Tbilisi, 9 May, 2020
EU and Georgia celebrate Europe Day
Today, with 27 Member States and almost 446 million people, the EU marks the 70th anniversary of this declaration. The theme of 2020 Europe Day is Stronger Together, highlighting the need for solidarity particularly in the face of the Covid-19 crisis.
To mark 9 May, Europe Day EU Ambassador to Georgia Carl Hartzell has issued a statement:
“Today, exactly 70 year ago a new vision for Europe was presented, that would put an end to wars and conflict in favour of cooperation and peace. It may have sounded utopic at the time, but has since become a reality through the creation and building of the European Union.
Unfortunately, this year we cannot mark Europe Day together, as in previous years, because of the pandemic. Georgia has in many respects done better than others in tackling this challenge – thanks to strong political resolve, the support of a truly professional healthcare team and a dedicated population. Still, we recognize the hardships currently experienced by so many Georgians, whether for health or economic reasons. My thoughts go out to all those who are suffering today.
It is in times of crises when you need your partners and friends the most: it is said that “A friend in need is a friend indeed”. I am therefore proud to say that the European Union, its Member States and financial institutions, have stepped up to this challenge as Team Europe, sending a strong message that our friendship goes beyond words. That we are friends indeed. Through hard work and political will, we have managed to mobilise an unprecedented 1.5 billion GEL to help Georgia getting through the current health crisis, and standing better prepared to tackle the economic and social challenges ahead.
Georgia – where hospitality and solidarity are deeply ingrained in the national identity – knows how to value a friend. Let me thank you for the kind expressions of compassion that our Member States and citizens have received from Georgia over recent weeks.
This is going to be a tough year for Europe, and a tough year for Georgia – but together we are stronger and together we will prevail.
Take care of your beautiful country and take care of each other! Happy Europe Day! “
See video statement here: https://we.tl/t-a2nTKMU36Y
Historically, cooperation and solidarity between the EU member states has resulted in over 60 years of unprecedented peace and prosperity on the European continent (more https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=1386234074905741 ). In this current crisis, this solidarity is equally crucial and is what drove the EU and its Member States to quickly organise and provide each other hospital beds or announce EU wide financial support measures: https://we.tl/t-vD0gU1sdbA
This solidarity also spreads beyond the borders of the European Union and to key partners. In the past weeks, the EU has committed almost 1.5 billion GEL to help manage the crisis in Georgia. These funds will go to medical equipment, support to vulnerable groups most impacted by the crisis, and financial assistance for economic recovery.
This cooperation is another step in the very close relationship between the EU and Georgia. The EU remains Georgia’s main donor, Georgia businesses have received access to the EU market, and over 500,000 Georgians have travelled without a visa free to Schengen countries. More EU programmes are active in Georgia than ever before, with over 7000 students have taken part in university exchanges, or over 40,000 Georgian business having received support from the EU.
More on EU-Georgia cooperation here: https://bit.ly/2SKDbTm
In the past over 100,000 people have taken part in large scale Europe Day celebrations in Tbilisi and the regions. See the video about past events: https://we.tl/t-vKvcPqkdTR
This year to maintain this spirit, on May 9 the European Union Delegation to Georgia will launch a social and broadcasting media information campaign which you can follow here: https://www.facebook.com/EuropeanUnioninGeorgia
For more information, check this link: https://eeas.europa.eu/delegations/georgia/78916/eu-and-georgia-celebrate-europe-day-stronger-together_en