Symbols of Europe

Symbols of Europe

The ill-fated European Constitution would have legally enshrined the flag, motto, anthem and euro as being official to the EU. The upcoming Treaty of Lisbon does however not mention the symbols, apart from the euro being made the official currency of the union. Despite being dropped from the new treaty, the EU symbols will continue to be used as before. In comparison, some countries such as the United Kingdom have not formally adopted their national flag in any form, but are used nonetheless in a "de facto" manner.

Although the symbols are not mentioned in the body of the Treaty of Lisbon itself, a declaration by sixteen Member States on the symbols, including the flag, was included in the final act of the Treaty of Lisbon stating that the flag, the anthem, the motto and the currency and Europe Day "will for them continue as symbols to express the sense of community of the people in the European Union and their allegiance to it." [ Official Journal of the European Union, 2007 C 306-2 , p. 267] ]

The European Parliament, objecting to the absence of the symbols from the Treaty of Lisbon, backed a proposal to use the symbols such as the flag more often in the Parliament with Jo Leinen MEP suggesting that the Parliament should again take the "avant-garde" in their use. [cite web|last=Beunderman|first=Mark|title=MEPs defy member states on EU symbols|publisher=EU Observer|date=2007-07-11|url=|accessdate=2007-07-12] Later, in September 2008, Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Affairs proposed a formal change in the institution's rules of procedure to make better use of the symbols: the flag would be present in all meeting rooms (not just the hemicycle) and at all official events; the anthem would be played at the start of a new Parliament following elections and at formal sittings; the motto would be printed on all Parliamentary documents; and "Europe Day" would be formally recognised by Parliament. [cite web|title=EU Parliament set to use European flag, anthem|publisher=EU Business|date=2008-09-11|url=|accessdate=2008-09-12] The proposal was passed on 8 October 2008 by 503 votes to 96 (15 abstentions). [cite web|first=Lucia|last=Kubosova|title=No prolonged mandate for Barroso, MEPs warn|publisher=EU Observer|date=9 October 2008|url=|accessdate=2008-10-09]

Other organisations

There have been other pan-European organisations which have not adopted the same symbols as the Council of Europe or the European Union, or have symbols derived from these. The Flag of the European Coal and Steel Community (the first of the three European Communities) was developed around the same time as the Flag of Europe and shares the use of stars and the colour blue, but uses completely different arrangement and symbolism.

The Flag of the Western European Union (the European defence organisation) is derived from the Flag of Europe, altered for its own usage. The Central Commission for Navigation on the Rhine predates them all, but its flag also uses the colour blue and a circle of stars, though with different symbolism.

ee also


External links

* [ The symbols of the EU] – Europa
** [ The European flag]
** [ The European anthem]
** [ Europe Day, 9 May]
** [ United in diversity]
* [ Council of Europe Logo and the European Flag] – Council of Europe
* [ Why the European flag has been chosen] – European NAvigator
* [ The European Anthem and downloads] – Council of Europe
* [ European anthem] – European NAvigator
* [ European commission poster] – European NAvigator
* [ The European motto] – Eurominority

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