A Festival of Europe organized by the EU Delegation to Serbia was opened on Freedom Square in Novi Sad. EU member states, the Serbian Ministry of European Integration and the European Movement in Serbia are presented at the festival.
Opening the festival, Minister for European Integration Jadranka Joksimović said that Europe Day and Victory Day are inseparable.
“Europe Day is based on the freedom of the people of Europe. And we belong to the history of Europe with its turbulent past through the centuries”, said Joksimović.
Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Emanuel Giaufret said that he was pleased to be at Europe Day in Novi Sad.
“We decided to celebrate Europe Day in Novi Sad because this city is the European Capital of Culture. On this occasion, we are also offering an extremely rich cultural programme. One of the basic principles of Europe is unity in diversity”, said Giaufret.
The ceremony was attended by Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabić, who noted that Serbia and the Balkans are not the European periphery, as some like to say, nor the soft underbelly of the European Union nor the European antechamber.
“The fact that we are in Novi Sad today – the European Capital of Culture, the city that until recently was the Youth Capital of Europe, the city that is home to a European centre of excellence at the Biosens Institute – is just one of many indicators that Serbia is not a periphery but for centuries a politically, economically, socially and in its values an inseparable part of the European community”, said the Prime Minister.
She noted that the EU is Serbia’s most important political and trading partner.
“Europe is our past, Europe is our present, Europe is our future. We belong to the same family, we share the same values and we have a common future ahead of us. I congratulate all our citizens and all citizens of the European Union on Europe Day”, Brnabić concluded.
During the event, young European artists from Italy, North Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Albania were also presented. Their moving mural was created as part of the Visiting Artists initiative.
The end of the festival was reserved for concerts and the presentation of the Western Balkans Youth Orchestra, which gathers 60 young musicians from Serbia and the Western Balkans under the conductor Desar Sulejmani. They were joined on stage by special guests: Ivana Peters, Frajle, Ana Stanić, Zoe Kida, Bilja Krstić, Kiki Lesendrić i Stevan B. Karanac.
Photo: Tanjug, mei.gov.rs