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Nick Gouvalas - Lamia. Greece


1. What are your expectations/hopes from these elections?

Personally, as a dedicated and active European citizen I am expecting the next European Parliament and the Commission to work hard on making the EU stronger, more democratic and more social.

A Strong EU that will make Europe sovereign in a world of global political and market forces; to ensure a rules-based sustainable economic globalization, combat tax havens, social dumping and unfair tax competition and avoid a new era of polarization. Basic pillar of the above mentioned vision should be the promotion of security and a new international order, so the EU become able to promote the interests and values of the Europeans in the world, secure stability and peace in the region and its neighborhood and support meaningful economic and societal development in the Mediterranean region and in Africa, thereby addressing an underlying cause of large-scale migration to Europe.

With regards to the further democratization of the EU it is vital for the new EU leadership to make us, once again, citizens whose choices matter and shape the European policies and institutions.

Finally, a social Europe promoting a development model designed to serve future generations: for a new economic and inclusive growth, sustainable and respectful of the rights of all. The EU should invest more to support growth and strengthen scientific and technological research, further the development of the digital sector and digitalization of the public administration. Last but not least the EU of the 2020’s should defend the social justice, win the battle against inequality, usher in a new model of welfare, and guarantee solidarity among states and among citizens.

2. Do you/people in your member state still have faith in the EU to deliver?

Greece is a very specific study case for the history of European Integration. After three bailout programs the Greek society has fundamentally changed. Greeks are obviously critical of the European Institutions as a big percentage of the population put the blame on the EU for the impoverishment of the country and the lack of coordination of the refugee crisis. Though the Eurobarometer stays relatively high since the Greeks continue to back the Euro currency and the security and stability that the EU membership offers, given the geopolitical position of the country.

With regards to the voting behavior of the Greeks, the EP elections where always seen as a way to express their concerns over domestic issues. This year will probably be no exception to the rule given that the recent events with regards to the name dispute with neighboring Macedonia have triggered public unrest and divisive rhetoric from both the government and the opposition. The big picture is that for once more the Greeks are heading the polls divided with a lack of a clear vision of the future still stuck in their refusal for further actual progress and change in their political spectrum.

3. Will you be voting? If so, who for (if you are willing to say)?

Being an expat to the Netherlands and a liberal, I will vote for one of the parties that fall under the umbrella of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats in Europe (ALDE).

 

 

Reproduced by kind pemrission from the Brussels Express

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