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Intervention of Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis at the special session of the Hellenic Parliament’s European Affairs Committee on the 40th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the European Union (18 February 2021)
Konstantinos Karamanlis’ vision for a United Europe was the focus of Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis’ speech at this evening’s special session of the Hellenic Parliament’s European Affairs Committee on the 40th anniversary of Greece’s accession to the European Union.
Quoting historic speeches of the “Father of accession,” Mr. Varvitsiotis stressed Konstantinos Karamanlis’ vision and persistence in pursuing Greece’s accession to the EU, this historically and politically unique Union from which Greece could not be absent.
He pointed out that Greece’s participation in the core of the EU decisively impacted the fate of the Greek people and was a strategic security choice that offered Greece support on national issues, economic development, social progress and the stability of its democratic institutions.
He also pointed to everything the country contributed to the course of European integration, making special mention of Greece’s geographical, political, intellectual and cultural comparative advantages.
Moreover, the Alternate Minister stressed that, in spite of the crises that have tested the Union from time to time, it has managed to move forward, as it did with last year’s five major achievements: coordination on pandemic-management policies, European-wide vaccination, creation of a Recovery Fund, conclusion of an agreement with the United Kingdom, Enlargement in the Western Balkans.
Mr. Varvitsiotis also commented that the Greeks have questioned Europe from time to time, but they have never abandoned it and remain committed to the country’s fundamental political choice to participate in the core of Europe.
And he concluded by maintaining that Europe must continue, with a single voice in global affairs, abandoning internal divisions so that it can play a balancing role on the international stage.
“We want post-crisis Europe to make a new beginning with impetus and realism, guided by the common interest. This is a Europe that is our home. Because the stronger Europe becomes, the stronger Greece’s position will be. We are profoundly Europeanist, and we believe in this Europe. After all, we gave it its Greek name,” he said.