EU Anthem

The Anthem of Europe

In 1972, the Council of Europe (the same body that designed the European flag) adopted Ludwig Van Beethoven's final movement "Ode to Joy" melody, from the Ninth Symphony, composed in 1823, as its own anthem. The poem, written by Friedrich von Schiller in 1785, expresses his idealistic vision of a united human race.

The conductor Herbert Von Karajan was asked to write three instrumental arrangements - for solo piano, for wind instruments and for symphony orchestra. The European anthem has no official lyrics, however, in the universal language of music, this anthem expresses the same ideals of freedom, peace and solidarity, which are the pillars of Europe.

In 1985, it was adopted by European Union Heads of State or Government as the official anthem of the European Union, which is played during official occasions by both organisations. It is not intended to replace the national anthems of the Member States but rather to celebrate the values they all share and their unity in diversity.

Both the European Union and the Council of Europe refer to this anthem as the European Anthem, because it is the Council's intention that it represents Europe as a whole.