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Press Office

Athens, 23 April 2021

Discussion in European Affairs Committee on Conference on the Future of Europe

A discussion on the Conference on the Future of Europe was held today in the European Affairs Committee of the Hellenic Parliament. Keynote speaker was the Alternate Foreign Minister on European Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis. The Head of the European Commission Representation in Greece, George Moschovis, also attended the meeting. 

Chairing the meeting was the 1st Vice-President of the Hellenic Parliament and Chairman of the European Affairs Committee, Nikitas Kaklamanis, who in his introductory remarks pointed out that the goal of the Conference is to make the voice of citizens from every corner of the EU heard, so that the dialogue can reflect the Eu's diversity and the impact of Europe beyond the European capitals, thus strengthening the links of European citizens with the institutions that serve them. He stressed that the ambition of the European Commission is to organise, at European, national, regional and local level, events and discussions throughout the EU, with particular emphasis on youth participation, since – as he underlined – “the future of Europe belongs to them”. Concluding, he stressed that national parliaments cannot be absent from such an “exercise of democracy” and called upon the members of the Committee to answer questions regarding ways to mobilise citizens, choose topics for potential actions by the Parliament, the form of these actions, but also good ways to use the conclusions that will emerge, in order to form a roadmap for the Hellenic Parliament’s participation through the competent European Affairs Commmittee in this public forum. 

The Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs in his intervention noted that our country is an intrinsic part of the European acquis, reiterating the words of Konstantinos Karamanlis, since the 23rd of April is the anniversary of his death, that “there is no Europe without Greece and no Greece without Europe”. Mr. Varvitsiotis pointed out that in the last European elections, which saw the biggest turnout ever, two hundred million citizens voted for parties that are in favour of deepening Europe, sending a clear message of support for the European vision, in spite of institutional weaknesses. The pandemic crisis, he continued, redefined everyone’s priorities on where we want Europe to go, what we want Europe’s place in the world to be, what Europe does for its citizens and the social state, but also how it addresses current security and migration challenges. Then, Mr. Varvitsiotis referred to actions planned by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in the framework of the Conference, starting with the event planned for the 27th of May on the 40 years since Greece’s accession to the then EEC. Events will follow throughout the region, as well as a dialogue with all major academic institutions in Greece, and the institutional and non-institutional bodies of society.


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