POLITICS

Europe Day. 21 Presidents from EU sign appeal before the EP elections: Our common European future is on ballot

As many as 21 presidents from the European Union signed, on the occasion of Europe Day, an appeal for Europe before the European Parliament elections, informs the Presidential Administration.

The elections in 2019 have special importance: you, the European citizens, are the ones who decide the path that the European Union will follow. That is why we, the heads of state from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland summon all European citizens with voting rights to participate in the European Parliament elections in late May 2019. (…) We want a strong and integrated Europe. We therefore need a strong European Union, a Union that has common institutions, a Union that constantly reviews its work with a critical eye and is capable of reforming, a Union whose foundations are its citizens and its member states. This Europe needs a dynamic political debate on the best way to the future, based on the Rome Declaration of 25 March 2017. Europe is able to manage a wide range of opinions and ideas. But, of course, we do not have to go back to a Europe in which countries are no longer equal partners, but opponents. Our united Europe needs a strong vote of the peoples. That is why we invite you to exercise your voting rights. Our common European future is on the ballot, reads the document signed by the 21 EU presidents.

They underline that peace and freedom, prosperity and well-being must not be taken for granted.

We need to be actively involved in promoting the grand idea of a peaceful and integrated Europe, the appeal reads.

The 21 presidents say that the elected members of the European Parliament, together with the Council of the European Union, decide what rules should be applied in Europe and how the budget of Europe should be spent.

For many European citizens, especially the young generation, European citizenship has become their second nature. It is not a contradiction for them to love their village, town, region or nation and to be devoted to the European project. In these months, more than ever before, the European Union is facing profound challenges. For the first time since the start of European integration, people talk about the reverse of one or more integration steps, such as freedom of movement or the abolition of joint institutions. For the first time, a member state intends to leave the Union, while others ask for more integration into the European Union or the Eurozone, or a Europe with more speeds. Visions on these issues differ among the citizens and the governments of the member states, as well as between us, the heads of state. However, we all agree that European integration and unity are essential, and that we want Europe to continue as a Union, reads the document.

According to the quoted source, only a strong community will be able to cope with the current global challenges.

The effects of climate change, terrorism, economic globalization, and migration do not stop at national borders. By working together as equal partners at the institutional level, we will be able to successfully meet these challenges and continue on the path to economic and social cohesion and to development, the appeal of the 21 heads of state and government also reads.

The document is signed by the President of Bulgaria, Rumen Radev, President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, President of Germany, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, President of Estonia, Kersti Kaljulaid, President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, French President Emmanuel Macron, President of Croatia, Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic, Italian President Sergio Mattarella, Cyprus President Nicos Anastasiades, President of Latvia, Raimonds Vejonis, Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite, Hungarian President Janos Ader, President of Malta George Vella, Mr Bellen, President of Poland, Andrzej Duda, President of Portugal, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, President of Romania, Klaus Iohannis, Slovenian President Borut Pahor, President of Slovakia Andrej Kiska, Finland’s President Sauli Niinisto.

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