For European Parliament members to be useful

For European Parliament members to be useful

We Greeks do not pay the necessary attention to Europe – as if its evolution will not be decisive for our national survival. If the Union does not grow stronger, if it falls apart, then, like all its member-states, we will be left on our own to face the great challenges sweeping the world. We, in addition, must deal with demographic decline and the dangers of our always restive region.

We need to understand that what is good for Europe is good for Greece. Greece needs to take part in the European process with proposals and zeal. Its representatives should be on the bridge and in the engine room, not lounging about on the deck, quarreling with each other.

This is the criterion by which we should select people to represent us at the European Parliament and all other EU institutions. We do not need to spend much time on the dismal achievements of this crop of EP members to see that instead of pushing for our country to play an active role in Europe, our parties continually export the failings of Greek politics to the European stage. Very often, candidates for the EP are selected as a favor, so that they can enjoy a generous income for several years. In other cases, the party may want to keep them off the domestic political stage, or it seeks to gain from their celebrity for achievements that have nothing to do with politics or Europe. The problem is not so much the fact that many MEPs turn out to be much worse than what we wanted, but that many remain fixed to the Greek political scene, their chief aim being to harm their domestic rivals, not to promote the interests of the EU and, consequently, of Greece. No one outside Greece cares about their changeless narrative that “our side” is the solution to all problems while its rivals are a disaster. What everyone can see is a lack of interest in Europe’s course and an obsession over issues of narrow Greek interest, which are often aimed at furthering personal and domestic political party interests.

We need members of the European Parliament with knowledge of the issues, who understand that European and Greek interests are one and the same. And who will be able to persuade Greeks and their European partners as to the truth of this.

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