/ 14 June 2024

Europe Day 2024 celebrations

Whatsapp Image 2024 06 16 At 6.43.08 Pm
Makhotso Sotyu, Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment with Ambassador Sandra Kramer of the EU.

The strong partnership between the EU and South Africa was affirmed

On 9 May 2024, the European Union in South Africa together with EU member states celebrated Europe Day. On arrival guests were able to peruse and indulge in flavours presented by 22 mouth-watering food stalls, representing various countries who comprise the European Union. 

EU Ambassador Sandra Kramer welcomed members of the diplomatic corp, dignitaries, distinguished guests and members of the EU to the new premises for the European Union in South Africa, which symbolises the strong partnership between the EU and South Africa.

Img 4827

The celebration was in essence a peace project with the motto “United in diversity” rooted in the belief that all men and women are equal. This peace project has for over 70 years delivered the longest, most stable and most prosperous period in European history. 

This year also celebrates the 35th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany, and that 20 years ago 10 European countries joined the European Union shortly after they had broken away from an invading force that tried to unsuccessfully impose its political, ideological and military force upon them. 

Today the European Union is a super-national union of 27 European member states, comprising 450 million people. It is also one of the world’s largest economic markets. The peace project is open to other European countries with whom they share a common commitment to freedom, rule of law, democracy and social and economic growth.

Kramer said: “Over the past two years the European Union has with open arms taken in nearly six million Ukrainian refugees.” 

The European Union remains year after year the biggest provider of official development assistance globally as well as humanitarian assistance. The European ideals of peace, solidarity and international cooperation are the bedrock that underpins the strategic partnership between the EU and South Africa.

Img 4793

Kramer concluded by dedicating this year’s celebration to the good health of President Cyril Ramaphosa and the people of South Africa, and the ever closer bonds between the EU and South Africa. 

Makhotso Sotyu, Deputy Minister of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment, representing the South African government, congratulated the European Union on the auspicious occasion. South Africa looks forward to hosting the 8th South African Europe summit on a mutually agreed date in the near future. 

The EU is South Africa’s largest trading partner; total trade increased since the trade agreement. Over the years the EU has been a major contributor to South Africa’s development agenda. The European Union funds towards health, education and science in South Africa. 

Sotyu said: “As we celebrate Europe Day we look forward to the continuation of the excellent relations between South Africa and the European Union,” and proposed a toast wishing the EU congratulations on the special occasion. 

The evening ended with Grammy Award winner and singer-songwriter Nomcebo Zikode, who wowed the audience with her performance of chart topper Jerusalema.