09 maja 2019
We must all be actively committed to the great idea of a peaceful and integrated Europe," the appeal stressed (1)

"Our united Europe needs a strong voice of its citizens," reads an appeal of 21 presidents of EU countries to Europe. The Polish head of state is one of its signatories. Apart from Andrzej Duda, the appeal was signed by the presidents of Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland.

"European integration has helped fulfil century-long hope for peace in Europe, after uncurbed nationalism and other extreme ideologies led Europe to the barbarity of two world wars. Also today, we cannot and we should not believe that peace and freedom as well as prosperity and success have been given once and for all. We must all be actively committed to the great idea of a peaceful and integrated Europe," the appeal stressed.

Referring to the forthcoming elections to the European Parliament, the appeal emphasised their importance. Its signatories also called on Europeans to go to the polls.

"Acting on their own free will, European nations have united in a European Union, based on the principles of freedom, equality, solidarity, democracy, justice and loyalty among member countries. In the European Union, which is an unprecedented thing in the history of Europe. In our European Union, parliamentarians elected to the EP together with the EU Council - namely, the governments of all EU member countries - decide what rules should be applied in Europe and how EU budget funds are to be spent," the appeal underlined.

"Over the recent months, more often than ever before, the EU has been facing serious challenges. For the first time since the beginning of European integration, there have been opinions regarding the liquidation of one or more integration processes, like, for instance, freedom of movement or some common institutions. For the first time, an EU member plans to leave the EU. And at the same time, there are calls either for deepened integration in the EU and in the euro zone or for a two-speed Europe."

"(...) All of us agree that European integration and unity are a fundamental thing, and we want to continue implementing the idea of Europe as the EU. Only a strong EU can cope with the global challenges of our times. The effects of climate change, terrorism, economic globalisation and migration do not stop at state borders. Only institutional cooperation will make it possible for us - being equal partners - to meet the challenges and continue to follow the path leading to socio-economic cohesion and development," the appeal emphasised.

"What we need is a strong EU with common institutions. An EU which constantly reviews its work and does so in a critical way, an EU which can reform itself. An EU based on its citizens and member states."

"Such a Europe needs a live political debate on the best path to the future, based on the Rome Declaration of March 25, 2017. (...) There is no return to a Europe in which states are opponents instead of being equal partners," the appeal underlined. (PAP)