EUROPE DAY MESSAGE BY SYLVESTRE RADEGONDE, MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND TOURISM OF THE REPUBLIC OF SEYCHELLES
This year’s Europe Day commemorates the 72nd anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, whichled to the conception of the European Union. The common principles and values that underlie the very foundation and existence of the European Union are grounded in freedom, democracy, equality and the rule of law, promoting peace and stability.
More than ever, those principles and values hold true today, as they urge us to find common ground in the midst of the world’s most pressing crises.
The focus of this year’s EU Day is ‘Engaging Young People in the context of the European Year of Youth’, a theme that highlights the significance of actively engaging youth in the creation of a better, greener, more inclusive and digitalised future. It offers an opportunity for the youth to learn, network and share their vision throughout Europe and beyond, but also to reflect on the meaning of peace, cooperation and solidarity.
On behalf of the Government and people of Seychelles, I would like to extend our gratitude to the European Union for its continued dynamic support and valuable partnership. This year will mark 45 years of cooperation between the Republic of Seychelles and the European Union, testament to a multi-faceted and fruitful partnership. The relationship between Seychelles and the European Union is one founded on shared values and a commitment to continuous and constructive collaboration. In spite of the ongoing pandemic and other events of grave concern and preoccupation, the support of the EU to Seychelles has been, and continues to be, unwavering.
The EU has played and continues to play a vital role in the region, forming long-term partnerships that adhere to the principles of democracy and human rights, resulting in long-lasting peace, stability, and equitable growth. In this regard, we look forward to maintaining and enhancing our close ties with the European Union Delegation based in Mauritius.
Our 45 years of partnership have been one of vast and multi-faceted cooperation in important sectors like fisheries, maritime security, education, climate change, environment, energy and economic reform, to name but a few. New initiatives such as the Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument (NDICI) will serve as the new financing tool replacing the European Development Fund (EDF) to contribute to eradicating poverty and promoting sustainable development, prosperity, peace and stability, which is in line with Seychelles’ objectives.
Despite Seychelles’ high-income status, the European Union Delegation managed to secure an NDICI envelope for Seychelles as a Technical Cooperation Facility (TCF), for which we are appreciative. The envelope will be of added benefit for Seychelles, with our commitment that the funds available therefrom will be judiciously utilised, based on this Government’s adherence to the principles of good governance, the rule of law, transparency and accountability.
Together we have exemplified our commitment towards achieving our common goals within the boundaries of a well-balanced, productive, and long-lasting partnership, and it is without doubt that this will continue to yield fruitful outcomes for both sides.
I wish every European a happy Europe Day!