The Lehendakari presides over a ceremony to mark Europe Day
One hundred people attended the meeting at the Lehendakaritza including, among others, young ERASMUS students currently studying at Basque Universities
The Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, presided over the ceremony to celebrate Europe Day, held this afternoon at the Lehendakaritza. The event highlighted the importance of the participation of young people in Europe and guests included a number of ERASMUS students currently studying at Basque Universities. The Lehendakari emphasised the European outlook of the Basque people and demanded a greater "presence for the Basque Country in the EU" to improve its economic situation. This is in view of the fact that the Basque Country is "little by little" seeing an end to the crisis, but also in order to secure the EU's "help in the necessary defence of human rights and the outlawing of terrorism". This afternoon, the Lehendakari demanded the collaboration of the EU in order to put an end to ETA, "the last stronghold of terrorist violence" in Europe.
The Lehendakari, Patxi Lopez, demanded a greater "presence for the Basque Country in the EU" in order to become a region "that contributes its possibilities and potential for its development and well-being". At a ceremony organised at the Lehendakaritza on the occasion of Europe Day, the Lehendakari emphasised the European outlook of the Basque people, which takes the form of a wish to "take part in the construction of Europe" but from a position of "cooperation". "There are those who in their desire to secure a leading role have ceased to participate in some community structures. We believe that the interests of the Basque Country are defended better from a position of cooperation", he underlined.
In the courtyard of the Lehendakaritza, the Lehendakari decided over the ceremony to commemorate Europe Day before 100 guests including ERASMUS students currently studying at Basque Universities, members of the Basque European Information Network, REVIE, the Basque European Movement Council and the European Agency for Health and Safety in the Workplace. Besides the Lehendakari, other personalities taking part in the event included Guillermo Echenique, General Secretary for Foreign Action, Irune Aguirrezabal, Director for the European Union and Coordination of Foreign Action and Susana del Río, PhD in Political Sciences and expert in the participation of civil society and European communications.
In his speech, the Lehendakari highlighted the role of his government in the defence of the interests of Euro-regions, such as the European budget review document for its lack of regional focus and its efforts, together with Normandy, to put into motion a EU Strategy for the Atlantic Arc, which Lopez hopes "will be passed shortly by the European Council".
Lopez pointed out that the main value of the Basque Country are its "people". This is in view of the fact that as the Basque Country is a small region, "its human capital is what makes our economy develop and our companies grow", and is helping to put an end to the crisis "little by little". According to the Lehendakari, for this reason, the Basque Country requires the support of the EU to secure greater investments in R&D&I and to promote the connection of its railway systems with Europe through the High-Speed Train. "We want the Basque Country to be in Europe and Europe to be in the Basque Country", he added.
Lastly, the Lehendakari encouraged the young Europeans present at the ceremony to act as "ambassadors" of the "real Basque Country" and to convey to those living outside its frontiers "an image of a modern, progressive, competitive, compassionate Basque Country that rejects violence", he concluded.