Every year on May 9th, Europe commemorates the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, a historical moment in Europe that laid the foundation for what would become the European Union. This day, known as European Day or Europe Day, is a time to celebrate unity, collaboration, and the achievements of the EU. As part of this broader European unity, our VALPRO team is excited to share our journey.

Europe Day

The History Behind Europe Day

History is there to remember it: The roots of Europe Day date back to 1950 when Robert Schuman, then-French foreign minister, proposed that France and Germany merge their coal and steel production. This idea was designed to modernise both countries after World War II and to prevent future conflicts by intertwining their key industries.

Schuman’s declaration paved the way for broader European unity, inviting other countries to join the effort. A year later, in 1951, France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxembourg signed the Treaty of Paris, establishing the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC). It laid the foundation for supranationalism, leading to the formation of European institutions like the European Commission and the European Parliament.

The ECSC’s success in fostering economic cooperation and unity led to the development of the European Economic Community, which later evolved into the European Union. Europe Day, officially designated on May 9th during a 1985 summit in Milan, is recognized in various ways across the continent, like Luxembourg, has made it a national holiday.

Thus, Europe Day serves as an all-around celebration of European unity, peace, and cooperation, with roots in post-war reconciliation and a vision for a more interconnected future.

The European Union and Innovations

The EU has long been a champion of innovation and cross-border collaboration. By co-funding projects, like VALPRO Path, the EU demonstrates its commitment to fostering growth, sustainability, and technological advancement across member states. This commitment is reflected in programs like Horizon Europe, which provides resources and support to boost the EU’s competitiveness and growth and help to achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Celebrating Europe Day with VALPRO

The VALPRO Path project, led by Dr. Ewen Mullins at Teagasc, is an Innovation action under Horizon Europe, securing €9.7 Million in EU funding. Over four years, the project aims to achieve its ambitious goals with the collaboration of 22 prominent academic and industry teams spanning 9 European countries.

VALPRO Path is founded on the principles of co-creation, innovation, demonstration, and evaluation, to design and implement sustainable, competitive plant protein crop systems and value chains. It aims to bring together expertise from the crop, food, and social sciences, along with knowledge transfer and life cycle modelling, to develop new profitability opportunities while ensuring environmental and social responsibility. This approach is demonstrated through advanced innovations in multi-stakeholder ‘living lab’ production systems.

The Importance of Sustainable Agriculture

Sustainable agriculture is a key focus for the EU, as it plays a crucial role in ensuring food security, reducing carbon emissions, and promoting biodiversity. VALPRO Path aligns with these goals by exploring innovative ways to create sustainable plant protein crop systems. By focusing on co-creation, innovation, demonstration, and evaluation, we aim to develop competitive and sustainable value chains that benefit both the economy and the environment.

We invite you to join us on this journey. Follow our progress by subscribing to our newsroom, where we share updates on our achievements, upcoming events, and insights into sustainable agriculture. By staying connected, you can learn more about our work and how it aligns with the broader goals of the European Union.


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