European Union External Action

EUROPE DAY 2020: Solidarity in diversity in the face of COVID-19

09/05/2020 - 08:02
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EU Ambassador, João Vale de Almeida, and all the Ambassadors and High Commissioners of the EU 27 member states in London marked Europe Day with a joint article in the Guardian. “The United Kingdom made a significant contribution to European achievements before and during its 47 years of membership of the EU. It is thus only natural for us to celebrate Europe Day also with the British people, its workers and entrepreneurs, its researchers, its teachers and scholars, its artists, its farmers and fishermen, its doctors and nurses”, they wrote.

The Ambassadors at the opening of the Delegation in February
Image: The Ambassadors at the opening of the Delegation in February


Europe Day is marked on 9 May – the date on which exactly 70 years ago the Luxembourg-born Foreign Minister of France Robert Schuman laid the foundations of what is now the European Union in a keynote speech. This year we also celebrate two other anniversaries – 25 years since the accession of Austria, Finland and Sweden and the 40 years since the start of the historic Solidarity movement in Poland.

In their joint article the Ambassadors added: “A democratic decision, which we regret but fully respect, was made by the United Kingdom to leave the EU. We are now implementing the transitional provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement, while negotiating the terms of our future relations. For anyone who may have doubted that a close future partnership between the UK and the EU is of mutual interest, the ongoing health emergency has certainly provided ample food for thought.”

And they concluded: “We believe that cooperation and solidarity among countries, with full respect for sovereignty and diversity, are key factors in overcoming today’s challenges, starting with the present health emergency. We trust that these principles will also inspire the future relationship between the UK and the EU - and that is the friendly message that, as a united group of 28 Ambassadors and High Commissioners, we would like to convey to the British people on this Europe Day.”

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