21 February, 2007
Yesterday (20/2/2007), Foreign Minister Ms . Dora Bakoyannis briefed the Standing Committee on National Defense and Foreign Affairs of the Hellenic Parliament. In her speech, Ms. Bakoyannis referred to the country’s foreign policy, specifically mentioning Greece’s policy on Southeast Europe, Kosovo, the accession of Bulgaria and Romania to the EU, relations with FYROM, the recent municipal elections in Albania, relations with Turkey, the Cyprus issue and developments in the Middle East.
The Foreign Minister stressed that “these discussions, as well as the parliamentary debates, are supplemented by the meetings that take place every four months or so of the National Council on Foreign Policy. Thus, an informal but substantial mechanism has taken shape for inter-party consultations on our foreign policy. […] This strategic consensus is a factor in the country’s power. We would do well to sustain and strengthen it.”
Subsequently, with reference to the policy followed by Greece in Southeast Europe, the Foreign Minister pointed out that: “the policy of active support for the European perspective of countries in our region is the only policy, the only strategy that can gradually transform the Balkans as a whole into a region of stability, modern democracy and dynamic economic development. Obviously, a smooth course towards Europe requires that the interested countries fulfil the criteria and respect – in practice – Europe’s regulations, principles and values. This demand for full adaptation and compliance is in fact becoming even stronger today […] For this reason, the efforts that states interested in acceding need to make to adapt and satisfy criteria must be even more intensive and substantial. They must not diverge or lapse.”