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Consuls-General and Honorary Consuls-General based in Sydney, representing 12 EU Member States held a special Europe Day celebration at Parliament House in Sydney on 16 May.
It's the first time the diplomatic group, representing Czech Republic, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Malta, the Netherlands, Romania, Spain and Slovenia, have come together to mark Europe Day in Australia's iconic city.
Consul-General of the Netherlands Frank van Beuningen says Sydney is a dynamic and vibrant city, with many European companies and EU-member states represented.
"As representatives of the EU Member States, it's important to celebrate Europe Day in Sydney and shine a spotlight on the European Union and what it stands for," he says.
EU Ambassador to Australia Michael Pulch said 2019 is a an important year for EU-Australia relations, following implementation of the Framework Agreement and launch of the Free Trade Agreement negotiations.
Attending her first official diplomatic event, newsly elected NSW Governor Margaret Beazley said Australia and the European Union will continue to work closely together on a broad range of issues including trade, human rights and rule of law.
Guests included former NSW Governor Dame Marie Bashir, John Barilaro NSW Deputy Premier, NSW ministers John Sidoti, Gareth Ward and parliamentary colleagues Jonathan O’Dea, Penny Sharpe, Natalie Ward and Alister Henskens.
The Europe Day celebration was a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on EU achievements and innovations including the Copernicus Emergency Management System and EU Satellites that play a critical role in natural disaster rapid response worldwide.
The EU Delegation organised a special exhibition showing Copernicus EMS in action during the Townsville floods and twin cyclones that hit Australia earlier this year.
Each year on 9 May, the EU institutions in Brussels and EU Delegations around the world organise different events and activities to celebrate peace and prosperity in Europe.
The EU Delegation to Australia held a special celebration at the Yacht Club in Canberra on 9 May, read more here.
Europe Day marks anniversary of the Schuman Declaration of 1950 when the French foreign minister Robert Schuman proposed a joint authority to oversee French and German production of coal and steel. This helped to promote common interests between European countries, paving the way for the formation of the European Union.