The European Union is composed of 27 diverse member states. Cumulatively, the EU aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 5-20% of 1990 levels by 2050. Over 20% of the EU financial budget between 2014 and 2020 has been allocated to climate action. Over The European Union is composed of 27 diverse member states. Cumulatively, the EU aims to cut its greenhouse gas emissions to 5-20% of 1990 levels by 2050. Over 20% of the EU financial budget between 2014 and 2020 has been allocated to climate action. Over

On Europe Day: The EU, a living project for peace and prosperity

Thu, May. 9, 2019
CAIRO – 9 May 2019: The first step for the establishment of the European Union as we know it today was taken 69 years ago. Schuman Declaration, presented by French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman on 9 May 1950 following the World War II, represented a turning point in the European history. Schumann Declaration proposed the establishment of a joint authority to oversee the French and German production of coal and steel at which other European countries could join it, launching a significant ambitious project that shaped the course of European history and redefined Europe's place in the world.

I can say that the creation of the European Union was not only beneficial to Europe, but also to our regional neighbors and the world. For example, the EU is the largest global market and the leading foreign investor in most parts of the world, including Egypt. We have achieved a strong position by acting together with one voice on the global stage on various issues, playing a key role in removing barriers to international trade, and by concluding bilateral trade agreements with many significant partners all over the world, including Egypt.

The EU is the world's largest financial donor of development assistance. We were instrumental in planning the UN Sustainable Development Goals and are already implementing them. The EU and its member states are also the largest donors of humanitarian aid. We play a significant role in supporting Syrian refugees and attempting to find a solution to the Syrian crisis and other crises in the Middle East and the whole world, such as the situation in Crimea and the Rohingya crisis in Myanmar.

I would like to underline here the great importance attached by the EU to cooperate with Egypt and the Arab States. In February this year, Sharm El-Sheikh hosted the first EU- League of Arab States (LAS) Summit bringing together leaders from 49 countries, the LAS and the EU. In their discussions, the leaders highlighted the importance of stronger regional cooperation as the key to find common solutions to common challenges. They renewed their commitment to create new opportunities through a collaborative approach, by placing people, in particular women and youth, at the heart of joint work. I would like to note here that the leaders recognized the important role played by civil society. Both sides also agreed to strengthen economic cooperation and committed to develop a concrete agenda especially in the fields of trade, energy, science, research, technology, tourism, agriculture and other mutually beneficial areas.

The project launched by Robert Schuman in 1950 for peace, partnership, common values and interdependence is not over yet. In today's world, the EU is more indispensable than ever, and that is why we understand the need to work on strengthening our Union. This course is already in place. In 2017, President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker unveiled a road map detailing the key steps towards a more united, stronger and more democratic Union. Leaders of EU member states agreed on leaders' agenda; a list of the most pressing issues and challenges for which solutions should be found, ahead of the European elections in late May. Therefore, on 9 May, at a summit in Romania, our leaders are to mark the culmination of this process with a renewed commitment to an EU that delivers on the issues that really matter to people.

The EU represents a living project that adapts to and takes on new challenges. We are determined to continue our project as a powerful tool for global good and prosperity and we are looking forward to working with Egypt and all our partners to this end.


Mr. Ivan Surkoš is the EU Ambassador to Cairo

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