Europe Day celebrations in Bishkek
Bishkek, May 13 / Kabar/. The European Union celebrates the 64th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. On 9 May 1950, the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman made the first move towards the creation of what is known now as the European Union (EU). It was a major step towards reconciliation, only five years after the end the deadliest military conflict in history. Germans, French, Italians; former enemies agreed to work hand in hand again to build a better future. Reconciliation was a brave thing to imagine at that time. Thus, Europe Day is a wonderful occasion to celebrate how the EU has overcome age old differences in order to shape a common future on the basis of shared democratic values.
2014 is a special year for the EU. Ten years ago ten new members joined our Union. The 2004 enlargement was a crucial step towards overcoming decades of division on our continent. Since then three new members have joined the European club; a testament to the continuing attraction to become closer to the EU. At present the European Union includes 28 Member States who have decided to cooperate together by gradually sharing first their resources and now their destinies. Together, they have built a zone of stability and democracy with high respect for human rights, cultural diversity, tolerance and fundamental freedoms. Today, it is the European Union's responsibility to help others, and it does so: more than half of all money spent on assistance to third countries comes from the EU, making it the world's biggest aid donor. With 503 million inhabitants, the EU's trade with the rest of the world accounts for around 20% of global exports and imports. The EU remains the largest economy in the world with a GDP per head of €25 000.
In Kyrgyzstan on 12 May 2014, all European Union citizens joined the Europe Day celebrations that are taking place all over the world. At a reception in Bishkek, the EU Delegation welcomed hundreds of friends and partners from the state institutions of Kyrgyzstan, civil society and international organizations.
The Head of the Delegation, Ambassador Cesare De Montis stressed the important and close partnership that the European Union and the Kyrgyz Republic have developed since 1991. He underlined some of the main principles underpinning the bilateral partnership and cooperation, including, the paramount importance of the rule of law and respect for human rights, the establishment of a multiparty system with free and democratic elections, and the setting up of a market economy as well as the promotion of international peace and security. "In Kyrgyzstan as elsewhere, we have made human rights the silver thread that runs through EU foreign policy, assisting democratic transitions around the globe and helping oppressed minorities, social groups and NGOs to voice their concerns" he said.
The event also gave an opportunity for selected 16 EU-funded projects to present their achievements reached in different areas of EU – KG cooperation in the country: implementation of rule of law principles, protection of human rights and democracy, education, energy, agriculture and rural development.
Sixty four years after Robert Schuman's declaration, the Europe Day is an opportunity to commemorate past achievements, but also to look ahead at how we can shape our future together and promote peace and prosperity all over the world.