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Home arrow newsitems arrow 4,5 Centuries after 1st European Army Victory EU Leaders Awoke +Fund Modern High-Tech Defence Tools

4,5 Centuries after 1st European Army Victory EU Leaders Awoke +Fund Modern High-Tech Defence Tools

Written by ACM
Thursday, 14 December 2017

      

 eu_president_tusk_at_pesco_event__agg_eurofora_400

 *Brussels/EU Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/-  EU President Tusk's preliminary Observation (atToday's PESCO Event during this EU Summit) that, in the Past, "European Defence" had been, for too long, just an "Idea", and/or "a Dream", "revisited Many Times", "but", most often, to "no effect", because, then, it was "at odds with reality", is largely True, (considering, f.ex., the Attempts notoriously made during the "Cold War" of the 1950's, which had failed, as well as some more Recent Moves, etc).


However, by breaking New Ground in Modern Times, for the Development of a joint European Defence/Security Policy, this December 2017 EU Heads of State/Government Summit, (which Welcomed the move by an Exceptional "PESCO" Event, in Good Mood, this Afternoon: See relevant PHOTOS by "Eurofora" from the spot), it celebrated Not Just the "BirthDay" of a New Baby, but, in fact, also the "Anniversary" of a longer Historic trend for European People to succesfully Unite, all Together, ready to Fight in order to Safeguard Europe's Freedom from Foreign Attacks, which had already been Marked by the 1st Victory of a European Army almost ...4,5 Centuries earlier (See Infra) !

 

Indeed, Europe's History is very much Longer than usually thought, and proves that Europeans had already Succeeded to Forge an Efficient Joint Defence, during some Exceptionally Crucial Periods of Time in the Past :

In fact, it Emerged since the 16th-17th Century, (after the "ReNaissance"), between the Famous Victories of a PanEuropean Coalition, at First in the Sea, with the Naval Battle of Lepante on 1.571, (reply to an Ottoman-Turkish massacre in Cyprus) which ensured Europeans' role in the Mediterranean Sea,  and afterwards on solid Ground, with the 1.683 Battle defending Austria's Capital city of Vienna, immediately followed by those which Liberated all Budapest at 1.686, and finally the entire Hungary on 1.699, from the declining Military Invasion of the Turkish-Ottoman Empire, vigorously pushed away by a Large Alliance of various Europeans United Together, (English, German, Polish, Lithuanians, Italians, French, Austrian, Hungarian, Spanish, etc, who were soon Joined also by Russians, etc).


This gave an Historic Opportunity for Europe to realize various Scientific/Technological and Political/Democratic Tansformations and Advances, as well as to Boost Personal Contacts throughout the Liberated Continent, during the Next, 18th Century, that of the "Enlightnement".


A Previous Attempt, on the 15th Century, had been Initially Succesfull, (with several Victories across South-Eastern Europe, up to -and including- Belgrade's defence on 1.456), but suddenly Vanished, soon after an Internal Social Conflict among Europeans (reportedly Divided between Landlords and Peasants), which was exploited by Ottomans-Turks in order to Invade and Occupy South-Eastern Europe.


However, another, more recent, Victory of Europeans' Armies United Together was also that of Navarino's Naval Battle, in Greece on 1.827, where French and British Admirals Fought Together with Russians, against oppressive remnants of the declining Turkish-Ottoman Empire, (which was definitively Defeated by the Europeans up to the 1.919 Peace Treaty of Sevres, concluded near Paris: See: ...).


A kind of "Embryo", or Preliminary, Draft Design of what became afterwards a fully-fledged European Defence, may be found, since much Earlier : Also at the Strong and Efficient Resistance that the Greek Cities-States (for the 1st Time United Together) notoriously opposed to the big Asian Persian Empire's repeated attempts to Invade and Occupy all "Europe", already several Centuries BC.:  Indeed, the Historic, World Famous Self-Sacrifice of Leonidas' "300" Guardians of Thermopylae, followed by the Victories at the Battles of Salamina in the Sea, and Plateae up to Byzantium (later: Constantinople, now Istanbul) at the Land, (- 480, -479 and - 478 B.C., respectively), have a Similar Pattern of Independent, Sovereign Entities in Europe (then = City-States, now = Nation-States) coming Together in order to Defend themselves vis a vis a Foreign common Enemy coming from another Continent, and threatening or attacking them.


