Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stressed the need to generate European and national policies that addressed the public's major problems, as she inaugurated an exhibition of archive material dating from when Greece was negotiating for its accession to the European Economic Community (EEC), which opened in Athens on Tuesday.
The minister praised the Greek politicians that had brought about Greece's EU entry at that time, including the late premier and statesman Constantine Karamanlis and the team under George Rallis, who later also served as prime minister.
She also used the opportunity to welcome the entry of Romania and Bulgaria into the EU, saying it served as a message of hope for all the other Balkan countries and Turkey. "All countries that meet European criteria have a place in Europe," she added.
Noting that 2007 marked the 50th anniversary since the signature of the Treaty of Rome, which had laid the foundations for the present EU, Bakoyannis stressed that Europeans had to now decide what they wanted for their future.
"We must clear up what kind of Europe we want, what vision will motivate the new generations," she said.
The Greek foreign ministry would take a first step in this direction in 2007 by initiating a great debate on these issues within Europe, addressed mainly to young people, she added.
"In the first six months of 2007, the foreign ministry expects to have a high degree of participation by academics, organizations, citizens and youth groups. At the end of the German presidency [of the European Council], Greek positions will have a dynamic presence in a Europe seeking its new vision," Bakoyannis said.
The exhibition was organized by the foreign ministry's Diplomatic and Historical Archives Service to mark the 25th year since Greece joined the European Union, then the EEC.
Source: Athens News Agency