Council marks Europe Day 2016

Posted on: 9 May 2016

Devon County Council has raised the European flag at County Hall today, Monday 9 May, to mark International Europe Day 2016.

Sixty six years ago, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman took the first steps in a speech that held out a hand of friendship to Germany towards the creation of the European Economic Community, which developed to become the European Union.

Mr Schuman spoke of their two countries cooperating with each other to pool their economic resources, and to no longer be enemies.

What began then with a speech has formed the union today of 28 Member States.

The Chairman of Devon County Council, Cllr Christine Channon, raised the flag at County Hall, joined by members of Devon’s European Movement Committee and pupils from St Leonards Primary School.

Being Chairman of the Council is a non-political role. Cllr Channon said:

Cllr Christine Channon“Whatever people decide in the referendum in June, today is a day to reflect on our formal involvement as part of Europe for more than 40 years.  It gives us freedom to travel throughout Europe, to work in those countries if we want to, even move to study and live there if we want to.  Our businessmen can trade freely with 27 other countries and invest there if it is to their advantage.

“So many of the big problems facing our world can only be tackled properly if we work with our neighbours – such as climate change, security of energy supplies, protecting the environment, pollution control and so on. In all these areas the European Union offers worthwhile policies, and we must take advantage of our membership to follow them.

“For many years Devon has worked within the European frameworks to take advantage of European Structural Funds for Devon projects, and many activities such as Agriculture, Fishing, Tourism as well as manufacturing have been supporting jobs and research in the local economy to take advantage of the large European Single market of over 500 million people.”

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