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SERVUS EUROPE: Kick-off event for the Austrian Council Presidency to take place on 30 June 2018 in Schladming

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Published 08 Jun 16:30

With a loud “Servus”, Austria sends its greetings to the world

On 30 June 2018, the whole of Europe will be looking towards Schladming, Styria, as Austria holds a huge kick-off event for its Council Presidency and sends a strong and pro-European message to the world: SERVUS EUROPE. In Austria, the friendly and open “Servus” is not only a traditional greeting, but also an invitation to talk. In Schladming, which has successfully hosted many international sporting events, visitors will be treated to a full-day programme for free.

The day starts with a trip to the top of the Planai mountain, where visitors can enjoy a leisurely mountain picnic featuring regional and Austrian food and drinks. As of 10:00, 30 specially designed gondolas will ferry visitors up the mountain. 28 gondolas will feature the design of the EU member states’ flags (each gondola a different one); one gondola will bear the colours of the Bulgarian and Austrian flags (a symbol for the handover of the presidency of the Council of the EU) and one gondola will be decorated with the EU flag.

A discovery hike on the EU Trail

Visitors from Austria and Europe can enjoy a mountain picnic and go on a discovery of the EU  while hiking the circular panorama trail on the Planai. Both activities are available all day long and offer visions and views of the Schladming mountain scenery. The trail will provide families and children with useful and interesting information about the European Union.

A “summit meeting” for the handover of the Council Presidency

A “summit meeting” will take place at which Bulgaria will symbolically hand over the Council Presidency to Austria. The meeting will take place in the presence of Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov and Federal Chancellor Sebastian Kurz.

Europe LIVE in Austria!

A unique musical highlight will take place from 19:00 onwards: at the Europe LIVE concert, visitors will be able to sing, dance and celebrate with the biggest band in Europe.

Numerous Austrian artists will appear on stage alongside hundreds of amateur musicians as well as choirs. The artists include Die Seer, Opus and Austrian Eurovision Song Contest star Cesár Sampson. The performers will play Austrian and international hits that will send a musical “Servus” to Europe. Chris Harras, songwriter, singer, guitarist and producer is the artistic director of the Europe LIVE concert.

Detailed programme of the SERVUS EUROPE kick-off event on 30 June 2018

From 10:00: Free ride with the Planaibahn gondolas to the Planai mountain station.

All day long: Mountain picnic and an informative EU Trail along the panorama trail on the Planai mountain.

All day long: Numerous culinary and musical highlights in the mountain restaurants.

All day long: Musical entertainment in the pedestrian zone in the city centre of Schladming.

11:30: Summit meeting of Prime Minister Borissov and Federal Chancellor Kurz at which Bulgaria will symbolically hand over the presidency of the Council of the European Union to Austria.

From 17:00: Admission & warm-up in the Planai stadium

19:00: Begin of the Europe LIVE concert in the Planai stadium. Europe’s biggest band comes together and plays LIVE in concert.A

At about 20:30: End of the concert

The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union and SERVUS EUROPE

Following its presidencies in 1998 and 2006, Austria will take over the presidency of the Council of the European Union for the third time this year.

On 1 July 2018 Austria will take over the presidency from Bulgaria. The 6 months under the red-white-red banner of Austria will be, in terms of European developments, a very intensive period, which will be marked, among other things, by the negotiations on Brexit and the EU budget. Under the motto ‘A Europe that protects’, the main focus will also be on making progress in the areas of securing prosperity and competitiveness through digitalisation, stability in the European neighbourhood and security. The principle of subsidiarity is the approach that Austria will take during its presidency: the European Union should focus more on the big challenges and take a step back when it comes to smaller issues where member states or regions are in a better position to take decisions.

In the coming months decisions will have to be taken that will impact all Europeans for years and decades to come. Servus Europe is Austria’s invitation in its capacity as bridge builder to all EU member states to build a strong Europe that protects its citizens.

The Austrian Presidency of the Council of the European Union is also an opportunity to define the way the European Union approaches its citizens in future. Austria has experience of being a good host. At the same time, however, the Servus Europe initiative and in particular the kick-off event in Schladming aim to inform and include the Austrian public as much as possible.

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