This question should be raised by bureaucrats at all levels (leaders, diplomats and staff) serving in international organizations and for the scope of this article, in particular the EU.

The same question must be addressed, by the Hellenic Government, to those involved with partners and the potential

enlargement of the EU with new applicants – member states.

Being more specific, I will refer to some issues observed with three neighboring countries with Greece, namely, North Macedonia, Albania, and Turkey.

Very recently, the leaders of the aforementioned countries, have addressed to their internal audiences, (but made known publically - worldwide) raising questions and matters that have different level impact, as regards Hellenic external and internal policy, the diplomatic state of affairs either bilaterally or at the EU context, and most importantly at the peoples’ perception. In one world those issues can be referred as “revisionism”.

These questions, as raised by each of the leaders of those countries, have distinct way on the aspects they address, driven though by the same origin: “revisionism” as already highlighted.

Coming to specific points:

We heard statements from the recently elected President of North Macedonia Mrs Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova, against the provisions of the so called “Prespes agreement”, announcing her decision to call the country with the “provocative name” which was the core issue for severe and yearly negotiations on the matter, sorted though out with the “Prespes Agreement” among the Hellenic Republic and the (later) North Macedonia, witnessed by HE Matthew Nimetz.

We heard Prime Minister Rama, during his private visit to Athens raising questions on issues related to human rights and in particular the “Beleri” case, among others that have brought the level of the relations of the two countries to a historic low.

In addition he declared, without any hesitation and in a rather provocative manner, that regardless the will of Athens, Tirana will join the EU by 2030!

We heard President Erdogan, referring to unilaterally raised questions, as regards Turkeys’ broadening agenda against Greece, insisting that the existing problems can be solved bilaterally and out of the scope and context of international law and jurisdiction of the pertinent international entities.

Each country’s position differs, and they have distinct point of view; to my opinion Turkey’s priority is not being a full EU member but affiliated with a “special relations” status wit the EU, allowing her to be benefited of by the EU provisions while evading away from its obligations. Albania and North Macedonia have the need of the EU, seek the accession, in order to be able to develop, progress and get integrated to modern societies and to a wealthy and secure club of democracies.

Remember, these are three of the nine EU candidate countries, {}, under the observation of the EU for their compliance to the EU principles and values. And the leaders of these countries, challenge and provoke other EU Member Countries (for the scope of this article Greece and Cyprus in particular) and to my humble perception, they provoke the “Club” that they are “willing or whishing” to join!

Someone could argue that this is paradise for the bureaucrats in Brussels, but as it comes to our own capital (political, diplomatic, economic, etc.), definitely there is an inserted anomaly there! There is an unwanted expenditure of this national (Hellenic) capital, thus I suggest that the

Greek Government should consider a comprehensive approach (a whole of government approach) and explore potential options (not limited to those solely proposed) to handle those issues at the EU, NATO and other pertinent bodies’ level:
• Put EU funding (either some or even all, at governments discretion and negotiation process) opportunities on hold for these three.
• Include in the periodic reports of each candidate to the EU country the aforementioned statements of their leaders and use them at their accession process, pick up negotiation opportunities and correlate them with the concept as briefly described above.
• Freeze - hold (even critical if so required to transmit the message seriously) processes not strictly related to those issues, but to other “very important” issues of the EU and NATO, explaining to the organizations that Greece has limited capacity to handle all “suddenly or opportunistically raised” issues, thus this decision is a matter of national priority.
• Consequently, call for proper procedural and secretarial actions (example; call for article 4 consultations, within NATO context referring to North Macedonia when it comes to the name issue) trying to address the issue collectively at each International Organization respectively.
• Follow a similar approach on a bilateral level to other member states / countries to share perceptions and potentially design a common way out or ahead.

Having said that I wish to conclude by highlighting the importance of the question of this article, aiming at creating the perception needed to our own leaders, but also to the leaders and to the peoples in our neighboring countries, that in the international relations where principles and values matters, that it is important not even thinking to “dare”; then Greece could be proud of its resilient deterrence capacity.

Ο Γεώργιος Τσόγκας ...

Βίας ο Πριηνεύς: Άκουγε πολλά, μίλα την ώρα που πρέπει.

Θαλής o Μιλήσιος: Καλύτερα να σε φθονούν παρά να σε λυπούνται.

Κλεόβουλος ο Λίνδιος: Το μέτρο είναι άριστο.

Περίανδρος ο Κορίνθιος: Οι ηδονές είναι θνητές, οι αρετές αθάνατες.

Πιττακός ο Μυτιληναίος: Με την ανάγκη δεν τα βάζουν ούτε οι θεοί.

Σωκράτης: Εν οίδα ότι ουδέν οίδα. Ουδείς εκών κακός.

Θουκυδίδης: Δύο τα εναντιότατα ευβουλία είναι, τάχος τε και οργήν.

Πλάτων: Άγνοια, η ρίζα και ο μίσχος όλου του κακού. 

Αριστοτέλης: Δεν υπάρχει τίποτε πιο άνισο από την ίση μεταχείριση των ανίσων.