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Pagina principale arrow newsitems arrow EUCommissioners Mogherini+Bulc Debate in EUParliament China Strategy + Personal Data flows : "G-3" ?

EUCommissioners Mogherini+Bulc Debate in EUParliament China Strategy + Personal Data flows : "G-3" ?

Scritto da ACM
Thursday, 07 July 2016
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking in EU Parliament in Strasbourg at the Eve of the Annual 2016 EU - China Summit, Next Week at Beijing (12-13 July), EU Commissioners Federica Mogherini, (EU's High Representative for External Action) and Violeta Bulc (in charge of Transports), designed a rare, Brief but Interesting, Overall Picture of EU's unfolding, multifacet "Strategy" vis a vis the Country with the Biggest Population and one of the Most Ancient surviving Civilisations in the World, as well as with a lot of Growing, Modern Geo-Political and Economic Potential in a Multi-Polar World, but also facing Common a.o. Challenges nowadays, followed by a subsequent Debate with MEPs on the Topical, High-Tech, Human Rights and Security Issue of Personal Data Protection, of interest both to Big Business Corporations and Civil Society, Citizens, etc, (See Infra).


On Both cases, a "G-3" eventual approach (Europe - China - USA) was, in fact, evoked several times, Together with a Multi-Polar, Wider International Horizon.


 Chinese President Xi Jiping is due to participate, for the 1st time, in such an EU - China Summit, also via a scheduled meeting with EU Council and EU Commission Presidents, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, since his 1st Visit to Europe, back on Spring 2013, took place Before the Changes of May 2014 EU Election, while in the Latest, 2015 such Summit in Brussels, China was represented by Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who shall be also present now, (See "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot then, f.ex.. ..... + ....).


Mogherini, (who is now also a vice-President of EU Commission, and had served as former Foreign Minister of Italy, with an Educational background in Political Science), has just Published, during the Latest EU Heads of State/Governments' Summit, last week in Brussels, (Comp. "Eurofora"s various NewsReports from the spot, f.ex., inter alia, also : ..... + ....), a Communication on "Global Strategy for the EU's Foreign and Security Policy", which stresses EU's will to "Engage China", mainly by "Maximising the Potential of EU - China Connectivity", (also via ASEM and/or ASEAN), as well as by "Deepening Trade and Investment", while "Seeking a Level-Playing Field", "Intelelctual Property Rights" and "Greated Cooperation in High-End Technology", Together with "Dialogue" on "Economic Reform", "Human Rights" and "Climate", in parallel with a Multilateral, "more Politically-founded approach to Asia", in general,  for "a Greater practical Contribution to .. Security", but including also various "International Law" Issues, as she wrote.


 - EU's High Representative for External Action, speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg Yesterday Evening (Wednesday), after an important, Wider Debate, precisely, on that Overall, "Global" EU's CFSPolicy, (Comp. Supra), Focused, in Conclusion, for the First Time, on "EU's Strategy on China", by Stressing from the outset that, "10 Years" After the Previous EU Commission's Report on China, "the World has Changed .. very Rapidly", and EU "Needs to Update" its "Vision" and "Paths for Action", particularly in such "a Crucial Issue for (Europe's) Future" and even "Present", involving "one of the World's Greates Powers", since "a Number of Important China-Related Matters will Need to be Adressed in the Comming Weeks and Months".


- In particular, Pointing at "3 Main Areas" (Highlighted in a Communication Published Last June in Brussels for the Next Five Years of EU - China Relations) : (a) Economy, (b) Foreign Policy and (c) "Global Governance in a Multilateral context", Mogherini underlined that "the Core Principle of our (EU's) Strategy" is "to Step Up ...Engagement with China", "from Trade to Human Rights", etc., in a "principled, practical and pragmatic" way, since China has Become, during the Latest Decade, "much More of a Global Player", and "is More Confident, ...Outer-Looking and .. Assertive", despite "Some Frictions", while, even if the Wider "Asia's Security Environment Today looks more UnStable", nevertheless, "China has also sought Stronger Cooperation, with Other World Powers, including the EU", on various such "Global Issues". Nowadays, "We (EU) are their (China's) Biggest Trading Partner, and ... an important Security Provider in Asia, from Afghanistan to the Philippines", so that "We have an Interest in an Open, Stable and Cooperative China", as also "China .. has a .. Huge Interest in Good Relations with Europe", in "a Lot" of Issues "on which we Can and Should Work Together".


- F.ex., in "Economy", EU is interested to "a Greater Opening-up of the Chinese Market to European Business", for "Trading and Investing", with "Internal and External" Links, by seizing current "Opportunities" such as an "Agreement on Investment", "a Chinese Contribution to the (Juncker) Investment Plan for Europé", "Joint Research and Innovation", (a Key-point at the Latest, 2015 EU - China Summit in Brussels : See relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReport from the spot, at ......), as well as "new Connections inside .. EurAsia", ("Both Physical and Digital"), in order to "make Trade, Investment, and People-to-People Contacts, Faster and Easier", as she said.


