On 9 May, Europe Day will be celebrated for the eleventh year since Latvia joined the European Union. This year, a new tradition is being introduced – an Open Doors Day at institutions related to Europe. The Latvian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Commission Representation, the European Parliament Information Office, and the Embassies of EU Member States invite people to celebrate Europe Day together, and to open their doors to the public on 9 May from 11.00 to 15.00.
Europe Day at the Foreign Ministry will be launched by the Parliamentary State Secretary for EU Affairs, Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica. The opening event will be live-streamed on the Foreign Ministry website at www.mfa.gov.lv. Zanda Kalniņa-Lukaševica will also congratulate Mārtiņš Sils and Andžs Ūbelis, who have just returned from an expedition across Africa on their motorcycles. The two travellers will report on how, when crossing 13 African countries, they reached the goals set for them by students in a competition entitled “Discover Africa for Me!” For more information, see: https://on.fb.me/1DS8nhn.
The launching of Europe Day will also be attended by the Ambassador of Lithuania, Ričardas Degutis, who will open an exhibition entitled “Independent Stories” (Neatkarīgais skatījums) featuring unique depictions of 28 EU Member State flags created by Lithuanian artists. Also making presentations at the opening are the Head of the European Commission Representation, Inna Šteinbuka, and the Head of the Europe Movement in Latvia, Andris Gobiņš.
The Open Doors Day at the Latvian Foreign Ministry will also feature a meeting with popular people pursuing creative careers in Latvia who are acting as goodwill ambassadors of the European Year for Development. The musician Kārlis Kazāks, and the journalists Sandijs Semjonovs, Kārlis Lesiņš and Dāvis Landorfs will share their experiences of expeditions to Sri Lanka, Malawi, Guinea Bissau and other exotic countries involved in development cooperation. The first public screening with scenes from their most recent films and documentaries will also take place.
Those interested in history will enjoy an exhibition produced by Foreign Ministry experts and their presentation about Zigfrīds Anna Meierovics, Latvia’s first Foreign Minister, and the history of the diplomatic service. A room named in honour of the renowned statesman and diplomat, Kārlis Zariņš, with its collection of historic objects and documents will also be open, and this will be a rare opportunity to view it.
A recently arranged touring exhibition on the results of Latvia’s development cooperation will illustrate Latvia’s involvement and contribution to the EU’s international policies. Officials from the Consular Department will inform visitors about receiving assistance from the Foreign Service, and about the Travel Safe mobile App and avoidance of risks while travelling abroad.
The Representation of the European Commission in Latvia and the European Parliament Information Office in Latvia will offer visitors creative and entertaining activities at the Europe House (Eiropas māja). A creative workshop, The “Trip of Musical Instruments”, will be organised for kids. To test knowledge about the EU, there will be a quiz with prizes for the best results. In addition, the visitors will have an opportunity to present their vision of Europe on special postcards that will later be presented to the official guests of the Latvian Presidency of the EU Council to send home from Riga. Adults and kids will assemble an EU map puzzle, and play a guessing game about traditional foods, cities and famous people from EU Member States.
The Embassies of Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Lithuania and Sweden (see the locations here: https://www.mfa.gov.lv/images/sampledata/Lielais_half.png) invite the public to visit on 9 May to learn interesting and useful information about their countries. This will be an exceptional opportunity to visit territories of other states, without leaving Latvia. Every Embassy has prepared something special for its visitors. There will be exhibitions on specific themes, demonstrations of documentary and feature films, opportunities to receive information on educational opportunities and academic exchange programmes, performances by popular music groups, and tasting of traditional foods. Staff at the embassies will also be available to answer visitors’ questions, and guests at the Swedish and Estonian embassies will have the chance to meet the Ambassadors from these countries in person.
On 9 May 1950 in Paris, French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman, being aware of the threat of a possible third world war, delivered a declaration to the international press urging France, Germany and other European countries to pool their coal and steel production, thus laying the first cornerstone in the establishment of the European Union. Robert Schuman proposed that a supranational European authority be established that could supervise the steel and coal sector, which was the basis for the entire military power at that time. The countries he addressed had all but destroyed themselves in a terrible conflict, which had left behind material and moral devastation. This day saw the birth of the European project. Therefore, the EU Heads of State Government at their summit in Milan in 1985 made a decision that 9 May would be celebrated as Europe Day. Each year in May, Europe Day is marked across Europe, including Latvia, when government agencies, non-governmental organisations, EU institutions and EU Member State embassies inform the general public about the EU and Latvia’s EU membership, introduce the those who have gathered to issues of current relevance, present Latvia’s cultural and linguistic diversity and various opportunities offered by the EU to the residents of Latvia.
Important. Visitors will be requested to present their IDs (a passport, an ID card or a driver’s licence) upon arrival at the Latvian Foreign Ministry’s Open Doors Day.
A detailed programme is accessible here: https://www.mfa.gov.lv/images/sampledata/Lielais_buklets.jpg
For the attention of the media
Members of the media are warmly welcome to attend the open doors events. Pleases show proof of identity (a press card, a passport, an ID card or a driver’s licence).
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