Europe Day

  • Slika
Europe Day commemorates the peace and unity that the member states of the European Union have nurtured since the very beginnings of European integration. Europe Day reminds us of the Schuman Declaration of 1950, which laid the foundation for the creation of a united Europe, as a zone of prosperity, peace, and enduring values ​​of democracy, human rights, and solidarity that connect us as Europeans and our member states.
These days, we also celebrate the 20th anniversary of the largest enlargement in the history of the European Union, when ten countries joined the Union in 2004. Last year, we marked the 10th anniversary of our accession to the European family, as well as Croatia's accession to the Schengen Area and the eurozone. These events confirm the lasting attractiveness of the European project and the transformative power of the EU in bringing stability, prosperity, and opportunities to member states and millions of Europeans.
However, we are facing a reality in which the Union is confronted with numerous challenges, from security to climate. The Russian invasion, which began more than two years ago, has once again brought war to European soil, calling into question long-held beliefs about the security structure on the continent. Croatia, from the very beginning, is aware of the difficult path it has travelled, fighting through aggressive war and securing its freedom and independence in the early 1990s, fully committed to supporting Ukraine in its struggle for sovereignty and territorial integrity.
As in previous crises, Europe proves to be most effective and strongest when it acts united and decisively, and it must continue to do so in the future.
At the same time, the Union must be prepared to welcome all European nations that wish to join the European family and share our values, with openness and support, as it has done in previous enlargements that we are commemorating these days. Membership in the EU and clear European ambitions have always been a support and incentive for democratic reforms and economic development and a guarantor of stability. Therefore, we particularly welcomed the decision of the European Council in March 2024 to open negotiations with Bosnia and Herzegovina, along with the earlier decision in December 2023 to open negotiations with Ukraine and Moldova.
As we look to the future, the upcoming European elections, which will be held in Croatia on June 9th, play an important role in shaping the further development of the Union. It is an opportunity for all of us to reflect together on what kind of Union we want in the new cycle, in new circumstances and a changing world.
Let this year's celebration of Europe Day be a celebration of peace, diversity, and solidarity that define the Union. By marking this day, let us once again show our readiness and determination to act together, to continue building a safer, stronger, more resilient, competitive, and cohesive Union. A Union that sets high standards and offers great opportunities. A Union that remains an attractive community, a pleasant and secure place to live for all generations, a space that provides equal opportunities and enables balanced development of member states and all regions, a Union that enables the realization of aspirations, dreams, and ideas of every Croatian and every European citizen.
The Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs is commemorating Europe Day this year with a special program. On Thursday, May 9th, starting at 11:00 a.m., a ceremonial concert will be held at the Pavilion in Zrinjevac, featuring the Zagreb ZET Orchestra and the Young Musicians Orchestra. In addition to the concert, in collaboration with the Ministry of Regional Development and EU Funds, an exhibition of the most important Croatian projects financed by EU funds will be set up around the Pavilion and in the northern alley of Zrinjevac.
Joint celebrations of Europe Day, in collaboration with the European Commission Representation in Croatia, the Office of the European Parliament in Croatia, and the embassies of EU member states, will take place at the European Square, starting at 12:30 p.m., featuring a series of activities, dance performances, panels, and screenings of short films from EU member states. Ceremonial speeches are scheduled for 4 p.m.
Furthermore, as part of the EUROPE IN CINEMA project, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs will screen six European films to mark Europe Day from May 8th to May 10th, 2024. Free film screenings will take place at the Metropolis Cinema, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Zagreb, and the KIC.
This year's Europe Day will also be marked with the slogan of the European Parliament, "Use your vote. Don't let others choose for you," as exactly one month later, the European elections will be held in EU member states.

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