Speech by George A. Papandreou at the Conference on the Future of Europe ATHENS 9,84


The future of Europe is a unique project of different societies. To build a peaceful future, if we want to secure our European edifice, we must ensure that this important transition towards a future green society goes smoothly.

There are three prerequisites to achieve this:

– Be a socially just transition, where inequalities, such as the accumulation of wealth in tax havens, are tackled head-on.

– Be a participatory democratic transition, a transition that will belong to our fellow citizens and especially to the new generation.

– Be an educational process, where schools and universities become catalysts for a new economy, from green jobs and skills to curriculum design for resilient and strong national or European citizenship.

This future cannot be decided by a top-down approach.

Without the active participation of citizens, we will cede ground to those who encourage demagoguery, exploit fear, promote irrational theories, racism and extreme nationalism.

I propose the institutionalization of these new forms of participatory democracy in the EU, from citizens’ assemblies to the online “Market”. Collect the wisdom of citizens, ensure that the voice of citizens and young people will always be heard and taken into account.

And of course in this process I would include the Western Balkans. They must be included.

Create a Europe, not of the elites, but of its peoples.

Katerina Papavassiliou


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