State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie made a key remark on the celebration of Europe Day which was held at the Africa Hall of the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa. The day marks a key milestone of celebrating peace and unity in Europe. On this day, 9 May 1950, the Schuman Declaration was presented by French foreign minister Robert Schuman, which proposed the creation of a European Coal and Steel Community, whose members would pool coal and steel production. The ECSC was therefore the first of a series of supranational European institutions that would ultimately become today’s “European Union”. Te event brought an initiative to form a new policy of co-operation in Europe, which was meant to make the idea of a war between European nations, implausible.
On the occasion of this year’s celebration of Europe Day, The European Union Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ambassador Chantal Hebert said EU’s partnership with Ethiopia and Africa was based on shared values on common concerns and aspirations. The Ambassador further added, “In Africa we are an important trading partner, a reliable investor, a generous donor of humanitarian and development aid, and a loyal ally in a fight against mutual concern”.
State Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Taye Atske-selassie on his part congratulated the EU delegation office and all EU Member States on this key occasion. Ambassador Taye said, “The European Union has made its own substantial contributions to the progress so far registered in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is one of the largest beneficiaries of the European Development Fund and the EU remains also by far Ethiopia’s most important trading partner.” He pointed out that Ethiopia’s exports to the EU represent 43% of the country’s worldwide exports. According to the State Minister, the number of jobs generated by the 300 or so EU companies active in Ethiopia is estimated at over 100,000. This he said was a very successful, generous, indeed unique cooperation.
Ambassador Taye also expressed his hope that the EU-Ethiopia partnership will further be bolstered. Ethiopia, and Africa as a whole, can learn a lot from the successful experience of the European Union’s integration process and from observing how the EU has tackled the many challenges it has faced at different stages of its development, he added.