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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commission V.President Katainen to EF for "closer" cooperation with China on Space High-Tech +

EU Commission V.President Katainen to EF for "closer" cooperation with China on Space High-Tech +

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 12 March 2019
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Commission's vice-President, Jurki Katainen, former Prime Minister of Finland (current CoE President), speaking to "Eurofora" on the occasion of his presentation, at a Press Conference, of the Conclusions of EU Commission's Collective Meeting, Today in Strasbourg, on "Reviewing Relations with China", including a "proposal for 10 Actions", in the run up to the EU - China Summit of early April 2019, expressed his interest for a "Closer Cooperation with China on Space" High-Tech, particularly in "certain areas" of shared interests, as he told us, in a brief but topical and exclusive interview, (which evoked also CyberSecurity topical issues : See Infra).

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- Observing that EU Commission's relevant Anouncement, presented earlier by Katainen, included, inter alia, also a call to "Deepen" EU's "Engagement with China", also "to promote Common Interests at Global level", as well as the Fact that; notoriously, China has Recently, being Moving quite fast into Developing several High-Tech Capabilities in Space, (including, f.ex., Landing at the Other Side of the Moon, where Europe, after the USA, has also anounced its wish to take part, as well as the eventual creation of a New International Space Station at Orbit, etc), "Eurofora" asked the vice-President of EU Commission whether he thinks that "there might be Interesting Perspectives in the Future, for Cooperation between China and the EU on Space ?"

- "Certainly !", immediately Replied Katainen from the outset, on this key point, positively.

- Indeed, "We (EU) can imagine a Closer Cooperation with China on Space", he explicitated.

- "EU is Investing Heavily on Space", EU Commission's vice-President reminded.

- "Especially to Private Companies and to (Scientific) Research".

- "So, it's Fundamental for Developping Future Technologies, Communication Technologies, etc."

+ "And also it's Fundamental in terms of Security", he added.

=> "Thus we (EU) are Working very Strongly this."

+ "And this is, by the way, an Area where (EU) Member States have indicated, very Clearly, that European Added Value is the greatest, because No Country Alone can Address these Challenges without cooperation with Other (EU) Member States".

- "But, in Certain Areas in Space Policy, we could imagine to Cooperate also with China", EU Commission's vice-President confirmed.

- "Because it must be Carefully Selected", he advised, (See also Infra).

 

Already in the recent Past, China had announced its willingness to co-Fund and join EU's Satellite Navigation System "Galileo" for more than 200 Millions €uros, as Early as since a 2006 Visit of EU Parliament's competent Rapporteur, German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Brigitte Langenhagen at a meeting co-organized by the "International Space University" and "Eurofora"'s co-Founder in Strasbourg. But, when "Galileo" was somewhat Delayed, Beijing was pushed to launch its own Satellite Navigation System, "Beidou", in parallel, (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/shanghai.html, etc). When Antonio Tajani (currently EU Parliament's President) became the competent EU Commissioner for Space and re-Launched "Galileo" after 2010, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tajaniindustrygalileo.html , etc), it was too late for that cooperation, since China had, meanwhile, moved ahead, alone...

On anOther concrete Point, Katainen did not specifically mention now China's recent succesfull landing at the Other side of the Moon, neither ESA's plan to reach Mars together with Russia, nor USA's new President Don Trump's landmark decision to give NASA a Huge Budget for Space Exploration (2019+), where ambitious Moon/Mars plans are at the focus, with Europe willing to participate (etc), as ESA has reportedly just declared its will to advance towards the Moon, etc. But this normaly is part and parcell of overall Space Policies.

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+ Concerning, particularly, CyberSecurity Issues, the EU Commission's vice-President diplomatically eluded a straitforward answer to another "Eurofora"s Question, which Compared the current, 2019 situation, with that of October 2013's EU Summit in Brussels, (i.e. at the famous USA Whistleblower dissident "Snowden era", with revelations and concerns about a USA's Global Monitorig System), asking whether, Today, China's alleged position was considered to be Equivalent, or Not, and why, but Preferred to Carefully Focus on EU's General Policy in that area of growing importance, (which is also Part of EU's 10 Actions decided Today: See Infra):

- "It's very Difficult to Assess whether the Danger is Higher Now than before, (2019 compared to  : Comp. Supra), and Where the Potential Danger comes from. I doN't want to Blame any Country in particular", Katainen Carefully stressed from the outset, in his Reply to "Eurofora"s Question on CyberSecurity.

