I am very glad today to participate in this most professional and coherent simulation of EU Institutions, The Europa.S 2016.
Allow me to congratulate you for your choice of Mr. Diamantouros for your Award of someone whose work has been the embodiment of our shared European ideals. The results of his work and his devotion in safeguarding the interests and rights of european citizens must be an example to all of us that Europe is not just a big market but also the area in the world in which civil rights flourish and are protected the most.
Every one of you is a great ambassador for Europe. Your presence here today is not something we take for granted. I know that not everybody at your age shares your passion for European politics.
You decided to participate in the European Institutions Simulation 2016 Conference because you wanted to get involved. You care about Europe and you are willing to take an active part in building Europe’s future. You freely give your time to learn about European Institutions and search for solutions to Europe’s current challenges.
During these 3 days you will face many problems for which solutions are still on the making, and our replies have not yet been finalized. And depending on the institution you choose to be part of, you will have a chance to understand the different methods used on European level, each one with specific advantages and disadvantages but with a common denominator:
all the decisions of the European institutions come out of a process of compromise. Starting with a process of antithesis, we move to synthesis, to reach the compromise that supports a solution containing, if possible, our most important positions. But I believe it is not by chance that we don't use a greek word for this final goal – because unfortunately in our language “compromise” has a negative nuance, meaning to stray away from your ideological or political positions and interests, means something that obfuscates your shining truth.
For me this is the biggest lesson you can get from this simulation: you may learn that in the world around you exist not only your ideas, always right and blessed by god or history but a kaleidoscope of other opinions and proposals with which you must compete using the tools of rational thought, coherent presentation and acquisition of allies. And maybe, when you will face huge odds against you, you will then understand that trust and alliances are built in years and not days and also in Europe you have no enemies, just opposing proponents for one cause that will turn into allies for another.
I also hope there will be another lesson, less obvious but of equal importance: the current state of our institutions is lagging behind the needs of our Union. We must create new ways for pushing this economic and political union much further because as the economic and migrant crisis have demonstrated only common European efforts give solutions – replies on a purely national level create new problems.
These European solutions will not come easily and maybe Europe will move forward in waves and circles and not as a whole but watch the world around you: China, The US, India, Russia, huge players, already integrated and having one voice compete with our union of 28 parliaments, prime ministers, national borders, fears and prejudices.
Teiresias the blind lives only in the songs of Homer, Merlin and Galadriel do not live in our universe but it does not take an oracle to tell you about the future – and it takes politicians with bravery and vision to overcome our certainties and the forces of inertia and change that future. I hope some of these politicians and European functionaries will come from your ranks - that is why we stand here, supporting every effort targeted to you, the generation that we cannot afford to lose.