President of the Republic of Slovenia Borut Pahor signs an ordinance calling for the elections of Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Slovenia
Ljubljana, 13. 2. 2019 | press release
The President of the Republic of Slovenia, Borut Pahor, today signed an ordinance calling for the elections of Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Slovenia.
After signing the ordinance, President Pahor addressed citizens and answered questions posed by the media.
Text of the opening address of the President of the Republic of Slovenia (spoken word applies!):
"I have just signed the ordinance calling for the elections of Members of the European Parliament from the Republic of Slovenia. In accordance with the ordinance, the period for election-related activities begins on Monday, 25 February, this year. The elections to the European Parliament will be held on Sunday, 26 May.
I believe that these will be the most important elections to the European Parliament since 1979, when they were held for the first time.
The mere fact that this year’s candidates come from three times as many countries as 40 years ago shows the scale of changes in the European Community and the European Union in recent decades.
The idea of European integration has admittedly had its ups and downs. We have witnessed both enthusiasm and disappointments.
However, in recent years, the development of the European Union has seriously stagnated. Such stagnation is seen in the decreased efficiency of the Union and, consequently, in greater disappointment among Europeans regarding our common home.
More than ever, the stagnation and criticism of the European Union have given rise to ideas for the loosening of integration between European countries and a return to national frameworks.
In this regard, this year’s European elections could chart the course of future development of the European Union either in the direction of stronger and more intense cohesion of the Union or towards a smaller and weaker one.
It is right that Europeans vote on the fate of their common European home. The European Parliament is the only institution in the European Union to which Europeans vote their representatives directly.
Hence, the results of our will need to be understood and respected after the elections. This is why these elections, which are likely to decisively direct the future development of the European Union, are particularly important.
As President of the Republic, I will refrain from any action during European elections, as well as during local or parliamentary elections, which anyone could see as biased toward any political party. During all six years of my service as President of the Republic, I am proud to say that I have not received any such allegations.
Throughout this election period, I shall merely allow myself to emphasise as President of the Republic how important the European idea is and how important the European Union is for the national and multilateral interests of the Republic of Slovenia.
This is not just about the fact that Slovenians associated the establishment of our own State with the European idea. It has become increasingly clear that the nurturing and development of the common European home guarantee peace, security and prosperity, whereas its decline would jeopardise all of that.
Like other nations, like every individual and every European, we have the right and duty to a critical assessment of the European Union.
Also those who advocate a more integrated Europe are satisfied neither with the decline nor with the current efficiency of the European Union.
When striving for a stronger European Union, we do not defend the existing one. Rather we promote a new impetus, the renaissance of the European idea and new ideas for its further development.
If we fail to find good and convincing arguments, it will appear normal for people to increasingly confine themselves to their national frameworks. And in the long term, this would not bode well for Slovenians or the state of Slovenia, since it would mark a return to the old European geopolitics, which instead of strengthening what brings us together, fuels what divides us.
The European idea is founded on reconciliation and fundamental democratic values. At the present time, its achievements may not seem so remarkable, but it still preserves peace and security. I believe that it also ensures shared prosperity to a greater extent than we are aware of.
The idea of European integration is probably one of the most decisive ideas that affect the fate of hundreds of millions of Europeans and the future of our children.
Currently, the European Union is at a serious standstill and at a historically important crossroads, where we need to point as clearly as possible to the direction of our further common path.
In this regard, the results of this year’s European elections will be among the most important since the first elections held in 1979.
I therefore call upon citizens to take part in these European elections and, according to conscience and belief, decide by yourselves on our common European destiny."
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA
Photo: Daniel Novakovič/STA