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Pagina principale arrow newsitems arrow Top Conservative UK MEP Tannock to EF: Questions raised on British Bases in Cyprus after BREXIT

Top Conservative UK MEP Tannock to EF: Questions raised on British Bases in Cyprus after BREXIT

Scritto da ACM
Wednesday, 15 November 2017

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
One of EU Parliament's most Experienced Members, from UK's Governing Party of Prime Minister Theresa May, and former Long-Time Foreign Policy spokesman of its Biggest Group : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, currently in the Conservative Group, Charles Tannock, who is also EU Rapporteur on relations with New Zealand, due to be Debated and Voted on Thursday, (etc), Speaking to "Eurofora", observed that "BREXIT" raises Delicate Questions on the British Bases located in Cyprus :


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 - "Well, the Problem with Cyprus, probably, is going to be a Different one" compared to the usual BREXIT general debates, he warned from the outset.


 - "It's going to be the (2) Sovereign (UK) Bases" there, "and the (EU) Customs Union", Tannock pointed out.


- "There May be a Problem", in this regard.


- "Because they (UK Bases in Cyprus) are in the Customs Union, and they May have to Leave the Customs Union".


=>-  "And, then, it has to be a kind of Border", f.ex. "for the Trade of Goods", "including some Agricultural" fields, etc. I.e., "they will have to be in Line with Northern Ireland'"s case, he found.


 - But, curiously, until now, "Nobody Speaks about this", Tannock regretted.   


- However, just "Look at the Facts : The Bases joined the (EU) Customs Union, when Cyprus became EU Member" on 2004, (and Not when the UK itself joined the EU, Back during the 1970ies), he reminded.


  - So that, "If we (UK) Leave" the EU, then "they will have to" opt about leaving (or staying) in  the Custom Union, ...

- "If they Stay in the Customs Union, - and then it goes into British Territory, like Northern Ireland  - they have to use the Same Currency". Since "It's in the (1960) Treaty (on Cyprus' Independence) : They have to use the Same Currency", he pointed out.


- "But, this is a Serious Issue, Legally", the UK Conservative MEP stressed.


=> - Because, "if the Sovereign (UK) Bases" in Cyprus "Stay in the EU's Customs Union of the EU, as British Territory, then, you have No Argument to say that Northern Ireland cannot do the same !", he Speculated, despite the Differences.


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+ Nevertheless, EU Chief Negotiator on BREXIT, former EU Commissioner and French Minister, Michel Barnier, had recently given an a priori Positive sign to "Eurofora", as far as the overal UK - Cyprus' Negotiations on BREXIT Issues specific to the Island were concerned, on the sidelines of the Latest EU Heads of State/Government's Summit, 20 October 2017 in Brussels, by simply Smiling and making a "Thumbs-Up" gesture, as a Fast-track but Characteristic Reply to our Question about -"How are the BREXIT Negotiations going in relation with Cyprus ?", in general.


It's true, however, that we had not then even mentioned, particularly, the special case of those UK Bases per se.


-------------------------------------


++ Meanwhile, Tannock also Confirmed his Belief that, indeed, "the UK will Leave the EU on March 29", 2019, as scheduled, independently of anything else.


- There is No Chance to Stay in the EU : To be precise, the Probabilty is "Less than 5%", the Experienced, mainstream British MEP estimated, in Reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question.


 + In a rare Agreement, between Different Political Orientations, Conservative MEP Tannock's estimation matched also that  of "Green" (former "Labour") British MEP Jean Lambert :

 

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- Speaking to "Eurofora", Later-on, the Pro-"Remain" MEP Lambert acknowledged : - "I Regret that, but I Agree" (with Tannock) :


- Indeed, "he's Right : There are No more than Only 5% of Chances for the UK to Stay inside the EU" after March 2019, she bitterly admitted.

 

 

(../...)

 

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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

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        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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