The European Union celebrates today, for the first time, "Europe Day" in Mogadishu with its Somali and international partners. Europe Day known for the Schuman declaration marks the day that Europe decided to join forces to prevent further conflict by 'making war not only unthinkable, but materially impossible', to quote Robert Schuman. This is ever so relevant for our common ambitions in Somalia.
"Celebrating Europe day after 22 years in Mogadishu is part of the paradigm shift and allows us to mark the unwavering friendship between the European Union and Somalia. I very much appreciated the commitment witnessed today by President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud to our partnership and a new Somalia. The EU and Somalia have the same hope and desire for lasting peace and solidarity." states the EU Special Envoy, Michele Cervone d'Urso.
A key event on this special day translating in concrete terms the EU's efforts to work inside Somalia and in partnership with the Somali Government and people is the launch of the EU Training mission (EUTM) in Mogadishu. This is a game changer for EU engagement in Somalia in the security sector and beyond.
We are proud to also have a special focus on the Somali youth this year. They are the backbone of Somalia's future. We need to empower youth to play a constructive role in the new Somalia. The EU will be at their side as they look for better opportunities and stand up for their values.