EU Ambassador’s remarks on Europe Day

Source:Global Times Published: 2018/5/14 19:28:39

Hans Dietmar Schweisgut, EU Ambassador to China Photo: Courtesy of the EU Delegation to China

Celebrating Europe Day or commemorating the Schuman Declaration of May 9, 1950, which was the origin of today's European Union, is an important event for us Europeans.

It reminds us of where we started after World War II and brings us together in our commitment to shaping our collective future.

Today, the European Union is a major global political actor, the largest economy and a major trading power. It is indispensable to supporting and maintaining an open rules-based system of global governance, which is the basis for prosperity and sustainable globalization.

We have made significant progress in facing challenges by strengthening our internal and external security through the establishment of a Defence Union, the strengthening of our external border management and by stepping up the fight against terrorism.

Maintaining and strengthening our competitiveness is key to our prosperity. Work is underway to complete the architecture of the Economic and Monetary Union, expand and strengthen our trade and investment partnerships, implement the blueprints for a digital and an energy union, and foster innovation. At the same time, we will continue to give priority to sustainability and social inclusiveness and remain true to our values, which are rooted in democracy, respect for the rule of law and the inviolability of human rights.

No country or region alone can solve today's problems. The EU's comprehensive strategic partnership with China, which was established 15 years ago, is an important framework for working together. We do so in many areas for our mutual benefit but also as a shared responsibility to maintain peace and stability, advance global prosperity and safeguard the future of our planet.

Ensuring an open and fair international trading system is essential to both of us. China is commemorating 40 years of reform and opening up this year. As one of the world's largest economies and the largest trading nation, China could make a huge contribution to keeping the framework for trade and investment open by implementing the reforms it announced; we look forward to strengthening our relationship with China on this basis.

We will have important meetings coming up to further develop our agenda. This year, we have put a strong emphasis on people-to-people relations with the EU-China Year of Tourism 2018.

We have also established a "light bridge" to bring China and Europe closer to each other symbolically. Many European sights were lit in China red for Spring Festival, and we are delighted to see many of China's famous monuments shine in the EU's blue this week.

This article was contributed by the EU Ambassador to China Hans Dietmar Schweisgut.


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