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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament Votes EU External Border-Guard:+Towards Endorsing Greece Neighbouring Countries Checks?

EUParliament Votes EU External Border-Guard:+Towards Endorsing Greece Neighbouring Countries Checks?

Parašė ACM
Wednesday, July 06, 2016
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- A First EU Parliament's Step towards fully Legitimising a similar kind of reaction as that of Greece's Neighbouring Countries at the Western Balkan Routes, who notoriously decided, Alll Together and Joined by the Visegrad Group, to establish Border Checks and even Blockades in 2016 as long as Athens' New Government persisted to abstain from Pushing Back mainly Turkish Smugglers' Ships illegaly crossing into EU + Shengen External Borders to Import a Massive Influx of 1,3 Million Asylum Seekers/irregular Migrants through Turkey in 2015/2016, (thereby Succeeding to Help consideraby Cut the Number of Mass-Tresspassers in Spectacular Proportions quite Fast, and even Before a Controversial, UnPopular and Costly EU - Turkey deal  entered into force, Later-on - See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/unpopulareuvisafreefor80millionsturksuseless.html ), seems well to have been made Today by a Strong Majority of MEPs after Adopting a series of Amendments on EU Commision's proposal for the Creation of an EU External Borders' Guard Agency.


Even if it could obviously become in Future a much-Needed Amelioration, (often Debated and Welcomed Recently both by EU Citisens and various Politicians, but also by EU Heads of States/Governments' Summits, etc), nevertheless, it's not so much the anounced Establishment of that Agency in itself, (which is Expected, after Official Endorsing by an EU Summit, to be set up from Autumn 2016), that represents The Most radicaly Ground-Breaking Point :


This New EU Tool, - obviously Indispensable for a Sovereign, Independent and Safe Europe which badly Needs to become Able to Control its own External Borders, as well as in order to Safeguard EU Citizens' Free Movement around Internal EU Borders particularly at the Shenghen Area,- nevertheless, is Not Yet a Really nor Sufficiently Big Move :


F.ex., inter alia, the projected Number of EU Border and Coast-Guards would gather, at the Horizon of 2020, Only One (1) such Guard per several Dozens of Kms of EU Coast-Line (sic !), EU won't have its own Agents, but will Depend on Mobilizing, Each Time, various Quotas of National Guards "Ready to Use", lended by EU Member States, and, if it Faces a Reluctant Member Country Obstinated into practicaly Leaving its Part of EU's External Borders UnProtected, even at the Detriment of the European General Interest, it could Only Act after a rather Heavy Procedure, including an EU Parliament's Information and Consultation, an EU Commission's Proposal, and an EU Council's Official Decision.


However, it's also true that the projected EU Border/Coast Guard will be a Mechanism Working with a "2 Levels" System, i.e. mainly by Organizing Europe-Wide Information Networks on Border Protection, and mainly by Intervening on the Spot, to Help any EU Member State facing an Emergency Situation at EU's External Borders, particularly by Adding a 1.600 - strong EU Force and relevant Equipment, whenever a National Government might, eventualy, Feel Necessary to Ask for its Support.


But, a more Important (and Hotly Debated) Innovation is that a Majority of European Countries could, from now on, take Action to Protect EU's General Interest vis a vis a Refusal to move eventualy opposed by a Recalcitrant Member State which Fails to Defend its Part of EU's External Borders, even when there is a Serious Threat to Disrupt EU Citizens' Freedom of Movement inside the Shengen Area and/or to Harm Europe as a whole, as has just Voted 483 MEPs, against Only 181 Today iN Strasbourg.

pe_external_borders_guard_votes_hands_up_400


Perhaps the Most Interesting and Topical Point is also that, (as EU Parliament's Rapporteur on the EU Border/Coast Guard, Artis Pabriks, a mainstream ChristianDemocrat MEP from Latvia, Repeatedly Stressed, Both by Writting, and through Press Spokespersons, as well as in a subsequent Press Conference in Strasbourg), several European Neighbouring Countries will be able to Trigger Action to Establish Checks, on a Temporary basis, and Take Full Control of their Internal EU Borders vis a vis such a Recalcitrant EU Member State which might Fail to protect its part of EU's External Borders, while also Refusing an efficient EU Direct Help on the spot, despite an External Danger Threatening also its European Neighbours.


I.e. Something which is strikingly Similar to what has just Happened, from February/Early March 2016, at the so-called "Western Balkan Route", when Serbia, FYROM, Croatia, Slovenia, Hungary and Austria, supported also by the rest of "Visegrad" Countries (Poland, Czech Republic and Slovakia : the Incoming New EU President for July-December 2016, Comp. Statement of the Prime Minister of Slovakia, Robert Fico, in Reply to an "Eurofora"'s Question at a Press Conference during the latest EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Brussels : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/ficomigrationpolicymightpushbrexits.html), apparently with an Implicit Tolerance even from several Other Big EU Countries, finaly Had to Set up Internal EU Border Controls and even Closure in order to Start Stopping that Unprecedented 1,3 Million Massive Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants "Tsunami" comming through Turkey, as long as a New Government in Greece refused to Push Back the mainly Turkish Smugglers' Human Trafficking Ships (which have already provoked the Death of a Record-High Number of Refugees/Migrants by Drowning, particularly among the Poorest), at EU's External Borders in the Aegean Sea, while also using even Jet-Propulsed Tourist Luxury Big Ships, a well Organized Network of Busses and Trains in a Systematic Mass Public Transport (almost as Serbia also did by Rail, Croatia, etc), towards the Northern Borders of that Strategicaly Located EU and Shengen as well as €uroZone Member Country, (Comp. f.ex.: .....).


What is really at Stake, bypasses, indeed, even what EU Rapporteur Pebrics and the Text Adopted Today in Strasbourg by a Strong EU Parliament's Majority, with 483 Votes, against Only 181, have already Warned from the outset, (See f.ex. the 1st Article of the Official Proposal for an EU Directive), by Pointing out that its "Not Only" about "Monitoring Efficiently the Crossing of (EU's) External Borders, and multifacet "Migratory Challenges", but also about Various Other "Potential Future Threats at those borders", as well as in order to "Contribute to Address serious Crime with a cross-border Dimension, and to Ensure a High Level of Internal Security within the Union", while also "Safeguarding the Free Movement of persons therein". (I.e. obviously Including current "Terrorist threats", as the Recent Deadly Attacks by Extremist Islamic ISIL's atrocious HeHeaders even of Innocent and Defenseless Civilian People in Paris and Brussels, etc., proved, since Several among those Murderous Terrorists had, precisely, Arrived Hidden inside that Huge Refugees/Migrants' Infux through Turkey and via EU+Shenghen Member Greece, including 2 Turkish and Other origins' "Djihadists", 10 surviving Pals of whom, from Strasbourg's area, were just Condemned Today by a French Court to 6 or 8 Years in Jail, and a 2/3 Security Surveillance period, after their Trip and Active, Armed Stay in the Territories of Syria which remain still Occupied by ISIL's Terrorist Bands, despite the latest Advances by International Coalition Forces on the spot).

 

(../..)

 

 

 

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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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