Europe Day 2016 in South Africa [fr]
On May 9th 2016, Charlotte Montel, Chargée d’Affaires a.i. at the French Embassy in South Africa met with the EU Ambassadors in the Botanical Garden of Pretoria to celebrate Europe Day.
The South African Minister of agriculture, Mr Senzeni Zokwana, and other dignitaries also attended the celebration.
Europe Day held on 9 May every year celebrates peace and unity in Europe. The date marks the anniversary of the historical ’Schuman declaration’. At a speech in Paris in 1950, Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe’s nations unthinkable.
His vision was to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production. A treaty creating such a body was signed just under a year later. Schuman’s proposal is considered to be the beginning of what is now the European Union.
The European Union’s relations with South Africa take place against the backdrop of Africa-EU relations. These emphasise respect for human rights, freedom, equality, justice, democracy and the rule of law.