European Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizens Dimitris Avramopoulos addressed main opposition New Democracy’s 11th party conference on Sunday, noting that it was taking place at an important time in Europe’s post-war history and a difficult time for Greece.
Europe was undergoing a deep existential crisis, the Commissioner said, since the fundamental principles on which the European edifice was founded – especially that of solidarity – were being tested with respect to their endurance of even questioned outright.
On the issue of migration, Avramopoulos said that this had divided Europe more than the economic crisis. In Greece, by contrast, it was uniting the political forces and this was particularly significant, according to the Commissioner, since the country was called on to play its own part in the path toward completing the European project. This course, he added, was the only one that could restore vigour, strength and prospects to Europe and imbue trust in the European vision and among Europeans.
Greece had to form a united front with related political forces in Europe against the worrying and dangerous phenomenon of populism and anti-Europeanism, promoted by elements that were either ignorant of history or else deliberately overlooked it, with a risk of repeating it in an even more tragic way, he said.
ND, as the country’s most pro-European political force and the party that had historically “opened the door” to Europe under Constantine Karamanlis, will play a leading role at this historic time, Avramopoulos noted.