"Authoritarian thinking, which we thought we had overcome after the collapse of totalitarianism, has come back to the surface again and is, unfortunately, becoming a source of fascination for many people. The retreat to nationalism and Euroskepticism is on the rise in many quarters of the European Union," the two presidents said in an op-ed piece published in the newspaper Kathimerini.
The presidents noted that many people no longer see the European Union as a guarantor of peace and human rights, prosperity and social justice.
"In the world of today, we are very much in need – urgently – of this united Europe, more than in the past," Steinmeier and Pavlopoulos added.
For this, the European Union needs efficient decision-making mechanisms and strong instruments to implement their decisions, the two presidents concluded.