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A Time for Europe to Celebrate - Europe Day

EUROPEAN UNION

DELEGATION OF THE EUROPEAN COMMISSION TO NEW ZEALAND
PO Box 5106, WELLINGTON
Wellington, 2 May 2006
File: 17.7
MEDIA ADVISORY

A Time for Europe to Celebrate

9 May is Europe Day and several activities around New Zealand will mark this celebration of the European Union’s national day.

On the 9th of May 1950, Robert Schuman presented his proposal on the creation of an organised Europe, indispensable to the maintenance of peaceful relations. This proposal, known as the "Schuman declaration", is considered to be the beginning of the creation of what is now the European Union.

Today, the 9th of May, has come to symbolise European unity and over 50 years of peace and prosperity. Europe Day is the occasion for activities and festivities that bring Europe closer to its citizens and peoples of the Union closer to one another.

A National Day cocktail reception for the diplomatic, government and business communities will be held by the Delegation of the European Commission in Wellington on 3 May.

A major celebration of European culture will be held at the Queens Wharf Events Centre on Sunday 7 May from 9.00am. This Eurofest event brings together European cultural groups, business interests and diplomatic missions in a kaleidoscope of heritage, tradition, products, and fun events for the whole family.

In Auckland, the newly founded New Zealand-Europe Business Council will host a luncheon on 9 May, with the Hon Simon Upton as the guest speaker. Mr Upton, a resident of France, is sure to provide a thought-provoking viewpoint on the role of the EU in international affairs.

With the support of Transit New Zealand, the flag of the European Union will fly from the Auckland Harbour Bridge on 9 May. This will be the first time a non-national flag has flown from the bridge and demonstrates the unique role of the European Union in the world.

Maurice Maxwell, Chargé d’Affaires at the Delegation of the European Commission in Wellington, says he is delighted that so many events in New Zealand will mark what is one of the most important dates on the European calendar.

“As the EU continues to grow and assume a broader role in global affairs, it is appropriate that here in New Zealand, a country with which we share a close, productive relationship, we also pause to celebrate and to think about where our relationship might next go.”

ENDS

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