EU Day is celebrated throughout Europe to remember May 9th, 1950 when Robert Schuman laid the foundations of the European Union.
EUMM celebrated EU Day with a series of interesting events, public outreach activities, conferences and presentations across the four Field Offices. The celebrations were opened by the EUMM Head of Mission Ambassador Hansjörg Haber at Field Office Tbilisi (Mtskheta) on April 24th.
From April 27 to April 29 Field Offices Gori, Khashuri and Zugdidi also celebrated EU Day with a variety of public outreach activities ranging from information stand points set up in the centre of the towns, invitations to local schools to visit the EUMM field offices, clown shows for children, to social events for local authorities as well as press conferences and other public events.
FO Tbilisi organized a Cooperation exercise for 40 pupils from three different schools in Mtskheta who worked in 4 teams building and painting a city out of cardboard and paper, using dough and colours. The celebrations were followed by a football match where EU Monitors played against a team from the Mtskheta Police. A Choir concert at the Svetitskhoveli Church marked the closure of the event. In Gori, EUMM set up an information point on Stalin Square in the centre of town. The children who visited the stand were involved in a drawing competition and received information about the Mission and about the EU in general. Small roundtables where discussions focused on the EU were organised with students from the local middle school. The day ended with a dinner where local authorities and representatives of international organisations were invited. In Khashuri, the EUMM office was opened to the public for one day. Children from 8 local schools visited the Field Office and participated in competitions aimed at raising their knowledge about the EU and about the Mission. Local authorities were invited to participate in presentations about the Mission. In Zugdidi the Field Office opened its doors to the public, set up information points in all the central parts of town, involved children in clown performances and invited local authorities to a dinner.
All events were well received by the local population and by the local authorities. Importantly, local authorities provided full support and cooperation to the Field Offices in the organisation of the activities. For example, in Zugdidi, the Municipality provided at its own cost EU flags to be hoisted throughout the town. The events, which demonstrated a high level of acceptance and trust for EUMM at the local level, are expected to contribute to further increasing the local population’s knowledge of and confidence in the Mission.