Europe Day celebrations across the EU

Thursday 09 May 2013 23.29
Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe
Europe Day is an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe

Europe Day, an annual celebration of peace and unity in Europe, is being marked across the EU.

Also known as Schuman day, today marks the anniversary of a speech given in Paris in 1950 by French foreign minister Robert Schuman.

In it he called for the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community, which over the years developed into the European Union as we know it today.

Taoiseach Enda Kenny, Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore and Minister for European Affairs Lucinda Creighton led a "national handshake" in Croke Park as part of Ireland's EU Presidency celebrations.

They participated in a group handshake with a team of young GAA players from community clubs around Ireland, whose families come from other European countries.

The handshake was replicated in national schools around the country.

Meanwhile, a party to celebrate 40 years of Ireland's EU membership was held at the commission's office on Dawson Street in Dublin.

Among those in attendance were EU Commissioner Máire Geoghegan-Quinn and Minister Creighton.