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Photo credit: www.eu2018.at

On June 2018, Schladming will host a big event for its Council presidency with sending a loud and strong pro-European message to the world.“Servus” is a traditional Austrian greeting, and also an invitation to talk.

Austria will take over the presidency from Bulgaria. The next 6 months will be for Austria, in terms of European developments, a very intensive period, which will be marked, also by the negotiations on Brexit and the EU budget. The Council presidency constitutes a particular European task for Austria, both concerning the organization as well as the political programme.

Approximately 300 events will take place in Austria during its presidency; these range from informal ministerial meetings and technical conferences to expert meetings and cultural events. Austria expects some 48 000 delegates in the 6 months of their presidency.

Under the motto ‘A Europe that protects’, the main focus will also be on securing prosperity and competitiveness through digitalization, stability in the European neighborhood and security. The principle of subsidiarity is the approach that Austria will take during its presidency: the EU should concentrate on major challenges and take a step back on smaller issues where the member states are in a better position to take decisions themselves.

The city has successfully hosted many international sporting events in the past, and this time will treat the visitors with a full-day programme for free.

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Kick-Off Event in Schladming

Extensive programme on the Plenai and in the valley

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. Thirty specially designed gondolas will feature the design of EU member states’ flags, will ferry visitors up the mountain.

A discovery hike on the EU Trail

Visitors will 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 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.