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Monday, 25 November 2013

Hellenic MoFA: Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Venizelos presents the logo of the Greek Presidency of the Council of the European Union

 
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MFA, Monday, 25 November 2013 
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E. VENIZELOS: We now come to the presentation of the logo. The Presidency’s logo is very important, because it is the Presidency’s hallmark.

This hallmark will accompany and certify our every action. It will accompany every event that happens within the framework of our Presidency. I think it sets out in a very clear manner our basic communication strategy for a Greek European Presidency.


More specifically, we want this logo to be simple, spare and comprehensive. Simple in design, but rich in substance and messages, as entailed by the Hellenic sense of proportion, as well as by our relationship to symbolism.

Simple and substantial, just as we want the Greek Presidency to be, to the benefit of all European citizens.

Second, we wanted a logo that is European and has a clear Hellenic hallmark. A logo that points up the European Union in what we like to believe is a creative manner.

You will be the judge. Hellenic, which alludes to Hellenic forms, to Hellenic colours. Always with reference to the sea. The sea as the fundamental element of the Hellenic identity, as well as of European history.

The sea as the horizontal priority of our Presidency, but also as a factor for growth, for the creation of new jobs and prospects for European peoples, for European economies.

Third, we want a logo that reminds everyone of the European narrative that united us after World War II, after disasters and reversals. The narrative that says – because we have to remember the fundamental things – that in this European family, it benefits us all to move ahead together, sometimes under normal, calm conditions, sometimes in conditions of crisis.

The European Union and the Eurozone in particular are institutionally designed for normal conditions of temperature and pressure. The latest experience of the crisis, from 2008 on, showed that we need European institutions capable of reacting in a timely and effective manner to the challenges of crises.

So it is very, very important that this be expressed by the Greek Presidency’s logo.

Fourth, we wanted a logo that points up the semi-circle. The semi-circle that represents Parliament and the ancient theatre. The conservatory. The semi-circular symbol of the womb that gave birth to democracy, free thought, the conflict of ideas, but also, in the final analysis, European institutional culture.

The semi-circle is also a bridge linking yesterday with today, the ancient with the modern. So the semi-circle is very important as an element of the complex European identity, given that it evokes democracy, freedom of thought and speech, and thus a fundamental element of European legal and political culture: representative democracy and parliamentarianism. Especially now, when we are talking about the need to redress the democratic deficit; now, when we are talking about the need for the re-legitimization of the European Union and the course towards European integration, the semi-circle is of very great significance.

Fifth, we wanted a logo that is optimistic; a realistic note of optimism that we all need in Greece and in Europe in general, as well, without ignoring what has happened or the problems that exist or the difficult path we have before us.

But a note of optimism is needed. The Greeks must exercise the right to optimism. This means that we can gain the position that is our historical right, but mainly based on the potential of the Greek economy and Greek society.

So it is in our hands – the hands of every citizen individually, as well as all together – to do better. Better for the coming generations, and mainly for the young throughout Europe, and particularly in the European south, because, as I said earlier, they are suffering disproportionately from the repercussions of the crisis.

So into this logo we want to compress all these messages and at the same time have it be spare and easy to ‘read’. We loosed this Gordian knot with the help of our technical advisers, and thus we present to you today the solution we arrived at.

It is important that I tell you that this solution was found with the least possible expenditure, with great assistance from the Foreign Ministry’s services, with the assistance of the company Beetroot, which helped us design the Greek Presidency’s ‘brand’. But mainly through the hard work and thought put in by public administration personnel.

Ladies and gentleman Ambassadors, ladies and gentlemen, we can now watch a video on the Greek Presidency’s logo.

[VIDEO]

E. VENIZELOS: Thank you for your positive reaction. As the Presidency’s motto says: Our common quest, notre quête commune.

Because Europe, is everything we said in terms of notions of principles, everything we want: democracy, culture, enlightenment, tolerance, rule of law, social state, prospects for prosperity.

But these things are not a given. They have to be gained anew every time, perhaps every day. So our goal is to once again fight for these things; fight so that Greece can gain its position in the European Union, so that we can give the potential to every young Greek to fight to win a place in the sun of our homeland.

Let me take this opportunity to give you some of the basic elements of the Greek Presidency’s cultural identity. The Presidency, as I said earlier, will be accompanied by a programme that expresses its spare, effective and realistic nature. This also holds true for the Presidency’s cultural activities.

Naturally, we cannot avoid the cultural dimension of the Presidency, because Greece is identified with culture. But we want to do this in a focused manner; a manner that respects the current state of Greek society.

At the same time, we must celebrate the European perspective, point up the Presidency, and fuel the public debate ahead of the elections for the new European Parliament.

A programme was prepared in close collaboration with the Ministry of Culture. This programme includes, primarily, the opening ceremony of the Greek Presidency, which will take place on 8 January 2014 at the Athens Concert Hall, and the main content will be a show entitled “Journey to Eternity”, with the orchestra and ballet from the National Opera and music by Eleni Karaindrou.

An exhibition entitled “Nautilus, Navigating Greece,” dedicated to the sea and its diachronic relationship with Greece, will take place at the Bozar Museum of Brussels. Part of the exhibition will include and highlight eight key concepts associated with the sea. One hundred works of Greek antiquity will be exhibited alongside 11 works of contemporary Greek art. Collaborating at this exhibition will be 29 public archaeological museums, the New Acropolis Museum (which is also public), the Museum of Cycladic Art, as well as artists and private collectors of contemporary art.

The curators of this exhibition will be Culture Ministry personnel, under the supervision and coordination of the Secretary General of the Ministry, Lina Mendoni. The opening will take place in Brussels on 24 January, and the exhibit will run until the end of April.

Our embassies in Europe and other parts of the world will carry out thoughtful yet simple cultural activities, to the extent that they are necessary. I will, however, mention one activity that connects us with the Italian Presidency of the Mediterranean year of 2014. In collaboration with the Presidency of the Italian Republic, a jointly organized cultural event will take place at the Presidential Palace, the Quirinale, for the duration of the last two months of the Greek Presidency and the first two months of the Italian presidency, with significant archaeological items from four different periods in Greece and Magna Graecia, as well as a simultaneous presentation of Greek and Italian contemporary visual artists.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Greek Presidency account has already been activated on twitter, and our website has been launched. I would also like to publicly express my gratitude to the Research Institute of Communications and Computer Systems of the National Technical University of Athens, as well as to the administrative and political leadership and members of the Secretariat General of Information and Communications, who worked tirelessly for the high quality and aesthetically pleasing presence of the Greek Presidency on the web, and of course the spokesperson of the Presidency, Mr. Koutras, who, beyond the duties of the spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, will bear the duties of the spokesperson of the Presidency.

Thus, we are very well prepared for this Presidency, and I believe the logo and the motto confirm this. Thank you once again for your presence, and please allow Mr. Kourkoulas, Deputy Foreign Minister for European Affairs, to give us some technical details concerning the preparations for the Presidency.
 mfa.gr

25/11/13 -

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