Strasbourg can boast of the title of European capital. One can wonder how that came to be… The choice of Strasbourg as a European capital goes back to the period following World War II. After two world wars in less than 50 years, European leaders were determined to avoid a new conflict. Thus, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights would be drafted, and several institutions created to strengthen the ties between the nations adhering to these common values. Strasbourg was chosen to be the seat of several institutions because it represents the vast damages and trauma of these world wars as well as conflicts between Germany and France. The Council of Europe and the European Court of Human Rights are both found here. They are comprised of 47-member states with about 820 million citizens.
Strasbourg is also one of the cities which hosts the European Union. Indeed, it shares the title of capital of the European Union with Brussels and Luxembourg. This is where the European Parliament holds its plenary sessions every month and votes on many decisions concerning the European Union.
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A visit to the heart of the European district helps to understand the construction of peace and the Franco-German reconciliation after the war of 1870-1871 and the two world wars. The various sites offer an opportunity to better understand the current functioning of Europe in it’s many dimensions.