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EU hosts dialogue on EAC integration today

8th May 2012
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The European Union will today hold a round table discussion in Dar es Salaam to project the way through which the EAC regional integration will play a beneficial role amongst member states.

Briefing journalists yesterday in Dar es Salaam at the official launch of the European Week, Ambassador Filiberto Ceriani Sebregondi, the head of EU delegation to Tanzania, said the discussion will focus on Regional

Integration and Trade: European Union and East African Community Perspectives.

At the discussion, which has been co-organized by the Department of Political Science and Public Administration of the University of Dar es Salaam, a list of panelists from the EU, the Tanzania government, East African Community and Tanzania Private Sector Foundation will offer more inputs to the dialogue.

Currently the EAC is struggling to have a common currency. According to Ambassador Sebregondi, the EAC, unlike other regional integrations, has been affected by endless conflicts pertaining to natural resources.

“Today we have officially unveiled the European Week; we will be celebrating the 2012 European year themed, 'Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations'.

While celebrating the European Week which kicked off yesterday and ends next Tuesday a series of activities are scheduled to take place, the envoy said.

Regarding this year’s theme, the ambassador said an ageing population was a global phenomenon occurring fast in low and middle-income countries.

“While ageing presents challenges to society, it also creates many opportunities…solidarity among generations is the key to overcoming socio-economic and global challenges like sustainability of social security systems, and preservation of natural resources.”

Giving a background to the founding of the EU and the European Week, the ambassador said on the 9th of May, the EU marks the symbolic date when Robert Schumann, former French Foreign Minister, put forward his ideas on a united Europe in an important speech that laid the foundation of today’s EU.

Ambassador Sebregondi continued that, Schumann’s vision was to pool basic production of coal and steel and instituting new common institutions that would lead to the creation of a European federation indispensable to the preservation of peace.

“The signature of the Treaty of Rome by the first six countries marked the start of an extraordinary history of European integration based on the values of peace, prosperity and dialogue…currently the union has stepped further from the momentary union to political integration projects,” he remarked.

In another development, the ambassador underlined the list of activities to be undertaken during the week as including a football match between EU officials and Members of Parliament to be held on Saturday, a cycling caravan (on Sunday), signing ceremony (on Friday), workshop for journalists (Friday), European Film Festival (on Tuesday) and an information session (Thursday).

He said however that European Day itself will be marked tomorrows, which will be the 62nd anniversary of the Schumann Declaration which gave birth to the European Union.

SOURCE: THE GUARDIAN
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