May has been always an important month, marked by Europe Day celebrations. This year has been even more important as the European Union also celebrated the 70th anniversary of the Schuman Declaration which represented the ground for the European Union project. And that project, from the beginning, has been based on the values of solidarity, openness, freedom, and respect for the rule of law. The momentum created by the six founding members has over the past decades drawn in almost the entire European continent, leading to a Union of now 27 member states and 450 million people.
But because of the pandemic, this year has been unique, and we celebrated the EU values behind closed doors, but still with opened hearts. With all the activities moved online, the solidarity among people mentioned by Shuman has been nowadays more visible than ever.
To win the race against COVID-19 and to mitigate the terrible impacts that it is having on our life, our economy, our societies, the European Commission has organized, a virtual pledging conference to mobilize financial resources in order to kick start the global cooperation to develop and deploy diagnostics, treatments and a vaccine which are affordable and accessible to all. The conference has been a real success and has resulted in a total pledge of 7.4 billion euros from donors around the world.
And coming to our region here, the European Council approved conclusions on the Eastern Partnership policy beyond 2020, reaffirming its strategic importance, and the joint commitment to building a common area of shared democracy, prosperity and stability. Moreover, it adopted a decision to provide up to 3 billion euros of macro-financial assistance to ten enlargement and neighbourhood partners to help them cope with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, even different than in the previous years, May, proved to be a month full of events and we were together like never before.
“Even if the outbreak of COVID-19 have profoundly changed our plans, we are happy to see that you’ve enjoyed the online film festivals, concerts, quizzes, contests, as well as the interesting facts and information about EU projects we shared on our social media platforms. Together we managed to prove that distance was not an obstacle when we had some many online events and interactive activities to bring us closer. With the hope that we will celebrate next year in person, I would like to thank you for joining us in celebrating the Europe Day during this month. We are happy to see you care about EU!”, noted Slawomir Pichor, the Head of the European Union Mission to Moldova and Ukraine.