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Georgia celebrates Europe Days

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, May 10
Rike Park in Tbilisi hosted the opening of Europe Days in Georgia on May 8. The event was organized by the Delegation of the European Union and the embassies of its member states to Georgia in conjunction with the Georgian government.

The celebrations featured a Euro-village with fun and games in the daytime and a live concert of Georgian and European stars.

Special tents were arranged where European Union (EU) countries showed their traditions and activities in Georgia and offered samples of European cuisine. During the day, there were cultural performances on the stage, as well as games and prizes for children.

At midday, Janos Herman, the Ambassador of the European Union to Georgia and the Ambassadors of European Union member states, addressed visitors to the Euro-village.

According to the Ambassador, this year’s celebration is special because Georgia also marks the 25th anniversary of the restoration of its independence.

“We have enjoyed close cooperation with the EU which recently resulted in our Association Agreement and economic integration, which we hope will be deepened. We look forward to visa-liberalization which will bring our peoples even closer. This day is not far off," said Janos Herman.

The State Minister for European and Euro-Atlantic Integration, Davit Bakradze, congratulated the citizens of all participant countries, and noted that Georgia will add diversity to Europe.

“We are celebrating Europe Days because Georgia is a European country and we can add more diversity to the diverse European culture and civilization,” said Bakradze.

President Giorgi Margvelashvili also attended the event. While delivering a speech, Margvelashvili underlined that 2016 had been declared the year of the European state in Georgia.

“Today we are taking new steps towards the creation of a European country. I see people who have vision and know what to do tomorrow; the country will unite its territories, not by war but by creating freedom,” the President stated.

The event in Rike Park was concluded by a free open-air concert, with the participation of National Ballet Sukhishvilebi, Georgian Eurovision stars Nino Sublatti and Eldrine, rock-band Niutone and Italian tenor Piero Mazzocchetti, who came to Georgia for this event and performed together with Georgian soprano Irina Taboridze.

In the evening, a special gala concert dedicated to Europe Days was held in Tbilisi Opera and Ballet State Theatre, which was attended by the Prime Minister Giorgi Kvirikashvili, President Margvelashvili and the First Lady as well, as the Parliament Speaker, various ministers, representatives of the diplomatic corps and executive and legislative branches of the government.

According to the Delegation of EU in Georgia, Europe Days will run until May 24. They are also being held to celebrate May 9 1950, when Robert Schuman, one of the founders of the EU, made a speech outlining his vision of uniting separate European states into a single community.

After opening in the capital, festivities will spread to the regions of Georgia for a vast programme of educational and entertainment events celebrating the unity of diverse cultures of the continent.