40 years since the country’s accession to European Economic Community (EEC), today’s European Union and 20 years since joining the Eurozone, in a world of asymmetric globalization, the parity of participation in a strong union of advanced countries such as the EU, enables Greece to play a leading role in creating conditions of collective autonomy, completion of a historic national project independence that began 200 years ago.
The solidarity on which the European plan is based today has its roots in the liberation struggle of 1821, the President of the French Republic Emanuel Macron aptly emphasized in March in his message for the 200 years since the Revolution of 1821, emphasizing the universality of ideas and values of the time.
Today, Greece is a member of the European Union and the Eurozone and is a guarantor of peace, security and cooperation in the region. And this is crucial for European sovereignty in today’s geopolitical moment. Because we need a more sovereign and independent Europe with strategic autonomy. To enable the European Union to manage international crises on its own and to register at its external borders.
The strategically important partnership agreement between France and Greece is moving in this direction. The agreement also contains serious elements of defense assistance and could be described as a bulwark agreement in Turkey. Here we must not escape our attention, what Evangelos Venizelos underlined, “that the clause of mutual military assistance of Article 2 of the agreement provides for the activation of the units” to find together that an armed attack takes place against the territory of one of two, in accordance with Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations “. However, the continental shelf, even after its delimitation and the EEZ, even after its proclamation and demarcation, do not constitute a “territory” in which national sovereignty is exercised, but zones in which special sovereign rights are exercised “. Here, too, there is room for clarification, even in the form of a statement or a letter.
In the dialogue that opened, the opinion expressed by Professor PK Ioakmidis is also interesting: Article 42.7 of the European Union (Lisbon Treaty-TEU) mutual assistance clause.
The bilateral clause undermines and ensures the collective clause – the obligation of all EU member states to assist another Member State facing “armed aggression”, says PK Ioakeimidis.
However, everyone agrees that it is an appropriate choice of Greece to support the “strategic autonomy” of Europe and the creation of the army.
The necessary European sovereignty will depend to a large extent on the developments in the Eastern Mediterranean and the “management” of Turkey. With a leading role in the Mediterranean, France and Greece, they work for a peaceful and prosperous region, governed by cooperation and respect for international law.
On the other hand, Erdogan’s Turkey has become a top problem in a Europe that also wants to play a geopolitical role. It avoids respecting the terms and conditions in order to activate the “positive agenda” in Euro-Turkish relations and undermines the improvement of the climate with acts such as the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention on Violence against Women. Erdogan’s political behavior, apart from the frequent depictions of Greece, is based on the offer that is the sport weapon of the opportunists because the offers and the vulgarity do not make diplomatic arguments.
The important agreement between Greece and France must be included in the new debate on the future of Europe, a debate that leads de facto to a new solidarity of interests at European level that will complement and not annul the national interest.
The President of the European Commission, who took a position on the annual statement on the Company’s Statement, emphasized security and defense and the steps to be taken in this direction. A special Summit on this subject has already been announced for February 2022 in the first half of the French EU Presidency.
Threats such as those facing Greece at the Greek-Turkish-Euro-Turkish border in Evros, the huge crisis – depiction of the coronavirus currently facing Europe, the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and its transfer to the Pacific with the US strategic agreement, Australia and England, show the direction we should follow. See the EU as a comprehensive, developmental, social, institutional and political entity.
As a political tool of creation in an ever-changing world. In the face of international challenges, we need a new ambitious EU, equipped with the necessary sovereignty to determine its own future and meet the new challenges of globalization. In the post-covid era, the EU must move towards better cohesion and more solidarity. And the Athens-Paris agreement shows the way.
*THE Sotiris Dalis is an associate professor at the Department of Mediterranean Studies of the University of the Aegean. Recently, they edited the collective works, “Mare Nostrum: Shifting power in the geopolitical map of the Mediterranean” (published by Papazisis) and “After the pandemic. Greece, Europe and the World in the Shadow of Dystopia “(published by Papazisis).