Prokopios Pavlopoulos: representative democracy, the most effective system in protecting human rights

Representative democracy is a system of governance that is the most effective in protecting human rights, said Prokopios Pavlopoulos, President of the Hellenic Republic, addressing the Parliamentary Assembly. The organisation of representative democracy is linked to the institutional checks and balances, which guarantee the rule of law, he added.

Among the threats that are undermining the very foundation of representative democracy, Mr Pavlopoulos referred to ‘despotic governance’ - a threat to the balance of powers - or the ineffectiveness of justice. He added that the social welfare state, under the rule of law, had to enable the weak and vulnerable in society to exercise their rights effectively.

He stated that Europe had a broader role than simply that of protecting its peoples. “I do not want to underestimate the strength of any other country or continent, but Europe is best placed to protect the basic principles on which our culture and civilisation are based: humanism, peace, democracy and justice,” he said. “If Europe collapses, who will better defend these valuable principles? Our role is a historic one, and we cannot forget or be unresponsive to that. We cannot give in to populism, which leads, and has led, to alienation and isolation”, President Pavlopoulos concluded.