fbpx

65th Europe Day commemorated in Accra

BY: Joshua Bediako Koomson
Dominic Nitiwul, Minister of Defence, addressing the gathering. Picture: ERNEST KODZI
Dominic Nitiwul, Minister of Defence, addressing the gathering. Picture: ERNEST KODZI

The European Union (EU) has held a reception in Accra to commemorate the 65th Europe Day.

The event, which took place at the EU Ambassador’s Residence yesterday, was on the theme: “65 years of EU-Ghana partnership”.

It was attended by members of the diplomatic corps, ministers of state and other government officials; traditional rulers, civil society organisations, members of academia and some media persons.

There was also a picture exhibition chronicling some activities and interventions the EU had undertaken in the country, accompanied by live band music.

The Europe Day is held on May 9 each year to celebrate the peace and unity in Europe.

The day also marks the anniversary of a former President of the European Parliament, Robert Schuman’s declaration in 1950, proposing the formation of an economic partnership between France and Germany.

His vision was to create a union within Europe that would make it impossible for war to occur among European nations.

EU’s support

The EU Ambassador to Ghana, Irchad Razaaly, said the union had supported the country in its democratic dispensation, as well as the promotion of freedom, free speech and free media.

He said over the years, the EU had also supported the country towards the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, adding that the union was committed to extending same assistance for the realisation of the Sustainable Development Goals in the country.

Mr Razaaly said the demonstration of the strong and good relations between the EU and Ghana was evident in President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo’s visits to EU institutions in Brussels last year.

He also said the Commissioner for International Partnerships of the EU, Mrs Jutta Urpilainen, was recently in Accra to announce the union’s financial package of €203 million to the country for the next three years.

“Her visit is a reminder that even if the aggression of Russia against Ukraine is a major source of concern and priority to the EU, Africa and Ghana, in particular, will continue to be central EU partners at the global level,” the ambassador added.

Going forward, he said the EU and Ghana would focus on promoting green growth and jobs which would require the transition and behavioural change of citizens, consumers, as well as civil society groups and private companies.

As a member of the United Nations Security Council, Mr Razaaly said Ghana had been unequivocal in condemning ongoing Russia aggression against Ukraine.

He gave an assurance that the EU would continue to work with the government to strengthen and deepen democracy, stability and prosperity.

Commendation

The Minister of Defence, Mr Dominic Nitiwul, commended the EU for its consistent support to Ghana, especially during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic when the country benefited from doses of vaccine to control the spread of the disease.

He said the cooperation between Ghana and the EU dated back to the Lome One Convention of 1975 which was signed between the EU and Africa, Caribbean and Pacific member states.

Over the years, Mr Nitiwul said the relations had deepened through collaboration in many fields such as agriculture, health, education, budgetary support and water management.

The minister said this was also characterised by the high-level visits of President Akufo-Addo to the EU Parliament, the European Council and the European Investment Bank in 2021.

He said that had culminated in fruitful outcomes such as the €82.5 million support to strengthen the country’s healthcare sector, including the provision of specialised medical equipment under the COVID-19 health response plan.