Europe Day is an occasion to celebrate peace and unity in Europe. This year marks the 71th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, a powerful declaration that initiated the process of European integration and the longest Peace Project throughout history. We are also marking this year the 10th anniversary of the EU diplomatic service i.e. European External Action Service ‘EEAS’. The launch of the EEAS on 1 January 2011 was a major step in the European integration process, established with the aim of more coherence, cooperation and consistency in EU foreign policy.
The relationship between the State of Kuwait and the European Union is truly unique. Kuwait was the first GCC country to sign a Cooperation Arrangement with the European Union, which is a cornerstone in our bilateral relations. This Arrangement has also resulted in the convening of the First Senior Officials’ Meeting between both sides, also a first for GCC countries, in November 2018. This Cooperation Arrangement has also paved the way for both sides to deepen dialogue and to engage in detailed discussions on various areas such as trade, investment, economy, human rights, security, humanitarian assistance cooperation and development.
On human rights, the State of Kuwait and the European Union have an opportunity to exchange views annually within the framework of the Human Rights Dialogue. The last round of discussions took place virtually in March 2021. As a follow-up to the dialogue meeting in 2020, we organised a webinar on strengthening women’s political participation in Kuwait ahead of the parliamentary elections, in co-operation with local authorities.
Kuwait and the European Union co-hosted in the past international donor and relief conferences for Syria, Iraq, and the Rohingya people. In March, the EU hosted the fifth Brussels Conference on supporting the future of Syria and the region to advance the peace process and finally put an end to the humanitarian crisis as well as finding a sustainable political solution after 10 years of the conflict in Syria. Foreign Minister HE Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Nasser Al-Sabah represented Kuwait in the Conference and reiterated Kuwait’s unwavering support to the Syrian people.
The EU Delegation in Kuwait is keen on promoting people-to-people relations, as an important component for developing solid and longstanding relations between the EU and Kuwait. In this context, we have worked with Kuwaiti non-profit organisations such as LOYAC and Kuwait Society for Human Rights. The EU attaches great importance to post-COVID recovery and work with Kuwait on green and digital transformation. In this context, we held webinars in April on net zero Energy buildings and renewable energy. This approach reflects the EU’s policy to achieve zero carbon emissions by 2050.
It is a fact that when it comes to the Covid-19 pandemic, no one is safe until everyone is safe. Therefore, the EU is working hard to accelerate the internal roll out of Covid-19 vaccines. At the same time, the EU is already contributing in a very significant way to the global vaccination drive via exports and the international COVAX facility. This way, the EU is helping low and middle -income countries to vaccinate their population. When we speak about the Covid-19 pandemic, it is important to pay tribute to health workers all over the world including in Europe and Kuwait for their tremendous work in combating the pandemic.
As we celebrate Europe Day during the holy month of Ramadan this year, I would like to avail of this opportunity to send my greetings to HH the Emir of Kuwait, Sheikh Nawaf al-Ahmad al-Jaber al-Sabah ; HH the Crown Prince Sheikh Meshaal Al-Ahmad al-Jaber al Sabah and to all Muslims in Kuwait and abroad and ‘Ramadan Kareem’. I invite you to read about our virtual events to mark Europe Day by visiting the EU Delegation in Kuwait social media accounts ‘@EUinKuwait’ as well as my Twitter account @CristianTudorEU. I look forward for more cooperation between Kuwait and the EU for many years to come.