Wednesday, March 2, 2016

EU Day 2016-Student Meeting

Photo by Marta Schneider
By Raphaela Berding

On the morning of February 29, EU Day 2016, MAEUS and FLAS students had the chance to come together with His Excellency, Henne Schuwer, Ambassador of the Netherlands to the United States, the Head of the Economic Department Remco Zeeuw and the Consul General of the Netherlands, Klaas van der Tempel in an informal student meeting, and had the chance to talk to the Dutch diplomats before the Ambassador gave his keynote address.

The Ambassador of the Netherlands, representing the country that holds the presidency of the Council of the European Union, delivered the keynote speech for the 14th annual EU day, organized by the European Union Center. EU Day is celebrated annually in order to promote a better understanding between the peoples of the United States and the European Union.

Photo by Marta Schneider
The conversation with Ambassador Schuwer concerned the importance of a European identity. The Ambassador pointed out that in order to create a feeling of solidarity, which is especially significant regarding the current situation of the European Union, it is important to have a common identity. He cited Jean Monnet, founding father of the European Union, who said that “If I had to do it [the EU] again, I would begin with culture”, referring to the important role culture and identity plays in European integration.

For the MAEUS students it was a great experience to have an insightful conversation with the Dutch Ambassador and ask him about EU topics relevant to their interest.

Raphaela Berding is a first year MAEUS student at the European Union Center at the University of Illinois.  She also serves as a research assistant at the EUC. 

Marta Schneider is the Digital Communications Specialist at Illinois International.  For her position she is involved in website design, web content development, and social media management. 


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