May 9 an opportunity to reflect on course of EU integration, Kotzias says in Europe Day message

Europe Day should not just be an occasion for celebration but also for reflecting on and evaluating the European Union’s course toward integration, identifying and correcting “inherent weaknesses” in the European edifice, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias said in a message for the anniversary on Wednesday.

The EU should emerge from this process “even stronger, more democratic, more integrated,” so that the vision of a better and more just future for all its citizens can be a reality, Kotzias added, while underlining Greece’s commitment to “the vision of a Europe of solidarity and social justice, of democracy and institutional equality.”

The minister’s message in full is given below:

“The anniversary of 9 May symbolizes the realization of the most ambitious and successful model for peace and cooperation in world history: the process of European integration, which contributed to the consolidation of peace and cooperation, democracy, the rule of law and the protection of human rights, as pillars of the modern European political culture. However, this day should not simply be an occasion for celebration, but also an opportunity for reflection and comprehensive evaluation of the course of EU integration.

“The emerging challenges of our time make it necessary to identify and remedy the inherent weaknesses and shortfalls of the European edifice, including, among other things, the lack of accountability and democratic legitimization. At the same time, we should undertake additional efforts to avoid the establishment of a two-speed system, to strengthen the social state and the values of collective action and solidarity in practice, to take initiatives aimed at growth and at employment of European citizens –mainly of young generations– throughout Europe and to strengthen Europe’s ability to protect the security and prosperity of its citizens.

“The European Union should emerge from this process even stronger, more democratic, more integrated, so that the vision of a better and more just future for its citizens can become a reality.

“Greece remains committed to the vision of a Europe of solidarity and social justice, of democracy and institutional equality. To this end, it will continue to actively participate in shaping the future of the EU, in order to strengthen democracy, liberty and the rule of law in every corner of the European continent.”