+ But, speaking also about some percieved "Risks", "in a Delicate Moment of our Trade relations", where" China .. has (also) Obligations, and not simply Benefits", Mogherini pointed out that EU "must ... Shield (its) Industry from (so-called) Unfair Trade" in some alleged cases, while "China must make ... Cuts in .. OverCapacity", f.ex. "in .. Steel", but also "on Aluminium, Ceramics and Wood", while its own Economy "would benefit from Economic Reform, including the Elimination of State-induced Distorsions" of Market, according to a current official EU stance, (at least Part of which, has already been apparently Accepted by China, which has recently engaged in several such Reforms, even if it has also Rejected Some Accusations about "OverCapacity", and Asked from the EU more Fair "Anti-Dumping probe Criteria", as well as to Agree on "Granting China a Market Economy Status", as it has, in principle, been Scheduled by WTO Rules towards the End of 2016, while also wishing an EU-China "Free Trade" Deal at the Horizon of "2020").  


    But, at the Same Time, EU "has to Strengthen (its) Trade Defence Instruments" in General, (i.e. vis a vis All its Trade Partners : See, f.ex., .......), "Swiftly" enough, while, also, it "canNot Afford to be ..Conservative", having, rather, to "Try" to "Drive the Change", with "Better Rules" and "Reforms, through .. Engagement with the Wider World", as she acknowledged.


    ++ Moreover, on "the 2nd and 3rd Pillars" of EU's Strategy for China, (i.e. Foreign Policy and Global Governance : Comp. Supra), desirable "Reforms include ...Human Rights, ...Rule of Law, and ...Civil Society", through "Dialogue" and via the "EU-China Legal affairs" Cooperation "to Support and Accompagny China's Legal Reforms", which has just been "Launched" on June 2016 in Brussels, (according to an Agreement concluded at the Latest EU - China Summit on 2015 in Brussels : Comp. f.ex. "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot, then), reportedly Starting, particularly, with "e - Commerce" and "Consumer Protection", etc.


    - Even more Important, it's also on the Need to Face "InSecurity and Instability in East Asia", which "can only Spread to the rest of our Fragile World", including by Ensuring, f.ex., "Safety of Maritime Routes", and "Respect of International Norms", which "Concern the whole International Community" (i.e. USA included, etc), while EU "is Not Taking Sides on ... Territorial Claims in the South China Sea", but "Expects, in the Days ahead", a "full Compliance with International Norms, especially the .. UNCLOS, and a Peaceful Solution to any Disputes", that Mogherini pointed in addition.


    - At any case, "China is also an Essential Player in Other Issues", such as, f.ex., "Iran's Nuclear Programme", "Climate Change", (where EU's High Representative on External Action Welcomed Beijing's "Responsible Engagement" and "Role", including on the 2015 "Paris' Conference" of the UNCCC, "compared with their Attitude just a few Years Ago", (Back on 2009 in Copenhagen's International UNCCC Summit of Heads of State/Government, infamous for a so-called "G2" alleged Deal with US President Barack Hussein Obama, In-coming then, but Out-Going Now, Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReports from that Copenhagen UNO Summit, f.ex. at : .....).  And Beijing has "an Essential Role to Play in Afghanistan", on which "We (EU) will Work Together" to prepare a "Conference .. in Brussels on October" 2016, as she Announced, while being also "a Relevant Actor in Africa and the Middle East", (f.ex. "in the International Support Group for Syria, and in the UN", where "Cooperation is Strong"), as well as "on Migration, ...Development Aid", etc.


    - Last, but not least,  as "None of our (EU's 28) Member States has the Size, nor the Power ... to engage ... with China", it's obviously "as a True Union, as European Union" that "We Can surely Do it", "as Part of the Global <<G 3>>" (Europe - China - USA), Mogherini concluded, speaking at a Moment when the recent UK Referendum for "BREXIT" re-launched various Calls to Boost Plans for Closer EU - Russia links, (existing since De Gaule's "Greater Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals", and revisited on 2003 during the Controversial Invasion of Iraq, Strongly Criticized Yesterday even by the Famous British "Chilcot" Report Published on Wednesday in London about the UnPopular Dealings of former PM Blair), in order to Forge a Negotiating Block of about 700 - 800 Millions People, more able to Deal with China's more than a Billion.


