Like every year the month of May starts with celebrating the two commemorative Europe Days on 5 May (Council of Europe) and 9 May (European Union). Also in 2024, the Department for Legal Studies and International Relations and the European Documentation Centre (EDC) Krems contribute to several events being held on these occasions in a year with high significance for Europe’s future.

This year’s Europe Day event by the Province of Lower Austria takes place in the Sparkassensaal in Wiener Neustadt on Monday 6 May from 17:30h and is organised by Europe Direct Lower Austria and Europa-Forum Wachau. Under the title „Invest in Europe“ and together with Provincial Governor Johanna Mikl-Leitner, experts from business and academia will discuss the question of necessary investments to make the European Union fit for the future. Also in 2024, this festive event will be held in cooperation with the University for Continuing Education Krems and will comprise a keynote speech by Prof. MMag. Dr. Daniel Varro, LL.M, University Professor for Tax Law and Sustainable Tax Policy at the Department for Legal Studies and International Relations, giving an outlook on Europe’s future.

On the occasion of the Council of Europe’s Europe Day on 5 May, marking this year the 75th anniversary of the founding conference in 1949 of the thus oldest political organisation of European states, MMag.a Susanne Fraczek, Operative Head of the EDC Krems, will speak at the Aktionstag Politische Bildung 2024 „Learning and Living in Democracy“ at the Pädagogische Hochschule Kärnten on 6 May. In cooperation with Zentrum polis – Politik lernen in der Schule she will inform the students about the Council of Europe’s history and tasks in protecting human rights, democracy and rule of law as well as pertinent teaching materials, notably the newly available online tool Taskcards #CoE75.

On 9 May, the European Union celebrates its Europe Day, remembering French foreign minister Robert Schuman’s 1950 “Schuman Declaration”, which became a cornerstone of the European Communities, later turning into the EU. One month ahead of the decisive European Parliament elections on 6 – 9 June 2024, Europe Day carries special significance this year – within the Union and outside of it, and especially so in Ukraine, continuing fighting for its European path with determination. Taras Shevchenko National University of Kyiv (TSNUK), with which the University for Continuing Education Krems (UWK) concluded a Memorandum of Understanding in December 2023 and cooperates in many ways, holds a round table event “Ukraine on the Way to the EU: Challenges and Prospects” on 9 May, gathering policymakers, senior executives of public authorities, experts, academics, and students from Ukraine and EU member states. At this event, organised by the TSNUK Educational and Scientific Institute of Public Administration and Civil Service, Prof. Dr. Dr. Thomas Ratka, LL.M., Head of the UWK’s Department for Legal Studies and International Relations, will give a keynote speech on the topic “The legal requirements for EU membership: Austria's challenges in the 1990s and a comparison with the current situation of EU enlargement“. In view of Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine raging for more than two years now and given the decision by the European Council in December 2023 to open EU accession negotiations with Ukraine, this event will bear particular substantial as well as symbolic importance.

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