On 9th May 2023, in Luxembourg citizens and visitors celebrated the Europe Day. Luxembourg is the only EU country so far to have declared Europe Day a public holiday. As Honorary Consul of Ukraine I am happy that from now on, 9 May will be celebrated in Ukraine as well.
As European Commision’s President von der Leyen visited Kyiv to meet President Zelenskyy on that day and as the Ukrainian flag was raised in Brussels in front of the European headquarters, Ukrainians could join Luxembourg to celebrate our European dream and values together.
It was my pleasure to join the Europe festival on Place de l’Europe at Kirchberg, invited by the City of Luxembourg and the European Commission and to assist at the the opening by the head of the EU Commission Representation in Luxembourg, Anne Calteux.
The official part of the celebration was attended by almost all Luxembourg EU parliamentarians, Luxembourg EU Commissioner Nicolas Schmit, chamber of deputies’ President Fernand Etgen, as well as Prime Minister Xavier Bettel and other members of the government. Grand Duke Henri cut the holiday cake that was distributed to the festival visitors.
“Only through unity and solidarity are we able to maintain the European project built on our common values”, Luxembourg’s Primeminister Xavier Bettel recently stated in the European Parliament. In their respective contributions, the speakers repeatedly referred to European values and the Russian war of aggression raging in Ukraine.
On this day, it is "important to remember" the values that make up the European Union, said Chamber President Etgen, for example. The Vice-President of the European Parliament, Marc Angel, called for continued unity in the EU in the face of the Russian war of aggression, as well as "unwavering support for Ukraine."
In the evening of the same day, I was thrilled to listen to Beethoven's 9th symphony at the sold-out Philharmonic Hall, where the Luxembourg for Peace Orchestra and the Chœur de Chambre de Luxembourg, featuring four soloists, performed the composer’s final masterpiece in aid of victims of the war in Ukraine. Charles Goerens, Member of the European Parliament emphasized the European spirit of the people of Ukraine in his speech and reminded us of what unites us and for what we have to stand up.