delivered on that day by Robert Schuman in 1950. Many consider former French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman to be one of the founders of the European Union for his work in the formation of the European Coal and Steel Community. This organization was one of the European Union’s first attempts to form a centralized authority to regulate industrial production in Europe. Schuman’s declaration thus promoted the economic and political cooperation of European nations to achieve lasting peace in response to the strong disputes that triggered World War II.
“World peace cannot be safeguarded without the making of creative efforts proportionate to the dangers which threaten it.” Robert Schuman, May 9, 1950
Celebration at ITAM
To join in this celebration, ITAM and its International Studies Department held a conference, attended by representatives from the European Union in Mexico and the ambassadors of Cyprus, Hungary, Portugal, and the European Union. The conference was moderated by Dr. Stéphan Sberro, International Studies Department Chair, and Director of the Institute for European Integration Studies.
Klaus Rudischhauser, ambassador of the European Union in Mexico, noted that this community, which has grown from six to 28 countries since the beginning of the project, could be an example of integration for the Latin American region. However, the possible partial loss of national sovereignty is an issue that may work against the decision of the people, he said.
Cyprus, Portugal, and Hungary Join the European Union
Homer A. Mavrommatis, Cyprus’s Ambassador in Mexico, recalled that the processes that lasted more than a decade culminated in his country’s accession to the European Union in 2004. He himself worked with the administration of Cyprus during the last stages prior to accession.
Portuguese Ambassador Jorge Roza de Oliveira shared the background that made joining the EU difficult for his country, which managed to rid itself of a dictatorship, opening its doors to democracy 44 years ago. In 1986, it joined the European Union.
Furthermore, Ambassador Iván Medveczky, Hungarian representative, remembered the euphoria with which the people reacted to the accession in 2004. He said there was a popular plea among the inhabitants of his country. Despite this, he emphasized the importance of countries maintaining a critical position, always seeking constructive criticism and a willingness to solve common problems. Finally, he recognized that the accession has brought the wealth, peace, and prosperity that were expected, but it is important to work to maintain and continue developing these achievements.