- "But, since what has being Happening during all those Leaks, and Cyber-Attacks against our (EU) Member States -for instance : Interferences of 3rd Parties to our Electoral processes or Referendas, etc.- We (EU) have Deepened our Cooperation in CyberSecurity".

- "This is again an area where European Added Value is Great, because Any Country, no matter how Big, how Strong it might be, (in fact) it's Too Small to Address such Issues : We've seen that to hape even in the USA", he referred. "So, both (EU) Member States and EU Commission have been trading for Better CyberSecurity Systems, and this is going to be a Priority also for the Next (EU) Commission too (2019-2024), he foresaw for the Future.

Concerning EU - China Strategic Cooperation, a Document released by EU Commission Today, during Katainen's Press Conference (Comp. Supra), notes, about "Cooperaion in the Cyber area", that, during "EU-China Cyber TaskForce"'s "Annual" meetings, the two sides "exchange views" in "Areas" such as "Government", "Norms", "Confidence-Building Measures", etc.

Concerning the Overall trend of Today's "Review of Relations with China" by EU Commission's meeting Today in Strasbourg, on the sidelines of EU Parliament's Plenary Session of March A, 2019, EU's High Representative for Foreign Relations, Federica Mogherini, reportedy stressed that "China is a Strategic Partner of the EU. We pursue Strong, Bilateral and Multilateral Cooperation, on Files Where we Share Interests... And we are Willing to keep Engaging robustly, Where our Policies Differ or Compete". Thus, "we propose to Strengthen our Relations with China, in a Spirit of Mutual Respect".

+ "EU and China have Committed to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership", reminds a Document presented at Katainen's Press Conference Today, which advises to "ReFine Europe's Approach, to be More Realistic, Assertive and Multi-Faceted".

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 Last, but not least, concerning anOther, particular but very Important, Topical Development on a Key Issue of BioEthics : the Recent Heritable Genetic Editing of 2 newborn Babies' Germline, Transmissible to Future Generations, reportedly made by a Chinese Doctor, Educated by, and Linked to USA Networks from the Barack Hussein Obama's era (Dems' "Socialists/Liberals" : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/heritablegenemaniptrumpxihumanity.html, etc), that China and USA Presidents Xi and Trump might have an opportunity to eventualy deal with on the occasion of their imminent Bilateral Summit about Trade a.o. matters, expected for Later this Month (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/usachinaontradeandbioethics.html), and on which EU Parliament prepares a draft Resolution, after also a Recent Debate in Strasbourg where MEPs, Questioning EU Commission, urged for a "Global Ban", (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eppvpresidentandmepsongermlinemanipban.html), considering also that the Chinese Government explicitly Condemned such acts, as also did several (but not all) People in the USA, Europe, etc, while, already, CoE's PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights and BioMedicine Prohibits any attempts to artificially Alter the Human Germline,


- Katainen, Questioned Today by "Eurofora" about whether such a Serious and Dangerous Problem might be Discussed at the forthcoming EU - China Summit, scheduled for Early April 2019, after Carefully Hearing our Question,  Kindly excused himself for being de facto obliged to Decline to give a Reply Today, on this Exceptional point :


 - "I frankly don't know", and prefer "No to Comment" for the Time being, leaving that point "Open" for Now, as I "have not been informed" on that, "NOT YET !", concluded Carefully but Honestly, with a kind smile, EU Commission's vice-President, (who is personally in charge mainly of Economic Issues, but Not specifically BioEthics/Human Rights)...



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Nevertheless, that "Hot" and Topical BioEthical Issue, would, apparently, "Fit" Well with the Presentation made by Katainen at his above-mentioned Press Conference, at least on the level of "Principles", as also an Official EUCommisson's Document, distributed on this occasion, notes about EU's will, "Based on clearly defined ... Principles, (to) Deepen its Engagement with China to promote Common interests at Global level", and, particularly, to "Strengthen EU's Cooperation with China to meet Common Responsibilities accross the 3 Pillars of the United Nations: Human Rights, Peace and Security, and Development".

 

(../..)

 

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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.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

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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