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Home arrow newsitems arrow How France+Germany led to proEuropean Vote opposed to Turkey's bid, that others lost to eurosceptics

How France+Germany led to proEuropean Vote opposed to Turkey's bid, that others lost to eurosceptics

Written by ACM
Monday, 08 June 2009


The "key" of France's, Germany's, and some other EU Countries', "success" to attract People opposed to Turkey's controversial EU-bid into pro-European mainstream politics, instead of losing them scattered around Euro-Sceptic and/or Extremist parties, as in the UK, Netherlands, Austria, Hungary, Bulgaria, etc, was clearly explained to "EuroFora" by Young Foreign Policy Expert and new MEP Arnaud Danjean, of the 2009 Winner in France, the Governing coalition UMP :   

  - "For the first time in France, the 4 biggest Parties are all pro-Europeans" on 2009. "This is important, because in the Past we used to have also some very anti-European, Populist parties in France. But now, the People who voted feel that Europe is a necessity today", Danjean stressed. - "I am very satisfied of the results of our party (UMP), which is a success of Sarkozy's way to manage EU policy"

- "By having a clear stance on EU's Borders (i.e. also on Turkey), may be this did help to attract voters that were not sure to vote."


- But, "we did not isolate this item (Turkey) from other (EU) items. What is important is that we didn't speak about Turkey and Borders as such, just for itself. We said that we have a big Ambition for Europe, that we want a Political Europe". And, "if you want a Political Europe, you need to have a Space, a determined Space to develop it. That's how we spoke about Turkey and the Borders. So, this Consistent position was probably important for the Voters".
 - "I would see this as a Warning. We've developed strong Arguments for a Political Europe, within strong Borders. And that makes a Consistent position. We didn't speak about Turkey as Socialists did", (i.e. in a supreficial manner, cut off from EU Citizens' concerns).

- "I think that all over Europe, you shall see the same : The parties who have spoken (on that) with Credibility, Realism, Pragmatism, these are the parties from the EPP  And, compared to this, the Socialists have chosen to be very Ideological, while we have been very Pragmatic" (on Turkey). "And this is a Key-issue. It was a Key-issue of Sarkozy's policy. And this is the Key of Success".    

National Front's vice-President, French MEP Bruno Gollnish, former Group Chairman in EU Parliament, speaking to "EuroFora", stroke back : - "There was no real debate in this campain", he claimed. And "those People who were really critical of the system abstained, because they thought that if they had voted, they would have conforted a system they contest without being able to change it".

    - "It's obviously a Failure !", criticized French Socialist Senator Roland Ries, (and mayor of Strasbourg), for his own party's (PS') performance in 2009 EU Election. Both in France and "in all Europe, people must find a new meaning for a pro-Socialist vote", he advised.


- In France, President Sarkozy's governing majority union UMP (EPP), who focused its campain on the development of a strong and popular Political Europe, with Identity and Borders incompatible to Turkey's controversial EU bid, won more than expected with some 28%, largely distancing the Socialist party which surprisingly fell down to only 16% (equal to "Greens") ! Significantly, in the only Constituency in which a PS list had a Turkish-origin candidate (East), it surprisingly fell to the lowest level, outpaced even by "Greens" ! Taken all together, the Parties who oppose Turkey's entry into the EU, represent a Majority with more than 54%; (without taking into account 40% of PS' own voters, reportedly opposed too) : A number which confirms Sarkozy's brillant win at the 2007 Presidential Election, after a "hot" TV-debate on Turkey : 53%. But all others are scattered around in small quantities, without any comparison to UMP's big result.

