08 May 2021 "On the occasion of Europe Day we would like to extend our warmest wishes to all European citizens. This Europe Day is special. For the second year in a row, it is celebrated in complex circumstances due to the Covid pandemic -19. We are close to all those who have suffered. This year's Europe Day is also special because it marks the start of the Conference on the Future of Europe. We appeal to all EU citizens to seize this unique opportunity to shape our common future ".

This is what we read in the letter to European citizens signed by the President of the Republic, Sergio Mattarella, together with other Heads of State, on the occasion of 'Europe Day'.

"This dialogue on the future of Europe takes place in very different circumstances than in previous years. It might seem that in the current situation there is not enough time for an in-depth discussion on the future of Europe. On the contrary, the Covid-19 pandemic reminded us of what is truly important in our lives: our health, our relationship with nature, our relationships with other human beings, mutual solidarity and collaboration. It raised questions about how we experience our lives. It has shown the strengths of European integration, as well as its weaknesses. We need to talk about all of this. "

"The challenges we face as Europeans are manifold: from tackling the climate crisis and creating green economies, in a context that makes it necessary to balance the growing competition between global players, to the digital transformation of our societies. develop new methods and new solutions. As democracies our strength lies in involving the many voices in our societies to identify the best path to take. The more people participate in a broad and open discussion, the better it will be for our Union ", the letter continues.

"The European project is unprecedented in history. 70 years have passed since the signing of the Treaty establishing the European Coal and Steel Community and 64 since the birth of the European Community in Rome. At that time, European leaders found solutions to unite a War-torn Europe. 30 years ago Eastern and Western Europe began to connect more closely. Very different countries joined together to form the European Union. Each country has its own historical experiences and feels the burden. of one's past, with which to deal alone and in relations with other countries ", write the European Heads of State.

"The European project is a project of peace and reconciliation. It has been so since its conception, and remains so today. We support a common strategic vision for Europe, a Europe in its entirety, free, united and at peace. All of them. the fundamental principles of European integration remain absolutely relevant today: freedom, equality, respect for human rights, the rule of law and freedom of expression, solidarity, democracy and loyalty among Member States. How can we collectively ensure that these principles the foundations of European integration remain relevant for the future? ".

"Although the European Union sometimes seems ill-equipped to cope with the many challenges that have emerged over the last decade - from the economic and financial crisis to the challenges of pursuing a just and equitable European migration system to the current pandemic - we are well aware that it would be much more difficult for each of us if we were alone. How can we best strengthen European cooperation and solidarity and ensure an exit from this health crisis that makes us more resilient in view of future challenges? "ask the signatories of the letter.

"We need a strong and effective European Union, a European Union that is a global leader in the transition to sustainable development, climate neutral and digitally driven. We need a European Union in which we can all identify, certain that we have everything possible for the benefit of future generations. Together we can achieve this ".

"The Conference on the Future of Europe will be an opportunity to speak openly about the European Union and to listen to our fellow citizens, especially the younger ones. It creates a space for dialogue, debate and discussion on what we expect from the EU tomorrow and on how we can contribute to it today. We must think about our common future; for this we invite you to join the discussion and find together the path to follow ", conclude the Heads of State.