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Happy Schuman Day!
May 9, 2012 3:40 AM   Subscribe

The EU might be tearing itself apart in the wake of the bankers' crisis, but that's no reason not to celebrate Europe Day, held each year on 9th May, the day on which Robert Schuman put forward his proposal for the creation of an unified Europe. And what better way to celebrate than with the official EU anthem, as done by the Muppets?

If you want to sing along, try the Ode to Hedgehog, which is of course an answer song to Terry Pratchett's own hedgehog song.

(Muppet video earlier seen in Blasdelb's ginormeous Muppets post.)
posted by MartinWisse (36 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!
posted by Goofyy at 3:44 AM on May 9, 2012


what better way to celebrate than with the official EU anthem

Available for your listening pleasure in both Real Player AND Windows Media Player!

Love that Muppets version, though.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 3:51 AM on May 9, 2012


Europe is united now
United it may remain;
Our unity in diversity
May contribute to world peace.

May there forever reign in Europe
Faith and justice
And freedom for its peoples
In a greater motherland.

Citizens, Europe shall flourish,
A great task calls on you.
Golden stars in the sky are
The symbols that shall unite us.

Apply the fiscal growth compact
NOW

(Beethoven/Arr Merkel 2012)
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 4:02 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, "growth" was a typo there
posted by TheAlarminglySwollenFinger at 4:03 AM on May 9, 2012


Sorry, "growth" was a typo there

Don't growth me out, man.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:07 AM on May 9, 2012


I am celebrating Europe Day by making plans for a Eurovision Song Contest party. What? Who says Israel and Azerbaijan aren't part of Europe?! Tosh! Now off to practice shaking my stick instrument in memory of whatever that guy was doing in the background of the Moldovan entry in 2010.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 4:11 AM on May 9, 2012


whatever that guy was doing in the background of the Moldovan entry in 2010.

Moldova Beethoven
Moldova Beethoven
Moldova Beethoven
Dig these rhythm and blues
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:14 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Anybody remember the Soviet Union and the Nazis? They did something pretty important to the rest of the world on May 9th in Berlin, finalizing the war in Europe on May 9th, 1945.

I find it hard to believe that this was not mentioned.
posted by notmtwain at 4:33 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Sorry, "growth" was a typo there

Mr. Hollande disagrees.
posted by Skeptic at 4:34 AM on May 9, 2012


Anybody remember the Soviet Union and the Nazis? They did something pretty important to the rest of the world on May 9th in Berlin, finalizing the war in Europe on May 9th, 1945.

Erm, now, that was May 8th (May 9th Moscow time, but Moscow is not in the EU).
posted by Skeptic at 4:36 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hurray for the EU!

No irony, either.
posted by jaduncan at 4:40 AM on May 9, 2012


Anybody remember the Soviet Union and the Nazis?

Actually I was going to put something about that in, but I eated it.
posted by MartinWisse at 4:41 AM on May 9, 2012


It seems to me that most Americans view the EU as primarily a political project which is not really the point. THe EU has always been a commercial project with any necessary political accommodations subordinate to this.

The French Government agreed to the Schuman Declaration which invited the Germans and all other European countries to manage their coal and steel industries jointly and democratically in Europe's first supranational Community with its five foundational institutions.

The Schuman Declaration resulted in the European Coal and Steel Community which created an internal, coordinated market for coal and steel production within Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany. Moreover, the Schuman Declaration that created the ECSC had several distinct aims:

It would mark the birth of a united Europe.
It would make war between member states impossible.
It would encourage world peace.
It would transform Europe by a 'step by step' process (building through sectoral supranational communities) leading to the unification of Europe democratically, including both East and West Europe separated by the Iron Curtain.
It would create the world's first supranational institution and.
It would create the world's first international anti-cartel agency.
It would create a single market across the Community.
It would, starting with the coal and steel sector, revitalise the whole European economy by similar community processes.
It would improve the world economy and the developing countries, such as Africa.


Based on that list of goals, the EU has been fabulously successful and this is generally understood across Europe.

There will continue to be growing pains, but I think it would be a mistake for Americans to assume that Europeans are ready to give up on the EU.
posted by three blind mice at 4:48 AM on May 9, 2012 [7 favorites]


Anybody remember the Soviet Union and the Nazis? They did something pretty important to the rest of the world on May 9th in Berlin, finalizing the war in Europe on May 9th, 1945.

Erm, now, that was May 8th (May 9th Moscow time, but Moscow is not in the EU).
posted by Skeptic at 4:36 AM on May 9 [+] [!]



And the Germans surrendered in Reims on May 7th but the Allies held the news...

The point is that the end of the war in Europe must have had something to do with the timing of Europe Day.

I still find it hard to believe that it didn't warrant a mention here.
posted by notmtwain at 4:54 AM on May 9, 2012


Based on that list of goals, the EU has been fabulously successful and this is generally understood across Europe.

