Ambassador Christian Berger’s speech on Europe Day 2022

(Source: EEAS)

Masalhayer, ahlan wa sahlan bikom fi youm oropa, tesaa mayo.

Excellencies, dear colleagues, ladies and gentlemen, dear friends,

Like every year, we celebrate Europe Day on 9 May and commemorate Robert Schuman’s founding declaration, he made on this day in 1950, which launched the European project.  A true peace project after 1000 years of wars and bloodshed among the European peoples and affecting many other parts of the world. 

At this stage of my speech I would normally say, the fact that my parents were born in the bomb hails of the Second World War, one of my grandfathers fought and died as soldier and the other one was persecuted for his belief in the independence of our country, and that I grew up 50 kilometres from the Iron Curtain that divided Europe for decades, that today all of this is seen by our children as ancient history.  But today, this commemoration takes on a very particular meaning.  Europe has seen the return of war on a large scale. This war not only affects Europe but the world far beyond. Our neighbour, Ukraine, a sovereign and independent State has found itself subjected to a brutal and unprovoked aggression.  Millions of innocent civilians have been forced to flee their country, many killed, maimed, raped or orphaned. The Russian war and aggression is causing unspeakable pain and destruction. It is gravely impacting a global economy still reeling from the pandemic.  I want to tell the Ukrainian charge d’affaires here tonight, the EU and its Member States stand with Ukraine.

And we stand with our partners that are affected by this war. The European Union is providing financial support to countries in the region, particularly those hit by the disruption of grain deliveries In the case of Egypt it is €100 million. 

Our cooperation with a current active portfolio of well over €1 billion of grants, loans, and investments in Egypt covers every walk of life and hopes to benefit people all over the country in line with Egypt’s Vision 2030.  Only this morning we signed five important cooperation programmes. 

2022 is a special year.  Five decades ago saw the beginning of a close cooperation between the northern and southern shores of the Mediterranean, 45 years ago we launched our partnership with Egypt. Together we have created profound ties in trade, investment, tourism and people-to-people contacts.  The new Partnership Priorities will guide us in our cooperation.

2022 is the Year of Youth in Europe and of Civil Society in Egypt; Egypt will host COP27 The youth of our countries remind us daily that time is running out to save our planet.  As Team Europe, we are United for Climate. 

We are committed to work with the government and the people of Egypt for a safe and peaceful planet, on Europe Day, and every other day. 

Let me also say words of thanks to our partners in government, civil society and the business community, our international and Egyptian partners working with us, and the wonderful staff of the EU delegation strongly committed to the EU-Egypt relations.

Happy birthday, Europe.

And happy Europe Day to all of you

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