Together since 1957With the EU still stuck in a deep period of reflection (hibernation?) I suppose it was no surprise that the celebrations to mark 50 years since the Treaty of Rome have been scaled back a lot. Plans for contests and parties have been ditched, as have ideas for symbolic tree planting across Europe. Instead we’ll have the appointment of two citizens’ ambassadors per member state who will explain to people how the EU works, and some youth events that will link children across the EU through web-based communication – see this from EUObserver. What a yawn. That’s all really going to make a difference.

The EU will however have a logo to celebrate the anniversary – the multi-coloured effort displayed here. The news story on that is here. The logo is high on symbolism, but it is not exactly pleasing on the eye – too many colours, and too confusing. I’m always concerned that the EU manages to create a logo for everything, yet does not always reflect on what it actually wants to communicate.

However, in amongst this morass of logos and bland ideas, there is one positive step forward. The website of the competition to design the 50 years logo is run using the excellent Open Source content management system Typo3 (see also my page on Typo3). Now, if only the entire Commission would wake up to that system the EU’s web presence could be massively improved.


  1. Barbara Cassin, writing an in Le Monde loathes it too, not least because she sees it as a sign of English-language hegemony: “Un logo qui a tout faux, absolument contre-productif, contradictoire avec la définition que l’Europe veut donner d’elle-même”
    Joyeux birthday, UE !

  2. Daniela

    I think the problem is not with the language of the logo, but the fact that it is just plain horrible. Were the judges drunk???

    Having said that, maybe having it in other languages might actually manage to improve it.

    Or maybe not.

  3. Emmanuel Vallens

    And guess in which language the logo is?

    Surely, if that shows how much today’s EU is true to what it stood for when it was invented 50 years ago… there’s not much to be rejoicing about.

  4. There will be multi-lingual versions apparently… That’s what the competition website promises anyway.

  5. Jon…I like your blog and I agree that the 50th anniversary celebrations don’t sound that great, but I am a bit worried that you do need to get out a bit more if you are blogging that the best thing about the EU’s 50 birthday celebrations is a bit of software…:)

  6. Is it the problem with me, or is it the problem with the EU!?! Plus, I was trying to write *something* positive, rather than just having a rant…

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