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Αρχική 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 +

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Τρίτη, 12 Μάρτιος 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.

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

+ 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)...



eucom_vpresident_katainen__agg_in_fine_eurofora_400 

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 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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