With the traditional reception in Myanmar’s capital Nay Pyi Taw, the European Union kicked off the celebrations of this year’s Europe Day in Myanmar. Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government, U Thaung Tun, Union Election Commission Chairman U Hla Thein, Constitutional Tribunal Chairperson U Myo Nyunt, Union Minister of Education Dr Myo Thein Gyi and Union Minister for International Cooperation U Kyaw Tin, along with deputy ministers, members of parliament and government officials attended the Europe Day reception on 8 May 2018.
In his welcome speech, EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt announced a recent decision of EU member states to directly transfer €221 million (356 billion MMK) to the Myanmar national treasury to support the reform of the education sector and expand access to quality education across the country. “We will channel this grant directly to the Ministry of Education, a sign of our partnership and trust, and that we share your government's ambition to dramatically improve Myanmar's education outcomes. We think education is the best possible investment in your country's democratic future,” said Ambassador Schmidt.
Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government, H.e. U Thaung Tun, underlined the longstanding partnership between the European Union and Myanmar. “It as been more than four decades since Myanmar and the EU first established diplomatic relations. Today, the EU is one of Myanmar’s most important partners, supporting many development programs that are crucial for enxuring that democracy takes firm root in Myanmar.”
Europe Day – celebrated every year on 9 May – marks the anniversary of the historical 'Schuman declaration' in 1950 when Robert Schuman, the then French foreign minister, in a speech in Paris set out his idea for a new form of political cooperation in Europe, which would make war between Europe's nations unthinkable. His proposal to create a European institution that would pool and manage coal and steel production is considered the beginning of what is now the European Union.
The celebrations of Europe Day in Myanmar will continue with “Europe meets Myanmar”, a concert of the Orchestra for Myanmar and the New Children’s Choir under Portuguese Maestro Luis Miguel Clemente on 10 May 2018 at Yangon’s Strand Hotel Ballroom.
Read the full speech of EU Ambassador Kristian Schmidt here:
Read the full speech of Union Minister for the Office of the Union Government U Thaung Tun here: