250 cities fly European flags today in concerted show of unity


A bottom-up initiative launched by the Finnish city of Joensuu has brought together cities and towns in 25 EU countries in an expression of unity, peace and liberty.

Today, European flags fly above town halls in more than 250 cities, towns and municipalities across the continent or are displayed in other ways. Amsterdam, Bonn, Helsinki, Ljubljana, Riga and Vilnius are among the cities participating in the initiative.

The campaign, initiated only three weeks ago by Joensuu, which is located on the Finnish-Russian border, has rapidly gained momentum and support.

“We felt that it is time to hoist the flag and speak out for the Europe that belongs to us all – it is far too valuable for us to let it be broken up,” says Joensuu’s mayor Kari Karjalainen.

Flying the Flag of Europe

Today, every town and municipality participating in the initiative will raise the European flag above their town halls or display it in different ways. Photos of the event will be shared on the websites of the participating towns and cities and on social media under the hashtag #WeAreEurope.

The campaign website (connectingeurope.eu) features a map of Europe locating all the participants.

Participants include cities, towns and municipalities from Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Montenegro, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Ukraine.

According to Mr Karjalainen, the movement born by this initiative is likely to live on.

“Everything has moved so fast that no specific plans are yet in place. The extent of the positive response to our initiative shows that we are not the only ones who are worried about what is happening to Europe and want to act to defend the values we hold dear. There is a clear demand for this kind of a bottom-up movement, and the Connecting Europeans network might well serve as a platform for something bigger.”

Media service: media@connectingeuropeans.eu

Twitter @joensuucalling

Graphic material can be downloaded at www.connectingeuropeans.eu/media