On May 9, 1950, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman suggested the banding together and rationalization of Western European coal and steel production. This was the spark of the incremental intertwining of sovereignty, currencies, and aspiration into what is now the European Union.
The 9th of May is now memorialized as “Europe Day“.
Tonight, I’ll be going to the “Europe Day” celebration at the home of the Ambassador of the European Delegation to the U.S., former Prime Minister of Ireland John Bruton.
Javier Solana has been booked as the entertainment.
Interestingly, the White House has been completely silent in any recognition of “Europe Day”. A quick scan of White House press releases shows that the President recently made remarks or issued statements commemorating Cinco de Mayo and National Prayer Day. Maybe we don’t extend comments on other nation’s special days — but seems like it would be easy “feel good” diplomacy to do so.
But for those Europhiles out there, you should take a look at this interesting new brief on Europe done by my friend Jakob von Weizsaecker at the impressive new European think tank, Bruegel.
His piece starts with an opener that shares similar sentiments as my and Michael Lind’s recent New York Times op-ed “How to Lose the Brain Race“:
Many more people would like to migrate to the EU than the EU is ready to absorb. But who should be allowed to enter and who should not? The economic effects of high-skilled immigration are generally positive for the receiving country while low-skilled migration has more ambiguous effects. The economic and political complexity of low-skilled migration must not be used as an excuse for procrastination. The EU has already fallen behind in attracting high-skilled migrants.
By contrast, Australia, Canada and Switzerland are particularly successful in attracting foreign graduates through “points” based immigration systems. Europe should follow suit to position itself in the global competition for talent.
The entire report is worth reading and would be a great item to add to any course syllabus for those teaching about European politics and social trends.
– Steve Clemons