By Desire Tshuma
The European Union on Friday May 12 gathered at the EU residence in Harare in commemorating its 73 years of existence with representatives from all its 27 member countries, government of Zimbabwe, civil society organisations, political parties representatives and captains of industries in attendance.
It was on the 9th of May in 1950 when the pronouncement of Schuman Declaration marked the first step of this 73 year old peace project that was named European Union. This happened just few years after the second world war which resulted in over 50 million lives lost ,including fathers, brothers, young boys ,soldiers and entire families as civilian victims of war.
After the second world war tremendous effort was made to bring together leaders from European countries around the table to say let the bygones be bygones. They sat down and discussed on issues of unity , on this very important meetings, it required a lot of mutual respect and trust amongst them to ensure they rebuild their relationships. Former enemies became mutual friends through this engagements and trust was bestowed and they started rebuilding their relationships and their economies.
“EU is a peace project and it is not without reason that we received the Nobel Peace Prize in 2012 .Unfortunately in 2022 war returned to Europe with Russia aggression against Eukraine , threatening world order based on respect for sovereignty. It reminded us our past and emphasised the need for even greater unity, we are united in our diversity and we have been so for the past 73 years and today we are celebrating our founding values; peace , fundamental rights, freedom, democracy and rule of law and sovereignty ” said EU Ambassador Jobst von Kichman .
The EU Ambassador went further to say since he has been in Zimbabwe for the past eight months, he has witnessed first hand the depth and the richness of collaboration between EU and Zimbabwe. “We have made in trade and investment, supported the private sector and engaged in development cooperation as Team Europe aligned with the Zimbabwe National Development Strategy and this has been possible because of our shared values and interests ” added His Excellence EU Ambassador.
The EU village was officially opened by EU Ambassador and the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ambassador Frederick Shava. European Union village on its agenda includes all current challenging topics, exchange rates, macroeconomic stability, good governance and land issues. EU Ambassador commended the government for its leadership , strategies and plans the government is proposing to measure success according to international indicators that cover essential governance aspects such as democratic elections, civil society space, freedom of expression, assembly, association as well as impartiality of of the judiciary system to name a few.
The EU Ambassador concluded by saying, as Zimbabwe is heading for harmonised elections they are not going to interfere with the elections only what they will do is to support the Zimbabwe Electroral Commission by providing funds for the running of the elections. “Only Zimbabweans know what is best for Zimbabwe ” concluded Ambassador Jobst von Kichman.
TOP PIC: Foreign Affairs Minister Frederick Shava and EU Ambassador His Excellence Jobst von Kichman