(Bogotá, 3 May 2017) – For the first time, the City of Popayan and the Department of Cauca will celebrate Europe Day, with eight ambassadors from the European Union (EU), six chargé d'affaires, several political advisers from EU Member States (MS) and chamber of commerce directors.
Celebrations will begin on 7 May and continue until 9 May, Europe Day. EU Member States' Embassies will participate in the programme, along with the private sector, musicians, academics and senior public officials i.a. the Mayor of Popayan, other mayors, and the Governor of Cauca.
"We wanted to celebrate Europe Day in Cauca, since we have strong historical ties with the department and have been supporting many local initiatives including on social development, inclusion and reconciliation. It is a model of how people can come together and look to the future, just as Europe did 60 years ago", EU Ambassador Ana Paula Zacarias explained.
This year commemorates the 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome and Europe Day has chosen inclusion as its main theme. "In a world where we are all migrants, we must respect and embrace difference, and create spaces for cultural diversity", Ambassador Zacarias said.
One of the main activities planned in Cauca is the inauguration of the third project from the EU Trust Fund for Peace in Colombia, named "Pazadentro". Its goal is to support local economic and social development, environmental initiatives, territorial planning, and peacebuilding. 4 million euros have been allocated to the project; € 3.2 million from the EU and € 800,000 from national authorities. It will focus on the Tierradentro region, covering the municipalities of Inzá, Páez and Totoró.
On Monday, 8 May, a conference entitled "The European Union Yesterday and Today: a 60-year-long journey towards inclusion" will take place in collaboration with the University of Cauca. It will bring together academics, diplomats and local authorities. Lectures on European culture and student exchange will also be held at the university. In the evening, the Municipal Theatre Guillermo Valencia will host a performance by Hungarian pianist, Krisztina Fejes (free admission to the public).
On Tuesday, 9 May, the Ambassadors will take part in the seminar "The European Union: A Privileged Trade Partner for Cauca", organised jointly with the Chamber of Commerce, Eurocámaras and Propaís. The event will seek to boost commercial relations with Europe and include a trade exhibition highlighting Cauca's export potential.