ATHENS – Greek President Prokopios Pavlopoulos declared the opening on Monday of the 6th annual “Athens Democracy Forum” entitled “Democracy in Danger: Solutions for a changing world.”
He stressed that the risks to democratic institutions and, consequently, to fundamental human rights are not only not diminishing but, on the contrary, multiplying, globally. It was extremely alarming that the new dangers of undermining democratic institutions and fundamental human rights are, in the overwhelming majority, “subcutaneous” and difficult to trace.
Pavlopoulos focused on the erosion of representative democracy due to the dominance of the “economic” over the “institutional” and the extreme manifestations of neoliberalism, which have evolved as a highly dangerous mechanism that erode the rule of law, the principle of legality and, ultimately, a state governed by the rule of law as a top institutional and political stand of representative democracy. He also referred to the “allies” that the legal order can look for against these risks.
According to the president, a first ally and one with many possibilities and corresponding expectations would be, broadly speaking, the legislator. Starting with the national legislature, which has the power to produce democratically legitimate legal norms, an institutional ‘manual’ of formal law and the regulatory administrative act issued by the executive branch with its authorisation and extending to international legislative powers, within which the European Union legislature is becoming ever more prominent, although this first “alliance” has not yet delivered the anticipated results, Pavlopoulos said.