The Declaration

Declaration of the right of happiness in the European Union

One of the main foundations of European civilisation 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

February 15, 2014

 

Historical background

The historic “Declaration of the right of happiness in the European Union” (Declaration of Pallini, Greece), was written by Dr. Christos Yapijakis first in Greek and then in English and in Italian. He presented the Declaration during his oral presentation “Epicurean influences in modern Humanism” at the 4th Pan-Hellenic Conference of Epicurean Philosophy, that took place in February 2014 at Gargettus of the Municipality of Pallini, the region of philosopher Epirurus’ origin.

The Declaration was co-signed by 114 participants of 4th Pan-Hellenic Symposium of Epicurean Philosophy, including the mayor Athanassios Zoutsos. The initial collection of signatures deliberately stopped at number 114 for two symbolic reasons. First for the year 2014 and second as a subconscious reference to the slogan “1-1-4” of protesting Greeks in the 1960s (at that time, number 114 corresponded to the last article of the Greek Constitution which stated that “its observance is entrusted to the patriotism of the Greeks”), and therefore is a reference to the ‘social contract’, which reflects the Epicurean conception of agreed law on the principle of “do not harm and do not be harmed” .

Later the Declaration was adopted by the Municipal Counsil of Pallini. The Declaration has been translated in other European languages, so that it may be signed by all those European citizens who are interested for a discussion of the Right to Happiness at the European Parliament aiming at a happier future of the European Union.