President Kaljulaid joins European leaders in election participation call
In a statement issued Thursday, President Kersti Kaljulaid encouraged all European citizens to vote in the European elections on May 26.
In a joint statement, the president joined the heads of state of 20 of the EU28 nations in calling for participation in the elections.
"Europe is our best common idea," the joint statement began, ERR's online Estonian news reports.
"After rampant nationalism and other extremist ideologies led Europe into the brutality of two world wars, European unification has helped to fulfill a centuries-old dream of peace in the continent. It is important that we all contribute actively to the implementation of the idea of a peaceful and integrated Europe," the statement continued.
The heads of states' opinion is that a strong EU makes for a strong and united Europe: "A union with common institutions; a union that constantly evaluates its work with a critical eye, and is able to reform itself; a union whose vital foundations are its citizens and Member States," the statement read.
"This Europe needs a strong political debate on the best way forward, based on the Declaration of Rome, signed on March 25, 2017. There is room for a wide range of views and ideas in Europe. However, we must not return to a Europe where countries are no longer equal partners, but instead are opponents. Our united Europe needs the strong voices of its peoples. That's why we invite you to vote. Voting is the future of our common Europe," the statement continued.
The statement also noted that European citizenship had become the norm, especially among the younger generations, while noting the challenges facing the union, including the question of whether to progress further down the road of integration, or to consider concepts of a "two-speed" union, as well as issues such as climate change and the threat of terrorism.
The other co-signatory heads of state came from Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia the Czech Republic, Cyprus, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia.
Heads of state from Belgium, Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and the UK were not listed on the statement.
All EU citizen residents in Estonia are eligible to vote in the May 26 election.
Editor: Andrew Whyte