The Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakisat the invitation of the President of the United States Joe Biden, took part via video conference in the work of the 2nd Summit on Democracy, which is co-organized by the USA, Costa Rica, the Netherlands, South Korea and Zambia.

The prime minister participated in the thematic session entitled “Democracy brings economic growth and common prosperity”where he made the following intervention:

“Mister President,

I wholeheartedly share your view – which was expressed at the UN General Assembly in September – that real freedom is the ability to live your life to the fullest with dignity. But real freedom can only be achieved through real democracy.

Adam Smith argued that laws and institutions that protect the freedom of people to realize their full potential lead to greater prosperity for society as a whole.

In Greece we learned this the hard way. The deep economic crisis that has hit my country for much of the last decade has threatened the very fabric of Greek society and weakened our institutions.

Not anymore. In 2019, Greeks rejected dogma and stood for democratic resilience and reforms, based on strong legal frameworks, independent and representative institutions. In the four years that followed, my government prioritized the digitization of the state, fought corruption and passed hundreds of laws modernizing our country.

Our success lies not in a top-down management process, but in the ownership of these important reforms by well-informed, socially aware and active citizens who actively participate in an open, tolerant, free, pluralistic and democratic society.

At the same time, government accountability and transparency, a free press and equal access for all to a fair and impartial justice system are vital to achieving social justice and inclusive, equitable development.

I am proud to report that today Greece is one of only three countries in Europe that have integrated the 17 Sustainable Development Goals of the UN into their annual planning.

We continue and will continue to pursue reforms related to the digital transition and e-government, strengthening important direct participation for all civil society, but also giving a voice to both young and old.

However, digital technology is not only a great promoter of economic growth, but also a great factor in democratization.

Digital innovation, technology and now artificial intelligence are helping policymakers deliver global solutions to complex geopolitical issues: from combating climate change to conserving areas with biodiversity, from providing green energy to understanding and managing the forces leading to mass migration.

At home, digital reform reduces red tape and administrative costs for businesses, provides a fairer and less complex tax system and enables everyone to access digital services.

We know that in countries that lack transparency, accountability and representation, with poor human rights and rule of law records, limited civil society participation, and no or few strong independent institutions, the pursuit of political agendas at the expense of economic development and welfare prevents citizens from reaching their full potential.

Today, the threat to our democratic way of life is perhaps more acute than at any time in the last three decades. For this reason we must never waver in promoting political, individual and economic rights, strengthening democratic institutions and the rule of law, defending accountability, fighting corruption and fighting for inclusiveness.

By promoting economic growth and prosperity we not only strengthen the foundations of democracy as a “shield” against those who threaten us, but also as an “incubator” for those who wish to come to our side, for those who wish every citizen to live life to the fullest with dignity”.

Greece was also invited and took part in the 1st Synod, in 2021.

*During the Summit a message from the Prime Minister was also shown (unofficial translation from English):*

“Honorable hosts, dear colleagues,

Democracy nurtures freedom and justice and preserves peace. Unfortunately, it is still threatened around the world. On the European continent, democracy is under brutal and sustained attack in Ukraine: a sovereign nation illegally invaded by an aggressor who opposes the democratic values ​​that mean so much to us all.

The 2nd Democracy Summit is therefore a well-timed opportunity not only to join forces to strengthen democracy, but also to unite in its defense whenever and wherever it is attacked or threatened.

During the Year of Action that followed the first Democracy Summit, Greece sought, both domestically and globally, to preserve and further promote peace, security, human rights and sustainable development. Our candidacies for the United Nations Security Council in 2025-2026 and for the United Nations Human Rights Council in 2028-2030 are but a reflection of my country’s determination to help strengthen a rules-based international system .

In Greece, in the period after the first Summit, the Year of Action and the implementation of our commitments have formed the framework for my government’s policies. We have fulfilled all our commitments to the rule of law, accountability, anti-corruption and inclusiveness in order to improve the quality of our democracy.

Our ambitious reform program to promote better and more codified law, which will bring about transformation, is having tangible results for our citizens, such as speeding up the administration of justice by reducing the number of days it takes to issue court decisions.

The change in thinking in terms of planning, monitoring, evaluation and effective implementation not only increased public accountability, transparency and inclusiveness, but also encouraged citizen participation. In addition, a series of National Action Plans for the rights of the child, the rights of persons with disabilities, gender equality, as well as – for the first time in my country – a national strategy for the rights of the LGBTI community are already being implemented.

In addition, Greece is one of three countries in Europe that has integrated the 17 Sustainable Development Goals into its annual government planning and regularly submits its compliance report to the UN, in line with our commitment to sustainable and inclusive development.

We are working tirelessly to fight corruption through the National Transparency Authority. Our work is reflected in Transparency International’s, World Bank’s and Economist’s corruption and governance indices, where our ranking is constantly improving.

And, of course, the large-scale digitization of services available to Greek citizens is yet another tangible result of our commitment to fight corruption and ensure the greater efficiency and accountability of our democracy.

Our work, obviously, does not end with the implementation of the commitments we made in 2021. After the upcoming parliamentary elections in our country, we pledge to continue to work with all the agencies and partners involved, both here in Greece and internationally, in order to preserve our rules-based system, and with it the future of democracy.”