- In Germany, Chancellor Merkel's CDU/CSU (EPP) coalition, led by outgoing EU Parliament's President Hans Gert Poettering, (who consider Turkey's EU bid as incompatible with EU's Borders and Values) won a biggest than expected Victory with 38%. Her Bavarian ally, the Christiansocial party CSU, whose leader Seehofer asked "a Referendum on Turkey", boosted its votes winning more than 48% in its Bavarian stronghold, (7,3% nation--wide). If CDU's score was - 5%¨less than what it did in 2004, it might be partly due to voters' reaction to controversial local Hessen politician Koch's attempt to impose, for the 1st time, a Turkish lobby's candidate. This fits with the fact that Socialist SPD (very pro-Turkey since 2002), with 3 Turkish candidates in 2009, fell down to only 20% : a Record Low !  Liberals of the FDP (a possible coalition partner with CDU/CSU in the forthcoming September 2009 National Elections), after their leaders, (fex. MEP Lambsdorf) multiplied Criticism on Turkey's Violations of Human Rights, won some + 5% (growing up to 11%). But, despite the Economic Crisis, "Greens" stagnated, and the Left won only +1%...


-  In Spain, EPP's Popular party, whose program stresses that EU is "now" in "a stage of Consolidation" and "Assimilation" after the 2004-2007 Enlargements to 12 more Countries, and that "Enlargement requires for the EU to have sufficient capacity to integrate new members", who "must fully meet the conditions", while it also "supports the possibility of Other possible Formulas and possible means of Association to the EU", (fex. privileged Partership), speaking on Turkey, won the EU Election with 42% : A clear difference to 38% for the governing PSoc, which remains in support of Turkey's controversial EU bid. 

  - In tiny but symbolic Cyprus, frontrunner MEP of EPP (DHSY-opposition) party, Kasulides, (who lost the 2008 Presidential race), now wins the 1st place, after a statement in favor of Sarkozy and Merkel's stance against Turkey's controversial EU bid. Voters chose also a 2nd DHSY MEP critical on Turkey (Helen Theoharous). For the 1st time, Cyprus' Socialist party (EDEK : more critical on Turkey than others), succeeds to elect a MEP, choosing a strong critic on Turkey, former Defence Minister Mavronicolas, while "softer" canditates lost. The governing AKEL party (Left), favorable to the "full compliance with EU conditions - full access in the EU" stance on Turkey, lost some ground (falling to 2nd place), but kept its MEPs. Because critical "Euro-party" (unique in 27 EU Countries to identify itself with EU's Human Rights, etc. values) shortly missed the threshhold for 0,3%, despite augmenting its votes.


On the contrary, when mainstream parties didn't integrate Citizens' opposal to Turkey's controversial EU bid, they lost voters who went towards various other, more Critical parties :


- The most loquacious example is that of the UK : The expected 1st place of Cameron's Conservative party, (27%, with a Cypriot-origin lady among its candidates), was eclipsed by the surprising rise of Nigel Farage's "Independence" party (Ind/Dem) : 16,01% which became.. the 2nd party in the UK, extending the number of its MEPs ahead of the governing Labour party (PS : the most favorable to Turkey's bid), which fell down to an abysmal low (15%), almost equalled by Liberals. This astonishing New change cannot be explained by the Independence party's traditional euro-sceptic stance for the withdrawal of the UK out of the EU (in a kind of EEA, as Norway, Switzerland, etc). The only big New factor is Nigel Farage's recent loud statements in Strasbourg that "the IP is he only party in the UK which opposes Turkey's entry in the EU" (March 2009), and his official Critical reply to US President Obama's push for Turkey, in the aftermath of Strasbourg's NATO Summit (April 2009). That's the only big difference between UKIP's huge boost, and other eurosceptic parties, from Conservatives up to the British National Party, (far right), who also won + 2 MEPs for the 1st time.  

- In the Netherlands, Geert Wilder's PVV ("Party for Freedom") euro-sceptic party became the 2nd bigger in the country, winning + 4 MEPs, shortly after he notoriously withdrew from another group "because he didn't agree with its policy on Turkey". EPP, mildly Critical on Turkey, maintains a lead over Socialists (committed to Turkey's bid) which diminish, but loses many of its former voters who went this time for the PVV.


