EU envoy hails unity in celebration of 60th anniversary of Treaty of Rome

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A timely Macron victory has made this year’s EU Day celebration filled with joy as the Dutch Residence’s charming backyard garden was packed with guests on a still pleasant Tuesday evening.

Leading the party was Carmen Cano, Head of the European Union Office to Hong Kong and Macao. The year 2017 also marks the diamond jubilee of the Treaty of Rome which gave birth to the European Economic Community and to European Atomic Energy Community.

“The European Union is much more than a single market or a customs union. It is what in progress an ambitious and unique project which becomes even more needed in these times of increasing uncertainties and challenges,” Ms Cano said in her welcoming speech. “Thanks to the European Union, we can toast and celebrate a continent that has now it longest period of peace in history.”

While reaffirming EU’s ties with Hong Kong in face of Brexit, Ms Cano also hailed the European business community here in Hong Kong, with a presence of over 2,100 companies and growing.

“Because Hong Kong is an attractive business hub in Asia, we all need to do our best to keep the uniqueness of its system,” she asserted. “I would like to reiterate once more that rule of law is clearly an essential element on this unique system and the key for the future development of Hong Kong. Without an independent judiciary, without freedom of expression, without transparency, without high anti-corruption standards, Hong Kong wouldn’t be Hong Kong.”

Two weeks ago, the European Commission and the European External Action Service released its 19th annual report on political and economic developments in Hong Kong, noting a “politically challenging” 2016 and calling on the Hong Kong and Chinese governments to resume electoral reform.

“We look forward to working with the new Chief Executive and her administration to strengthen the rule of law and the ‘one country, two systems’ principle. We will continue deepening our relationship for the benefit of the people of Hong Kong in areas such as environmental issues, innovation and people-to-people activities,” Ms Cano stated earlier.

Secretary for Justice Rimsky Yuen was the guest of honour. Also joining the celebration were Secretary for Education Eddie Ng, LegCo president Andrew Leung, Demosisto legislator Nathan Law and distinguished guests from the diplomatic and business communities.

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