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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament: Fight v. Islamist Terror Attacks in EU/USA, + Debate on Secessionist trouble in Spain

EUParliament: Fight v. Islamist Terror Attacks in EU/USA, + Debate on Secessionist trouble in Spain

Written by ACM
Monday, 02 October 2017

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 *Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament had to Handle Today a series of various "Hot" Topical Issues currently Challenging Europe, at the opening of its full Plenary Session this Week in Srasbourg, from Deadly islamist Terrorist Attacks in Europe and America, until Secessionist troubles in Spain, etc.


Concerning a Growing Series of Deadly Aggressions by ISIL Terrorists cowardly Targetting innocent and defenseless Civilian People, f.ex. by Knife or Vitriol Attaks in the UK, France and Canada, (including 2 Young Girls Murdered at Marseilles), but also the latest Gun Attack revendicated by ISIS in Dallas (USA) with 59 People Killed, Hundrends Wounded, the new EU Parliament's President, Italian ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Antonio Tajani, was adamant:


- "We (Europeans) shall Not Change our Way of Living", But "we will shall Keep Fighting, until we Defeat" Islamist Terrorism, he clearly stressed in an Official Statement, inviting also all MEPs to keep a Minute of Silence in Memory of the Tragic Victims.


But the Unanimity of All Political Groups of MEPs inside EU Parliament, on which was based President Tajani's above-mentioned Statement against ISIS' Deadly Terror, on the Contrary, did Not Exist, at least at the Beginning, as far as anOther, Different Topical Issue (which had also occured last Sunday) was concerned : that of Secessionist troubles in Spain :


Indeed, here, Various Positions were expressed among MEPs' Groups, Both about the Timing, the Heading, and the eventual addition of a Resolution, or not, of a possible EU Parliament's Debate on the recent events in Catalonia.


- To Sum up : Contrary mainly to some "Greens" and Euro-Sceptic "EFDD" MEPs, who asked for an Immediate Debate for Tomorrow, Tuesday, on the Contrary, most Other Groups wished to put that for Later-on, i.e. Wednesday. And, since EU Parliament had to Debate on the latest EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Tallin, on Digital Innovations and on Europe's Future, during Wednesday Morning, inevitably it was, finally, Decided to Fix that Debate for the Afternoon.
But the Biggest InFight, among MEPs, obviously was about the precise Wording of the Heading to give to such a Debate :


- Initially, some "Greens" and Leftists MEPs asked to Focus only on what they called, (in an obvious Unilateral manner) :  "Massive Police Violence against Peaceful Citizens in Catalonia" ...


- But the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Socialists and Liberals MEPs preferred to speak about the "Constitution, Rule of Law, and Fundamental Rights in Spain, following the recent events in Catalonia" region. I.e. a quite more Balanced stance, Combining Both the Legal and Constitutional Rules in Spain, (according to which, a pro-Independence Referendum, accompagnied by notorious Threats for immediate Secession by the currently Governing Parties in Catalonia Region, was Illegal), as well as All Citizens' individual and collective Rights, (f.ex. vis a vis eventually DisProportionate use of Force by the Police, etc), as the President of the Liberals, Guy Verhofstadt, former Prime Minister of Belgium pointed out.


=> Such Explanations made even the President of the Leftist Group, German MEP Gabrielle Zimmer, to finally find an acceptable Compromise, Together with the Other 3 above-mentioned Group of MEPs (Comp. Supra).


+ Moreover, Leftist, as well as Center-Right EPP, Liberals and Socialists, as well as various Other MEPs, practically Agreed with the Explicit Demand made by a Spanish MEP, to Abstain from Voting Any Resolution at all, (Contrary to some "Greens" and EuroSceptic "EFDD" MEPs).


- This is a Crucial point in order to Face current "Threats to Break up my Country", Dramatically stressed, indeed, mainstream Spanish MEP Esteban Gonzalez Pons.


