Europäische Zeitgeschichte

Preserving memory, sharing history: Luxembourg and the Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950

24 April 2023

Schuman declaration 9 May 1950 Salon de l'horologe Quai d'Orsay

«Déclaration du 9 mai. Paris: Parlement européen, 1950». © Photo Parlement européen

Study Morning organised by Europe Direct at the University of Luxembourg, and its partners – the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS), the Fondation du Mérite Européen and the European School of Luxembourg.

The aim of the Study Morning is to explore the history of European integration from two angles: firstly, looking at various key events in terms of their content, and secondly reflecting on how critical analysis can be used to shed more light on them. The idea is to begin by familiarising pupils in their final years at the European School (from a variety of specialisations including history, geography and political science) with the origins, content and consequences of the Declaration given by Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 on the building of a united Europe. We will consider its impact on Luxembourg’s role in the European integration process, especially given the country’s status as a permanent capital of the European institutions, and explore the current challenges facing both Luxembourg and the continent as a whole. In this context, there will be a particular focus on the four fundamental freedoms of the EU – the free movement of people, goods, services and capital –, which are closely linked with Luxembourg’s political action for European integration, as reflected in the Schengen Agreements (signed on 14 June 1985), now an intrinsic part of the Community acquis. In terms of critical methodology, the goal is to encourage the pupils to engage in historical reflection based on a variety of sources (written texts, photographs, cartoons, audiovisual material, oral history, etc.) and to perform a detailed analysis and critical interpretation. The attendees at the Study Morning will benefit hugely from the participation of Robert Goebbels, a key player in the European integration process, and the dialogue between Dr Ludovic Delépine and Dr Étienne Deschamps regarding the exhibition “The Schuman Declaration, 9 May 1950” (published by the Archives Unit of the European Parliament and curated by the Directorate for the Library and Knowledge Services (part of the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services). 


Programme and speakers

Opening remarks
  Speakers: Martin Wedel – Director of the European School of Luxembourg 1, and Dr Elena Danescu – Coordinator of Europe Direct University of Luxembourg 

First session: The Schuman Declaration of 9 May 1950: history, significance, consequences, sources
  Speakers:  Dr Ludovic Delépine – Head of the Archives Unit at the European Parliament, and Dr Étienne Deschamps – Historian in the European Parliamentary Research Service
  • Presentation (9.15-10.15)
  • Question and answer session, discussions with pupils (10.15-10.30)
Second session: Europe and the Schengen Area: origins, challenges, issues
  Speaker: Robert Goebbels, negotiator and signatory of the Schengen Agreement for Luxembourg
  • Presentation (10.45-11.30)
  • Question and answer session, discussions with pupils (11.30-11.55)
Short break
Closing remarks
  Speaker: Dr Elena Danescu – Research Scientist at the C²DH, Coordinator of Europe Direct  University of Luxembourg
12.15 End of the event


Presentation of the speakers (in alphabetical order)

Elena Danescu, PhD, is a Research Scientist in the Contemporary History of Europe Department at the Luxembourg Centre for Contemporary and Digital History (C²DH), University of Luxembourg a PhD supervisor at the Doctoral School in Humanities and Social Sciences (DSHSS). Her areas of expertise include history of economic thought, contemporary history of Europe, oral history and the EU’s eastward enlargement. She has authored various academic publications in her specialist areas. At the University of Luxembourg, she is in charge of the Master’s courses “Histoire de la contruction européenne depuis 1919” and “Histoire économique et sociale de l’Europe après 1945” and the Bachelor’s course “Transitions démocratiques en Europe centrale et orientale”. Since April 2019 she has been the coordinator of the Europe Direct Centre at the University of Luxembourg.

Étienne Deschamps holds a PhD in Contemporary History from the European University Institute in Florence and is an affiliated researcher at the Université catholique de Louvain. He works at the Directorate-General for Parliamentary Research Services within the European Parliament Secretariat. He was previously a curator at the House of European History before becoming head of outreach and dissemination for the Historical Archives of the European Parliament. He is currently a member of the European Parliament Library. His research focuses on European integration history and the history of colonisation. He is also a member of the Academic Committee for the Robert Schuman House.

Ludovic Delépine has more than 30 years’ experience in IT, including IT governance for public administration, enterprise architecture and digital transformation. He leads the thematic IT governance hub at the Inter-Parliamentary Union. He is currently Head of the Archives Unit in the Directorate for Innovation and Central Services attached to the Secretary-General at the European Parliament. He holds a PhD in IT from the University of Bourgogne, where his main areas of specialisation were artificial intelligence, the internet and communication technologies. He has also worked as a lecturer at French universities and as a researcher in these fields at CNRS laboratories for over eight years.

Robert Goebbels is a journalist, a former politician in Luxembourg and a former Member of the European Parliament for the Luxembourg Socialist Workers’ Party (LSAP). Over the course of his career he has held senior positions including General Secretary of the LSAP (1971–1985), President of the Luxembourg Association of Journalists (1972–1974), Councillor for Luxembourg City (1976–2005), State Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Foreign Trade and Cooperation and State Secretary for Small Businesses (1984–1989), Minister for the Economy, Minister for Public Works and Minister for Transport (1989–1994), and Minister for the Economy, Minister for Public Works and Minister for Energy (1994–1999). In 1999 he was elected as a Member of the European Parliament (1999–2014), Vice-President of the Parliamentary Group of the Party of European Socialists (1999–2004) and Vice-President of the Socialist Group in the European Parliament (2004–2009). In March 2016 the Luxembourg Government appointed him as the Luxembourg representative on the Board of Governors of the Asia–Europe Foundation (ASEF). Robert Goebbels is the negotiator and signatory of the Schengen Agreement for Luxembourg.

Martin Wedel has been Head of the European School Luxembourg I since September 2017. From 1994 to 2002 he worked as a secondary school teacher of French, history and politics before becoming an expert adviser at the Baden-Württemberg State Ministry for Education. From 2004 to 2014 he served as Head of the Deutsch-Französisches Gymnasium in Freiburg. He began his career at the European School in 2014 as Deputy Head of the European School Luxembourg II.