For this year’s celebration of Europe Day in Malaysia, it features a a show of colours displayed at Pintasan Saloma while kickstarting the European Year of Youth for 2022.
Drawing on the symbolism of unity behind Saloma Bridge, the EU Delegation chose this site to mark this year’s Europe Day, representing the deep bond shared by Malaysia and the EU. The strong bilateral relations have made Malaysia the EU’s second largest trade partner in Southeast Asia, whilst the EU is Malaysia’s fifth largest trading partner.
The EU Ambassador to Malaysia, His Excellency Michalis Rokas, said, “This event signifies the continuous partnership between the European Union and Malaysia, based on shared values and principles such as the rules-based international order, effective and sustainable multilateralism, and free and fair trade. In this sense, Europe Day is an excellent opportunity to reflect on new areas of cooperation which will be beneficial to Malaysians and Europeans alike.”
Striving to give young people more and better opportunities for the future, the theme for this year, “European Year of Youth”, intends to address the issues that mostly affect them such as equality, inclusivity, and sustainability. The aim is to encourage and work together with youths to become active citizens and actors of positive change in their personal and professional developments.
“With the ‘European Year of Youth’, we want to create new pathways and opportunities for young people. The youth is our future. There is no better time than now to reiterate the importance of EU and Malaysia’s partnership to work with youth to encourage their participation in democratic life, to promote critical thinking and taking initiatives, to empower women and girls’ participation in civic engagement, and to fight together against climate change with sustainable solutions, where the future of youths is especially affected,” Rokas added.
To celebrate Europe Day and commemorate the longstanding relationship between Malaysia and the EU, Ambassadors and representatives of the EU and its Member States, including H.E. Michalis Rokas, were present at the Saloma Bridge light display of the iconic circle of 12 stars on a blue background of the EU flag. This signifies the celebration of peace and unity in Europe since 1950 and demonstrates EU as a trusted and strong partner to Malaysia in various aspects of sustainability, environment, security, and education.
The Ukrainian flag was also featured on the Saloma Bridge as a symbol of the EU’s solidarity with its people amid the current Russian aggression against Ukraine. This sentiment echoes the spirit of the Schuman Declaration made on 9 May 1950, leading to the EU as a peace project. The Ambassador of Ukraine to Malaysia, H.E. Olexander Nechytaylo, joined the ceremony at Saloma Bridge.
This year marks the 72nd anniversary of the ‘Schuman Declaration’. The declaration traces back to 9 May 1950 in Paris, when the French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman called on European nations to unite in the wake of the devastation of Second World War. Schuman’s visionary idea set the wheels of European integration in motion and led to the birth of the European Union (EU) as we know it today: a force for peace, unity, and solidarity in Europe and beyond.
Every year on 9 May we celebrate this date as ‘Europe Day’. Every year in May, the EU institutions in Europe as well as its offices all over the world organise a variety of activities for all ages to celebrate Europe Day.