Europe Day 2016 – another page in EU-Armenia cooperation history | EUNewsletter

Europe Day 2016 – another page in EU-Armenia cooperation history

8 June 2016
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On 9 May 1950 the first move towards the creation of what is now known as the European Union was made. 35 years later, it was decided to celebrate 9 May as Europe Day during the Milan Summit of EU leaders in 1985. Every country which democratically chooses to accede to the European Union endorses its fundamental values of peace and solidarity. Building on the tradition of the past five years, the European Union Delegation to Armenia has been organising Europe Day events to celebrate this day of peace and unity in Armenia.
Celebrations for Europe Day 2016 began four weeks ago. Representatives of the EU Delegation to Armenia has visited five Armenian marzes, held official meetings, and organised open air concerts.
ARS_6813On 5 June 2016, the celebrations concluded in the capital, Yerevan. This festive day started with a unique lunch – Armenian youth was invited to meet and question the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, and EU member state ambassadors to Armenia and other EU officials. More than 100 young Armenians engaged in free discussion and asked questions on political, economic, cultural, social and migration-related topics. They enjoyed the barbecue menu, which included specialties from various European countries. The opening speech was the only formal part of the meeting, during which Ambassador Świtalski praised the gathering, saying it constituted the strong European family and showed Europe’s transparency and willingness to engage in dialogue.
13346835_1035811306472798_8887167691014478623_nAfter the lunch, all the ambassadors and participants walked to the opening of the Europe Day Information Fair on Northern Avenue. The fair showcased current EU-funded projects, with a special emphasis on information and activities for young Armenians. Ambassador Świtalski opened the event: ‘Today is the culmination of Europe Day celebrations, which we started in Vanadzor, then continued in Gyumri, Gavar, Kapan, and Goris. This information fair is about providing possibilities to learn more about the projects and activities of the EU and its member states here in Armenia. There are 41 stands, where different projects are presented. The EU is the biggest donor to Armenia; every year we spend about €50 million. As you will see by visiting the stands, the spectrum of our activities is very broad. We build roads, improve solid waste management, clean water, implement agricultural projects, support SMEs, help CSOs, develop good laws, etc. However, we are not simply a charity which gives money; we are instead a friendly partner, helping Armenia to modernise itself, develop the right policies, and support government and society to build a better future. This year’s focus is youth – the future of Armenia. We want them to have quality education and good jobs, we want to help them to fulfil their aspirations and find a better future here, not abroad. You can count on us’.
ARS_7588After walking around the fair and visiting all the project stands, people went to Freedom Square to witness the start of the open air concert. The crowd was excited to meet Ambassador Świtalski, who opened the concert and awarded prizes to the winners of the special EU quiz in addition to the essay and video competitions “Europe4Youth, Youth4Europe”, before passing the floor to the Armenian artists.
IMG_2266Yet, the biggest surprise was a special guest star from Spain – Lara Taylor. Lara Taylor is a pop singer who is notable for her unique style, combining the musical genres of electro, mainstream pop, and dubstep. Taylor has won many vocalist and music awards, performed with notable artists such as Nelly Furtado, Pitbull, Avicii, and more. She was accompanied by the popular Spanish DJ Manuel Galey. In an interview, Lara told us how excited she was for having been invited to perform: ‘The concert was just amazing, people here are so warm, full of love, energy, and emotions. I was so surprised to see posters with my name in the crowd because I had no idea I had Armenian fans! I have toured in many countries, but have never visited this region before. I’ll bring all the smiles with me to Spain and will come back here for sure. When my manager told me that I was flying to Yerevan for a concert, I thought he was joking, but I am so happy that I visited this beautiful country’.
The EU Delegation to Armenia has promised to surprise Armenian audiences with new ideas and new events for upcoming Europe Day celebrations.

Europe Day 2016 – another page in EU-Armenia cooperation history

On 9 May 1950 the first move towards the creation of what is now known as the European Union was made. 35 years later, it was decided to celebrate 9 May as Europe Day during the Milan Summit of EU leaders in 1985. Every country which democratically chooses to accede to the European Union endorses its fundamental values of peace and solidarity. Building on the tradition of the past five years, the European Union Delegation to Armenia has been organising Europe Day events to celebrate this day of peace and unity in Armenia. Celebrations for Europe Day 2016 began four weeks ago. Representatives of the EU Delegation to Armenia has visited five Armenian marzes, held official meetings, and organised open air concerts. ARS_6813On 5 June 2016, the celebrations concluded in the capital, Yerevan. This festive day started with a unique lunch – Armenian youth was invited to meet and question the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, Ambassador Piotr Świtalski, and EU member state ambassadors to Armenia and other EU officials. More than 100 young Armenians engaged in free discussion and asked questions on political, economic, cultural, social and migration-related topics. They enjoyed the barbecue menu, which included specialties from various European countries. The opening speech was the only formal part of the meeting, during which Ambassador Świtalski praised the gathering, saying it constituted the strong European family and showed Europe’s transparency and willingness to engage in dialogue. 13346835_1035811306472798_8887167691014478623_nAfter the lunch, all the ambassadors and participants walked to the opening of the Europe Day Information Fair on Northern Avenue. The fair showcased current EU-funded projects, with a special emphasis on information and activities for young Armenians. Ambassador Świtalski opened the event: ‘Today is the culmination of Europe Day celebrations, which we started in Vanadzor, then continued in Gyumri, Gavar, Kapan, and Goris. This information fair is about providing possibilities to learn more about the projects and activities of the EU and its member states here in Armenia. There are 41 stands, where different projects are presented. The EU is the biggest donor to Armenia; every year we spend about €50 million. As you will see by visiting the stands, the spectrum of our activities is very broad. We build roads, improve solid waste management, clean water, implement agricultural projects, support SMEs, help CSOs, develop good laws, etc. However, we are not simply a charity which gives money; we are instead a friendly partner, helping Armenia to modernise itself, develop the right policies, and support government and society to build a better future. This year's focus is youth - the future of Armenia. We want them to have quality education and good jobs, we want to help them to fulfil their aspirations and find a better future here, not abroad. You can count on us’. ARS_7588After walking around the fair and visiting all the project stands, people went to Freedom Square to witness the start of the open air concert. The crowd was excited to meet Ambassador Świtalski, who opened the concert and awarded prizes to the winners of the special EU quiz in addition to the essay and video competitions “Europe4Youth, Youth4Europe”, before passing the floor to the Armenian artists. IMG_2266Yet, the biggest surprise was a special guest star from Spain – Lara Taylor. Lara Taylor is a pop singer who is notable for her unique style, combining the musical genres of electro, mainstream pop, and dubstep. Taylor has won many vocalist and music awards, performed with notable artists such as Nelly Furtado, Pitbull, Avicii, and more. She was accompanied by the popular Spanish DJ Manuel Galey. In an interview, Lara told us how excited she was for having been invited to perform: ‘The concert was just amazing, people here are so warm, full of love, energy, and emotions. I was so surprised to see posters with my name in the crowd because I had no idea I had Armenian fans! I have toured in many countries, but have never visited this region before. I’ll bring all the smiles with me to Spain and will come back here for sure. When my manager told me that I was flying to Yerevan for a concert, I thought he was joking, but I am so happy that I visited this beautiful country’. The EU Delegation to Armenia has promised to surprise Armenian audiences with new ideas and new events for upcoming Europe Day celebrations.