G. Patoulis, Attica Regional Governor: “Returning to European identity again”
The conviction that the necessary condition for achieving the goals of sustainable development is to secure a strong Europe, underlined the Attica Regional Governor and new Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions (CoR), G. Patoulis by his intervention at the European Parliament meeting, entitled "Conference on the Future of Europe.”
“Our countries are becoming less European”
Mr Patoulis emphasized the need to give a new impetus to the European Idea itself and the values it embodies, through actions "that we should all take in our countries and societies", noting that “today we are living in an era of less Europe.”
In his assessment, the Attica Regional Governor and new Vice-President of the European Committee of the Regions emphasized, inter alia, that “the centre of critical decision-making for the peoples is moving away from the European continent, while political leaderships that directly challenge the traditional European model of governance and the values it serves are strengthened.” “Our countries are becoming less European," he said.
“The logic of closed borders is not European logic”
As an indication of the change taking place Mr G. Patoulis cited the way the refugee issue is handled , stressing that “the closed border is not European logic,” and focused on the lack of solidarity between European states in a number of cases which, he said, "directly questions the core of the European idea.”
Concluding his speech, emphasized that the current period of crisis and internal debate in Europe is the most serious, and called for unity and cooperation.”
“So we have to join forces to find our identity again,” he said.
Full text of Mr Patoulis' intervention:
All of us here today share a common vision and have agreed that we share the same priorities in terms of integrating the Sustainable Development Goals into Europe.
But today, discussing about sustainable development goals is not enough, unless we all take action in our countries and societies to give new impetus to the European Idea and the values it embodies. We should not blindfold ourselves.
We are living in the age of less Europe today.
Our world is becoming less and less European, less and less 'western'.
The epicentre of critical decisions concerning the future of our peoples, the future of the planet and finances, is shifting away from our continent.
The paradox is that even our own countries are becoming less European themselves, given the empowerment of political leaderships that directly challenge the traditional European model of governance and the values it serves.
The way the refugee crisis is being managed is indicative of the change that is taking place.
The logic of closed borders is not European logic.
The lack of solidarity between European states in a number of cases directly questions the core of the European idea.
The lack of communication with the average European citizen reinforces this situation, which will become irreversible if we do not take the initiative.
Europe has gone through times of intense crisis and internal controversy. But this is the most serious.
So we should unite our strengths to find our identity again.
Since no sustainable development goal could exist without a strong Europe.