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Home arrow newsitems arrow Bratislava EU-27 Summit Conclusions: Focus on Citizens' expectations, Franco-German duo, and More...

Bratislava EU-27 Summit Conclusions: Focus on Citizens' expectations, Franco-German duo, and More...

Written by ACM
Friday, 16 September 2016
 
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*Bratislava/ 1st EU-27 Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- After a prolonged infight on their Final Conclusions, EU Heads of State/Government finaly Agreed to leave the Hilltop at Bratislava's Spectacular Castle, Later than scheduled, while the Franco-German couple was already Starting a Joint Press Conference at a Press Room located elsewhere, closely followed by Members of the Visegrad Group of EU Countries, and the main, EU Institutions' (Council, Commission, etc) "official" Press Conference, i.e. both Practically and Symbolicaly renversing the usual order of such meetings in the Past.

 
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Astonishingly (but Logicaly, after all), the Officialy Agreed Joint Communiqué Urges the EU to "Focus on (EU) Citizens' Expectations", and Finds "Most Important" of all, to "Improve Communications with Our Citizens", to whom, EU-27 Leaders promissto (while advising, however, also to "Challenge Simplistic Solutions of Extreme or Populist Political Forces", as it says)...


But, at the Same Time, EU-27 Leaders "Commit" themselves to "Offer to our Citizens, in the upcoming Months (i.e. in the run-up to March 2017 Anniversay of 60 Years of since EU had been Created, at Rome), a Vision of an attractive EU they can Trust and support".


Meanwhile, however, EU's 27 are "Determined to Find Common Solutions, also regards Issues where we are Divided", the Bratislava Summit Declaration, Honestly but Voluntaristicaly stresses. That's why, the EU Heads of State/Government decided to give "Priority, Here and Now, to show Unity and Ensure Political Conrol over Developments, in order to Build our Common Future", as they said.

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Experienced, not only German but also f.ex. Italian and Other European Journalists, met at several occasions by "Eurofora" at various PressRooms frequently accross Europe, ensured us that their Perception of German Chancelor Angie Merkel's stance vis a vis some Critical Voices (particularly of the "Visegrad" Group of EU Membef Sates, etc), on Certain Topical Issues, (such as, f.ex. Mass Migration through Turkey, Islamistic Extremists' Terrorist Threats and Infiltration, added to Islamistic Radicalisation, Some Lobbies' claims to Enlarge the EU even to certain Non-European 3rd Countries, -mainly Ankara, etc,- EU's Historic and Cultural Identity, etc), would be Taken into Account, Examined, Discussed and Solved, mainly by Finfing Ways to Forge Common Positions, for the sake of Europe's Future.


Simply Because "In the aftermath of the wars and deep divisions on our continent, the EU secured peace, democracy and enabled our countries to prosper. Many countries and regions outside still only strive for such achievements. We are determined to make a success of the EU with 27 Member States, building on this joint history.  The EU is not perfect but it is the best instrument we have for addressing the new challenges we are facing. We need the EU not only to guarantee peace and democracy but also the security of our people. We need the EU to serve better their needs and wishes to live, study, work, move and prosper freely across our continent and benefit from the rich European Cultural Heritage", the Bratislava official Declaration of 27 EU Heads of State/Government reads.

 
 
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+ In their exceptionaly Joint Press Conference, German Chancelor  Angie Merkel and French President Francois Hollande, (who spoke, also exceptionaly, Earlier than the EU Institutions' Representatives, i.e. EU Council's and EU Commission's Presidents, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, respectively : AnOther sign of the Bratislava Changes...), appeared Keen to show that the Franco-German duo was Willing and Able to  Fill the Gap left by UK's forthcoming Departure after the BREXIT Vote:


Indeed, Both Merkel (who Spoke 1st), and Hollande, underlined the Fact that Most among the Concrete Proposals made in Today's "Bratislava Summit Declaration", had been widely Inspired by their own Previous Suggestions, made at Paris' Elysée Palace just 1 Day Earlier, (on Thursday, September 15), as well as by a Draft Plan presented by EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, already 2 Days Earlier, (on Wednesday, September 14), in a landmark "State of the Union" Speech, at EU Parliament's Plenary Session in Strasbourg, (See "Eurofora"s NewsReport at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/junckercallsstatesandcitizenstobuildtogetherabettereurope.html).


This included a 3 Main Points' Structured, now nick-named "Bratislava Road Map", Series of Targets and Measures, successively Focused into Dealing with, and Settling the Mass Migration and Security/Defence Issues, the Economy, and Young People, etc.

 

 

bratislava_castles_internal_courtyard_400

 


But it's also True that, at least for Some "Hot" and Topical Key-Issues, certain more or less Important UpDates, Changes and/or Additions, either of Wording, (which can already have a Politicaly interesting, Symbolic Value), or even of Substance, Emerged just during this Bratislava 1st EU-27 Summit, revealing probable last-minute Compromises, New Contributions, and/or Synthesis.

