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Επίσκεψη Υπουργού Εξωτερικών Σταύρου Λαμπρινίδη στη Βαρσοβία (19 & 20/7/2011)

Την Τρίτη 19 και την Τετάρτη 20 Ιουλίου 2011, ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών Σταύρος Λαμπρινίδης πραγματοποίησε επίσκεψη εργασίας στην Πολωνία που ασκεί για το τρέχον εξάμηνο την Προεδρία της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης.
Το πρόγραμμα της επίσκεψης περιελάμβανε στις 20 Ιουλίου συνάντηση του Υπουργού Εξωτερικών με τον υπουργό Εξωτερικών της Πολωνίας Radosław Sikorski, με τον οποίον συζήτησαν θέματα διμερούς και ευρωπαϊκού ενδιαφέροντος.
Στις 19 Ιουλίου ο υπουργός Εξωτερικών Σ. Λαμπρινίδης έδωσε διάλεξη με τίτλο «Responsibility and Solidarity: the building blocks of our Union», προσκεκλημένος της πολωνικής δεξαμενής σκέψης «Polish Institute of International Affairs» (PISM), όπου είχε εξ άλλου συναντήσεις με τον πρόεδρο του διοικητικού συμβουλίου και πρώην πρωθυπουργό της Πολωνίας, Jan Krzysztof Bielecki και τον διευθυντή, Marcin Zaborowski.

Άρθρο της “Καθημερινής” για τα Γραφεία Τύπου Εξωτερικού

Η φωνή μας στο εξωτερικό

Tου Σταύρου Tζίμα

Στις αρχές της εβδομάδας οι ακόλουθοι Tύπου των ελληνικών πρεσβειών προχώρησαν σε σαρανταοχτάωρη απεργία διαμαρτυρόμενοι για «την υποβάθμιση της σημασίας προβολής της εθνικής μας εικόνας στο εξωτερικό», όπως σημείωναν στο σχετικό δελτίο Τύπου. Δεν έκλεισαν δρόμους, δεν προέβησαν σε καταλήψεις πρεσβειών ή του ΥΠΕΞ, ούτε έκαναν φασαρία στα τηλεπαράθυρα, ώστε να αναγκάσουν την κυβέρνηση να μην προχωρήσει στο κλείσιμο ενός σημαντικού αριθμού εξ αυτών, για λόγους λιτότητας.
Οσοι δημοσιογραφήσαμε εκτός συνόρων ξέρουμε τι σημαίνει η παρουσία αυτών των ανθρώπων στις πρεσβείες μας για τη χώρα μας, σε μια περίοδο που πασχίζει να περισώσει ό,τι έχει απομείνει από το διεθνές της κύρος. Γιατί τα Γραφεία Τύπου επιτελούν ένα σημαντικό ρόλο στη διεθνή προβολή της χώρας, με ελάχιστα κατ’ ουσίαν μέσα, αλλά με στελέχη-απόφοιτους του Τμήματος Ακολούθων Τύπου της Εθνικής Σχολής Δημόσιας Διοίκησης, οι οποίοι συνδυάζουν μέσα από την εκπαίδευσή τους γνώσεις τόσο της διπλωματίας και διεθνών σχέσεων όσο και σύγχρονης επικοινωνίας.
Αυτοί με τις διασυνδέσεις τους στα ΜΜΕ φροντίζουν να τροφοδοτούν θετική δημοσιότητα και να αποτρέπουν αρνητικά δημοσιεύματα που διαμορφώνουν ανθελληνικό κλίμα. Με τα καθημερινά reports και τις πολύτιμες πληροφορίες τους, όπως αποδείχθηκε σε κρίσιμες στιγμές, βοηθούν την εξωτερική πολιτική, αλλά και την ασφάλεια της χώρας. Ποιος δεν θυμάται ότι τη νύχτα των Ιμίων, όταν η χώρα βρέθηκε στα πρόθυρα πολεμικής σύρραξης ήταν το Γραφείο Τύπου στην στην Αγκυρα που ενημέρωσε την Αθήνα ότι Τούρκοι κομάντος κατέλαβαν τη βραχονησίδα;
Δεν γνωρίζω πόσα χρήματα θα εξοικονομήσει η κυβέρνηση, καταργώντας δεκατέσσερα από τα σαράντα ένα γραφεία, σίγουρα όμως θα στερήσει τις διπλωματικές αρχές από ένα πολύτιμο, σύγχρονο εργαλείο που απευθύνεται όχι μόνο στις κυβερνήσεις, αλλά, κυρίως στην κοινή γνώμη της κάθε χώρας.
Αλλα κράτη, με πρώτες τις ΗΠΑ αλλά και την Τουρκία, εντάσσουν τη δημόσια διπλωματία στις δομές τους ως σύγχρονη πρακτική της διπλωματίας του 21ου αιώνα για την ανάδειξη του ρόλου τους και την εξυπηρέτηση των εθνικών τους συμφερόντων. Θα περίμενε κανείς ότι ο τομέας της επικοινωνιακής μας πολιτικής στο διεθνές περιβάλλον θα αναβαθμιζόταν με επαναπροσδιορισμό στόχων, καλύτερη χρησιμοποίηση του ανθρώπινου δυναμικού και γενικότερη αναδιοργάνωση ακόμα και με τη συγκρότηση αυτοτελούς υπηρεσίας υπαγόμενης απευθείας στο ΥΠΕΞ, αντίστοιχης με αυτής των ΗΠΑ, με σκοπό τη μεγιστοποίηση των αποτελεσμάτων και τη μείωση της σπατάλης πόρων. Επιχειρείται, δυστυχώς, το αντίθετο. Η προβαλλόμενη άποψη που θέλει τον ρόλο των Γραφείων Τύπου του Εξωτερικού υποβαθμισμένο λόγω των τεχνολογικών και επικοινωνιακών εξελίξεων στο πλαίσιο της παγκοσμιοποίησης και του φαινομένου του «παγκόσμιου χωριού» είναι μάλλον παραπλανητικό.
(Καθημερινή, 2/7/2010)

