Valsts prezidents Egils Levits

Fellow Latvians and residents of Latvia,

Democracy week, a new tradition evolving in Latvia, peaks on 9 May with Europe Day.

On this day in 1950, the declaration drafted by Robert Schuman laid foundations of peace and cooperation in Europe. It paved the way for what we know today as the European Union. A union based on mutual respect, freedom and democracy.

Latvia is one of the 27 full-fledged members of the European Union. Our people, just like other Europeans, enjoy various freedoms, but they also have a very special obligation. They must participate in democracy.

Democracy here in Latvia and Europe needs active and motivated citizenry. People who are ready to express their views not only through internet comments, but also during a live, constructive debate and discussion on various ideas, concerns and extremes. People who are ready to preoccupy themselves with common good.

I want to use this opportunity to appeal to all active citizens. Use the Conference on the future of Europe inaugurated today on Europe Day. It is highly important for Latvians to bring their ideas and suggestion to the table where the future of Europe is shaped, and you can do so in your own language because Latvian is one of the official European Union languages.

What kind of Europe we want to live in? What needs to be changed to enable you to fulfil your life goals and dreams? What is good and what needs fixing? Do not hesitate to use this special opportunity and get your message across! Your ideas may turn out to be the right solution for Europe’s future. The future we are starting to build today.

Happy Europe Day to all Latvians!