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


    => That "G-3" Vision, was also Highlighted at Mogherini's main Reply to various MEPs' observations, at the Conclusion of EU Parliament's relevant Debate, later-on, where she Pointed at the Fact that "Europeans ..., the Chinese, and the Americans" have almost "the Same Level in terms of Size, But ...very Different Standards", and "This is the (main) Issue we Have to Work on", (particularly in a Multi-Polar World vision, Dear to De Gaule and several Other European, but also Chinese Politicians, including President Xi).


    Meanwhile, EU Commission's vice-President ensured MEPs that she "Heard" their "Comments on the Challenges we are Facing", "particularly" on Industrial

"OverCapacity", "Human Rights", "Market Access", or "Market Economy Status" (MES), etc., to which she "add(ed)" also "Security in Asia", that "Few .. if None" among them "pointed out", even if "it Affects, ..somehow, Global Stability and .. our (EU's) own Security", as she Criticized in turn, noting even "the South Chine Sea issue".


    But for Mogherini, "MES" "is Not the Main Issue, Nor the Issue of the Strategy we Discuss Tonight". Moreover, on the Contrary, EU's China "Strategy aims at 2 things" : Not only at "Being ...Honest and Crystal-clear on the Challenges and Difficulties", (about "Security, Trade, ..Market, OverCapacity and Human Rights"), "But also to Create a Commong Ground ... on a Positive and Forward-Looking basis ... on the Opportunities, that We (EU) Can and Must Seize ...with China", as she Stressed, Concluding by a Call to EU Parliament to "Help" "Impement this (EU) Strategy" by "Tackling the Challenges in the most Useful Way for ..European Citizens and Businesses", while "also .. Getting the Benefits of a Relationship that is Strategic"

.
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    A somewhat Similar, mutatis-mutandis, EU Interest in a Recently Growing Potential to Develop much Further EU - China relations, including on High-Tech Sectors, while also Feeling a Need to Address asap certain Concerns by Taking adequate Measures, was obviously Ambiant even at a subsequent EU Parliament's Debate Today Afternoon (Thursday) on the "Transfert of Personal Data to China", i.e. in a Key Digital Economy and Society Modern Issue :


    - EU Commissioner for Transports, Violeta Bulc, (a former Minister of Development, Integration and Cohesion, from Slovenia, with a Background in Digital Technology and Innovation), observed from the outset that China "has Not Yet any Legislation on Personal Data Protection", Neither is it engaged into Bilateral Talks with the EU about a relevant Legal Reform until now, even if the EU currently has Discussions with APEC, where China is Member, to which is added also the Fact of  "Binding Corporate Rules", as she pointed out.


    - But, Meanwhile, Data Movements between EU Countries and China have already Started to Grow de facto, Despite the European Principle that Legal "Safety" of Personal Data is "Necessary" in order to "Enable their Transfert" regularly from one Country to anOther. Indeed, "Transfert of Data (from the EU) to Countries who don't have a Personal Data Legislation is Only Possible If there are Other equivalent Safeguards", which, "Include", f.ex., "Standard Contractual Clauses, or Binding Corporate Rules", etc,  as Bulc reminded.


    (That Latest Possibility, concerning mainly Big Multinational Companies, "is particularly relevant to <<Cloud>> Computing", i.e. a New Technique used more and more Often recently, as "Global Businesses Need to Trasfert and Store Data in Differend Locations").


    - Because, for the EU, "Personal Data Protection is a Fundamental Right", and, (in Addition to a Pre-Existing PanEuropean CoE's relevat Convention on PDP : Comp. f.ex. .....), an EU's New Directive on that area "Will Enter into Force on 2018", she observed. Meanwhile, Implementation and Enforcement of relevant Laws is entrusted "to National Data Protection Authorities and Courts", which have the Power to Order, f.ex. "the Blocking, Erasure or Destruction of Data, or to Ban Processing" them, definitively or provisionaly, (etc). "Without adequate Safeguards", Trasferts of Data "risk to create Trade Barriers" and/or "to Violate WTO Commitments", she Warned.


    - Therefore, EU is "Concerned", f.ex., about "Access of Public Security Authorities to Personal Data Transfered from the EU to China", concerning their "Localisation", etc, while it Hopes that "China's Security concerns will be Addressed in a Proportional way", according to EU Commissioner Bulc.


     - That Latest Observation (Comp. Supra) is related to "Cyber-Security" and "National Security" Issues, on which "China Adopted and/or Proposed several Laws during the Last 18 Months", she observed, however.


    - In this respect, EU also "Welcomed an Opportunity to be Consulted", and "China's engagement in Transparency on the Legislative Process" in that matter, Bulc nevertheless noted Positively.