Vice Presidents at the European Parliament

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The European Parliament elected Tuesday, July 15,  its new presidium. MEPs elected Jerzy Buzek to be the new European Parliament President with 555 votes in favour (or 86.18 % of the valid votes). The 69-year-old Polish MEP will lead the European Parliament for two and a half years (until January 2012).  Amongst the 14 vice presidents of the 736-seat institution, representing 492 million citizens from 27 countries, two Greeks were elected on the first round of voting. Rodi-Kratsa Tsagaropoulou from the Group of the European People’s Party (Christian Democrats) received 355 votes and Stavros Lambrinidis representing the Group of the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats received 348 votes.

EU Heads in Athens

» International Biodiversity Conference

EU Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso was welcomed  in Athens in order to attend a two-day international conference on “Biodiversity Protection Beyond 2010” hosted by Greece (April 27-28). Some 230 representatives of EU member states, NGOs, European enterprises and UN agencies discussed EU policy on biodiversity, as 2010 will be a major milestone for biodiversity policy both in the EU and globally. Addressing the event, Barroso underlined the significance of protecting biodiversity, shifting from “business as usual,” to a new model, hopefully shaped by this new “message emitting from Athens.” 

Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis praised Greece for its high quality biodiversity amongst Mediterranean and European countries, but stressed that environmental protection ought to know no geographic boundaries. Taking the floor, Environment Commissioner Stavros Dimas warned that the world cannot turn its back on climate change and on any pressing matters of environmental protection. European Commission: Follow the Conference on-line & Dimas on biodiversity

» Remarks on Greek Economy

Meeting yesterday with Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, Barroso welcomed Greece’s plans to tackle microeconomic imbalances and deliver on structural reforms. The Greek government has pledged to rein in the country’s deficit by 2010 (a fall to less than 3% of GDP), in keeping with EU’s proposed measures on fiscal policy.

» Honours Bestowed

European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso received  (April 27) distinction from the Hellenic Parliament and the City of Athens. Hellenic Parliament Speaker Dimitris Sioufas decorated Barroso with the Gold Medal of the Hellenic Parliament, while Athens Mayor Nikitas Kaklamanis awarded Barroso the Medal of Honour and Benefaction of the City of Athens.

The New Athens Opera House’s Prelude

GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   World-renowned architect Renzo Piano unveiled his concept design for the new cultural complex in Faliro on January 24 at a special event at Zappeion Hall, which will include a new National Library and Opera House to be built and donated to the Greek state by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF). Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis who attended the event hailed the project as a monumental, unique point of reference for the new age. Renzo Piano presented a draft plan using stone, light, sea view, an energy conservation system based on photovoltaic cells and includes landscaping of the surrounding area with locally-grown plants. The €450 million project, which will be constructed on a 16-hectare site – once a horse-racing track – will also feature an ‘agora’ inspired by the meeting place of ancient Greek cities and a park and is due to be completed by 2015. Greek News Agenda: New Opera House’s Prelude

New Athens Opera House’s Prelude

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The architect Renzo Piano has been chosen to build a cultural park in Greece that will house the country’s new Opera House and National Library. Piano designed the New York Times Building, co-designed the Pompidou centre in Paris and left his mark on Berlin’s Potzdamer Square, the Paul Klee Centre in Bern and Osaka’s international airport. The internationally acclaimed architect arrives in Athens on January 24 to present his project to the public, and will deliver a lecture on the same day as part of the “Megaron Plus” series. Piano aspires to take advantage of the country’s gift of sunlight, combined with the element of water. The complex will be built on a former race-course in the southern suburbs of Athens and will be funded by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation through an exclusive sponsorship of €300 million.  

