The President of the Republic, Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, signs a call-to-vote message in the European elections on Thursday with all the presidents of the European Union (EU), published in several European newspapers. "Europe is the best idea we have ever had," say the 21 underwriters of this "common appeal", symbolically made on Europe Day, which agree on the need for "a vibrant political debate on the best way forward" for safeguard "European integration and unity".
This is a joint initiative of the heads of state of all EU countries, with the exception of the seven that have monarchs. In Portugal, the text is published today in the newspapers "Público", "Jornal de Notícias" and "Correio da Manhã". The presidents of the Republic urge European citizens to actively engage "in this great idea of a peaceful and integrated Europe", which emerged "after rampant nationalism and other extremist ideologies led Europe to the barbarism of two world wars."
"We can not and should not take peace, freedom, prosperity and well-being as guaranteed," they warn, stressing that it is up to citizens to decide "the way the EU should follow" in the May elections to the European Parliament , which in Portugal take place on the 26th.
"We, the Heads of State of Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Germany, Estonia, Ireland, Greece, France, Croatia, Italy, Cyprus, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Slovakia and Finland we therefore invite all European citizens with the right to vote to take part in the elections to the European Parliament at the end of May 2019, "they write.
The 21 Presidents consider that "more than ever, the EU faces major challenges", saying that "for the first time since the beginning of European integration, people are talking about reversing one or more stages of integration, such as free movement or the abolition of common institutions. "
They also point out that "for the first time a Member State intends to leave the Union" – the United Kingdom – and that "at the same time, others are calling for more integration in the EU, or in the euro area, or speak of a Europe at various speeds. "
"The views on these matters diverge between the citizens and the governments of the Member States, just as between us heads of state. However, we all agree that European integration and unity are essential and that we want to continue Europe as a Union ", they declare.
The 21 heads of state argue that "Europe can support a wide range of opinions and ideas," but that "we can certainly not return to a Europe where countries are no longer equal partners but opponents."
The presidents of the Republic also argue that "the effects of climate change, terrorism, economic globalization and migration are not confined to national borders" and must be tackled "jointly as equal partners at institutional level".
Together they are in favor of "a strong and integrated Europe" that "reassures its citizens", "constantly reviews its work with a critical eye" and "is capable of reforming itself".
"Our united Europe needs a strong vote for the people. That is why we invite you to exercise your right to vote. It is our common European future that is on the ballot paper, "they reinforce.
Of the 28 Member States of the European Union, the seven that have monarchs in the heads of state are Belgium, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Spain, Sweden and Denmark.