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Radio România Internaţional

9 Mai 2013
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At the cost of 10,000 lives, the Romanian state proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire on the 9th of May, 136 years ago.

The Significance of May 9th


Romanian and EU flags. Photo: Archive.

In the spring of 1877, the Romanian army won important battles storming the Ottoman redoubts at Plevna, Grivitsa, Smirdan and Vidin.

At the cost of 10,000 lives, the Romanian state proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire on the 9th of May, 136 years ago. The proclamation made by the Assembly of Deputies opened the road for international recognition of the right of the Romanian nation to determine its own fate.

Over half a century later, on May 9th 1945, the Third Reich finally capitulated. The unconditional capitulation of Nazi Germany at the Soviet headquarters in Berlin ended WWII.

Only five years later, in 1950, the French foreign minister, Robert Schumann, made a proposal for Germany and other European states to lay the concrete foundation of a federation deemed indispensable for maintaining peace on the continent.

On 18 April 1951, six states, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, and Holland signed the Paris Treaty creating the first European community: the European Coal and Steel Community. This ushered in a new stage in the evolution of the Old World, based on economic cooperation and legislative harmonization, instead of violence and coercion. In 1985, when the European project was clearly defined, the ten states forming the European Community declared 9th of May Europe Day.

Romania celebrates it too, officially since 1 January 2007, when it joined the European Union.

Prime Minister Victor Ponta said that Romania found answers to both economic austerity and economic growth, both issues debated intensely at a European level.

Victor Ponta: “We are one of the few European Union countries which had a significant fiscal budget consolidation, at the same time adopting economic growth measures, creating jobs and stimulating consumption. This does not mean that the Romanian method is necessarily one to be exported, but I do think it gives us the right to be optimistic about the role that Romania can play, as it is starting to develop from a student who always got seated at the back of the classroom and maybe got scolded, to an active, strong member, involved in all the decisions to be adopted at European level.”

6 years on from Romania’s EU integration, President Traian Basescu said that the European Union, in spite of its shortcomings, remains the only viable solution for Romania.

More on RRI.

Etichete independenceRomaniaEuropean UnionVictor PontaTraian Băsescu


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