Reportage: Europe Day 2015

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Europe Day 2015 was a massive European affair with every European consulate in Hong Kong trying to outdo their colleagues in the Union with their best food, wine, beer, and much much more.

Special highlights included the Finnish green apple vodka, the Hungarian chimney cake, baked in curls on site at the Intercontinental  Hotel. Austrian CG Claudia Reinprecht stood out in the line up in her traditional alpine garg, the dirndl.

Vincent Piket, head of the EU mission hosted the world including special guests the Honourable Financial Secretary John Tsang, a number of members of the Legislative Council and Mr Song Ruan, Deputy Commissioner of the Foreign Ministry of the PRC.

His speech went to the heart of how Europe sees Hong Kong today.

“Hong Kong is going through a crucial phase in its democratic and institutional reform. But I can tell you that the EU puts trusts in Hong Kong’s growth. Ten days ago, the EU brought out its annual report on the “One country two systems” principle in Hong Kong. Our conclusion is that, notwithstanding challenges, the principle continues to work well. That explains why Hong Kong remains an attractive place for business and why 1,940 EU firms are based here; their number continues to grow. The EU supports the introduction of universal suffrage, in line with the Basic Law, and offering the people a high degree of participation and genuine choice. We hope that, through constructive discussion, Hong Kong will be able to reach a timely agreement.”

He also had a thoughtful shout out to the Honorary Consuls, a gracious gesture. The star power at this annual event is always considerable given the ability to collect so many diplomats on one place – as is evident from our photos.