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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament Budget Committee Chair Arthuis to EuroFora: Grants to Turkey only if conditions are met

EUParliament Budget Committee Chair Arthuis to EuroFora: Grants to Turkey only if conditions are met

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 22 October 2014

 

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- While MEPs denounce Restrictions of -522 Miilions € less in commitments and - 2,3 Billions less in payments in 2015 Budget, even in Research, Innovation, Education, Competitiveness and Humanitarian crisis'response, nevertheless, Turkey is to be paid about 1 Billion € in full Grants, unless it doesn't respect its obligations vis a vis the EU, confirmed the President of EU Parliament's Budget Committee, experienced, former long-time Minister (since the 1990ies, with former President Chirac, etc), and Party Leader, French MEP Jean Arthuis, speaking to "EuroFora", the same days that Warships accompagnying Turkish underseas "exploration" vessels are provocatively sent by Ankara's Government to intrude in EU Member State Cyprus' exclusive economic zone, where on-going  oil-gas findings seem promissing for imminent further discoveries of natural Energy resouces badly needed by Energy-thirsty EU, which would otherwise continue to depend only on Foreign, 3rd Countries and dangerous, expensive and long Transport routes.

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President Arthuis has just got a Strong, 464 MEPs' Votes-backed, against only 186, EU Parliament's mandate, after Today's Vote on a Resolution for the 2015 Budget, to Negotiate with EU Council another deal, hopefuly before the End of this year (2014). The overall debate in Strasbourg included also an almost 5 Billions € delay in payments for commitments of the last years (2013-2014), which is obviously an additional big problem to solve with Inter-Institutional, intra-EU Negotiations between EU Parliament and EU Council, as he reminded us, on this same occasion.

But, meanwhile, EU Parliament Budget Committee Head's Timely observation about Turkey's commitments and obligations vis a vis the EU, as a normal condition for continuing to pay about 1 Billion € in full Grants also next Year (2015), even if core EU policies, such as Scientific Research and Technological Innovation, Competitiveness, Education, Humanitarian issues, etc, possibly suffer from  a sharp Reduction between - 522 Millions € in payments and - 2,3 Billions € in commitments that same Year 2015 (Comp. Supra), was preceded by relevant Topical statements from the New EU Commission's President, former long-time Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, as well as EU Parliament's own President, German MEP Martin Schulz, also on Turkey :

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- When EU faces Today one among its "Biggest Challenges" on how to cover its "Energy" needs, "what does the EU do in order to defend its Natural (re)sources", at least "in the Exclusive Economic Zone of an EU Member Country"(Cyprus), which "is Violated now by a Candidate Country (Turkey) ?", asked, (carefuly reading out  a prepared written question), one of the numerous collegues from Cyprus who have just arrived exceptionaly in Strasbourg for this session.

 

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Both Juncker and Schultz pointed mainly at the new EU High Representative on External policies, f. Fodeign Minister of Italy, Federica Mogherini :

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 - "I will discuss this question with Mrs Mogherini, because she is in charge of this kind of issues, and then Mr Johanes Han, who is in charge of Neighborhood (EU policy), and then, we'd come to a Conclusion, and take all the needed Actions", promissed Juncker.


 - "The Conference of Presidents decided, yesterday to put it on the Agenda of the Parliament and also to debate the role of Turkey in that regard. I we take note that the Rights of a Sovereign Member Country of the (European) Union, as the Republic of Cyprus, are Violated by a Candidate State, then, we have to Act. And that's the reason why we (EU Parliament) asked from the (EU Commission's) High Representative (on Foreign policy, f. Italian Minister Federica Mogherini) for a Declaration. This is not yet a Judgement, but you see that the European Parliament is taking that very seriously", added Schulz.

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Concerning particularly the key role of incoming new EU High Representative for External Action, f. Italian Foreign Minister, Federica Mogherini, later this Afternoon, the President of EU Parliament's Socialdemocrat Group, Italian MEP Gianni Pittella, speaking to Journalists, including "EuroFora", stressed that Mogherini is expected to act for " a Value that we regard as Crucial : EU Solidarity", both inside and outside of Union's borders, as he pointed out, speaking shortly after the above-mentioned Juncker-Schulz anouncements on Turkish Warships violating Cyprus' territorial waters inside the Oil/Gas Energy searches exclusive economic zone, (Comp. Supra).

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But, meanwhile, EU Citizens, as well as Politicians, will probably have to check even if ... EU Money given to Turkey (including by Poor People who pay VAT in EU Member Countries) didn't, in fact, arrive even up to ... Islamic Extremist Terrorist BeHeaders of "ISIS", given the fact that, as experienced, mainstream Brittish MEP from the Governing Conservative Party, Dr. Charles Tannock, a long-time Foreign Affairs Spokesman, observed later this Afternoon, at EU Parliament's Plenary Debate on Kobane,

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Turkey has not yet clarified its position regarding rumours that it persists to help "ISIS" through its own territory, as it did also in the Past, (notoriously a corridor for various other Armed Groups, indeed), nor dd Ankara reveal the Content of its recent Agreement negotiated with that same ISIS, in order to convince it to exceptionaly free, (in an astonishingly Good Shape, as if they were returning back from Touristic Holidays ! ) all Turcs detained at Mosoul, contrary to the Atrocities faced by almost all other Countries' Hostages...


A fortiori, when, as it's well known, (particularly to several German MEPs of the Governing ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party), EU's Court of Auditors has repeatedly denounced the fact that many EU Grants to Turkey have been spend without any real Proof on where exactly  (and/or : What for) did all that Money really go...  An obvious Discrepancy, which had led certain MEPs to table Amendments to EU's Annual Budgets, in recent years, clearly asking to "Suspend" or "Freeze", totally or partialy, the flow of EU Money given to Turkish National Authorities under pretext of a notoriously controversial and unpopular EU bid.


Meanwhile, Cyprus' National Council, which brings together all political parties, has just decided that, among a series of various Measures in response of the provocations by Turkish warships inside the island's EEZ, Nicosia won't accept, no more, any opening of any more Chapters to the Inter-Governemental EU - Turkey Negotiations, while Cyprus' President Nicos Anastassiades has reportedly sent also a Letter denouncing the interference by Turkish Warships to UNO's Secretary General Ban Ki Moon. 

 

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(Israeli Media Map) 
 

     After USA's "Noble Energy", also Italy's and South Korea's ENI/KOGAS were due to start drilling towards the End of 2014, while France's TOTAL would follow at the beginning of 2015.
 

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    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
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    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

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Each MEP's vote will be registered !

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The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

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     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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