But even long Before that, an Initial Grouping of almost All City-States throughout the entire Greek Culture Area, had send Fighters for a Common Battle won against Troy, (on the -12th Century BC, notoriously described at Omer's Illiad and Odyssey, parts of which remain as published from -800/-700 BC), in order to keep Open the way from the Aegean Sea up to the Black Sea's Northern Coasts producing Wheat. (I.e. what became much Later-on, the "Road from the Greeks to the Swedish", resulting to the creation of Russia from +800/+900 AC).


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=> All these Historic Periods of various European Armies' Victorious groupings, had been Preceded by an Era of Cultural raprochment/unification, (as, f.ex., the "European Renaissance" period of the +16th or +17th Century AC, the Spread of Greek Language and Olympic Games' traditions in Ancient Greece, etc), Provoked by the Need to Face an imminent Foreign Threat or Attack, (f.ex. the "Persian Wars" in Ancient Greece, or the "Ottoman-Turk Empire"'s Invasions/Occupations up to the +17th Century AC),


and Followed by an Era of Peace and Scientific/Technological Progress, (f.ex., +18th Century AC of "Enlightnement", and/or, already Previously, the -5th and -4th Centuries BC in Greek Philosophy/Democracy, etc).


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After a Failure of the Political Unification process which had been launched with the CoE from 1949, withOut succeeding to boost a European Defence back on 1954, Europe's U-Turn towards Schuman's ideas, which privilegied Economic Infrastructures, with the Treaties of Rome (1957) on what became afterwards the EU, starts, Nowadays, (December 2017), to Boost a European Security and Defence Policy, by developing First its Economic Basis :


By the creation of a European "Defence Fund", and adopting "in 2018" an equivalent "Industrial Development Programme", "in Time to Finance the first Capability Projects in 2019", following the Establishment of a "Reinforced Cooperation" mechanism including 25 EU Member States on this December 2017,  (etc).


=> Among almost 20 PESCO Projects, officially presented Now in Brussels, are Both various Operational Tools, and Capacity-Building Mechanisms, as well as Logistic Instruments, and Communication/Command-Control, Organisational Systems, etc.:


 (A) F.ex., amidst various 3C - Organisation Systems' Projects, are also some for :


* Europêan Military Radios, including Secure Software, Inter-Operability, Voice and Data Communications, Variety of Platforms (as Handheld, Portable and Vehicle-Mounted Devices, etc).


 * Surveillance and Protection of Harbours and Maritime areas, with Sensors, Software, Communications and Platforms (surface, underwater and aerial Vehicles), is another Integrated System, able to deliver also a Command-Control function.


* A Strategic Command and Control System, which Connects users by Information and Decision-making support tools, improves Planning, Conduct and Coordination. Integrates Intelligence, Surveillance, Command and Control, and Logistics.

(B) Some concrete Examples of Operational Tools' projects are:


* A New prototype of Armoured Vehicle, Both for Infantry Fighting, and Amphibious Assault, as well as in a Light Version. Supporting Fast Deployment, Reconnaissance, Combat and Logistics or Medical supports, Command and Control. Based on a Common Support, and easing Inter-Operability among European Armies.  


* An Artillery with Mobile Precision and indirect Fire supports, including Battle decisive and Non-Lethal Ammunitions, as well as Fire Control, for Land Forces, in the Short-Mid Term.


* The Maritime, semi-Autonomous system for Mine CounterMeasures, with a "Mix" of UnderWater, Surface, and Aerial Technologies, enabling to Protect Maritime Vessels, Harhours, and Off-Shore installations, while also SafeGuarding Freedom of Navigaton on Maritime Trading Routes. It includes UnderWater Autonomous Vehicles, Cutting-Edge Technologies, an Open Architecture and a Modular set-up.


