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Message for 2018’s Europe Day

«Current translation pending review – For demonstration only».

May 9: Europe Day. A day to set up many television and not just panels, write endless articles, hold meetings and events across Europe and have countless discussions on the challenges and the future of the European Union. And how can this not be a concern for Union citizens, as Europe struggles to recover from a multi-year economic and institutional crisis, confronts the very purpose of social cohesion, faced with Brexit, the intention for the independence of Scotland and Catalonia in a fluid environment around which it is called upon to handle enormous challenges such as climate change, the Trump administration’s power vacuum, developments in the South East EU and more.

And it is precisely these challenges that have concerned not only political scientists and European policy experts, but also EU citizens who have been divided into advocates of United Europe and Eurosceptics. However, a number of EU actions and initiatives on the economy and business, social Europe, health and food safety, culture, technology and regional policy mitigate the situation and have a long-term impact with multiple benefits for the citizens.

On technology and social policy, the European Commission has adopted new initiatives to deepen cooperation in the digital field, in particular to improve the basic competences and digital skills of European citizens, with a view to reducing socio-economic disparities and enhancing them competitiveness and social cohesion, combating the rise of populism, xenophobia, divisive nationalism and the spread of false news.

Also encouraging are the developments for new entrepreneurs with the EU being positive about a single license for innovative startups. In particular, the Commission is considering a pan-European regulatory framework allowing financial services technology companies to operate throughout Europe without the bureaucratic delays.

In addition, the proclamation of 2018 as European Year of Cultural Heritage, and the plethora of events taking place throughout Europe, aim to enable citizens to get to know their common cultural heritage better and to participate more actively in conservation of. Through literature, art, tradition, flavors, narratives and films, Europeans will be able to discover the diversity of this heritage and enrich their knowledge of something so fundamental to their identity.

Keeping in mind all of this, the biggest challenge for Europe today is to start celebrating this day as a hint for the future, our common European future.

Magdalene Tsourdiou

for the House of Europe in Rhodes