Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos expressed support for the accession to the EU of Balkan countries which are committed to their European perspective and respect international and European law, during a formal dinner on Tuesday in honor of visiting Slovenian President Borut Pahor.
At the presidential mansion, Pavlopoulos said this held true especially for Turkey, Albania and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and is founded on the premise that a stable and prosperous southeastern Europe will prove beneficial to the entire European Union.
He noted however that any country hoping to enter the EU must respect international law, including the Law of the Sea, and all European law and European acquis. “It is necessary here to note that according to European law and European acquis, the borders and territory of EU member-states comprise territory and borders of the EU itself. Therefore, any form of doubt (…), wherever it may originate, directly assails European Law and European Acquis and prohibits every aspect of the accession process,” the Greek president said.
Speaking of relations between Greece and Slovenia, Pavlopoulos said that Greece has frequently and practically expressed its friendship by “supporting, without any reservations, the establishment of the Republic of Slovenia and we assisted and supported it during its accession to the EU and NATO.”
As Europeans, the peoples of both countries support the EU and its integration, and must work together to face the threat to European unity by changing policies feeding extreme-right populism, such as extreme austerity, he said.
Slovenia President Borut Pahor referred to the common positions the two countries hold as concerns the future of Europe, and said he too will continue working to safeguard peace in the continent.
Pahor went on to stress the great respect Greece enjoys not only on account of its past but also due to its recent accomplishments leading to the country’s exit from the crisis.
Finally, Pahor invited Pavlopoulos to visit Slovenia at a moment of his choice, so the two presidents can continue their fruitful exchange started in Athens.