Keep the light burning

Greek Centre of European Studies and Research

The institutional aspects of the future of the EU are mainly seen as ways in which Greece, a member state that considers itself to be increasingly marginalised or ‘under siege’ in the current EU setting, can afford and feel some degree of centrality within the European public discourse. Thus, both the post-Irish ‘No’ fate of the Lisbon Treaty and the road towards the elections to the European Parliament in June 2009, are viewed in this context. In academic discussions, as well as in the wider media, ways are sought that would allow for ratification of the Lisbon Treaty. Even the methods provided for in the U.S. Constitution are enlisted so as to keep the light of the Lisbon Treaty burning.[1]
Political figures tend to project in the discussion over the post-Irish ‘No’ their own/their parties’ options for the future of Greece within the evolving EU. Compare e.g. Dora Bakogianni, Greek FM, when speaking to the 20th anniversary celebrations of the Hellenic Centre of European Studies: “Greece is decided to keep its unwavering progress on the road of integration, that ambitious but realistic plan of peace, of development and of social cohesion for the Member States of the EU […] I am sure our Irish partners will present soon enough specific proposals that – I hope and I believe – will allow for the impasse to be lifted before the June 2009 EP elections […]. As we are confronting a tough international situation, as well as difficulties in pursuing the dream of European integration, I feel strongly that we need more and not less Europe. […] The EU, a political and economic union whose cohesion rests on common values, principles and beliefs […], as it is characterised by the ‘soft power’ it exercises, can and should be an alternative model for global political and economic power” with Michalis Papayannakis, ex-MEP for left-wing party “SYNASPISMOS”, mourning that “following the Irish ‘No’ the Reform Treaty of Lisbon is now ‘dead’ and cannot be applied as it exists, even with some superficial ‘ameliorations’ in all of the EU countries. This situation may make surface several paradoxical situations, but such is the procedure that has been agreed upon […] and it is a procedure that was fit to the level achieved by European integration and to the perceived problems and challenges faced by the EU today”.[2]

[1] See Moussis: “Teachings and a Way Out from the Irish Impasse” (in Greek), in International and European Politics, vol. 12 (Oct-Dec. 08) p. 66 ff, esp. p. 77.

[2] As stated in Michalis Papayannakis: “Somewhere in the Road the Direction was Lost” (in Greek), in International and European Politics, vol. 12 (Oct-Dec 08), p. 37.