- In Austria, mainstream OVP (EPP)'s promise to hold a Referendum on Turkey's bid succeeded to give it the 1st place, the pro-Turkey PS (SPO) seriously loosing ground. But the biggest rise is a combined boost of 3 Populist right's parties, Peter Martin's and Haider's (the recently killed politician's) former and current parties FPO and BoZ, which total some 36%. with their outspoken opposition to Turkey's bid, (even if only the 2 first get MEPs, the 3rd arriving at short distance, lacking only 0,3% !)

- In Greece, mainstream parties' continuing stance "full compliance to conditions - full accession in the EU" for Turkey, resulted into a stalemate, reducing PS' advance in only +2%, the governing EPP party limiting its percentage accordingly. But it pushed Citizens to an unprecedented Abstention : 48% (despite sanctions, since the vote is obligatory). It multiplied and doubled LAOS' MEPs, after the Populist party was glad to claim that it's "the only one to follow the Sarkozy-Merkel line" against Turkey's controversial EU bid ( up +3%), and brought "Greens" in EU Parliament for the 1st time.


- In Bulgaria, the populist right's ATAKA party wins more than 12%, becoming one among the 4 big parties over 10% and a solid player at the political landscape, after it decided to focus all its 2009 electoral campain under the banner "No to Turkey's EU bid !". On the contrary, PS loses ground, while EPP (1st) grows slightly stronger.

-  In Hungary, the ruling Socialist party, (in favor of Turkey's EU bid, as almost all PS), lost - 5 seats, while the "Nationalist" Jobbik party won  + 3 MEPs, getting some 15% of votes, dangerously approaching the score of the governing Socialists (17%). Meanwhile, EPP (opposition) wins + 2 MEPs more, totaling 15 MEPs, (compared to PS' remaining only 4)...




- EuroSceptics are also active in Sweden (whose mainly Liberal government continues to support Turkey's controversial EU bid under conditions), where the "strongly eurosceptic Environmental party" won + 5% of votes more, gaining one MEP for the 1st time. Swedish People elected also the only .. "Pirate" MEP in 27 EU Countries, who struggles against EU's Copyright rules restricting Internet downloading : It gained more than + 7% of votes. Moreover, "Nationalist" anti-Islamic movement of "Swedish Democrats" won +2,2%. Added to "June's list", an older eurosceptical party (4%), "Green" EuroSceptics (11%),  "Pirates" (7,1%), "Swedish Democrats" (3,3%), etc.  gathered in 2009 much more votes (26%) than .. Swedish Prime Minister Reinfelds' own party (18%) !...



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    Before the end of 2009, France and Germany will take strong initiatives to open "new Horizons" needed by Europe and the World, going well beyond the current Crisis' management, anounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, reassuring that both a judgement on Lisbon Treaty by nearby Karlsruhe German Federal Court, and the forthcoming National Elections in Germany would confirm their capacity to act.    

They were replying to Press questions in Berlin, after key-regional elections on Sunday, where Merkel's ChristianDemocratic party kept everywhere a strong 1st and won the possibility to forge a New Majority with Liberals at the largest of 3 Landers : Saxony (4 millions inhabitants), while its main competitor, the Socialdemocrat party fell to unprecedented lows : Tackled by the small "Linke" (left) party in Saarland (1 million inhabitants), it became even smaller than it in Saxony and Thuringen (3 million inhabitants), where SPD arrived only third. While its usual partners, the "Greens" also fell down, contrary to CDU's new partners, the FDP Liberals, who go up.


    - "At any case, at the end of the year (2009), if things go as scheduled, we shall take strong initiatives, showing that Europe needs a Franco-German axis, as well as the World, even if it never excludes other" countries to join, replied Sarkozy to a question if France and Germany will revive the "European dream", by "relauncing the EU motor" for the Future, with actions going further than the mere management of the global crisis, (as it was done fex. in the Past with the creation of the "Euro" Monetary zone, etc).

