The war in Ukraine dominated the opening of the prestigious Delphi Economic Forum on Wednesday with remarks by several heads of state.
The Forum opened in person in Delphi after two years of online and hybrid formats due to the pandemic.
The war in Ukraine and its economic, social, and political implications exacerbating the energy crisis and deepening the imprint of the health crisis, came to the fore at the opening.
Greek President Katerina Sakellaropoulou said the “war in Ukraine froze historical time and space,” highlighting the nuclear threat but also the need for the West to regroup against revisionist and violent practices.
In this context, the EU and Greece sided with the law, that is, with the Ukrainian people. “The EU and Greece are today bridges of peace and security, in the world and in the region,” it was said.
Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, who has warned that the crisis in Ukraine could escalate into a third world war, sent the message of solidarity and social cohesion as an antidote to crises, whether economic, geopolitical, or climatic.
In his speech, the Ecumenical Patriarch stressed that the economy is at the center of man and life, but sustainable development and prosperity do not coexist without taking into account the people and the environment that feeds life.
For her part, the new President of the European Parliament, Roberta Metsola, noted that Europe today is being tested by war and its effects. For this reason, she highlighted the need to achieve three ambitious goals.
These goals include: defense integration slongside increased funding and investment in technology and border guards; the acceleration of the goals of climate change and energy independence from Russia; and, finally, structural problems in supply chains, including the removal of risks such as the food crisis.
War in Ukraine and the Balkans
The impending and growing danger that follows the Russian invasion of Ukraine was highlighted by the President of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Sefik Dzaferovic.
Dzaferovic maintained that the geopolitical risk in the Western Balkans has now increased, threatening stability in the region and the EU. For this reason, he called on the EU to manage the so-called European enlargement as a geopolitical strategy. He asked of the EU to seriously consider his country’s application to join the bloc, and asserted that such a move, would be a response to division and divisive tendencies in the Western Balkans.
Former President of Latvia, Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga, stressed that modern organizations, such as the UN, have failed to prevent developments, such as Russia’s violent invasion of Ukraine. As stated by Vīķe-Freiberga, all international organizations and the international community can condemn and impose sanctions, but it remains a follower of developments.
Each year, the Delphi Economic Forum welcomes heads of state, policymakers, and business leaders from around the globe to speak on international topics, as well as issues central to Greece.
Symeon Tsomokos, founder and president of the Forum, stressed that the goal of the Delphi Economic Forum is to expand its international renown even further. Within the past seven years, the Delphi Economic Forum has already become influential around the world.
The theme of this year’s event is “New Realities,” and it will cover various topics, including climate change and the future of both Greece and the European Union.