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EETO celebrates Europe Day with animated film

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- The European Economic and Trade Office (EETO) yesterday celebrated Europe Day in Taipei with the release of an animated film designed to enhance understanding of the European Union among local youth.

“We are launching the new animation short film to explain the EU to junior high school students in Taiwan,” said Frederic Laplanche yesterday during an event to celebrate EU day in Taipei.

The made-in-Taiwan film entitled “The Ninth” tells the fictional story of how Ludwig van Beethoven was inspired to compose his world-renowned work, Symphony No. 9, Laplanche said.

In the 7-minute film, Beethoven travels through time from the 19th century to modern day Europe where he meets two young European Commission interns on a train to Brussels.

The youngsters explain to Beethoven the function of the EU, saying that it helps bring peace and prosperity to the continent.

Inspired by the conversation, Beethoven travels back to the 19th century and composes his ninth symphony and the internationally acclaimed “Ode to Joy.”

“Ode to Joy” is the union's current anthem.

Speaking during yesterday's celebrations, Laplanche said the film was made possible with the help of the Ming Chi University of Technology (明志科技大學). Copies of the film will be given to schools around Taiwan and used by teachers in classes in the future, he noted

The film is viewable online in Mandarin, English and French.

Taiwan-EU Ties Closer

During his remarks, Laplanche said that yesterday also marked the 10th anniversary of the opening of the EETO in Taipei.

Taiwan and the EU have continued to deepen their bilateral exchanges over the past decade, based on common values such as democracy and human rights, he said.

Even though both sides have different opinions on some issues, including Taiwan's decision to execute death row inmates, the EETO head expressed optimism that ties will continue to grow in various fields in the years to come.

Celebrated on May 9, Europe Day marks the anniversary of the Schuman Declaration, in which former French Foreign Minister Robert Schuman proposed a new form of political arrangements for Europe.

The call was received favorably and in the following year, with the co-operation of France and Germany, the European Coal and Steel Community was established — the precursor of today's EU.

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Foreign Minister David Y. L. Lin, left, and European Economic and Trade Office (歐洲經貿辦事處) chief Frederic Laplanche raise their glasses to celebrate Europe Day during an event at the Museum of National Taipei University of Education (北美師美術館) in Taipei, yesterday. (CNA)

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