2015 Europe Day at University of Pretoria [fr]
On May 8 2015, South Africa and the European Union celebrated the Europe Day at University of Pretoria.
2015 Europe Day anniversary at University of Pretoria
Ambassador Barbier participated in a commemoration of the Europe Day at University of Pretoria (UP) on May 8, celebrating the EU-SA Strategic Partnership in this European Year for Development.
In her opening speech, the UP Vice-Principal Stéphanie Burton welcomed the diplomatic corps and representatives from various embassies, High Commissions and ministries, as well as Campus France, the French national agency for the promotion of higher education, international student services, and international mobility.
After a show by UP Arts students, keynote adresses were delivered by the European Union ambassador to South Africa Roeland van der Geer and the South African Science and Technology Minister Naledi Pandor.
The event was supported by the National Treasury and the University of Pretoria.
On the 9th of May each year, the 28 member states of the European Union and their citizens celebrate « Europe Day ». This day commemorates the first steps taken, in Paris on May 9th 1950, to create the European Union.
It was on this day that the French Foreign Minister of the time, Robert Schuman, made a now famous declaration in which he encouraged the creation of a supranational European Institution of coal and steel, between France and Germany, as well as other European countries. Schuman’s proposal for “the first concrete foundation of a European federation” was a significant moment in the establishment of the European Union.
It was much later, during the Milan Summit of EU leaders in 1985 that it was decided that Europe Day should be observed on the 9th of May, in tribute to the French Foreign Minister’s pioneering proposition. On this day, the values of the European Union including peace, solidarity and the respect of individual cultures and of freedom are celebrated. Though Europe itself has a long and rich history, the European Union is a relatively young initiative, which continues to seek the uniting of its people and to promote these fundamental values which member states endorse as part of their commitment to the Union itself.
2015: European Year for Development
2015 is a special year for development. It is the first ever European Year to deal with the European Union’s external action and Europe’s role in the world. For development organisations all over Europe it is an unparalleled opportunity to showcase Europe’s commitment to eradicating poverty worldwide and to inspire more Europeans to get engaged and involved in development. 2015 is also the year in which the Millennium Development Goals that the world agreed to reach in 2000, and in which the international community will agree on the future global framework for poverty eradication and sustainable development.
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