A highest honorary distinction was awarded to the Vice-President of the European Parliament, Greek MEP Mrs. Rodi Kratsa, by decision of the President of the Republic of Lebanon H.E. Michel Sleiman. Rodi Kratsa was honoured for her faithful and valuable friendship towards the neighboring country and her longstanding dynamic support to the people of Lebanon, particularly during critical periods.
Rodi Kratsa has been present in Lebanon in times of peace but also in times of political instability. She supported the closer relations between Lebanon and the European Union as well as its internal cohesion, national reconciliation and development. During the period of 2000-2002, she worked to complete the EU/Lebanon Association Agreement and she was always present during the turbulent and dangerous period following the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri: as electoral observer at the critical 2005 elections, as head of delegations of the European Parliament to Lebanon but also through personal visits during the difficult times after the Israeli raids of 2006. Mrs. Kratsa supported actions for the recovery of the affected areas in the south and the improvement of the lives of Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.
In a period of political paralysis and political assassinations, she stood by the side of the members of Parliament and the people of Lebanon to support the institutions of the Republic, the election of the President and the reopening of the Parliament.
Mrs. Kratsa maintains regular communication and contacts with representatives of all political and religious groups, respecting the multiculturalism and delicate balance of the country. She supports the efforts of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s Government of National Unity for institutional, economic and social progress.
She has consistently worked in the direction of establishing equal good neighbor relations between Lebanon and Syria to the benefit of both countries, their people and the security in the wider Mediterranean area as a whole.
“It is my very special honour to receive this award from President Sleiman and I am overwhelmed. Lebanon occupies a special place in my heart and action due to his cultural and religious richness but also because of the delicate internal situation which makes this small country a “scene” of local and international geo-strategic competition. I would like to pay tribute to the people of Lebanon, to their strength towards adversities, their courage, their creative talent and their ardent desire for unity, freedom and progress. I will stand up to the responsibilities that this honorary distinction entails” stated Rodi Kratsa.