The undermining of representative democracy leads also to an undermining of fundamental human rights, Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos said on Thursday, speaking at a conference that took place at the Hellenic Society of International Law and International Relations.
Pavlopoulos’ talk, entitled “From proclaiming to claiming: human rights, 70 years after the Universal Human Rights Declaration”, stressed that it is nowadays common knowledge that, on an international level, respect for human rights is constantly eroding. Probing into the reasons that led to this phenomenon, Pavlopoulos said that it is the result of privileging the economic over the institutional. This situation, he noted, poses a serious threat to the system of representative democracy, as it manages a blow to its institutional and political fundaments.
In order to overturn the tendency to privilege the economy over the institutions, Pavlopoulos continued, the law can look for allies both on a national and on a European level.
Katrougalos: Greek foreign policy is anchored in international law
From his side, Alternate Foreign Minister Katrougalos, also a speaker at the event sent the message that the main characteristic of Greece’s foreign policy is the fact that it is “always anchored in international law.”
Katrougalos noted that we are currently experiencing a decline in democracy which is caused by the fact that many important decisions are not taken by democratically elected bodies or in the context of a democratic process of discussion. As a result, he continued, the autonomy of the citizens is not sufficiently protected against private powers and there is a decline in the democratic legitimacy of state institutions. This, he added, is also one of the main reasons for the credibility crisis contemporary western democracies are currently facing.