Bratislava, May 9 (TASR) – Learning more about the European Union (EU), its individual member countries and various EU projects and programmes are the chief goals of Europe Day, which is being celebrated at Bratislava’s Main Square on Tuesday.
At the same time, Europe Day is a symbolic celebration of the EU’s birthday and of a common holiday for Europeans.
“May 9 is Europe Day. We are remembering that integration in Europe began on this day in 1950. It started with Robert Schuman’s declaration, calling on the European countries to untie themselves and to cooperate, thus avoiding war in Europe,” the head of the European Commission’s Representation in Slovakia Dusan Chrenek said on the occasion of the celebration. This day reminds us of the fact that in addition to a Slovak identity, we also have a European identity and a European citizenship, he added.
Chrenek said that the EU has brought new rights and opportunities to Slovakia, including the free movement of persons, programmes for supporting students and education, scientists, towns and villages, and small and medium-sized businesses. He also stressed the role of the common European currency, the euro and the European funds.
The director of the European Parliament’s Information Office in Slovakia Robert Hajsel also highlighted the EU’s contributions. Despite all its current problems, Hajsel believes that this project is an inspiration for all countries and nations of Europe that want to live in peace and prosperity.
As Europe is chiefly about cooperation, an event held jointly with 40 partners is being held in the Slovak capital on this occasion. Several European and Slovak institutions are being promoted, as well as representatives of various European programmes, the Slovak Cabinet Office, ministries and embassies. The Austrian Embassy’s stand is, for example, offering information not only about the Austrian capital, Vienna, but also about individual Austrian regions, such as Salzburg and Innsbruck. “The Austrian Embassy is preparing plenty of events and concerts in connection with the anniversary of Maria Theresa’s birthday,” Erika Rozkova of the embassy told TASR. She noted that Slovaks have a very good awareness on Vienna. “It’s definitely better than vice versa,” she added.
Europe Day’s celebrations at the Main Square also include quizzes, contests and music performances.