Speech by Ambassador James Moran on the occasion of Europe Day

Speech by Ambassador James Moran on the occasion of Europe Day

 

Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, friends

Good evening. Randa and I bid you a warm welcome to the EU residence. Ahlan Wa Sahlan!

We’re here to celebrate Europe Day which commemorates the founding of the European Union some 60 years ago. Then we were six countries. Today we are 27, soon to be 28 and I want especially welcome my colleagues from the 26+1 EU Embassies here in Cairo.

We have now been in this great country for three months at an historic time. At times, it feels like a roller coaster, with thrills and spills at every turn. But that doesn’t do it justice. Roller Coasters go round in circles while Egypt is moving on.

The revolution that began last year has yet to be completed and there have been many sacrifices on all sides along the way. As we celebrate tonight, let us pause and spare a thought for those families who have lost loved ones.

But there are good reasons to believe that those sacrifices were not in vain: the elections earlier this year were by common consent the best the country has had in modern times and the vote later this month looks like offering the people a real choice.

That said, we all know that democracy is never built with ballot boxes alone and whatever the outcome in the presidential election much will remain to be done before the ideals of the revolution can be accomplished.

We’ve seen this in Europe: many EU Member States struggled for a generation after their liberation before they were able to fully enjoy the sweet fruits of freedom.

Egypt will, as she has always done, find her own way to a better tomorrow but one thing you can depend on is that the EU will always be there as your enduring partner. We share so much geography and history that it could not be otherwise. We have always had strong common interests, such as security in the neighbourhood that we share, trade, business and development.

And we cooperate together across the board. A good example is the current EU-Egypt Year of Science which includes many joint events and initiatives in this crucial area. 

But what is new is that we now more than ever before share values: in a nutshell, your revolution is bringing us closer together.

And I am convinced that once the new civilian authorities are empowered on 1st July we will see the opening of a new and rich chapter in EU-Egypt relations. I know that our leaders in Europe, including Presidents Van Rompuy and Barroso as well as High Representative Catherine Ashton are looking forward to that and here in Cairo the EU Delegation and MS Embassies are working hard on plans to ramp up our already extensive cooperation.

But for now let us celebrate together. Thanks and enjoy the evening.

 

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