King calls for a more united continent as EU's annual Europe Day is celebrated

The King talking to children ahead of his speech in Extremadura.
The King talking to children ahead of his speech in Extremadura. / EFE
  • The monarch said that Europe should meet the "challenges" faced with calm reflection at the Charles V award ceremony

Thursday 9 May marked the annual Europe Day celebration across the EU. Under the shadow of Brexit and with European elections later this month, King Felipe made a speech reconfirming Spain's commitment to the EU.

The King was speaking at the Charles V European Award, given for contributions to European cultural integration and unification. Charles V was the Spanish monarch who also ruled over a big part of Europe in the sixteenth century.

In his speech, the King called for "a more united, stronger and more determined Europe, and also more effective at meeting the ambitions and hopes of its citizens."

"All of us help to build Europe, day by day," he said. "We are still committed, and will continue committed in the future, to achieving a true Europe by and for its citizens."

He added that, faced with "challenges", Europe should reflect on these calmly, in a reference to the character of Charles V.

The Charles V award this year went to the cross-border cultural routes of the Council of Europe.

Events and ceremonies were held across Spain, just as across the rest of the EU, to mark Europe Day, many of them involving children. In the EU's Eurobarometer surveys, Spain is normally rate as one of the most pro-Europe member states.