Watch the video
An International Conference, organized by the Konstantinos G. Karamanlis Foundation and the Center for European Policy Studies, marking the 10th anniversary of the passing of Konstantinos Karamanlis, Tuesday 4 November 2008.


In cooperation with CEPS, the Konstantinos G. Karamanlis Foundation hosted a major international conference on November 4th, featuring Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso and European Parliament President Hans Gert Pottering. The conference aimed at building on the EU’s past experiences to devise a path that could make it one of the leading actors on the international stage in the 21st century. Under the pressure of events, many of the speakers focused on the financial crisis and its implications for Europe.


While Prime Minister Karamanlis asked for the strengthening of European integration, for President Barroso the European response to the crisis was “a good example of cooperation between the Commission, the member states and the European Central Bank.

'The European idea can and should lead the way for the benefit of the people of Europe and world peace. 'European civilization is a synthesis of the Greek, the Roman and the Christian spirit: the Greek spirit contributed the ideas of freedom, truth and beauty, the Roman those of the state and the law, and the Christian those of faith and love.

In our troubled times, the European idea can and should lead the way for the benefit of the people of Europe and world peace'. Program:

- Opening Remarks
- Tribute to Konstantinos G. Karamanlis
- Session I: Europa: from Greek myth to fully-fledged 21st century global actor
- Discussion
- Speech by Hans-Gert Pöttering
- Session II: Ever deeper Union? Political recipes to prolong the success story (speakers: José M. Barroso and Kostas Karamanlis-PM of Greece)
- Roundtable dicussion

CEPS Director Daniel Gros warned, however, that the mainly intergovernmental response to the financial crisis risks rolling back some of the EU’s achievements in the internal market Pöttering dwelled on the importance of human rights, democracy and the rule of law as defining features of the EU.

Hans-Gert Pöttering: dialogue of cultures on mutual basis

Barroso pointed to the European response as “a good example of cooperation between the Commission, the member states and the European Central Bank”, explaining how the Commission had put forward targeted measures to address specific shortcomings in the fields of capital requirements, deposit guarantees and accountancy rules.

José M. Barroso: it is important to have vision & at
the same time to go for a pragmatic way

Speech PM

Speech Kostas Karamanlis, Prime Minister of Greece

Raised items and issues:

* Striving after and realising a stronger Europe. But not a way to go for protection but for an open society
* to see the possibilities to change. It is now (or never), we are in the midst at the moment
* are limits achieved?
* economic area / approach, creating jobs and employment
* backwards: hard times for financial institutions
* not only be obsessed by competition
* own direction is certain risk
* still far away from international affairs
* growing to a multipolar structure ( distribution of power). Weights of European countries decline: size matters
* mobilizing of also younger European people
* attention for the euro, institutional and political structures. The euro has provided against the turmoil, but that is not enough
* future not only on economy but also social aspects
* (good) programs also in the pipeline of 'Brussels'* European fund (to take measures) : countries say: 'I have to pay for the other'. It is wrong. Politicians.present it as a burden', but it could happen that one pulls back, afraid of more damage
* political will has to be present responsibility to the community and ourselves
* necessary presence of legal order
* the choice of a social market economy / policy
* solidarity and subsidiarity
* the reform of the EU (without Treaty of Lisbon no enlargement). The crisis showed how important it is to have the institutions. The present situation is an ultimate test and it is to demonstrate that the Union is not limited and can filling the absence of matter concerning deficit of leadership. For Ireland, there are good arguments now not to block anymore
* partnership with USA and Russia
* the lead concerning Georgia
* financial markets: Africa should not pay the price (moral responsibility)
* dialogue of cultures, on mutual basis (if we do not succeed, we get.a very difficult 21st century)
* values first: EU based on (to keep respect to) law, principle of democracy and political coordination, not on power
* energy policy and climate change (world-wide approach)
* food
* diseases
* levels: citizens, regions, nation states, European Union