- read about it here. You can read the 'Schumann Declaration' here.
For as long as I've been able to think about politics I have been broadly in favour of European unity as a concept, even if I would have voted 'no' to the EU Constitutional Treaty had a referendum on the matter been held in the UK and I would certainly also have voted a resounding 'no' to the hotchpotch that is the Lisbon Treaty had we been given a referendum on that topic. Similarly, whilst I was in theory in favour of having a single currency for the EU, I realised at the time that its introduction was being planned that it could never work long-term without complete fiscal (and probably political) integration, too - something that was deeply unpopular not just in the UK, but also in practice in other countries usually considered to be more pro-European, for example Germany and France - specially the latter, where what I will euphemistically call 'national self-interest' is a very highly-deleveloped part of the national psyche. And so, sadly, it has proved - as we have seen in the last couple of years with the shambles in Greece, Ireland and Portugal, perhaps to be followed by Spain or Italy in due course. Even now, however, I remain broadly in favour of the EU, but I do believe that certain powers need to be wrested back from the unelected European Commission, the civil service bureaucracy that runs the EU.
Anyway, folks, that's what we are marking today.