Europe Day 2019 was a double celebration in Tel Aviv. The Delegation of the European Union to Israel hosted a special reception in the presence of President Reuven Rivlin and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai, which was followed by the ElectroVision festival, as part of the weeklong Eurovision festivities.
Representatives of the European Union member states and other guests enjoyed the private reception hosted by H.E. Ambassador Emanuele Giaufret, Head of the European Union Delegation, and Mrs. Min-Ja Masson at Charles Clore Park, adjacent to the area of the park where the concert was held.
President Rivlin addressed the audience on behalf of Israel, and noted that the Eurovision theme, “Dare to Dream,” could fit both the European Union and Israel. President Rivlin reminded the guests that although Israel and the EU share values and interests, this shouldn’t mean taking EU-Israel relations for granted. He expressed appreciation to Ambassador Giaufret for his role in bolstering cooperation in a range of fields from cyber-security and counter-terrorism to tourism and trade.
The president pointed out that Israelis and their neighbors in the region must learn from the example of the European Union. He described a world in which Israelis and Palestinians shared joint research and academic institutions, and called for taking steps to achieve such a dream in the European Union model. President Rivlin acknowledged that this would not be easy, but he emphasized that “peace isn’t made with paper. Ending conflict requires bringing people together.”
Ambassador Giaufret delighted the crowd by beginning his remarks with in Hebrew. After noting the historical roots of the European Union, the ambassador welcomed his guests, including President Rivlin and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai. Ambassador Giaufret emphasized that “united we are stronger”. Citing issues such as cybersecurity, climate change, and counter-terrorism, the ambassador stressed that cooperation was in the best interest of all countries, for regional and global peace and stability.
The ambassador also stressed the continued commitment of the EU to Israel’s security, as well as regional peace and stability. Recalling recent attacks on Israel, Ambassador Giaufret expressed the view of the European Union that the two state solution must be advanced as the path to a sustainable and secure future for Israel and its neighbors. In conclusion the ambassador thanked everyone in helping to make Eurovision in Israel a success, and called for greater Israeli-European cooperation going forward.
Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai expressed his delight that the Eurovision competition had come to Israel, and to Tel Aviv, thus bringing tourists from all over Europe to visit Israel. Mayor Huldai pointed out that the European Union was proof that peace is not only made with those we love, but sometimes we must put aside political differences for the sake of building a safer, more successful future together. He wished all of the Eurovision contestants the best of luck, but noted that the real winner was the growing ties between the people of Europe and Israel.
Following the speeches, the anthems of the European Union and Israel were played. Guests were then allowed to continue to a VIP section of the park to hear the ElectroVision performances. ElectroVision featured top contemporary electronic artists from European Member States. The acts were performed on large open-air stages overlooking the beautiful Tel Aviv beach, and included mesmerizing audio-visual LED shows. The performers included:
• Cid Rim - Austria
• Detroit Swindle - Netherlands
• Few Nolder – Lithuania
• Hellwana - Czech Republic
• Karpov Not Kasparov - Romania
• Pejzaz - Poland
• Symphony of Now - Germany
Diplomacy.co.il congratulates the European Union and its member states upon Europe Day 2019!
Photos by Silvia G. Golan