Greece talking change and new paradigms

Political, economic, business, civil society leaders gather at Delphi to address global challenges

Greece talking change and new paradigms

In a world of massive change, Greece “looks to the future with optimism and self-confidence” and remains a committed member of a united Europe and the West, upholding universal values, Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said on Wednesday at the opening speech for the eighth installment of the Delphi Economic Forum.

Commenting on the apposite theme of this year’s event, “Paradigm Shifts,” Sakellaropoulou noted that “it points to the profound changes taking place not only in the world around us but also in how we perceive it, in our ideas and established assumptions.”

Describing these changes as “tectonic,” with the “dense timing of events often testing our ability to predict or understand them,” Greece, she said, must “coordinate and change as well, in order to remain a force of European stability and consistency in its area.”

“As the ninth-oldest member of today’s European Union, it plays a leading role in supporting the accession process of the Western Balkans and in upgrading the political and economic cooperation of all the countries of the Eastern Mediterranean and Southeastern Europe,” the Greek president said.

Sakellaropoulou also referred to Greek-Turkish relations, noting that Greece’s response with aid and support to February’s devastating earthquakes in Turkey and Syria brought “the two neighboring peoples closer together and creates hope for a new, better era in bilateral relations.”

Addressing the broader challenges, Sakellaropoulou noted that the Delphic Economic Forum “is taking place in a climate of geopolitical reorganization, at the center of which is the ongoing, for a second year, war in Ukraine. The resistance of the Ukrainians and the vigorous defense of their national integrity moves the Greek people.”

She also pointed out that “from the first moment, Greece, as an organic part of Europe and the West, hastened to defend the values of international law against aggressive revisionism. Supporting the Ukrainian people, whose future is in a democratic Europe of peace and prosperity, remains a commitment of the West.”

The Russian invasion, she added, “marked the geopolitical maturing of the European Union. Europe realized that economic and energy interdependence with authoritarian regimes is not enough to ensure peace. Thus, it is rapidly advancing both in strengthening its armor and defense consolidation, as well as in strengthening and expanding, with two new members, the North Atlantic Alliance. It is in the interests of our transatlantic allies and NATO for a strong, coherent and credible European pillar to emerge within a solid Euro-Atlantic Alliance, especially given concerns about China’s rapprochement with Russia.”

In the same context, she stressed the importance of cooperation in support of “values and interests related to universal aims: an effective international system for the protection of global public goods, such as international trade, international law for the protection of borders and human rights, peacekeeping missions in fields of conflict, dealing with terrorism and pandemics, international climate agreements, where Europe is at the forefront.”

As regards the climate crisis in particular, Sakellaropoulou said that international cooperation was not yet at the desired level “and we are running out of time.”

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