Pioneer Women of the European Union

Exhibition | Europe Day 2023

This new exhibition, developed to commemorate Europe Day 2023, pays tribute to ten exceptional women who contributed to the development of the European Union defending the values of equality, freedom, democracy, solidarity, diversity and respect for human rights. Their portraits, created by the French artist Pierre Marquès, will be displayed together with their biographies in the hall of the Historical Building of the University of Barcelona from April 25 to May 11, 2023. The opening of the temporary will take place on May 2 at 12h with the participation of the rector of the University of Barcelona, Joan Guàrdia, and the head of the Office of the European Parliament in Barcelona, Sergi Barrera. An online version is also available here.

Pioneer Women of the European Union” commemorates ten outstanding women who contributed to the development of Europe as we know it today. Among them, there are the seven women listed by the European Parliament as “Pioneers of the EU”—Anna Lindh, Marga Klompé, Melina Mercouri, Nicole Fontaine, Nilde Iotti, Simone Veil, and Ursula Hirschmann—, as well as the three women who give name to European Parliament buildings—Clara Campoamor Rodríguez, Sophie Scholl, and Louise Weiss.

Resistance fighters, Holocaust survivors, prominent professionals in the political, scientific and cultural fields, these women inspired the current European Union. Many of them worked to end the horrors of two world wars and contributed to promoting the fundamental values of the EU, both from the European institutions themselves and from political activism. Some were deputies in the European Parliament, becoming, in the case of Veil and Fontaine, to preside the European Parliament.

Europe Day 2023

About the artist

Pierre Marquès (Béziers, 1970) is a French artist based in Barcelona since 1998. His work often explores historical memory through landscape and portraits, and using different techniques, such as painting, stencil, classical drawing, visual poetry, photography and video. Marquès has exhibited in galleries and museums in Spain, including the Center of Contemporary Art Santa Mònica in Barcelona, as well as in France and Japan.

Europe Day and the Schuman Declaration

Europe Day commemorates the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. On May 9, 1950, five years after the unconditional surrender of the Nazi regime and the end of the Second World War in Europe, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a plan based on an idea from his advisor Jean Monnet, that sought to place French and German production of coal and steel—key resources for armaments—under the control of a single, supranational authority. In this way, through the integration and economic cooperation of these strategic elements, the plan had the final objective of promoting peace in Europe.

The Schuman Plan led a year later to the creation of the first of the European Communities, the ECSC, an agreement that would become the origin of the European integration process and the current European Union.

In 2020, on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Plan, the EUROM, together with the Jean Monnet House and with the collaboration of the Office of the European Parliament, published the online story and the book Schuman 70.

The exhibition is a joint project by the EUROM and the Office of the European Parliament in Barcelona. Co-funded by the porgramme Citizens, Equality, Rights and Values of the European Commission (CERV).

Related press

Celebrating the Trailblazing Women of the European Union: Exhibition Unveiling at the University of Barcelona

If you attended this exhibition in person or visited in online, please take a moment to share your impressions throughout this survey of the programme Justice, Rights and Values 2021-2027 and collaborate to improve our project.

  • Reference of the project: 101104202
  • Kind of activity: Awareness raising
  • Title: Europe Day 2023
  • Date: 09/05/2023
  • Duration of the event in days: 12
  • Hybrid
  • Place: University of Barcelona


April 25 - May 11, 2023


Universitat de Barcelona
Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 585

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