Europe Day 2018
Europe Day 2018
  • Staff reporter Kim Hyo-jung
  • 승인 2018.05.12 17:12
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"The European Union is a living project, adapting to and taking on new challenges with each passing year"

As a triumph of multinationalism, the European Union is a very close partner for faciliating trade with the Republic of Korea as well as in seeking denuclearization problem on the peninsula recently.

This year's Europe day seems to imply many significances than ever in terms of the fact that the 55th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations with Korea with the theme of connectivity is being observed and the 2018 ASEM Meeting will be held in Brussels, Belgium this Oct. while President Moon jae-in from the Republic of Korea will be welcomed by 53 Asian & EU partners summits.

 

EU Amb. Michael Reiterer couple celebrating Europe Day 2018 with MOFAT deputy minister Cho Hyun. (Courtesy; EU Delegation Seoul)
EU Amb. Michael Reiterer couple(first & third from right, front row) celebrating Europe Day 2018 with MOFAT deputy minister Cho Hyun(second from right). (Courtesy; EU Delegation Seoul)

In consideration of such important agendas this year, EU Amb. Michael Reiterer focused on the 2018 ASEM, Europe Day's theme connectivity including the 2018 European Year of Cultural Heritage and last but not least EU's permanent support for solving Korean peninsula's denuclearization problem during his speech to mark the 2018 Europe Day reception which was held at the Four Seasons Hotel Seoul on May 9th evening.

First of all, EU Ambassador to Korea Michael Reiterer used Europe Day to point to the opportunities for further EU-Korea cooperation in the many aspects of building connectivity between our economies, including research and people to people links.

Touching upon the fact that connectivity refers to the transport, digital and energy networks that link modern economies, it will be the main subject for President Moon and the EU leaders at the Asian Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Brussels this October, which will bring together the leaders 53 other Asian and European partners, Reiterer said.

 

Europe Day private party to celebrate Europe Day 2018 held at the EU Amb's residence. (Courtesy: EU Delegation)
Europe Day private party to celebrate Europe Day 2018 held at the EU Amb's residence. (Courtesy: EU Delegation)

 

Most EU Ambassadors among its 28 member countries envoys were on hand including Denmark Amb. Thomas Lehmann, Spain Amb. Gonzalo Ortiz, Latvia Amb. Peteris Vaivars, Finland Amb. Eero Suominen, Bulgaria Amb. Petar Andonov,

France Amb. Fibien Penone, Austria Amb. Michael Swarzinger, Germany Amb. Stephan AUER and from Korean side, deputy minister Cho Hyun from MOFAT as well as Unification Minister Cho Myung-gyun were chief guests while MOFAT deputy minister Cho stressed that EU is the symbol of human rights, rule of law and democracy by his return speech.

Every year on 9 May, the European Union celebrates Europe Day. The date marks the day in 1950 when the then French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed that former enemies pool control over strategic coal and steel resources that had contributed to conflict.Mr Schuman's proposal launched a process of European integration, first in the economy and then in many other areas, that brought about a new form of peaceful international relations. Integration not only between governments but between citizens has brought economic advantages and replaced centuries of war with peace and prosperity. With these origins it is no surprise that the European Union remains one of the strongest proponents of a peaceful international order based on multilateral institutions and the rule of law.

 

The European Union is a living project, according to EU Delegation. (Courtesy: EU Delegation)
The European Union is a living project, according to EU Delegation. (Courtesy: EU Delegation)

In the 21st century, connectivity is at the heart of global sustainable economic development and peaceful international relations. The term connectivity refers to the networks provided by transport, digital links and energy interconnection. It is also about the practices, conventions, institutions and technical standards that ensure interoperability across borders. Connectivity also encompasses exchanges between people in education, research, innovation, culture and tourism.

In October 2018, 53 Asian Heads of State and Government will gather in Brussels for an Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit dedicated to strengthening connectivity between Europe and Asia. The EU leaders look forward to welcoming President Moon Jae-in to Brussels for the ASEM and EU-Korea Summits. The EU and the Republic of Korea are two parties with the technology, economic resources and political will to make a real difference in building networks between Europe and Asia.

The EU counts on the special support of the Republic of Korea, which organised the ASEM Summit in 2000.The 2000 ASEM Summit lent substantive European support to the Republic of Korea's efforts to successfully follow up the June 15 Inter-Korean Summit. The 2018 ASEM Summit's focus on connectivity has the potential to support efforts to build peace on the Korean peninsula, according to the EU Delegation Seoul.

 

Denmark Amb. Thomas Lehmann celebrating Europe Day 2018 with invited guests during the 2018 Europe Day reception. (Courtesy: EU Delegation)
Denmark Amb. Thomas Lehmann celebrating Europe Day 2018 with invited guests during the 2018 Europe Day reception. (Courtesy: EU Delegation)

 

Many thought the vision of peace behind Robert Schuman's declaration in 1950 could not succeed, but creative and bold thinking brought us peace and prosperity, said EU Amb. Reiterer. As President Moon seeks to peacefully solve the nuclear issue and guarantee peace on the Korean peninsula, connectivity between the people of North and South, East and West will be a key aspect.

The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Korea has therefore chosen connectivity as the theme of its Europe Day celebrations in Korea this year. As 2018 is the European Year of Cultural Heritage, artists in Seoul and Brussels simultaneously participated in a Europe Day performance linked through information communications technology.

To sum up in today's world, the European Union is more indispensable than ever.

EU Delegation summarized: "It is indispensable for our citizens, who need economic growth, jobs, security, opportunities and rights. And our citizens know very well that, in a global world, we can only achieve results if we stand united, as the European Union.

The same is true for our partners – all those who want to work in a cooperative way to strengthen multilateralism, peace, sustainable development, free and fair trade, human rights and democracy. United, we stand with you.

We stand with you for security and peace, in our region and beyond. We are investing heavily in our security capabilities, for the defence of our Union but also to prevent conflicts and promote peace around the world. We stand with you for sustainable development and growth. We are investing more around the world in development cooperation, in clean energy and mitigating climate change, in research and education, and much more.".

In a nutshell, The European Union is a living project, adapting to and taking on new challenges with each passing year.

Staff reporter Kim Hyo-jung  bodo@ndnnews.co.kr

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