Throughout Europe, 9th of May is being celebrated as the birthday of the European Union. On 9th of May 1950 French Foreign Minister Robert Schumann presented his declaration to put the coal and steel production of France and Germany under one high authority – this is considered as the foundation stone of what was then later to become the European Union – an area of peace, security and prosperity like Europe never experienced before.
Serbia is on its way to the European Union, and Europe Day is also being celebrated throughout Serbia in the year 2019 with a series of activities like concerts, sports activities, debates, and a “Grad Evrope” fair with EU member states presenting their national food and culture – demonstrating the EU moto “Unity in Diversity”.
All events will help launch the major campaign #EUzaTebe showcasing that while accession negotiations are on-going, the growing relationship between the European Union and Serbia is already delivering in Serbia:
- EU is Serbia’s number 1 investor: in the past 15 years, EU companies accounted for 75% of the Foreign Direct Investment into Serbia. These companies have created an estimated 200.000 jobs.
- EU is Serbia’s number 1 trade partner: 65% of Serbia’s’ trade is done with the EU. In the last 10 years, Serbian exports to the EU have tripled. This means more jobs and growth to Serbia every year.
- EU is Serbia’s number 1 provider of financial support: Serbia has received over 8 billion Euros from the EU budget, around 5 billion Euros were loans with most favourable rates from the European Investment Bank (EIB), while 3.3 billion Euros came as grants from the European Commission and will never have to be repaid.
And that creates direct impacts for citizens and businesses in Serbia in key sectors such as culture, energy, agriculture, environmental protection, education, support for civil society, transport and many other sectors.
Among the dozens of events organised in Serbia this month to celebrate Europe will feature two main events:
On 9 May, the Europe Day reception will be addressed by Ambassador Fabrizi, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia, and Aleksandar Vucic, President of the Republic of Serbia. It will be followed at 20.30 by a free concert in Kombank dvorana in Belgrade featuring the youth orchestra “Muzika Nade” performing together with the well-known Serbian and international artists such Bajaga i Instruktori, Vasil Hadzimanov, Pacho Flores, Johanna Sierralta.
“Muzika Nade” is a project which is being successfully implemented in Serbia for six years by the EU co-funded Music Art Project. The project has the goal to make music accessible to every child. So far, 650 children – students of elementary and music schools, as well as those who joined through Centres for social welfare, and over 30 professors who worked with them participated in this project.
The reception will also feature the #EUzaTebe photo exhibition illustrating examples of EU assistance to Serbia, and an exhibition of twelve high school students’ creative and innovative art works awarded within the Europa Diary contest announced in December last year. The topics of this contest which is a part of the Europa Diary 2018/2019 publication were as following: EU and I, EU and Serbia, protect our environment, healthy lifestyles, active citizens and prevention of violence. On May 11, on the premises of EU Info Centre in Belgrade, the Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Sem Fabrizi will present the awards to the winners of the Europa Diary contest. The awarded students and mentors will have an opportunity to travel to three EU countries, Croatia, Italy and Slovenia, in July.
On 11 May from 11.00 to 17.00, Square Nikola Pasic will host the fair Grad Evrope, an outdoor event open to all, from children to pensioners. This event will feature four separate activity zones. In the first one, visitors will have a chance to feel the culture, cuisine and history by visiting individual stands of 22 EU Member States. A stage will be set up, for visitors to experience Europe in its diversity, through music and compelling stage performances. A kid’s corner will have fun and educational activities for children. As Serbia will co-host this summer, with Latvia, the Women’s Eurobasket championship, Grad Evrope will also feature a basketball court where visitors can play and try their luck in a shooting competition to win exclusive prizes including a Serbian designed and produced bicycle.
Learn more about the #EUzaTEBE campaign on our websites: www.europa.rs and www.euinfo.rs, and on our social media accounts – Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. We invite you to join the discussion by using the hashtag #EUzaTEBE.
For a full list of events throughout the month of May click here.