Twelve Heads of State Descend on Athens to Discuss the Future of Europe



President Prokopis Pavlopoulos as he welcomed European heads of state on Thursday evening, with the Athens Acropolis in the background

The heart of Europe is now beating in Athens, where the 15th annual meeting of the “Arraiolos Group,” comprised of heads of state from around the continent, takes place on Friday.

The topic of the informal summit, which was convened after the recent, pivotal European elections, is “The Fundamental Principle of Solidarity as a Key to EU Deepening.” The talks will focus on the future of Europe itself, as well as the additional steps needed to further promote European unification.

The meeting is being held in Athens at the initiative of the President of the Hellenic Republic, Prokopios Pavlopoulos, who will host other European presidents, including Germany’s Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Italy’s Sergio Mattarella, Portugal’s Marcelo De Sousa, and Poland’s Andre Dundas.

Other presidents, including Hungary’s Janos Ader, Malta’s George Vella, Latvia’s Egils Levits, Slovenia’s Borut Pahor, Estonia’s Kersti Kaljulaid, Bulgaria’s Rumen Radev, Croatia’s Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović and Ireland’s Michael Daniel Higgins will also take part in the talks.

It is reported that the summit will result in the “Declaration of Athens,” which will address the future of the European Union. Emphasis is expected to be placed on the need to take decisive steps, as swiftly as possible, toward European unification, and by extension, European integration.

The ultimate aim of the discussions will be to establish a type of “federal” European Union on the terms of a representative democracy.

Special emphasis will also be given to the themes of the two meetings, with the first focusing on “Effectively Tackling the Economic and Refugee Crisis” and the second on “Tackling the Challenges of Security of the European Union and its Member States.”

The discussions are expected to conclude at approximately 17:00, with the Presidents giving their statements to the press.

The summit will conclude with an official dinner in honor of all of the heads of state of the Arraiolos Group, which will be hosted by the President of the Hellenic Republic at the Presidential Mansion.

Source: AMNA