Established in 1996, the LSE’s Hellenic Observatory (HO) celebrates its 20th Anniversary with conferences, research seminars and public lectures. H.E. Mr Prokopis Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic, delivered the anniversary lecture marking the occasion at the Athens Concert Hall, on November 28th titled “The principle of Solidarity in the framework of primary European Law: Guarantees provided by the Treaty for the European Union and the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union”. President Pavlopoulos underlined that the two special areas where the principle of solidarity is important in today’s Europe are the economy and the refugee crisis. He also referred to the father of Europe, Robert Schuman, who considered solidarity as a key element in building a cohesive Europe.

Professor Paul Kelly, Pro-Director for Education and International Affairs & Professor on Political Theory in the Government Department, LSE, and Professor Kevin Featherstone, Head of the European Institute; Eleftherios Venizelos Professor of Contemporary Greek Studies & Professor of European Politics, LSE, delivered welcoming messages. 

Greece: Modernisation and Europe 20 years on

Another one-day conference, was also organized on the occasion of the 20th Anniversary of the HO at the premises of the LSE Campus, on Friday, November 25th. Drawing on the conference ‘Greece: Prospects for Modernisation’ that was held 20 years ago (November 1994) at the LSE European Institute, a one-day conference on 25 November focused on the modernisation of Greece over the past two decades, looking at the state of play in Politics, Public Administration, Economic and Social Policy. Former Prime Minister Costas Simitis delivered the keynote speech titled “Greece: Modernisation and Europe 20 years on”, emphasizing the need for deepening the common European project:

“There is an evident lack of central guidance and the absence of a truly inclusive way of getting all member states to pull in the same direction. Developing a coherent policy that will confront the causes of grave imbalances and new problems is imperative. Such a policy requires much closer economic and political cooperation, and will lead to gradual European integration” Simitis concluded.

simitis2Has Greece been modernised and where are we now? Is modernisation still relevant to Greece in times of crisis? Panelists, Kevin Featherstone, Sir Christopher Pissarides, Vassilis Monastiriotis, Takis Pappas, Calliope Spanou, Dimitri A. Sotiropoulos, George Pagoulatos, Miranda Xafa, Nicos Christodoulakis, Platon Tinios, Antigone G. Lyberaki, Spyros Economides, Loukas Tsoukalis and Paschos Mandravelis, Aristos Doxiadis, responded to questions while focusing on Greek public administration and the significance of the ‘modernisation’ concept; the successes and failures of Greece’s economic modernisation programme over the last two decades; and the evolution of the Greek welfare state and social policy.

You can listen to podcasts from each session by clicking here.

About LSE’s Hellenic Observatory

The LSE’s HO produces and disseminates high quality and policy relevant academic research on Greece and Southeast Europe across a range of issues within the social sciences. Its series of events help achieve one of its core missions, to encourage social dialogue and inform the academic and policy debates on contemporary policy issues for Greece and Southeast Europe. Details about the Anniversary, achievements and activities over the last 20 years can be found here.

One of the main objectives of the Hellenic Observatory is to develop high-quality research in the area of social sciences focusing on modern Greece & Cyprus and their international position within the European Union and Southeast Europe. The Observatory encourages the study of modern Greece & Cyprus through a multi-disciplinary and comparative perspective.

Read more: Celebrating the 20th Anniversary of LSE’s Hellenic Observatory