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

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    Vice-President of EU Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs, German MEP Axel Voss, from the Governing ChristianDemocrat Party, speaking on behalf of the Biggest Group of MEPs (that of EPP), observed the Fact that, "already, Personal Data Transfert to China is a Reality, f.ex. by Cloud Computing, (particularly for Big, Multinational Companies, etc), or by using (Shanghai Headquartered) "Alibaba" e-Trade Platform, etc, and he expressed the wish for "an Adequate Level of Protection", Not very "far away" from what "we (EU) are Negotiating currently with the USA", as he said, (making Today another, indirect Hint to that "G-3" already refered to, Yesterday, by EU Commissioner Federica Mogherini : Comp. Supra).


    - But, "I learn from Collegues (MEPs) who are Activists on these matters", that there are some "Shortfalls", in this regard, and, "therefore, I Ask the (EU) Commission, How it can Guarantee", particularly "the Privacy Standards" of Europe, "for the Transfert of Data to China", "Better than what has been done so far", "Because I believe that it's, So Far, Too Little", Voss Criticized.


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


    + Replying to this and various similar Observations also by several Other MEPs, EU Commissioner Bulc reiterated that Protection of Personal Data is inscribed both in EU's "Charter" of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (which entered into force on 2010), as well as in EU secondary "Laws" (Comp. Supra), while also "Underlying" that "Transfert of Data" is Not Legal "in the Absence of Adequate Safeguards", as a matter of General Principle.


    >>> Such Safeguards "Can, f.ex. be also included in Contractual Clauses", imposing "Obligations on Security and Protection of Personal Data, against Loss, Alteration, and/or Anauthorized Access", etc., she Suggested.


    + Moreover, "Multinational Companies" often include relevant Safeguards "in Binding Corporate Rules", (Comp. Supra), that even "Individuals" can invoke "as Third Parties", Bulc added.


    - In Legal Practice, the main Point is for "Rules", f.ex. on "Compensation in case of Breach", etc., to exist, as well as "a Possibility to make a complaint before an Authority for Data Protection and/or a Court", she explained.


    => Therefore, "EU Commission Will continue to Promote our (European) Principles" on "Data Flows" and Protection of Personal Data", both Directly with China, and via APEC or Other Regional/Internatiional Organizations, the EU Commissioner Concluded, speaking in Strasbourg just a Week before the forthcoming Annual EU - Chna Summit in Beijing, (Comp. Supra), and a few Months before PanEuropean CoE's 2 Important International Conferences here on "Freedom of Expression at the Internet", September 2016, and on "Cyber-Crime", November 2016, before UNO's Annual "GDF" in Mexico, December 2016.


     Until Now, CoE's classic International "Convention on Personal Data Protection", which exists since 1981, and is Open to Signature and Ratification by Any Country, is the Only Legaly Binding Treaty on that matter in the World. Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organization (which Includes Russia among its 47 Member States), has also a "Cyber-Crime Convention", opened to SIgnature at Budapest, with a similar Global Potential. USA and Other Non-European Countries from various Continents accross the World participated in the Preparation of Both these 2 Parallel Legal Instruments on the Modern Digital Society, and, even if Washington has not yet become an Official Member, nevertheless, several Other Countries from America, Australia, Africa or Asia have started to Join those CoE's Moves, while its Committee of Minister Started, Recently, to strongly Support the Perspective of a World-wide Expansion of Membership in these Legal Tools, that its Current, Estonian Presidency (May - November 2016) intends to Boost further, (See, f.ex.: ... + ...).


    It's alsoo True, However, that some CoE Member Countries, such as, particularly Russia, etc, have already expressed certain Reserves, mainly vis a vis a 2011 "Additional Protocol" to the above-mentioned CoE's Data Protection Cnvention, as well as to its Forthcoming "Review", scheduled for the End of 2016, but also on the PanEuropean Organization's "Cyber-Crime" Convention, particularly as far as it concerns "Trans-Border Data flows" and/or Data processed by National Govzernments for "Security" purposes. Various Technical and/or Legal Possibilities for Controversial Access to such Sensitive Data by Foreign Countries as f.ex. USA, etc., has , reportedly, played a Notable Role in this Issue, (as "Eurofora" has Witnessed at Various concrete Occasions in several International Conferences in Strasbourg, during these Post-9/11 Years, and mainly during Out-going USPresident Obama's terms of Office in 2008-2016, who has apparently taken a Growing Keen Interest on such matters).  


    However, such Issues as "Personal Data Protection", and/or "CyberCrime", etc., could, eventualy, become integral Parts of the above-mentioned, Wider "EU - China Dialogue on Legal affairs", which was Agreed on 2015 and has just Started since June 2016, with its Next Meetings Scheduled in Brussels for the Beginning of 2017, (Comp. Supra).


    At any case, Exceptionaly, EU Parliament did Not prepare, this time, any relevant written Resolutions for Vote, probably because sufficient Time lacked before the forrthcoming Annual EU - China Summit in Bejing Next Week, (Comp. Supra).

 

 

(../..)

 

 

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***

 

 

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"s 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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