* Rapid Reponse Teams, and/or an Information-sharing Platform to Respond to Cyber-Threats : CRRTeams Assist in Operations, Diagnostics, Forensics and Training. While the ISPlatform moves from FireWalls to Active Measures, also by Sharing Intelligence through a Member States' Network. CRRTs are Equiped with Deployable Cyber ToolKits, to Detect, Recognize and Mitigate Threats.

(C) On Logistics :


* f.ex., a Network of Hubs and Support to Operations, via Cross-Border Solutions, (for Seamless Transport/Logistics and Connection of Existing EU Initiatives, under 1 Umbrella). to Enhance Planning and Movement, as well as deliver Common Standards and Procedures.


* an "Energy Operational Function" project for a Dual Aim : (a) New Systems of Energy Supply for Camps deployed in Joint Operations, or for Soldier-connected Devices/Equipments. And (b), take Energy into Account, from the Conception of Combat Systems, to Implementation of Support in Operations, Planning included.  


(D) on Capabilities+ :


 *  a Military Mobility project, to Simplify Cross-Border Transport Proedures, in order to Enhance Speed of Movement of Military Forces accross Europe : UnHindered Movement of Personel and Assets, avoidance of Bureaucracy (as Passport Checks), Reduction of Barriers (incl; Legal+) and/or Infrastructure Problems (as Roads, Bridges able to accomodate Large Vehicles).


* a Competence Center for Training, to improve the Availability, InterOperability, Skills and Professionalism of staff, as well as Accelerate EU Training Missions, by Educated, Trained and Available Personnel.


* an EU Medical Command, with Enduring Capability to support Missions and Operations on the ground, by providing, f.ex. a MultiNational and Rapidly Deployable Force, Evacuation Facilities, Triage and ReSuscitation, Treatment and Holding of Patients until they Return to duty, Emergency Dental treatment, etc., as well as by Ensuring Efficient Joint EU Management, Planning and Coordination on Scarce Medical Services, offering Critical Resources, Harmonizing Standards, Legal (civil) Framework and Sanitary Principles. For greater InterOperability and Coherence of Health Care Capabilities in Europe, (Standardization of Concepts, Training and Certification).


* UpGrade Maritime Surveillance, by Integrating Land-Based systems, Sea and Air Platforms, for Real-Time Information to EU Member States, facilitating Timely and Effective Response in International Waters. So as to Better Protect the EU and its Citizens, by easing Address of New and Old Threats and Challenges, (f.ex. Energy Security, Environment, Defence and Security, etc). Through Enhanced Awareness and Response Effectiveness, by Infrastructure Use, Assets' Deployment, and Capabilities' Development.


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=> In its Conclusions, this December 2017 EU Brussels' Summit Welcomed the launch of the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) on Defence, and Decided to adopt on 2018 an EU Defence Industry Program for Funds to Projects from 2019, and in order to Complete the Reform of EU's Funds for Common Costs of EU Military Missions/Operations, as well as work on a New Instrument for Capacity Building in Security and Development from 2020.


EU Leaders also decided to respect the relevant Commitments taken by the NATO since December 2017.


- "For many years, the strongest argument against (EU's) PESCO had been the fear that it would lead to the weakening of NATO. But (in fact, now) it is quite the opposite: Strong European defence naturally strengthens NATO. This is why PESCO is not only good news for us, but it is also good news for our allies...", EU President Tusk observed at the event on PESCO.

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 +Meanwhile, the President of ChristianDemocrat/EPP party, Joseph Daul, an Experienced former Long-Time Leading MEP at EU Parliament, from Strasbourg, spoke Today in Brussels, after Chairing a Meeting of EPP Heads of State/Government here, about what he Optimistically called as "a New Era" of "European Defence" :


- "As Europeans are expecting us to provide a Secure Europe, the EPP has made a Priority for PESCO to become a Reality", stressed Daul.

 

(../..)

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  imag0573_400

    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.
----------------------------------
    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.
-------------
The precise Text :
-----------------
    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".

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

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

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

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...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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