Europe Festival opens in Taipei to show solidarity with Ukraine

Taipei, May 7 (CNA) The annual Europe Festival commemorating “Europe Day” opened in Taipei on Saturday with a special focus on solidarity with the Ukrainian people.

“Today, more than ever, it is time to appreciate the values ​​that have formed the European Union”, such as equality, freedom, human dignity and solidarity, said Filip Grzegorzewski, head of the European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) in Taiwan. during an opening ceremony.

The EU condemns in the strongest terms Russia’s unprovoked and unjustified invasion of Ukraine, Grzegorzewski said, adding that the aggression has left thousands dead and millions displaced.

“We stand firmly with Ukraine and its people, and [as we] celebrating Europe Day today, we can’t do it without thinking and showing our solidarity with Ukraine,” the EU representative in Taiwan said.

Grzegorzewski also thanked Taiwan for joining forces with the international community to provide aid and support to Ukraine while imposing sanctions on Russia and its ally Belarus.

Taiwan’s efforts have shown that it “stands[s] with the Europeans, with Ukraine” in the face of the current crisis, he added.

Speaking to CNA on Saturday, Italy’s representative to Taiwan, Davide Giglio, shared similar views, saying Taiwan’s response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine that began Feb. 24 was completely in line with the ‘Europe.

“We share the same kind of condemnation of Russian activities,” Giglio said, adding that the Taiwanese side’s support for Ukraine and its neighboring countries was “very remarkable” given the geographical scope of the war.

Taiwan and the EU share core values ​​and have been moving in the same direction for a long time, Giglio said. He added that the current crisis could allow the two sides to find an opportunity to “come together”.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said during the opening that Taiwan “stands ready to intensify all cooperation and explore new opportunities” with Europe.

In addition to joining the international community in condemning and sanctioning Russia, Taiwan announced on Friday that it would also impose sanctions on Belarus, Wu said.

“I think it’s the right thing to do…we are very happy to be able to do this, together with Europe,” Wu said, although he previously acknowledged that bilateral trade between Taiwan and Belarus is not was not important.

“As a force for good, Taiwan will continue to work in solidarity with Europe and all democratic partners to protect the values ​​and way of life we ​​share and cherish,” Wu said. challenges we will face in the years to come, I am confident that we will all emerge stronger and more united than ever.”

The two-day festival, held in the northern grasslands of Huashan Creative Park, showcases European foods, products and cultural activities that allow visitors to experience Europe without having to travel overseas, the government said. EETO.

In addition, a special “charity” stand was set up this year to raise funds for initiatives that support Ukraine, by selling Ukrainian specialties, crafts and offering workshops.

Proceeds from the charity stand will be donated to a humanitarian fund launched by the United Nations, EETO said.

The annual festival is a celebration of “Europe Day”, which is celebrated on May 9 every year. The date marks the anniversary of a European peace project proposed by former French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman on May 9, 1950, his plan which gave birth to what is now the European Union, according to the EETO.