April 27, 2017

Greece and the EU celebrating a special day

This year’s March 25th is a day to remember both for Greece and for Europe

By H.E. Eleftheria Galathianaki, Ambassador of Greece to the Kingdom of Belgium. 

Greece’s national day, on March 25th, commemorates the Greek Revolution for Independence (1821). In 2017, this date coincides with the 60-year anniversary of the Rome Treaty, the birth of the European Union, as well as the embodiment of its founding values of peace, liberty, democracy and solidarity. It is therefore a date of double importance for the Greek people, as we celebrate the values that we fought for two centuries ago and share with our EU partners today.

Furthermore, EU member-states face common challenges and share common aspirations, working together, not only in the context of the EU, but also bilaterally, on the basis of our common values. As the President of the Hellenic Republic, Mr. Prokopios Pavlopoulos, has stated: ”We, the Greeks, are paying a heavy financial and social price, but we persevere and fulfil our obligations to remain part of the EU project”.

I have the honour to represent Greece in Belgium, one of the founding EU member-states; therefore I could not but emphasize the importance of our common European destiny. In these difficult times, with the multitude of challenges the EU is facing, such as Brexit and the ongoing refugee and migrant crisis, we should protect and promote the achievements of our Union. Of course, differences do and will continue to exist, but we should allow them neither to conceal the reality of our successes, nor to mislead our peoples. In this context, ensuring continued solidarity between our nations is of primary importance.

Confronted with the immense challenge of the refugee/migration flows and a concurrent economic crisis, Greece has had to make huge sacrifices, in order to fulfil its commitments. Furthermore, the Greek people have paid a heavy financial and social price, to safeguard our position in the hard core of the EU.

I trust that in the light of the upcoming 60th anniversary of the Treaty of Rome, the EU will reaffirm and further enhance the principles having shaped Europe during these last decades. They are the same ideas still defining our common future: belief in our shared values, solidarity, cooperation and, finally, a common vision for our continent as a beacon of peace, liberty and prosperity for all.

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Photography by Othodoxia.be

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