NZ celebrates Europe Day 2014

NCRE’s Europe Day Celebration at University of Canterbury   

The National Centre for Research on Europe (NCRE), in collaboration with the European Union Centres Network, Alliance Francaise and Instituto Cervantes, hosted Europe Day celebrations held at the NZi3 building, at the University of Canterbury. 

Europe Day enabled a fostering of a collective European identity from this diversity of cultural expressions.

As such, the event aimed to celebrate the richness of European cultures and traditions and to acknowledge cultural proximity between Europe and New Zealand. The Europe day celebrations were successful in that it managed to be a platform for guests and attendees to understand the cultural values and significance of Europe and what having a European identity can contribute given Europe’s celebrated history and its current stellar cultural performance through education, scholarship, and research.

The event was hosted by NCRE’s Post-doctoral teaching Fellow, Dr. Serena Kelly and saw several key guests in attendance such as the University of Canterbury Deputy Vice Chancellors Dr. Steve Weaver and Dr. Hamish Cochrane, as well as National Advisor for Spanish from New Zealand’s Spanish Embassy, Mr. Pablo Mateu Garcia, each stressing on the multiplicity and uniqueness of European identity.                         

Guests were treated to Spanish tapas, French cheese and bread and New Zealand wine and lunch was served with a fusion of different European delicatessen including Italian cheese. 

This year’s Europe Day saw an orchestral ensemble of classical European music played by the chamber orchestra, Resonance Ensemble and Spanish flamenco dancing. The audience was truly international, including interns from Malaysia and students from the university, which served as a platform for cultural exchange between Europe and Asia-Pacific.

The Europe Day celebrations were a new experience for the interns, who were glad to explore and experience the European food, orchestral music, the Flamenco dance, the French, Germany and Spanish exhibitions and not forgetting European hospitality.

For Nurul Murni MD Saleh, the best part of this event was the announcement by Dr. Natalia Chaban as the winner of a 60-hour Spanish online course, offered by the Instituto Cervantes in Sydney.

Europe Day Breakfast in Auckland with EU Chargé d'affaire Michalis Rokas & PM Rt Hon John Key

On 1 May 2014, on behalf of the European Union Heads of Mission, the Delegation of the European Union to New Zealand hosted a breakfast at Auckland's Northern Club, as part of the commemoration of the 64th Europe Day, the 10th anniversary of EU Enlargement to Central and Eastern Europe and the tenth anniversary of the establishment of an EU Delegation in New Zealand.

There was an excellent turnout by 150 CEOs of European business affiliates and subsidiaries in New Zealand along with European Trade Commissioners. The guest of honour, PM John Key, and EU Chargé d'Affaires, Michalis Rokas, addressed the two sides' on-going efforts to improve bilateral relations by concluding negotiations for the Partnership Agreement on Relations and Cooperation (PARC) and by considering enhanced cooperation on trade and investment. 

See the EU-NZ Delegation website for more of the highlights.