Europe Day 2021: A special message from the Ambassadors

Europe Day 2021: A special message from the Ambassadors
May 15 13:43 2021

The History
On 9th of May we celebrate Europe Day. This day commemorates the Schuman Declaration that started the process of European integration. This happened in 1950 only five years after the devastation of the second world war. – H.E Mr Timo Olkkonen, Ambassador EU Delagation to Zimbabwe.

The European integration has been a story of growing peace and prosperity. It put an end to conflict between countries that had been at war with each other intermittently over the past 1500 years. For this achievement the European Union received the Nobel Prize in 2012. – H.E Mrs Barbara Maria Van Hellemond, Ambassador of Netherlands to Zimbabwe

The European integration took place simultaneously with African countries gaining independence. Soon after 1980 the then European Economic Community established relations with Zimbabwe and we have been partners in development ever since. – H.E. Mr Carlo Perrotta Ambassador of Italy to Zimbabwe

EU- Zimbabwe support
Over the past seven years the EU support to Zimbabwe primarily in sectors of health, governance and agriculture amounted to more than US $400 million. In addition we provided in excess of US $70 million in humanitarian aid to combat droughts, pandemics and address the consequences of tropical cyclones and to this figure we need to add the direct aid of several EU member states. – H.E Mr Santiago Gomez Acebo, Ambassador of Spain

COVID Interventions
The EU have also been supporting Zimbabwe in its fight against the COVID pandemic mainly through our overall support to the health sector and also with humanitarian aid. The European Union and its member states are the largest supporter of the COVAX facility which facilitates supply of vaccines to the developing countries around the world and is also available to Zimbabwe. – H.E Mr Miguel De Calheiros Velozo, Ambassador of Portugal

A look at EU Multiannual Financial Framework
The year of 2021 is an important one as the EU multiannual financial framework is coming to an end. In recent months we have been busy planning for a future cooperation in developing countries around the world and here in Zimbabwe. There is still work to be done but later this year we will be able to present our new cooperation framework. – H.E. Mrs Asa Pehrson, Ambassador of Sweden

Under the new framework, the European Union and its member states will be working even more closely together to effect positive change in Zimbabwe and in other developing countries. We will do this under the banner of team Europe. Green growth and gender equality will be areas where we will especially pull our forces together. – H.E Mr Loukas Karatsolis, Ambassador of Greece.

The EU market
The European Union is through its single market the world’s third largest economy. In 2012, Zimbabwe was the first country in the continent to sign a free trade agreement within regional Eastern and Southern Africa Economic Partnership Agreement with the European Union. This treaty guarantees free access of Zimbabwean produce to the European market. – H.E Mr Laurent Chevallier, Ambassador of France

We idealise level to expand trade between Zimbabwe and EU. There are positive trends in exports to Europe for example horticultural produce. We are currently in negotiations to expand the coverage of the economic partnership agreement to include trade and trade relates issues such as services and procurement. This would mean more opportunities and economic engagement between and Zimbabwe. – H.E. Mr Udo Volz, Ambassador of Germany

Political Relations
There is no denying that Zimbabwe and the European Union have different views on a number of political issues such as human rights. We aim to discuss these issues and the whole spectrum of the EU Zimbabwe relations constructively in a formal political dialogue following the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement. That agreement will go to its end this year but the EU and its member states, the African, Caribean and Pacific states have recently agreed on a new agreement to follow Cotonou one. – Dr Alexandru Irimia, Ambassador of Romania

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