The European Union's significant and ever-deepening innovation links with Australia will be the central theme of this year's Europe Day celebrations in Canberra. Europe Day celebrates the declaration by the then French foreign minister, Robert Schuman, that called on 9 of May 1950 for a "creative" solution to end conflict on the European Continent. His innovative proposal to merge France and Germany's coal and steel industries brought peace and has led ultimately to the creation of the European Union. The desire to innovate and help frame global solutions has been developed by the EU over the years in areas such as development, human rights, rule of law, trade and climate action.
On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman, the French Foreign Minister at the time, gave a memorable speech making the case for a new model of political and economic cooperation for Europe. Each year, the EU institutions celebrate this by organising activities on or near 9th May, the anniversary date of the Schuman Declaration.
Forty years ago the EU made a commitment to Malawi to help in reducing poverty and support sustainable development. Since that time we have seen Malawi changing. It has established a multiparty democracy and sustained peace both internally and with its neighbours. It has made progress in a number of areas of human development. The EU has been a partner on your way to progress.