Europe Day: Unity in diversity | EUNewsletter

Europe Day: Unity in diversity

14 June 2013
13

Europe Day 2013 in Armenia was marked by cultural activities, workshops, music and dance, public readings, an information fair and many other events. For the first time Europe Day was also celebrated in Gyumri.
Europe Day is an occasion to hold festivities which bring Europe closer to its citizens and neighbours. On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organised Europe, necessary for peaceful relations and development. Today, 9 May has become a European symbol which, along with the flag, the anthem, the motto and the single currency, identifies the political entity of the European Union.
All the ceremonies in Armenia were organised by the EU Delegation. The ceremonies were launched with a concert of classical music by the UNICEF orchestra, which was attended by high-level representatives from the Armenian government and other diplomatic missions based in Yerevan. Traian Hristea, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, together with Eduard Nalbandyan, the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed guests.
Hristea stated that, each year, Europe Day was being used as an opportunity to reflect on the EU’s past efforts and to formulate goals for the future: ‘We can see that the European Union and Armenia are moving increasingly closer towards each other. This year is expected to be a significant year for our bilateral relations within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. The November Summit in Vilnius will come four years after the launch of the Eastern Partnership. In Vilnius, the EU and Armenia want to see the finalisation of negotiations on the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area’.

Nalbandyan noted that, from the very first day of Armenia’s independence, the European dimension had been among the priorities of Armenian foreign policy: ‘We value our continuous cooperation with the EU highly in this respect – the Eastern Partnership provides excellent opportunities to develop political dialogue, and to enhance trade and economic relations’.

The main celebrations were held on 25 May in Yerevan on Northern Avenue, where a Europe Day Information Fair was staged. Around 70 EU-funded projects were presented, and it was aimed at showcasing efforts in diverse areas such as education, poverty reduction, trade, youth, culture, environment and many others.

Manane Petrosyan from the Fund For Armenian Relief said: ‘The representatives of EU-funded projects, like us, are here not only to inform about our projects to those citizens who are interested in a particular sphere, but also to be informed about other EU-funded projects in Armenia, and to get to know each other. People are coming up, asking questions, and networking’.
The event was followed with a display of various cultural activities from Greece, Spain, France, Poland, Germany, Romania, the United Kingdom, and Italy.

Before the start of the Information Fair, pre-registered participants, mainly youth, discussed various topics of interest at the roundtable meeting with EU member state ambassadors. To underline European diversity the ambassadors welcomed participants in their own languages.

The EU Centre’s “EU-bus” also featured in the Information Fair. It was followed by an informational tour of different communities in Armenia. Hristea expressed the hope that all participants in this year’s events would learn more about the EU and EU-Armenia cooperation: ‘Europe Day is the beginning of European integration prompted by the overarching goal to insure peace, prosperity and stability in Europe’.

The Deputy Minister of of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, noted that the European Union was one of the main supporters of reform processes in Armenia: ‘The overall idea behind all these festivities is that we are also striving to improve the framework of the foundations for stability and prosperity in our country’.

Six young artists were invited to an overnight performance at Northern Avenue, and created artwork reflecting their perception of European values. ‘We are marking the 63rd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. I am very happy to see that a lot of young people have come to celebrate it. If they are good at expressing themselves freely through art and painting, by playing with colours, they can identify wonderful ideas for the future’, said Hristea during the performance.

The Europe Day celebrations culminated with an rock concert, during which local musicians and guests from Germany and Romania played Balkan music. During the concert the winner of the 2013 “My Scrapbook of Change” Youth Contest was awarded to Nona Melkonyan by the EU Ambassador. Melkonyan, a journalist, will have the opportunity to travel to an EU country, and she is sure that, with the help of the EU, Armenia will achieve significant reforms and that the European example was quite useful for her country: ‘My Scrapbook of Changes was related to environmental protection, the issue of the Getar river, and also to stray animals in Yerevan. I tried to find solutions to those problems and show them with photos. I have been doing photography for only a year and this was my first competition in this field… I don’t know yet which EU country I will travel to’.

As part of the Europe Day celebrations, readings of European literature took place from 23-25 May at the EU Centre and in several of the metro stations in Yerevan. This was the third year that the British Council in Armenia had joined the European Literature Night Initiative and hosted literature readings, offering a unique experience to experience interesting pieces of literature, art and unusual surroundings.

Actors Lucin Vardanyan and Vahagn Khachatryan read the Armenian translation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four. Arsen Grigoryan read out the Armenian translations of Robert Burns, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Dylan, Joanne Rowling and V. S. Naipaul. The translations of these works had been carried out Vahagn Davtyan, Lusine Margaryan, Samvel Mkrtchyan, Lilit Mkrtchyan, Lilit Galstyan, and Hovhannes Ghukasyan.

The launch of this initiative was attended by the British Ambassador to Armenia Jonathan Aves, who stated: ‘As Armenia moves closer towards Europe and we increase better understanding, there is of course no better way to do that than through culture’.

The final Europe Day events were held in Gyumri. The result of 5 of the regional EU-funded projects were presented by the projects’ local representatives. An exhibition was also organized there to exhibit artworks created during the Europe Day celebrations in Yerevan.

