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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.

-----------


 +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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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
-------------------------
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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