Today, May 9, the European Union celebrates Europe Day, marking the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration of 1950, setting-up a joint European authority to oversee production of coal and steel.
Since the birth of the European Communities in 1957, the citizens of our Member States have enjoyed over six decades of unprecedented peace, prosperity and security, after two catastrophic wars in Europe between 1914 and 1945 which left millions dead, and a continent devastated, divided and prostrated.
For countries that had long been at war, European integration has been the most successful peace project in our history, it is also a common story of prosperity, equality, well-being and sustainability, a shared success-story.
In the Gulf, the EU engages through the GCC but also bilaterally with each of its member states. Kuwait is a close strategic partner in the region. Kuwait is a vivid democracy and has a high degree of openness towards the world.
The Kuwaiti Parliament is unique in the region; it represents a mirror of the inclusiveness of a society which accepts religious and political pluralism. Kuwait also presents one of the most vibrant civil societies and media in the region.
Kuwait has also demonstrated its capacity to play a bridging role in the region; on Qatar, on GCC relations with Iran, on Iraq and on Yemen. Although these efforts are mostly on-going, Kuwait’s efforts for peace in the region need to be properly acknowledged.
The EU maintains excellent relations with Kuwait, not only at the bilateral but also at a regional and multilateral level. We hold regular political dialogue meetings at the highest level. Recently His Highness the Amir of Kuwait, Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah, warmly received the HR/VP in the margins of the meeting of the Ministers of the Global Coalition to defeat ISIS, held in Kuwait on 13/02.
The HRVP expressed her admiration for the work undertaken by the Amir and the role of Kuwait in the region, regarding the mediation efforts in the Gulf, on organizing the Iraq conferences but also on the important work undertaken on humanitarian issues. The Kuwait Fund has been an important factor in mobilizing humanitarian agencies in the region and beyond to address development and humanitarian challenges.
Both partners want to enhance their bilateral relations through the implementation of the EU-Kuwait Cooperation Arrangement, signed in July 2016. It was commonly decided that our priority areas of cooperation would be: a) economic cooperation, b) development cooperation and humanitarian aid, c) energy. We are currently working on these common goals.
There is a convergence of interests between the EU and Kuwait in the region and beyond. On Europe Day, I would like to reaffirm the EU’s eagerness to continue deepening its relationship with Kuwait not only with authorities but also on people to people dialogue.
By Ambassador Michele d’Urso Cervone
Head of EU delegation to the State of Kuwait