    - "I am convinced that the Franco-German friendship must be constantly nourished by New Projects", he added."There are many areas of cooperation where we intend to take, very soon, some Franco-German initiatives, which will allow to open more Horizons" to the EU, Sarkozy stressed.

    But if "we don't speak about that now, it's only in order to avoid interfering in important elections coming in Germany", he observed. However, "we have already started to consider the Future with the (German) Chancellor, and what we can do in order to honour our predecessors". "We are already speaking about that, and we are preparing things". "I am working very well together with Mrs Merkel, and I wish that it goes on", Sarkozy concluded.


    - "It's important for EU's credibility that France and Germany advance forward together", stressed Merkel from the outset. "Don't worry about Germany's capacity to undertake initiatives" with France, she added. "France and Germany will be perfectly able to make proposals" for the EU.

    -  "After-crisis" plans must be prepared, meanwhile, with measures "advancing progressively", Merkel anounced. And, for the short term, we must deal also with EU Citizens' dismay since they feel that it's a Scandal for some in the Financial Markets to be paid with excessive "Bonuses", etc, she agreed with Sarkozy.

    - "Abuses in financial markets must stop", stressed also Sarkozy. Backing Merkel's announcement that France and Germany call for an EU meeting to forge "a crystal-clear European position" in view of the G-14 Summit at Pittsburg, he warned that "everyone will have to undertake his responsibilities, in front of World's Public Opinion. particularly those who don't want to make the same effort of regulation as France and Germany".

    Moreover, "Global Trade cannot be correctly dealt, without taking into account also Environmental and Social rules", Sarkozy added, referring to recently expressed positions against Unfair Competition via Environmental and/or Social Dumping, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications).

    Such moves are obviously linked to the need to ensure at least an elementary respect for Human Rights by Third Countries, (f.ex. exploitation of Children's work, etc) in order to avoid, precisely, any such Social Dumping.

    - "EU has Values, protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity", and "it cannot close its eyes" in front of grave violations, particularly "Torture and/or killings", added, indeed, Sarkozy.

    Thus, "the time comes, where decisions must be taken". But, in case of "Sanctions", "all International opinion should be convinced of the need to take action", he observed.

    Expressed on the occasion of recent developments in Iran, the same principles should logically apply also to other similar cases, including fex. that of Hundreds of ECHR judgements' condemning f;ex. Turkey for grave crimes, (as Torture, brutal Killings, Enforced "Disappearances", Destruction of Family Homes, harassments and oppressive violations of Freedom of Speech, etc).

    Meanwhile, questioned on (EU Commission's chair)  Barroso's bid to succeed himself for a second mandate, they both expressed a "wish" or a "feeling" that "EU Parliament"'s various political Groups might fix a date for decisions "during September". However, is he is endorsed before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be legally necessary to re-vote anew for a full term of office afterwards, according to EU Legal Experts, revealed recently in Strasbourg the experienced former President of EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, German Socialist MEP Jo Leinen. And Germany will not vote for Lisbon Treaty's ratification but only "on September 8 and 18", revealed Merkel, ( i.e. after EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg).

    - Therefore, "for EU Commissioners' appointment, it's too early yet, because we must wait for the ratification of Lisbon Treaty" by all 27 EU Member countries, including naturally Ireland's Referendum on early October, said to "EuroFora" the influential President of EU Parliament's largest group of MEPs, Joseph Daul, expressing, however, the hope that a controversial deal with the head of the Socialist Group of MEPs, Martin Schultz of Germany, might hold for Barroso alone, at a forthcoming vote due to fix the Strasbourg plenary's Agenda.

    But MEPs reportedly just "postponed" for 1 week all their previously scheduled group meetings (See : http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/barroso-unveil-summer-homework-week/article-184825 );

    However, while the choice of a new EU Commission's President by EU Parliament is supposed, according to many MEPs' wish, take place according to EU policy issues, paradoxically, this would mean that Barroso's bid would pass before even the anouncement of France and Germany's "initiatives" for EU's "new Horizons"...


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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