EU must fulfill its founding mission, defending western values and democracy

27 April 2017
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President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopis Pavlopoulos emphasised the need to defend Europe from a decline in the values of western and European culture, while addressing the University of Strasbourg’s Institute of Political Studies (IEP) on Wednesday evening.

“After WWII, Europe decided to finally put aside its barren nationalist instincts and harmonise the various national interests into a new common course through a supranational organisation. Thus Europe passed into its supranational era, because it supranationally conceived the essence of its future destination.

And this destination is the formation of a federal Europe, which operates under the terms and conditions of representative democracy. Only such a Europe can bring to a happy conclusion the mission built into its creation, as a shield and spear to defend the values of peace, humanism, democracy and justice,” he said.

The Greek president noted the huge sacrifices made by the Greek people and said that Greece is working steadfastly and with exemplary solidarity toward its partners in order to fulfill the common European vision. Outlining his views about the European Union’s prospects “during the current troubled times,” Pavlopoulos appealed to all members of the European family to “defend Europe from the nightmare of decline and support the firm foundations that guarantee not only its ‘intra muros’ but also its global mission.”

An effective defence of the values of western and European culture required the necessary legislative framework, Pavlopoulos added, noting that this was none other than representative democracy. The system of state organisation invented by western and European civilisation, in spite of its various shortcomings, remained the most suitable for defending people’s ‘Sisyphean’ struggle to defend their value and the free development of their personality, he said.

According to Greece’s president, representative democracy was conceived in order to allow the values and principles of western and therefore European civilisation to be perpetuated through the ages.

Pavlopoulos concluded by saying that the EU had a duty to arrive at its final destination, as set out by those that had the inspiration for a union that would finally circumvent the nightmarish dangers that had led to World War II.

Prior to his visit to the IEP, President Pavlopoulos met Greek members of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) in Strasbourg, where he had earlier addressed the PACE plenum. During his visit to the city, he also met European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) President Guido Raimondi, the Greek ECHR justice Linos-Alexandros Sisilianos and ECHR Registrar Roderick Liddell.

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