Minister, I just want to echo your excellent speech.

The unfortunate events in our neighbourhood prove that we really need a political federal Europe. A Europe-market is not enough; we need a Europe-power. That is not because Russia is our enemy, but because with such a friend, enemies are not needed for moving the defence upper on our agenda.

This is also about coherence, since the last recourse of any policy is the defence policy. How could we be seen as being serious about our common policies, if beforehand we exclude the recourse to a really common defence policy from our means?

Some claim that geo-strategic thinking belongs to the 19th century, while we think in terms of the 21st century. I believe it is nothing wrong in thinking geo-strategically. The lack of the strategic thought was our mistake and our weakness. What is wrong is to forget the values. However, while always remembering the values, we should also remember that values could not be efficiently promoted unless we are able to prevail in the geo-strategic context.

As my colleague Pascu suggested in the first part of today’s session, soft power cannot be decoupled from hard power, and if we do not accumulate enough hard power in a realistic way, our soft policies are going, even if successful, to create more problems. Only if we mobilize enough hard power, we will be able to avoid using it and our soft means would prove their efficiency.

Since Greece presently holds the EU rotating presidency, could you tell us minister if you are optimistic that the ideas you have presented today will be supported. Where do you foresee difficulties?

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