You missed a major one: steel and coal were the required elements for a second German or French rearming. Both sides got to inspect the factories of the other, as well as the order books. It was effectively both a confidence building measure in West German military limit compliance and a method of being able to militarily intervine at the very start of any arms race. Remember, two world wars in 40 years.
posted by jaduncan at 5:01 AM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


It seems to me that most Americans view the EU as primarily a political project which is not really the point. THe EU has always been a commercial project with any necessary political accommodations subordinate to this.

Well there's a whole school of thought which puts the European project as political, but with deliberate use of economic interests to further growth. Neofunctionalism is a neat way of looking at the EU, and one which explains a lot.

Although, I do agree with you that most Europeans believe the EU to have been overall successful. The euro might be a hurdle now, but it is nothing when put next to all the gains from the rest of integration.
posted by Jehan at 5:15 AM on May 9, 2012


What happens to Germany when nobody else in Europe has any money to buy its manufactured goods because their economies are all collapsed/stagnated from austerity?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 5:20 AM on May 9, 2012 [1 favorite]


What happens to Germany when nobody else in Europe has any money to buy its manufactured goods because their economies are all collapsed/stagnated from austerity?

German exports grew for the third month in a row in March, with goods worth 98.9bn euros ($128bn; £80bn) exported.

"Exports were up a seasonally adjusted 0.9% over the month, following a 1.5% increase in February. German firms had the most success in markets outside the European Union, where they recorded growth of 6.1% compared with the year before. The seasonally-adjusted trade surplus remained flat at 13.7bn euros from a revised 13.7bn in February.

"The German economy is profiting from the revival of world trade," said Ulrike Rondorf of Commerzbank."

Moreover, German exports benefit greatly from what is an undervalued Euro.
posted by three blind mice at 5:28 AM on May 9, 2012


There is also the truth that the more the German economy outgrows the rest of Europe, the more folk from other countries will move to Germany for work, or companies from Germany will outsource within the EU. These first mechanism could be stronger, however.
posted by Jehan at 5:36 AM on May 9, 2012


I had no idea there was an EU theme.
Now I know.

I would also like ALL national songs to be sung by Muppets.
For SCIENCE!
And Austerity!
posted by Mezentian at 5:41 AM on May 9, 2012


I had no idea there was an EU theme.

Neither did I. And now I wonder... by what process did Ode To Joy come to be designated as the theme?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:45 AM on May 9, 2012


The anthem is an act of cultural and political larceny, appropriating for Europe alone something dedicated to humanity as a whole. I mean, what part of diesen Kuß der ganzen Welt do you not understand, Eurocrats?

Also a sadly missed opportunity to commission something new.
posted by Segundus at 5:46 AM on May 9, 2012


Here's the theme for those without RealPlayer or Windows Media Player, on good ol' YouTube. I mean, EUTube.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 5:49 AM on May 9, 2012


I assume there was some sort of vote.
I'm just hoping that it involved Eurovision.

A quick DuckDuckRun did not help, but I assume it was voted on by the core EU nations some years ago.

Because Oh Ah Just A Little Bit would make a better theme choon.
posted by Mezentian at 5:54 AM on May 9, 2012


notmtwain: "And the Germans surrendered in Reims on May 7th but the Allies held the news..."
The German forces in North-West Germany, Netherlands and Denmark surrendered to Montgomery on May 4th, so that's the date of celebration in Denmark at least. (Though the garrison on the island of Bornholm didn't surrender until May 9th following Soviet aerial bombing of two towns and the landing of an invasion force. The Soviets occupied the island until April 1946.)
posted by brokkr at 6:08 AM on May 9, 2012


THe EU has always been a commercial project with any necessary political accommodations subordinate to this.

Uhm. No. Not at all. Most definitely not.

This old chestnut is a typical complaint of British Eurosceptics and Europhobes: "What we actually joined was a Common Market, and we have somehow been shaghaiied into a political project by scheming Eurocrats."

Although this talking point is somewhat based into how accession into the then-EEC was sold to the reluctant British public by their own politicians back in the 1970s, it is blatantly wrong: from its very inception in the 1950s, it was an openly political project, with the idea of a trade union a mere means to a political end. Schuman knew the history of German unification, and he knew that it had been preceded by the Zollverein. Indeed, besides the economic leg, his plan also involved a European Defence Community which would have created a joint European army and floundered due to Gaullist opposition and colonial entanglements. This "second leg" was also partially reflected in the simultaneous creation of Euratom.

The British government was indeed aware enough of the political intent of the Treaty of Rome to initially give it a pass and try to organise a competing trade-only organisation with similarly standoffish nations: it was called EFTA, and it quickly faltered because of the lacking commitment of its member states.

But if you want proof of Schuman's overwhelming political intent, you don't have to look any further than this sentence in the preamble of the Treaty of Rome:

"...determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe..."

