Europe must proceed to unification or fall apart, President Pavlopoulos says

The European Union must complete its integration, possibly via a process of federalisation, or else risk falling apart, President of the Hellenic Republic Prokopios Pavlopoulos said on Wednesday. The president was talking with visiting Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa at an event of the European Public Law Organisation held at the presidential mansion.

The success of this effort for integration was doubly important in the face of current challenges and rising populism that actively sought the collapse of the European architecture, he added.

Pavlopoulos went on to outline a vision of European integration through a “federal type of European Union” and called for the “invention of a new type of federation based on the legal and political supports for representative democracy”.

He listed three main priorities in the effort for a final European integration:

– An effective common EU foreign affairs and security policy

– Achieving sufficient and sustainable growth in the EU and the Eurozone

– Defending European social state law in order to address dangerously widening inequality, which fosters populism or even the rise of neo-Nazi groupings that actively seek to dismantle the EU.

The Portuguese president, while agreeing on the need for further European unification, stopped short of backing the Greek president’s call for a “federalised” Europe. There should be progress toward deeper political and economic unification, he said, but there was no need to call this a federation since that would add one more difference to those that already exist.

De Sousa also referred to European citizens and their concerns, stressing the need to create jobs in order to address these, while he agreed on the need to reinforce the social state and solidarity between member-states.