National Day Message by H. E. Mrs. Andrea Wicke, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Austria to the Republic of Bulgaria

Dear friends of the Austrian Embassy in Sofia,

Unfortunately, this year we could not celebrate Austria's national holiday on October 26 in the traditional way - with a reception at the beautiful Austrian residence. However, this does not prevent us from remembering this very special day, when in 1955 Austria regained its full independence.

2020 also marks the anniversary of some particularly important for Austria events.

65 years ago, when our country was admitted to the UN, and today, it is fully committed to the principles and objectives of the UN Charter. Austria has participated in UN peacekeeping missions without interruption for 60 years and is the proud host of the third of the four UN headquarters in the world. As a candidate for the UN Security Council 2027/2028, Austria is ready to take on additional responsibilities within the meaning of the UN Charter. This year, as the UN celebrates its 75th anniversary and we experience a global health crisis, we are even more aware of its indispensable role. We need a world organization - it is and will remain of the utmost importance for the well-being of humanity and for our planet.

Austria has been a convinced and reliable member of the EU for 25 years. EU membership has brought huge positive changes for our country, including economic ones. The euro and the four fundamental freedoms (free movement of people, goods, services and capital) are part of everyday life today and Austria is actively contributing to the European project, in particular through our commitment to accepting and integrating new Member States from our region.

And although, of course, nothing can replace personal meetings, we would like to maintain and develop our valuable contacts and relationships even in this difficult situation, and that is why this year's celebration was organized differently. In addition to the online streaming concert of the Vienna Boys' Choir, which we offered to the friends of the embassy, we sent a donation of typical Austrian products worth BGN 2,200 to the Orphanage "St. Nikolai" to the monastery "St. Trinity" in the village of Novi Han.

We wish everyone health and arelooking forward to our recent meetings!

The photo was provided by the Embassy of the Republic of Austria in the Republic of  Bulgaria. On it: H. E. Mrs. Andrea Wicke, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Republic of Austria to the Republic of Bulgaria