The "ever closer union" phrase, which is still present in the preamble to the current version of the EU Treaty, was clearly inspired by the preamble to the US Constitution:

We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
posted by Skeptic at 6:30 AM on May 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


As a Dutchman I happen to feel that European countries truly are parts of a whole*. When I visit other EU countries on holiday I feel a visceral kinship with their history, culture and germanic and romanic languages.
It's like a family in the sense that I feel that every other country, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium etc, is like a family member: the flaky charming uncle, the overbearing aunt, the familiar brother. They're annoying but I'd definitely miss them.
And I feel blessed to have grown up in an era of no war between Western European countries. That seems a given, but looking at the history of centuries of internecine war in Europe it's really not.
Apart from this Ode an der Freude emotion I think that for the NL the economic future is definitely within an economic european larger whole.

So all in all the old familiar EU finds a me a supportive voter in spite of the hard times we're in.

*) To be honest I feel that more strongly about the older EU member countries than about the more recent ones. But that's probably a question of a few more decades of sharing a common currency and of encountering one another often.
posted by joost de vries at 6:59 AM on May 9, 2012 [5 favorites]


The British government was indeed aware enough of the political intent of the Treaty of Rome to initially give it a pass and try to organise a competing trade-only organisation with similarly standoffish nations: it was called EFTA, and it quickly faltered because of the lacking commitment of its member states.

From the still (somewhat disturbingly) accurate "Yes, Minister" civil servant Sir Humphrey briefs his minister, Jim Hacker, on the UK's policy on Europe:

Sir Humphrey: Minister, Britain has had the same foreign policy objective for at least the last five hundred years: to create a disunited Europe. In that cause we have fought with the Dutch against the Spanish, with the Germans against the French, with the French and Italians against the Germans, and with the French against the Germans and Italians. Divide and rule, you see. Why should we change now, when it's worked so well?
Hacker: That's all ancient history, surely?
Sir Humphrey: Yes, and current policy. We 'had' to break the whole thing [the EEC] up, so we had to get inside. We tried to break it up from the outside, but that wouldn't work. Now that we're inside we can make a complete pig's breakfast of the whole thing: set the Germans against the French, the French against the Italians, the Italians against the Dutch. The Foreign Office is terribly pleased; it's just like old times.
Hacker: But surely we're all committed to the European ideal?
Sir Humphrey: [chuckles] Really, Minister.
Hacker: If not, why are we pushing for an increase in the membership?
Sir Humphrey: Well, for the same reason. It's just like the United Nations, in fact; the more members it has, the more arguments it can stir up, the more futile and impotent it becomes.
Hacker: What appalling cynicism.
Sir Humphrey: Yes... We call it diplomacy, Minister.

posted by Jakey at 7:55 AM on May 9, 2012 [2 favorites]


"the bankers' crisis" is a nice phrase but is not a good master explanation of the Euro debt crisis
posted by Bwithh at 8:24 AM on May 9, 2012


It's like a family in the sense that I feel that every other country, Germany, France, Italy, Belgium etc, is like a family member: the flaky charming uncle, the overbearing aunt, the familiar brother. They're annoying but I'd definitely miss them.


Your annoying cousins in Germany think "austerity" means Greeks spending fewer fortnights in spas "fur die wellness."

Meanwhile, your annoying cousins in Greece and southern Italy are rooting through garbage to find food.

Your annoying cousins need to start looking eye to eye about these things, or else go their separate ways.
posted by ocschwar at 8:37 AM on May 9, 2012


ocschwar, despite what media reports may make you think, you should know that most of the family is aware that those are sweeping generalisations and generally not terribly accurate.
posted by Skeptic at 8:44 AM on May 9, 2012 [4 favorites]


Your annoying cousins in Germany think "austerity" means Greeks spending fewer fortnights in spas "fur die wellness."

You don't know what you're talking about, and you sound very stupid saying this.
posted by cmonkey at 8:58 AM on May 9, 2012


I can't see any mention of this in the British media, perhaps unsurprisingly, but salut, cheers and prost for the European Union anyway!
posted by Quantum's Deadly Fist at 9:07 AM on May 9, 2012


As an Irishman I'm all for the Euro superstate. I frankly have more faith in an unelected German civil servants to run our economy. Fun fact, up until 2008 the Irish Prime Minister earned more than his equivalent in Germany, France and USA.
posted by Damienmce at 9:21 AM on May 9, 2012


Your annoying cousins in Germany think "austerity" means Greeks spending fewer fortnights in spas "fur die wellness"

Ironically, it is you rather than Merkel engaging in the racism and xenophobic stereotyping.
posted by jaduncan at 12:11 PM on May 9, 2012


Also a sadly missed opportunity to commission something new.

I doubt we could find a better anthem if we tried. Hurray for what's been accomplished so far and more power to the Euro-parliament.
posted by ersatz at 12:32 PM on May 9, 2012


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