Indeed, those atypical, mainly Leftist Parties which have taken, since 2015, the control of Catalonia's Regional Governance, (even with a Minority of about 48%, because its Electoral System reportedly Benefits the Rural Areas where pro-Independence groups are larger than in the Cities, as mainstream International Media have noted), notoriously Threatened now to hold a Referendum for Independence due to be Immediately Followed by a Secessionsit Declaration, if its (even Relative) Majority might bring a "Yes" on 2017, (regardless of the fact Constitutional Court of the Country has already, officialy declared such an attempt to hold a Referendum like this, as "illegal").


In order to Avoid a Deadlock and/or Violent Clashes, Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy reportedly adopted a Preventive Strategy, consisting mainly in previous, Targetted Police Operations focusing on Confiscating Voting Lists, Ballot Boxes and Voiting Bulletins, as well as relevant Printing Machines, and Closing several Voting Stations, alredy from the Eve of the Crucial Date.


But the Secessionists have, apparently, managed to Trick at least a part of the Spanish Government, (probably some inside the Security/Intelligence services), by ... Hidding stocks of already Printed Bulletins of Vote, Ballot Boxes, etc. at the Other Side of the Borders, in France's Mountains, and they had also Prepared a special Digital Network System with Voting Lists, practically allowing anyone to Vote at Any Voting Station he might find, eventually, open...


=> So that, by the Addition of all such Factors, finally, on the Crucial Date of last Sunday, it had, practically, become almost Unavoidable to provoke some; more or less Violent Clashes, between Secessionists and pro-National Unity People, particularly the Police, who had clear orders to Prevent such an Illegal Vote, which obviously Threatened to Trigger Dangerous Secession in the few next days.


However, despite even that last-minute Trap, the Spanish National Authorities apparently managed to seriously Diminish the inevitable use of Force and Clashes which, almost Inevitably followed Afterwards ...
... at least Comparatively, f.ex., with what had happened, just a few years ago, back on 2014, when a controversial Government at Kiev (Ukraine) had done, in order to Hinder pro-Autonomy Dissident People at Eastern Ukraine Regions to Vote, precisely, at another controversial Popular Referendum :


>>> Then, it's even with Real Deadly Bullets, that Heavily Armed (and sometimes even Masked !) Gunmen, who had suddenly Invaded and forcibly evacuated several Polling Stations, Started also to Shoot against really Peaceful gatherings of People who were trying to Discuss with them, trying to convince them to let the Voters Free to cast their Bulletins in the Ballot Boxes, including by ... seriously Wounding at the Knee with a Bullet one of the Victs, who Bleeded on the road, and even ... Killing at least another Victim, afterwards found Dead near the Polling Station, (as several Converging Videos and Photos, Testimonies etc., immediately Published then at the Web, clearly reveal, f.ex. in Marioupol City, etc)...


Fortunately, Nothing Similar to what had happened then in Ukraine (which is a CoE's Member State, and EU Neighborhood Policy Partner, normally Obiged to Respect elementary Human Rights) did Not occur also Today in Spain.


F.ex. No Real Bullets Fired against Peaceful People, Nobody Killed, and Not even any Controversial ("Putchist" according to Dissidents) Violent Change of National Government in the Capital City of the Country concerned, after Bloody Killings from Both Sides, and very Brutal, massive Clashes, (etc), as it had notoriously occured in Kiev, back on 2014, Before that pro-"Autonomy" Referendum was organized by Dissidents, apparently Afraid of what had happened, just a few days before, by Suddenl Toppling their Elected Government through a Violent Popular Uprising, amidst Strange "Snipers" notoriously Killing People from Both Sides, apparently in order to Stir Conflict, (Comp., f.ex. : ....+ ...).I.e. something which Never Happened in Spain's Capital, Madrid... 


=> Not Wishing to abuse of too obvious Double Standards, an ovewhelming Majority of MEPs inside EU Parliament, finally decided, Today, to Limit  that Debate on Catalonia events in a Wednesday Afternoon Exchange between Heads of the Political Groups, withOut any Resolution.

(../..)

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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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