 

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In this regard, it's not for nothing, that, f.ex., Embattled Hungarian Prime Minister Victor Orban, (a Key Figure also of the "Visegrad" Group of Central-Eastern EU Countries), was seen by "Eurofora" and others, inside the Bratislava's Castle, (where the Summit's Negotiations between Heads of State/Government took place), eager to Hold the "Declaration"'s paper on his way out of the Meeting place, Reading its Final Version and Commenting various points with his assistants, apparently Absorbed by that unusual exercice...


Thus, f.ex., among others, the "(Mass) Migraton and External (EU) Borders" Issue wasN't initialy placed as the No 1 in the List of Priorities Fixed by the EU-27 Summit, neither in the Juncker Draft, nor in the Hollande-Merkel Draft (of September 14 and 15), even if it was Present, in one way or another. But, Now, at Bratislava's Castle, the Final, official "Declaration" of the EU-27 Countries chose to Start by that "Hot" Issue, stressing, right from the Begionning, that EU will "Never .. allow Return to unControlled Flows of last year (2015), and (Moreover, intends to) Further Bring Down the Number of Irregular Migrants", in Addition to "Ensur(ing) Full Control of our (EU's) External Borders", so that the concerned EU Countries could "Get Back to Schengen"'s Freedom of Movement for European People inside the EU, as the Situation was Before the 2015-2016 unprecedented "Tsunami" of Massive Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants influx unleashed through Turkey, via EU (and Schengen) Member Greece, almost Entirely Muslim and Non-Educated, (since Turkey practicaly Excluded Christians and/or Educated People, as it was later found out in Brussels and elsewhere, according to German and other Press Revelations)...


Moreover, Among the "Concrete Measures" to be taken by the EU, a "Support to the Countries of the Western Balkans", (who, notoriously, Succeeded to Start Sharply Reducing that Huge "Tsunami" unleashed by Turkish Smugglers etc., already as Early as since Mid-February 2016, i.e. Long Before a Controversial and UnPopular EU-Turkey Deal -notoriously obtained by Blackmail from Ankara - could Begin to Partly Enter into force, Only as Late as From the End of March-Beginning of April 2016 : See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/unpopulareuvisafreefor80millionsturksuseless.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/weltadoptseuroforaviewonuselesseuturkeymigrantsdealafternewthreat.html), is Now openly Mentioned (at least) at the Same Place and Level with the Controversial and UnPopular EU - Turkey Deal, as a Fully-Fledged (and, from Now on Officially Endorsed by the EU-27 Summit) Legitimate Defense Means to Stop that unprecedented, abrupt Mass Migration Crisis fuelled by mainly Turkish, Pakistani, a.o. Smugglers, etc., which almost Immediately started to provoke Deadly Islamic Terrorism, Mobsters' Brutal Harrasments assaulting defensless Women even Young Girls aged only 14 y.o. or Young Boys aged 10 y.o. from Real Refugees' Families, (etc). 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
In Addition, the simple Word of European and/or National "Cultural Heritage" Appears in Good Place at Today's "Bratislava Declaration", while it was Absent from the Elysée and/or Strasbourg Speeches of September 15 and 14 (Comp. Supra), with the only Exception of the September 13 Letter of EU Council's President Donald Tusk addressed to EU Heads of State/Governments, (which had Dared Strongly Denounce also several Other "Hot" Problems recently Affecting European People's Lives, initialy raising, however, the eyebrows of some Establishment Figures, who Criticized it vainly : See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tuskdramaticletterforbratislavaeusummit.html ).

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However, the subsequent "EU External Borders' control" and "Defence", Economy and "Digital" High-Tech boost, "Young People"-supporting Measures, (etc), were more or less Present in almost All relevant Drafts, Speeches and Statements made Earlier by the Franco-German Couple, and/or the Presidents of EU Council/Commission, as well as in the Final "Bratislava Declaration", due to Outline the Main Points of the Action to be Urgently Taken in order to Start Meeting the Biggest Chalenges in the Following Months.

 

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Angie Merkel, ..."Regina Danubiana" ?

As for German Chancelor Angie Merkel, Replying to Press Questions, she claimed that, in Bratislava's Negotiations between the 27 EU Member States, - "We Spoke about All Issues, with an Open Spirit".

 
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Angie Merkel at Bratislava Castle (Hungarian Naional TV - Gabor Juraszek - for EUROFORA - Proof that even Victor Orban's Hungarians love Angie Merkel when she loves People !)
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However, as French President Hollande stressed, also in Reply to such Questions, the No 1 Priority seems to be elsewhere : "After the BREXIT Vote in the UK, "it has become even More Important" than ever, "to show that France and Germany are Ready to Move Forward", he confirmed.

But, at any case, that "Bratislava RoadMap Plan", adopted Today by the 1st Post-BREXIT EU-27 Heads of State/Governments Summit, is just "a First Step in a very Long Road" Ahead, as Chancelor Merkel realisticaly Warned in fine, just after having also Confirmed, however, the EU Leaders' Will to "Hear the Concerns of our (European) People".

(../..)
 
 
 
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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap). 
 
 
 
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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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