EU leaders call for all citizens to exercise their right to vote

General view of the informal meeting of European Union leaders in Sibiu, Romania, May 9, 2019. Olivier Hoslet/Pool via REUTERS

The Heads of the states of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland have called on all European citizens who are entitle to vote to take part in the European parliament elections at the end of May 2019.

In a joint statement issued from the Office of the President of the European Council, EU leaders highlighted the need for continuing integration, unity and cooperation.

Europe is the best idea we have ever had

European integration has helped to realise centuries-old hopes of peace in Europe following rampant nationalism and other extreme ideologies led Europe to the barbarity of two world wars.

The EU leaders said that we all, as European citizens should not take peace and freedom, prosperity and well-being for granted. They also added that it is necessary that we all engage actively for the great idea of a peaceful and integrated Europe.

In their statement the EU heads of state also stressed that the peoples of Europe had united out of their own free will into the European Union , which was founded on principles of liberty, equality, solidarity, democracy, justice and loyalty within and between its members.

We are all Europeans

They also mentioned that many people in Europe, particularly the young generation see their European citizenship as second nature, adding that it is not a contradiction for young people to love their village, town, region or nation and to be committed Europeans.

A united Europe is able to meet challenges

In these months, more than ever before, the European Union is facing profound challenges. For the first time since European integration started, people are talking about rolling back one or more integration steps, such as freedom of movement or abolishing joint institutions.

For the first time in EU history, a member state, Great Britain intends to leave the Union. Others are calling for more integration in the EU or the Eurozone or for a multi-speed Europe.

The Heads of the EU states added that only a strong community will be able to face up to the current global challenges. The effects of climate change, terrorism, economic globalisation and migration do not stop at national borders. The EU will only meet these challenges successfully and continue its economic and social cohesion and development when all will work together as equal partners at institutional level.

We want a strong and integrated Europe

The EU leaders ended up the joint statement  urging for a strong European Union, one that has joint institutions, that constantly reviews its work with a critical eye and is able to reform itself and that builds on its citizens and on its member states.

The EU leaders  said that Europe is able to withstand a wide range of opinions and ideas, However, it should definitely never return to a point where countries revert back to becoming opponents.