On the occasion of Europe Day 2018, the Delegation of the European Union to Israel hosted a gala celebration at the home of the EU Ambassador to Israel, H.E. Mr. Emanuele Giaufret, and his wife Min-ja, at his residence in Herzliya Pituach.
Ambassador Giaufret opened his remarks by observing the incredible growth in Israel since he had visited 10 years prior. He noted the dynamic physical and economic progress that Israel has been undergoing as positive signs for the future.
The ambassador listed several challenges that the European Union has faced in recent years--economic, demographic, security, political. But he observed that these challenges have resulted in a more resilient union. Observing the diversity of the populations of the European Union, Ambassador Giaufret said that this called for the EU and its members to display “compromise, trust and goodwill.” Looking to the future, the ambassador pointed out that regardless of what uncertainties might be faced, a united Europe will be better positioned to succeed than one divided.
A key point of unity identified by Ambassador Giaufret was unity of values, including a commitment to secure, pluralistic, liberal democracy. He noted that these values were shared with Israel as well, and reiterated the European hope to see an independent Palestinian state succeeding side by side a safe and secure Israel. To get there, the ambassador stressed the importance of diplomacy as the primary tool for communication and mutual success.
In a pre-recorded video message, European Union High Representative and Vice-President Federica Mogherini highlighted the need for European countries to pool their resources to best address global challenges. In her message, Mogherini highlighted the potential for advancing multilateralism, peace, sustainable development, free trade, human rights and democracy if European member states continue to work together.
Israeli Minister of Energy, Infrastructure and Water, Yuval Steinitz, addressed the audience on behalf of the Israeli government. Offering congratulations to Europe and the European Union, Minister Steinitz touched upon recent interactions with Iran and the Iranian nuclear deal. The minister mentioned that that Iran’s regional aspirations and actions posed a threat to Israel and many other states in the region, and thus to global peace and stability. He emphasized that Israel appreciated Europe’s support for its right to self-defense. He talked about the Iranian pursuit of nuclear weapons, and emphasized that diplomacy was needed to ensure that Iran would never resume that pursuit, for the sake of regional and global peace and stability. In closing, the minister returned to the topic of energy, pledging that in light of the recent finding and development of Mediterranean gas fields, Israel would be a stable future source of energy for Europe.
Following the speeches, the European Union and Israeli anthems were played, and guests enjoyed music and dinner at the ambassador’s residence.
The festive atmosphere was enhanced by blue and yellow floral arrangements, matching the EU colors.
Among the distinguished guests were Ambassador Meron Reuven, chief of protocol for the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mrs. Rodica Radian-Gordon, head of the Europe Division at the Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Chairman of the Israel-EU Chamber of Commerce Gad Proper; Ambassador Yitzhak Eldan, head of the Israeli Center for Young Leaders and the Israel School for Young Ambassadors, and numerous Israeli and foreign diplomats, business leaders, and members of the diplomatic corps.
Diplomacy.co.il wishes congratulations on Europe Day 2018.
Photos Silvia G Golan