Greece at the UN Climate Change Conference in Poznań

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   Today the United Nations’ Climate Change Conference in Poznań, (December 1-12) concludes with the participation of 192 United Nations member states and representatives from international organisations and NGOs. The purpose of the conference is to lay the foundations for the conclusion of a global climate treaty which will succeed the Kyoto protocol. The final agreement is expected to be signed in Copenhagen in 2009. Member states are called to agree upon specific targets and deadlines to curtail carbon emissions, a matter which is directly linked to the course of their economic activity. The conference has set out the goal of reducing carbon emissions by 60-80% by the year 2050. Addressing the conference, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon called for global solidarity on climate change and talked about a new “Green Deal,” while the European Commissioner for Environment Stavros Dimas stressed that the European Commission aims at shifting the gear towards concrete negotiations and reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020. In regard to Greece, the Commissioner noted that Greece’s economy will benefit immensely should the country choose to comply fully with the European aspirations. European Commission: Commissioner’s speech in Poznan & UN Climate Change Conference 2008; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Greek chair @ Human Security Network- Policy Papers on Climate Change; Secretariat General for Information: About Greece-Environmental Protection & About Brand Greece-Environmental Strategic Policies

The Current Financial Crisis: Fall of the Berlin Wall 2.0?

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   ELIAMEP Blogs: Janis Emmanouilidis, Fall of the Berlin Wall 2.0 – Part 1 Key Political Effects of the Financial-Economic Crisis The former German Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer has publicly speculated that the effects of the current financial crisis will be similar to the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. This time, however, the consequences would not affect the East but rather the West. In times of severe crisis, like the one we are undisputedly experiencing at present, apocalyptic predictions come as no surprise. But is Joschka Fischer right or is his prognosis rather exaggerated? Janis A. Emmanouilidis is a political analyst, policy consultant, political scientist and currently Stavros Costopoulos Research Fellow at the Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP)

Athens’ Facelift: A High-tech Tribute to Arts and Letters

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The outline of his plan for the new opera house and the new national library was recently presented by the Italian architect Renzo Piano to Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis. Commissioned by the Stavros Niarchos Foundation Cultural Centre, the new complex worth €300 million will be located at the Faliron Delta site. Explaining his vision to the premier, Piano was proud to announce that the new opera house will be “a jewel” and emphasized the importance of quality over size. As for the new library, Piano promised to deliver a new-generation library which will be connected to the biggest and most famous ones in the world, such as Harvard and Cambridge. 2010 is the most probable date for the commencement of the construction and the project is due to 2015.  Kathimerini daily: Renzo Paino’s vision of high-tech ‘jewel’  

Hellenic Culture

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The International Centre for Hellenic Culture and Vocational Training (ICHCVT) is a grant by the Stavros S. Niarchos Foundation to the University of Ioannina. The Centre aims to serve as a bridge between Greece and Greeks living abroad. Its objectives include supporting the teaching of the Greek language to foreigners, promoting Greek-European culture, training young people in professions that will address needs in the Balkan Peninsula and the countries of the Black Sea region. The Centre, comprised of two buildings and covering a total area of 4,500 square meters, was designed by Alexandros Dovas. It is complete with teaching rooms, laboratories, space for cultural events, and a theatre.

Greek Think Tanks

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy (www.eliamep.gr) is involved in a wide range of activities and research programmes, which cover different aspects of European and foreign policy and other related fields.  ELIAMEP launches a new publication series, ELIAMEP Thesis. It will cover issues related to EU integration, to Europe’s role in global affairs and to important developments in international affairs. The new series will complement ELIAMEP’s Policy Papers, in an effort to produce short and timely analyses and recommendations on topical issues and current developments. In the first issue of ELIAMEP Thesis Janis A. Emmanouilidis, discusses the prospects for differentiated integration in an EU 27+. The author argues that the EU will require different paces, if the enlarged and politically, economically and geopolitically more heterogeneous EU wants to remain effective. Emmanouilidis is currently a  Stavros Costopoulos Fellow at ELIAMEP.

Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy: ELIAMEP Thesis No.1