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2nd 'Byron Theodoropoulos Lecture'

                                                          Greece and Europe

Dora Bakoyannis
then Greek Foreign Affairs Minister, Greece 

Bakoyianni_1_ 

info
Date  5 November 2007
Time 18:45 - 20:00
Venue Old Theatre, Old Building, LSE
Chair Professor Kevin Featherstone, Hellenic Observatory Director

Mrs Dora Bakoyannis, Greece’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, gave the Hellenic Observatory’s 2nd Byron Theodoropoulos Lecture on Foreign and Security Policy on 5 November 2007 at the LSE. The lecture, entitled ‘Greece and Europe’, took place in a packed Old Theatre and in attendance was the guest of honour, Ambassador Byron Theodoropoulos, the doyen of Greek diplomacy and prolific author on international relations and Greek foreign policy. Mrs Bakoyanni’s lecture was followed by a lively and lengthy question and answer session.

In her speech, Mrs Bakoyannis, focused on three key aspects of Greece’s external relations in the current international arena: the future of South-Eastern Europe (SEE) in the context of European integration; the prospects for peace in the Middle East; and the issue of climate change and environmental degradation. With respect to a vital issue in Greece’s foreign relations, peace and stability in SEE, Mrs Bakoyannis stressed the importance of the EU’s ability to act as ‘a stimulant for change’ through offering the prospect of membership. The future of Serbia and Kosovo featured highly in the Foreign Minister’s remarks, in which she emphasised the need to reach agreed, negotiated solutions. In the case of Serbia she also emphasised that the EU’s  policy of conditionality was the right path and that to progress along the ‘European track’, a policy which Greece strongly advocated, ‘concrete results’ would have to be

seen with respect to bringing to justice suspected war criminals. Greece’s relations with Turkey and FYROM were at the heart of her comments on Europe and SEE.

‘Greece’, she stated, ‘supports Turkey’s European orientation’, but it ‘must show in practice that it can conform to the institutional, political and economic acquis of the EU’. With respect to FYROM, and its integration into the Euro-Atlantic institutions, Mrs Bakoyannis made it clear that only a ‘mutually acceptable solution’ on the name issue would open the route to NATO and the EU.

In her remarks on the Middle East and climate change, Mrs Bakoyannis stressed that Greece was playing a more active role in issues beyond its immediate geographical neighbourhood. Solutions to the various aspects of the Middle Eastern crises were important for Greece for moral reasons as well as geostrategic reasons. From Palestine to Lebanon to Iran, Greece as a Mediterranean country and a member of

the EU wished to see swift and peaceful solutions and was actively engaged in assisting these peace processes whenever possible.

Similarly, problems of human security arising from climate change and environmental degradation figured highly on the Greek foreign policy agenda according to the Foreign Minister: ‘people living in vulnerable regions, in fragile economic, social and environmental conditions, lack of adaptive capacity to respond to the perils of climate change’. As such, ‘development assistance should be revisited and re-planned, so as to take into consideration the impacts of climate change in least developed countries’. In the ensuing question period, Mrs Bakoyannis dealt with sensitive issues in a direct and robust manner.

Following an extended discussion period Mrs Bakoyannis attended a reception and dinner hosted on behalf of the Hellenic Observatory by Sir Howard Davies, Director of the LSE.

Mrs Bakoyanni's lecture received great publicity in the Greek media: skai.gr, Naftemporiki, in.gr, and Kathimerini Newspaper

 

                                                               EVENT PHOTOS

 


From left to right: 
Sir Howard Davies (LSE Director); Mrs Dora Bakoyannis;
Professor Kevin Featherstone
and the Ambassador of Greece in London, Mr Vassileos Pispinis

 


The Minister with the Hellenic Observatory Director - Professor Featherstone

 


Minister Dora Bakoyannis

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