For more information on Europe Day, please visit the EU’s official website: http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm

Europe Day: Unity in diversity

Europe Day 2013 in Armenia was marked by cultural activities, workshops, music and dance, public readings, an information fair and many other events. For the first time Europe Day was also celebrated in Gyumri. Europe Day is an occasion to hold festivities which bring Europe closer to its citizens and neighbours. On 9 May 1950, Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organised Europe, necessary for peaceful relations and development. Today, 9 May has become a European symbol which, along with the flag, the anthem, the motto and the single currency, identifies the political entity of the European Union. All the ceremonies in Armenia were organised by the EU Delegation. The ceremonies were launched with a concert of classical music by the UNICEF orchestra, which was attended by high-level representatives from the Armenian government and other diplomatic missions based in Yerevan. Traian Hristea, the Head of the EU Delegation to Armenia, together with Eduard Nalbandyan, the Armenian Minister of Foreign Affairs, welcomed guests. Hristea stated that, each year, Europe Day was being used as an opportunity to reflect on the EU’s past efforts and to formulate goals for the future: ‘We can see that the European Union and Armenia are moving increasingly closer towards each other. This year is expected to be a significant year for our bilateral relations within the framework of the Eastern Partnership. The November Summit in Vilnius will come four years after the launch of the Eastern Partnership. In Vilnius, the EU and Armenia want to see the finalisation of negotiations on the Association Agreement, including the Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Area’. Nalbandyan noted that, from the very first day of Armenia’s independence, the European dimension had been among the priorities of Armenian foreign policy: ‘We value our continuous cooperation with the EU highly in this respect – the Eastern Partnership provides excellent opportunities to develop political dialogue, and to enhance trade and economic relations’. The main celebrations were held on 25 May in Yerevan on Northern Avenue, where a Europe Day Information Fair was staged. Around 70 EU-funded projects were presented, and it was aimed at showcasing efforts in diverse areas such as education, poverty reduction, trade, youth, culture, environment and many others. Manane Petrosyan from the Fund For Armenian Relief said: ‘The representatives of EU-funded projects, like us, are here not only to inform about our projects to those citizens who are interested in a particular sphere, but also to be informed about other EU-funded projects in Armenia, and to get to know each other. People are coming up, asking questions, and networking’. The event was followed with a display of various cultural activities from Greece, Spain, France, Poland, Germany, Romania, the United Kingdom, and Italy. Before the start of the Information Fair, pre-registered participants, mainly youth, discussed various topics of interest at the roundtable meeting with EU member state ambassadors. To underline European diversity the ambassadors welcomed participants in their own languages. The EU Centre’s “EU-bus” also featured in the Information Fair. It was followed by an informational tour of different communities in Armenia. Hristea expressed the hope that all participants in this year’s events would learn more about the EU and EU-Armenia cooperation: ‘Europe Day is the beginning of European integration prompted by the overarching goal to insure peace, prosperity and stability in Europe’. The Deputy Minister of of Foreign Affairs of Armenia, Zohrab Mnatsakanyan, noted that the European Union was one of the main supporters of reform processes in Armenia: ‘The overall idea behind all these festivities is that we are also striving to improve the framework of the foundations for stability and prosperity in our country’. Six young artists were invited to an overnight performance at Northern Avenue, and created artwork reflecting their perception of European values. ‘We are marking the 63rd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration. I am very happy to see that a lot of young people have come to celebrate it. If they are good at expressing themselves freely through art and painting, by playing with colours, they can identify wonderful ideas for the future’, said Hristea during the performance. The Europe Day celebrations culminated with an rock concert, during which local musicians and guests from Germany and Romania played Balkan music. During the concert the winner of the 2013 “My Scrapbook of Change” Youth Contest was awarded to Nona Melkonyan by the EU Ambassador. Melkonyan, a journalist, will have the opportunity to travel to an EU country, and she is sure that, with the help of the EU, Armenia will achieve significant reforms and that the European example was quite useful for her country: ‘My Scrapbook of Changes was related to environmental protection, the issue of the Getar river, and also to stray animals in Yerevan. I tried to find solutions to those problems and show them with photos. I have been doing photography for only a year and this was my first competition in this field… I don’t know yet which EU country I will travel to’. As part of the Europe Day celebrations, readings of European literature took place from 23-25 May at the EU Centre and in several of the metro stations in Yerevan. This was the third year that the British Council in Armenia had joined the European Literature Night Initiative and hosted literature readings, offering a unique experience to experience interesting pieces of literature, art and unusual surroundings. Actors Lucin Vardanyan and Vahagn Khachatryan read the Armenian translation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Sign of Four. Arsen Grigoryan read out the Armenian translations of Robert Burns, Oscar Wilde, Thomas Dylan, Joanne Rowling and V. S. Naipaul. The translations of these works had been carried out Vahagn Davtyan, Lusine Margaryan, Samvel Mkrtchyan, Lilit Mkrtchyan, Lilit Galstyan, and Hovhannes Ghukasyan. The launch of this initiative was attended by the British Ambassador to Armenia Jonathan Aves, who stated: ‘As Armenia moves closer towards Europe and we increase better understanding, there is of course no better way to do that than through culture’. The final Europe Day events were held in Gyumri. The result of 5 of the regional EU-funded projects were presented by the projects’ local representatives. An exhibition was also organized there to exhibit artworks created during the Europe Day celebrations in Yerevan. For more information on Europe Day, please visit the EU’s official website: http://europa.eu/about-eu/basic-information/symbols/europe-day/index_en.htm