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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow EU Vote : Strasbourg's Daul wins 3 landslides, guiding EPP in larger than expected European victory

EU Vote : Strasbourg's Daul wins 3 landslides, guiding EPP in larger than expected European victory

Geschrieben von ACM
Sunday, 07 June 2009

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Guiding the largest Group of MEPs to a bigger than expected pan-European victory over exhausted or fragmented competitors, overcoming even the results of a scheduled split, and winning brillant scores at his home town : Strasbourg, region : Alsace, and country : France, Joseph Daul, the President of the European People's Party EPP/ChristianDemocrats, succeeded also to be both present in Brussels and Strasbourg at the same time, thanks to a duplex connexion...

Daul's EPP list got some 28%, clearly distancing PS' 23% in Strasbourg, despite a recently elected Socialist Mayor. More than 29%, compared to PS' less than 17%, in his Constituency : East. Some 33%, (i.e. almost double than "Greens"' 17% who follow), in his Region, Alsace. And his National Party : UMP clearly won in France with 28%, the PS following with only 16%, (equal to "Greens")..

More important, Daul's EPP Group inside EU Parliament, with some 265 MEPs kept a solid 1st place, much Higher than all other Groups, and even augmented its lead over Socialists, who lose many MEPs, falling down to some 160 MEPs only. Thus, he managed to succesfully overcome a scheduled split by British Conservatives and a few others who were added to various Independents at his right : About 90 MEPS searching an attachment. Most of them have already said that they would often vote together, according to selective agreements with the EPP Group.

In fact, it's Daul Group's Solidity, added to EPP candidate MEPs' gains in several EU Countries, which makes of the EPP a kind of "Center of Gravity" in the new EU Parliament (2009-2014), around which, various, more or less close circles of much smaller Groups can float, according to punctual or structural deals.

Many variations become, thus, possible : After losing more than 100 MEPs EU-wide, Socialists, with only 160 MEPs, cannot rely on a tiny (+6) augmentation of the small "Green" group (with only some 51 MEPs), nor on the diminished, 30 MEPs EuroLeft group, to challenge EU Parliament's powers wihout the EPP. But Liberals, despite losing some -20 MEPs, could, theoretically, add their remaining 80 MEPs to EPP's 265 MEPs or so, to get an absolute Majority. Unless EPP's 265-MEPs strong Group succeeds to attract at least some 70 MEPs from Small Groups as UEN, Ind/Dem and various others or Independents, which total more than 145 MEPs in all, to form another Majority, at the center-right..

Wisely, Daul has resisted to Journalists' questions in Strasbourg on who will be the next EU Parliament's President, (while also avoiding questions on EU Commission before June 7), arguying that "we must first see what the final outcome of the (June 2009) Elections will be".

Speculations focused on a choice between an agreement with Socialist Group's leader, Martin Schultz of Germany for a rotating presidency, as previously, or with Liberal Group's leader, Graham Watson from the UK. But other last-minute possibilities cannot be excluded.

If Cameron, the British Conservative party's leader, hadn't been pushed by some to try to make a small split Group out of the EPP (as in a remote Past), then, his MEPs would be Members of a most influential Group in EU Parliament, close to an Absolute Majority (EPP having, in this case, some 360 MEPs out of a total of 736)..

Schultz's confirmation, earlier to "EuroFora", that the PS would like to keep a "technical agreement" of the past with the EPP, (on a rotating chairmanship), wasn't a surprise. EU sources indicated that for the first 2,5 years, among EPP candidates might be vice-presidents Mario Mauro (Italy) or Poland's Buzek, etc., followed by PS' turn.

Watson is focusing on Political aspects :  Contrary to usual talk, now, (particurly if Lisbon Treaty enters soon into force), "it's not so much who will be the President of EU Commission, (i.e. Baroso or someone else) which matters. Because EU needs Political leadership from EU Council (i.e. National Governments) and/or EU Parliament", he told "EuroFora". 

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(See related Newstories on EU Elections at "EuroFora.net")

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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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