As a first (and hopefully not last) step towards an objective discussion of today’s situation of the European Union, outside of the logic of parties, parliamentary and “media” conflict, on 16th July there was, with the compliments of Mr. Paschalis and Mrs. Salomi Melissaris, a screening of an extract from the paper presented in 2009 by Mr. Ioannis Coccalas, entitled “From Altiero Spinelli’s Draft to the Treaty of Lisbon”. As Deputy Director of the European Parliament’s office in Athens, Mr Coccalas was at that time one of the speakers at the “Ioannis Capodistrias, Altiero Spinelli, Europe” conference held on 21st June 2009 in Aegina. An introduction to the 16th July screening was presented by Wayne Hall, member of the steering committee of the Aegina Association of Active Citizens. INTRODUCTION I would like us to be in agreement that in today’s discussion it will not be relevant whether we voted YES or NO in the referendum, whether it is mainly Simitis and Papandreou, Samaras and Venizelos, or Tsipras and Varoufakis who are most to blame for the present situation in Greece. I would like us to agree also that it is not going to be relevant today whether we prefer Greece … Continue reading
As is well-known, the island of Aegina has been an enduring historical presence in the Greek lands. This can be attributed both to the nature of its soils and to its geographical location. The composition of the soil, the climate, the water reserves, the configuration of the coastline, all create the conditions for support of a permanent population of between five and six thousand inhabitants. Its geographical position, virtually at the centre of the Saronic Gulf, makes possible a great increase in this demographic potential. As a result, Aegina, unlike the rest of islands of the Saronic Gulf, has been continuously inhabited since 3500 B.C. and so possesses important monuments from all historical periods. It could therefore be an ideal centre for studying Greek civilization as a whole. The mythical tradition of Aeacus and the Aeacidae reflects the political, economic and cultural significance of Aegina at its zenith. Particularly emphasized is the notion that the Aeginetans were descended from the island’s ants, making them a people indigenous to the island. In its long history, Aegina has gone through periods of great prosperity. Especially during the Archaic age (734 B.C. – 459 B.C.) it became an important naval and mercantile power … Continue reading
(Giulietto Chiesa was a key speaker at the Aegina Society of Active Citizens’ function “Capodistrias and Spinelli today – European Union: Disintegration or a new beginning?”, held in Aegina on 23rd June 2013.)
G. Chiesa’s visit to the Capodistrian buildings of Aegina: VIDEO
Persuading Daniel Cohn-Bendit of the importance of Capodistrias: VIDEO
The crisis in Ukraine, which clearly affects the international community, is a matter for deep concern, threatening both the sovereignty of Ukraine and the independence of Europe, triggering an unwelcome polarisation of the international system and impacting an always fragile geopolitical balance.
We would like it to be borne in mind that a historical transition from a unipolar world – with the US as the sole superpower – towards a multipolar world is underway and that this process should be aided and abetted rather than contained. The whole world, including Europe and the United States, will gain from a jointly-conducted re-organisation of global governance that recognizes multipolarity.
We believethat Europe is able to contribute positively to the peaceful emergence of a multipolar world. Indeed the Ukrainian crisis has shown that, while an independent and open Europe provides grounds for the emergence of a multipolar world, a one-sided Europe creates the conditions for a world polarized between a Western bloc and the new global powers.
Therefore, we strongly oppose the disruption of Euro-Russian relations, with the deployment of troops on both sides of the Euro-Russian border, and in particular of US military troops on Europe’s territory, with the growing tensions provoked by the uncoordinated free-trade policies of Europe and Russia on common border countries such as Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova.
We consider that the Ukrainian crisis calls for the establishment of a diplomatic arena to discuss Europe’s and Russia’s rights to organize their common markets in a framework of peaceful coexistence.
We note the humanitarian emergency situation in Ukraine and crimes and abuses committed against the civil populations during the Ukrainian crisis and urge that these should be promptly dealt with and investigated.
We believe that the Euro-BRICS framework of co-operation can provide the proper mediation that is required for a positive outcome to be achieved.
The situation requires global leaders with a high sense of historical responsibility and collective interest.
We believe that responsibilities for the crisis in Ukraine must be shared between Europe and Russia. On the basis of the recognition of each player’s responsibilities it will become possible to rebuild peace in Ukraine and revive Euro-Russian relations.
RESUMING EURO-RUSSIAN RELATIONS TO CREATE THE CONDITIONS FOR A UKRAINIAN-LED CRISIS RESOLUTION
It is up to the Ukrainian people to organize and rebuild peace in Ukraine. However there is no way tensions between the pro-Russian and pro-European Ukrainians will de-escalate if tensions between Russia and Europe do not de-escalate first. Therefore, for the sake of peace in Ukraine, we require European and Russian leaders to re-launch a constructive dialogue, in particular encouraging the media to provide more objective information and correct any misinformation that might lead to future conflict.
Note This draft is almost completely extracted from a joint declaration of academicians, professors, journalists, former political personalities of the BRICS countries. I believe that a dialogue could be built on this basis.
N.B. The English text of the EuroBRICS joint declaration on Ukraine is at: