9 May 2021
The EPO today joins the regional representations of the European Parliament and European Commission in Munich in celebrating Europe Day. The three institutions have partnered this year to jointly produce a commemorative video which casts a spotlight on the work of each and how it contributes to keeping the European spirit alive. The video also explores examples of successful Bavarian inventors and the importance of co-operation in addressing pressing global issues.
Traditionally, institutions open their doors to the public and organise commemorative activities and events. While the pandemic has impacted these gatherings, digital celebrations continue.
In drafting its Strategic Plan, the EPO underlined its intention to enhance cooperation between itself and various European institutions. Together, these institutions share several common goals including the promotion of innovation in Europe, supporting SMEs, contributing to climate neutrality and making Europe fit for the digital age.
The EPO has participated in several activities aimed at fostering co-operation throughout 2021. In February, it published the joint EPO-EUIPO study ‘Intellectual property rights performance in the EU' to highlight the benefits of intellectual property rights for SMEs. In April, President António Campinos addressed Members of the Committee on Legal Affairs (JURI) of the European Parliament and underlined the importance of the European patent system to the success of EU policies. In May, the EPO and European Commission will jointly host the online event PATLIB2021, focusing on better facilitation of technology transfer and commercialisation of innovation.
The seeds for the annual celebration were planted in 1950 on 9 May when French Foreign minister Robert Schuman outlined his vision for a new form of cooperation in his now famous Schuman declaration. He believed that if countries in Europe worked towards common interests, it would foster a sense of solidarity and therefore encourage peace and prosperity.
His vision would see the establishment of the European Coal and Steel Community - the first supranational community in Europe - and lay the groundwork for the establishment of the European Union. All 27 member states of the European Union are also members of the European Patent Organisation. While not an EU institution, the EPO honours the occasion and works towards many of the the same ideals outlined by Robert Schuman over 70 years ago.