by Maria Spiliopoulou
ATHENS, Sept. 6 (Xinhua) -- The presidents of Greece and Italy on Wednesday called for the strengthening of institutions and democratic principles within the European Union (EU) while discussing Europe's future during a meeting in Athens.
Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos welcomed at the Presidential mansion in the center of the Greek capital his Italian counterpart Sergio Mattarella, who is in Athens to attend a scientific conference organized in Greece on the occasion of the 10th anniversary since the establishment of the European Public Law Organization.
Pavlopoulos stressed the need for a fruitful dialogue on the future of Europe welcoming the forthcoming conference in Malta on Sept. 14-15, with the participation of all the non-executive presidents of member states, according to an emailed press release by the Greek Presidency.
"(EU's future) concerns European integration and can be based first of all on the institutional deepening of the entire European edifice. European integration, according to the EU's historic course, leads to a federation based on democratic principles, the rule of law and a state of social justice," he said.
"The deepening of democratic principles, of the principles of European rule of law is very important," Mattarella said on his part, praising Greece's role in the establishment of the European Public Law Organization.
"The European Public Law Organization was founded following a Greek initiative. Greece took the initiative and gave us this organization and this is one more proof of the country's significant role," the Italian leader added.
Portuguese President Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa will join the two presidents and other delegates in the conference which is held at Sounion, about 70 km southeast of Athens.