An international Europe Day Celebration takes place on Thursday, May 9, 19.30, in the Patriarchal Palace, Bucharest, with keynote speaker Dr. Teodor Baconschi – former Romanian Minister of Foreign Affairs and ex-ambassador to the Vatican, France and Portugal – and the Sonore Chamber Quartet. Entrance is free and all are welcome.
The celebration precedes an all-day State of Europe Forum in the Parliamentary Palace on Friday, May 10, an annual event held around Europe Day since 2011, in the capital of the country holding the EU presidency. The forum is organised by the Schuman Centre for European Studies to evaluate the state of Europe today in the light of the vision of Founding Father Robert Schuman for Europe as ‘a community of peoples deeply rooted in basic Christian values’.
At the Europe Day Celebration, Dr Baconschi will address the question: ‘Can our Christian heritage still inspire the European project today?’.
Pr Ionut Mavrichi, representing Patriarch Daniel, will converse with forum convenor Jeff Fountain of the Schuman Centre about the role of the Nicene Creed in shaping Europe’s history. Articulating the common faith embraced by both Eastern and Western Europeans in the first millennium, the creed became the occasion for the Great Schism between East and West lasting nine hundred years, with long-term consequences.
During Friday’s forum for registered participants, experts from Romania and Europe will dialogue in plenaries and seminars on issues facing European today including:
• What common heritage does East and West share in Europe today?
• How can East and West better listen and understand each other?
• What are the challenges, internal and external, regarding security, rising populism and migration?
• What is the future of Europe in the light of Brexit on the one hand and expansion towards the east on the other?
A special ‘Schuman for Kids’ programme involving school chidren from Cluj-Napoca will focus on the launching of the Romanian translation of a children’s book about Robert Schuman, Father of Europe. Dutch co-author Dr. Margriet Krijtenberg will present the book to the children and parliamentary representative Florica Chereches will talk with them about the world of politics.
The closing session of the forum will feature Sever Voinescu interviewing invited guests following the “Europa Christiana” televison show format, followed by the inaugural presentation of the Schuman Award for the promotion of Schuman’s vision for the future of Europe.
• May 10, 9am – 7pm: Parliamentary Palace – State of Europe Forum for registered participants