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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

      

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 *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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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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