Europe Day, Robert Schuman and Class 4a

Enthusiasm for the idea of Europe – in the 60th European Competition, schoolchildren from Germany show what this could look like.

Class 4a from the small town of Weingarten (26,000 inhabitants) in Baden-Württemberg don’t (yet) know who Robert Schuman was. But the ten year-olds associate more with the founding father of the European Union than one might think at first glance. “We don’t want any more war, we want peace”, belt out the boys and girls in their Europeana rap and so describe a vision that already drove the former French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman. Back then on 9 May 1950. In his “Schuman Declaration”, the convinced European proposed that the commodities of coal and steel, which were then essential for military armaments, be administered by a supranational body. The “European Coal and Steel Community” formed the basis for today’s European Union. The states in the heart of the European continent, which had shortly before been torn by a terrible war, were henceforth to refrain from unilateral action.

Even sixty-three years later, the Europe Day of the European Union commemorates this peace proposal. Since 1953, schoolchildren have been translating the mission year after year into terms of the present. For the 60th anniversary, more than 80,000 children and young people from a 1,000 schools throughout Germany are taking part in the country’s best-known schools competition. New is the tendered international online competition, organized in cooperation with the Pedagogic Exchange Service of the Conference of Ministers of Culture. By means of so-called eTwinning, children from Germany can develop competition submissions together with school classes from at least one other European country in a virtual classroom. Maybe Class 4a from Weingarten will rap with European school friends and show that Europe can also sing and dance.

Europe Week from 4 to 12 May2013, Europe Day of the European Union on 9 May


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