Focus on Europe:

Greece to Join EEC; Pope to Travel: Europe to the Polls — On Monday May 28, Greece formally signed the Treaty of Accession with the European Economic Community which will make it the Common Market's tenth member on January 1, 1981. Greece's acceptance came after tough negotiations of more than two years and will not come into force until the above date in order to allow for ratification by the parliaments of the other nine countries.

The treaty was signed by Greek Premier Konstantin Karamanlis. French President Valery Giscard d' Estaing signed on behalf of the Community. Karamanlis, who has worked for his country's entry for 18 years was ecstastic over the successful culmination of his efforts.

"At this moment, I am personally overwhelmed by deep emotion," Karamanlis said. "A steady vision and an unswerving belief in the necessity of a United Europe and in the European destiny of my country have at long last, after 18 years, found their justification… She (Greece) joins you in the struggle for the creation of a new Europe which will change the destiny of our continent and, perhaps, of the world."

The Premier said that despite the slow movement toward a United Europe, important steps have been taken including the upcoming elections for a European parliament and the establishment of a European Monetary System.

"We have decided to be all Europeans as Churchill would have said and to be all Greeks, as Shelly would have put it," Karamanlis said. "For to cite Isocrates, 'Greeks are not those born Greek but those who adopted the classical spirit."

Karmanlis believes that entry into the EEC will consolidate Greek democratic institutions and ward off the likelihood of another military dictatorship, because under the Community's founding document, the Treaty of Rome, a non-democratic country would be expelled.

Community president Roy Jenkins remarked he hoped the current negotiations with Spain and Portugal will end "as successfully as those with Greece. The enlargement to twelve must not be allowed to weaken or dilute the Community."

Papal Trip, Euro-elections

The move by Greece comes at a time of increased political activity in Europe. On June 2, Pope John Paul I1 will embark on an eight-day trip to Poland — the first visit ever by a pope behind the Iron Curtain. Crowds in Warsaw, Krakow and other Polish cities are expected to be heavy.

Then, on June 7 and 10 voters in the nine EEC countries will go to the polls to choose, for the first time, directly-elected candidates to the enlarged and strengthened European Parliament. The campaign has drawn some of Europe's leading political figures. For example, former Chancellor Willy Brant, heads the Socialists' list in Germany and former Prime Minister Leo Tindemans is running for election in Belgium. The leading conservative candidate is Otto von Habsburg, who is running for a seat from Bavaria. Dr. Von Habsburg, while now a West German citizen, also retains his Austrian citizenship.

The entrance of Greece into the EEC — Greece being the cradle of European civilization — the papal trip to eastern Europe, the Euro-elections and the von Habsburg candidacy all have an interesting tie-in.

On April 5, a delegation of current representatives from the European Parliament was granted a papal audience. Interestingly enough, Dr. von Habsburg was included in the delegation. The pope, reported the April 6 issue of Europe Agence Internationale (a daily review of European events), pointed out to his visitors that they did not represent the whole of Europe, which was well beyond the frontiers of the EEC. The Pope told them that the idea of the whole of Europe should be promoted during the forthcoming elections, which should be regarded as a first stage in a long process of integration.

A few days later, in the April 27 issue of Europe Agence Internationale, editor Emanuele Gazzo wrote that Pope John Paul 11, in speaking to the Parliamentarians, "enlarged on a theme which obviously lies within the Church's universal perspective, but of which the present Pope is particularly aware (he spoke of it in texts drafted when he was Bishop of Kracow), the question of Europe's frontiers, frontiers which do not coincide with those of the present Europe. It is clear that in his opinion there is hardly any sense in thinking of State frontiers: it is rather a question of 'evangelisation' frontiers. We know moreover that the 'episcopal conferences' of Europe override artificial barriers between East and West."

"To The Borders of Russia"

The concept of a greater, historic, "Christian" Europe is also very much the thinking of Dr. Von Habsburg. The oldest son of the last Austrian chancellor was interviewed in the February 19, 1979 issue of der Spiegel. Here are the key excerpts:

"Spiegel: Nevertheless you are going to be the only Austrian in Strassburg.

"Habsburg: ...please, this is going to sound very conceited now, and I do not want to be understood that way, but naturally one has to, if one wants to be a Europe-parliamentarian, to stand up for all of Europe.

"Spiegel: Not only for the Europe of the Nine?

"Habsburg: No, absolutely not. The Europe of the Nine is a starting point. Just like the Italian unification in the 19th century started with part of a state, Piedmont, so shall the greater Europe evolve later from this Europe of the nine.

"Spiegel: Up to the Ural (mountains)?

"Habsburg: No, never. I have always been against the Urals, because I have always been of the opinion that Russia is a different continent. [A reference to DeGaulle, who preached of a Europe from the Atlantic to the Urals].

"Spiegel: Where, then, does your Europe end?

"Habsburg: It extends to the borders of Russia.

"Spiegel: Does that mean that you intend to expel the Soviets from Eastern Europe?

"Habsburg: That means, that we have a feeling of solidarity for the Europeans on the other side of the Yalta line, that we have to stand up for the right of self-determination of these Europeans with all peaceful means. It is for us an unbearable thought that decolonization is applicable exclusively for Africa and Asia and not also for Europe."

Gene H, Hogsberg, News Bureau

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Pastor General's ReportMay 29, 1979Vol 3 No. 20