EU Chambers Celebrated Europe Day 2023 on June 3, 2023 at the Crystal Room, The Taj Mahal Palace Mumbai
Europe Day is a day celebrating ‘peace and unity in Europe’ celebrated on 5 May by the Council of Europe and on 9 May by the European Union.
The first recognition of Europe Day was by the Council of Europe, introduced in 1964.The European Union later started to celebrate its own European Day in commemoration of the 1950 Schuman Declaration which first proposed the European Coal and Steel Community, leading it to be referred to by some as “Schuman Day” or “Day of the united Europe”. Both days are celebrated by displaying the Flag of Europe.
Mr. Peeyush Kaushik, President, EU Chamber welcomed all the dignitaries, diplomats and all the members of the Chambers. He welcomed Shri. Om Prakash Sakhlecha, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of MSME and Science & Technology, Govt. of Madhya Pradesh, Shri. Sudhir Mungantiwar, Hon’ble Minister, Ministry of Cultural affairs, Forest and Fisheries Govt. of Maharashtra and Ms. Anna Lekvall, Consul General, Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai.
He mentioned that India and EU are plural and diverse societies. As we celebrate Europe Day on May 9, we look back with satisfaction at the great strides made by the strategic partnership between the European Union (EU) and India over the years. The EU and India are plural and diverse societies. We believe in a cooperative approach to international relations, upholding the values and principles of the United Nations (UN) charter.
He said Based on our common belief in the rules-based system of international governance, the EU and India are working together to address global challenges, such as climate change or the pursuit of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). India’s G20 presidency offers a great opportunity to provide leadership in these difficult times and the European Union supports India’s ambitious objectives.
Later he highlighted the multifarious activities of the Chamber for the benefit of all the guests present.
Ms. Anna Lekvall, Consul General, Consulate General of Sweden in Mumbai spoke about Sweden’s Role since it’s in presidency. Initially she spoke about the history of Europe Day, how and why European Union started to celebrate Europe Day. The European Union and Europe have been struck by a very challenging situation, that is Russia Ukraine war. EU has been very united and committed towards Ukraine and continues to do so. As Sweden has took over, its most important agenda lies in security and Unity. Other priorities for Sweden are to focus on green transition and energy transition as we now see Indian companies, Indian institutes are taking leaps forward. There is a lot of discussion in EU delegation and in EU countries about this transition and how it can be beneficial to both the countries. There is a whole partnership going on and there is a lot of technological exchange between countries.
Democratic values and rule of law is our foundation. EU-India at large, its growing and has grown in strategic importance over the years, both share diverse plural and cooperative approaches. With many areas of Cooperation, digital economy is important and trade and technology council has also been created which would help in future for trade between two countries. EU as a block is one of India’s largest trading partners, investors and also more and more investment is coming from India to Europe. The negotiations for Free Trade Agreement have been relaunched and both sides have been realizing that an FTA would unleash the very vast full potential of the economic relations and really would be a game changer deepening the EU India relations. She mentioned that EU is also partnering and booming in the Indo Pacific forum. This regional cooperation holds great potential, holds about two-third of the regional growth and with the EU 70% of the Global trade.
She also mentioned that they are also increasing the presence in Mumbai now. Now there are 11 formal Consulates from EU in Mumbai, recently Finland has also started.
Shri. Om Prakash Sakhlecha, addressed the gathering. He mentioned that he really feels proud to be here
“Happiness should be one and we should feel the world is one”, saying this he started his address. He mentioned that recently he was going through some German documents, in that he found that they are looking for trained professionals. Germany is technologically efficient, but there is acute shortage of human resources and considering this they have signed an agreement to train 4 Lakh professionals per annum. So, through this we should understand that the world is one, and try to understand each other’s requirements and address the needs for the technology, development and peace of the world. And till the time we create the ecosystem between all the countries, nothing can grow. To grow we need to share the technology, Knowledge and also the resources. Todays biggest challenges are green energy, to be comfortable with not being dependent on one product and one country. We should have multiple access to multiple products and multiple countries.
Madhya Pradesh has one of the biggest forest areas and we were also one of the states with strongest mineral base when Chhattisgarh and Madhya Pradesh were together. He also spoke about how we should plan about coming challenges. He also emphasized on the fact that Madhya Pradesh has a lot of potential economically. Madhya Pradesh is one of the biggest lands for any kind of progress, if anybody is looking for industries to expand, we have best of the policies. He stressed on the point that, earlier we were having double digit growth only in agriculture, but from last two years we are having double digit growth in industry also.
Shri. Sudhir Mungantiwar, said India being the first country to establish the diplomatic relations with the European economic community. The Chambers like EU play a significant role in enriching ties between EU and India. For India EU is the second most trading partner. Even in the absence of FTA, EU is India’s third largest partner in trade. Later he congratulated the Chambers and gave his best wishes and said that this is the time we not only think about trade but also about other fields like culture, education and other fields where we can associate which each other.
He mentioned that 9th May is Europe Day, jokingly he said that if the number is nine everything is fine. When he was calculating the distance between EU and India, it is 6467 km, but after attending todays program I understand that this distance is geographically far off but through the relations between each other the distance will be 0 miles, this is what I believe. He said that we have come together for business but I understand that it cannot only be business for our togetherness but it should also be love for each other’s countries. When I asked Dr. Shome how many countries are there in EU she said 27 and in India 27 number is considered as very important. The reason behind this is because our country follows 27 nakshatras. I entail that with all these 27 countries, Maharashtra stands to increase the business.
He mentioned that Maharashtra is one of the marvelous states for investment. Then he asked everyone, today in the whole world what is more important? A big car, Flat, GDP, Platinum Jewelry…… No, in today’s world “happiness” is the most important. With happiness we need to also emphasize on our Mother Earth, which is important. We have only one earth which needs to be protected and cherished. We should act towards important matters like global warming, Climate change etc.
Raffle draw took place and many members got exciting prizes.
Later Dr. Shome proposed the Vote of Thanks. On behalf of the Chamber she thanked the dignitaries and all the diplomats who attended the event. She gave special thanks to all the sponsors without whom the event could not have been a great success.
The Event was concluded by an energetic dance performance.
The event saw a huge participation of Consul Generals of EU Member countries and Non-Member countries and senior representatives of European and Indian Companies.