A human right to be happy — also in the EU?

            KarikaThe Declaration of Pallini, Athens requests the right of Europeans to be happy!

           The 20th of March is designated by the United Nations as the International day of Happiness, but people continue to be unhappy.For this exact reason, in Greece of current crisis and diffuse unhappiness, philosophically sensitive citizens have proposed the establishment of the human right of happiness in the European Union, under the auspices of Municipality of Pallini, Athens.      

            The need

            In the last four years Greece has had the second largest increase of unhappiness in the world after Egypt, according to recent UN data. More than two thirds of Greeks declare that they experience unhappiness, while similar percentages exist in other European countries.

            The predominant philosophy in the European Union aims at the prosperity of economic figures, favoring policies that cause misery in many European citizens. The right of happiness (well-being) is non-existing in the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union.

            The proposal  

            The right of happiness for every human being was first supported by the philosopher Epicurus, followed by the Epicurean author of the American Declaration of Independence Thomas Jefferson. In 2012, the United Nations recognized that happiness is a fundamental human goal and right.

            The “Declaration of the right of happiness in the European Unionwas introduced and philosophically supported at the recent Pan-Hellenic Symposium of Epicurean Philosophy, which is held annually under the auspices of Municipality of Pallini. The text of the “Declaration of Pallini, Athenswas enthusiastically accepted by the attendants and was initially co-signed by 114 people, including the Mayor of Pallini Athanassios Zoutsos. The Municipal Council of Pallini officially accepted the Declaration.

            The aim

            The “Declaration of the right of happiness in the European Unionor “Declaration of Pallini, Athenshas already been translated in seven languages. A special website is in preparation which will include the Declaration in all European languages facilitating collection of the necessary number of signatures with the aim to introduce the subject at the European Parliament and to ultimately achieve a more humanistic orientation of the European Union.

 Information: Municipality of Pallini, Athens, Greece.        .

 The Declaration is the following:

Declaration of the right of happiness in the European Union (Declaration of Pallini, Athens)

One of the main foundations of European civilization is philosophy. Aristotle and Epicurus realized that the purpose of philosophy is happiness (well-being). Epicurus taught that happiness corresponds to absence of mental and physical pain and may be attained though observation of nature, prudence, free will, virtue and friendship.

Many centuries later, in 1776, the main author of the American Declaration of Independence, Thomas Jefferson, influenced by Epicurus’ teachings, included among basic human rights the right of pursuit of happiness. In 2012, the United Nations decided to recognize that the pursue of happiness is a fundamental human goal and right, designating the 20th of March of every year as International day of Happiness.

Given the fact that the right to pursue happiness is not included in the 54 articles of the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union (2010/C 83/02), we ask for the recognition of this right of happiness in the European Union, since it is self-evident that it is a fundamental human right and its non-recognition in any part of the world constitutes the violation of this natural right.

The Friends of Epicurean Philosophy “Garden” of Greece

4th Pan-Hellenic Symposium of Epicurean Philosophy

Pallini, Athens, Greece

About Wolfgang C. Goede

Wolfgang C. Goede is a science journalist based in Munich, Germany, board member of the German Association of Science Writers TELI, Honorary Secretary of the European Science Journalists' Associations EUSJA