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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUROCORPS New Commander, General Weigt to EF: Next Years important for Decisions on EU Defence

EUROCORPS New Commander, General Weigt to EF: Next Years important for Decisions on EU Defence

Written by ACM
Saturday, 11 November 2017

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*Strasbourg/WW1 Armistice Ceremony/Angelo Marcopolo/- EUROCORPS' new Commander for the Period of 2017-2019, General Jürgen Weigt, speaking to "Eurofora", expressed a careful but clear Optimism as far as possible Developments of soon Forthcoming moves for EU's CFSPolicy are concerned in Defence, and eventual repercussions on the original Army Staff's Multinational European body, initialy created by a Franco-German initiative 24 Years ago, (See Infra).                                                                                                                             
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"Eurofora", saluting Weigt, pointed at the Fact that, Next Week in Brussels, several EU Member States are due to Sign the 1st ever Agreement for the Creation of a Permanent Structural Cooperation (according to the EU's "Lisbon Treaty") in Defence, and asked him whether such an important Strategic Move would also Boost "EUROCORPS" role in the foreseable Future.

EU Parliament has already Debated and Voted in Strasbourg's Plenaries several Resolutions on EU's Common Foreign and Security Policy, in which, MEPs have explicitly and clearly called, several times, for EUROCORPS to play a Key role.

EUROCORPS, a Multi-National Force focusing on Leading the Staff of Thousands of Soldiers from several Countries, , is Headquartered in Strasbourg since 1993, and has as "Framework" Nations France, Germany, Spain, Belgium and Luxembourg, but also Poland as a New, evolving Member, while Many Other EU Countries have posted "Liaison Officers" here, and more are expected to join, sooner or later, in one way or another. It has also been used for Cooperation with NATO, and Headed Operations in Kosovo and Afghanistan (International Missions), Mali and Central Africa (EU Missions), etc. More Recently, it has started to Lead also EU's Battle Group, as on 2016.

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 - "Yes !", I know, General Weigt immediately reacted, declaring to be Aware of those, previous and, particularly forthcoming concrete EU +steps.  

- In consequence, "I Think so", EUROCORPS' New Commander Positively replied spontaneously, to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Topical Question, about probable further Developments on the role of that particular European Force.

- However, "I am Not Sure" yet, he Carefully added, later-on.

 - Because "We have to Wait for the Political Decisions" that still have to be officially taken on that matter, he advised.

 - "But, certainly, the Corps would be ready to move in that direction, he estimated, logically, for, now.

- And, as far as this matter too is concerned, my Mandate (at EuroCorps' Head) "is for 2 Years": Autumn 2017- Autumn 2019, Commander Weigt observed.

- Therefore, he simply Smiled in Agreement with "Eurofora"s Observation that such a move on European Defence should, logically, at least Start during his term in office, which is, now, practically, at its Beginnings, since he has just taken over his new responsibilities, Earlier this Autumn, since September 2017, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eurocorpsanddrones.html).
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It's also of a Fact of Timely, and Highly Symbolical Significance, that General Weigt, who comes from Germany, spoke thus to "Eurofora", on the sidelines of a Ceremony for the Anniversary of the 1st World War Armistice, at Strasbourg's Monumental "Republic" square, Together with several among his French collegues, including, f.ex., the Military Governor of Strasbourg, General Casanove, the Alsace Region's Gendarmes' force Commander, General Ottavi, the Commander of the Military Intelligence brigade, General Maury, etc., in the presence of he New Prefect of Strasgourg's "Great East" Region, Jean-Luc Marx, with other representatives of the Civilian Adminsitrations and Elected Politicians.


Particularly because, it's just Yesterday, at Nearby Colmar/Watwiller, that the new Presidents of France and Germany, Macron and Steinmeier, have jointly Inaugurated a Pioneer "Historica" Museum on the Deadly Horrors of the 1st World War, as they were Tragically and spectacularly pictured at the Juge Pic of the Mountain known as "Hartsmanwillerskopf", where more than 30.000 French and German Soldiers lost their Lives, in a vain and bloody Conflict for a Strategic Line which did Not, however, pactically moved at all during the duration of all the War !


 - Nowadays, European People need both a common Memory, and to be better Protected, particularly by a European Defence, stressed, in substance, on this occasion, the French President Emmanuel Macron, echoed by his German counterpart, with whom he had also, earlier in Paris, a long Meeting, focusing particularly on "Important" Developments expected, as far as Europe's Future is concerned, from 2018.


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+ Meanwhile, as also a Multi-Modal Force, EUROCORPS has been recently trained to Monitor Both Land, Air, and Sea Military Operations, in an organized whole.


This Last Point was also evoked, Today, by the presence, on the spot, of a Young French (but fluently English-Speaking) Officer from the Naval Forces, who said to "Eurofora" that he has been affected to Strasbourg, (where, however, there are Rivers and Lakes, but Not any Sea), including in the framework of Wider, intermodal Intelligence operations, based here.


But, even more concretely, among other relevant Facts, it's also the Expected Signature of EU's Permanent Structural Cooperation in Defence matters, for the 1st Time, even by the small but Strategic Island of Cyprus, next week in Brussels, which contributes to underline the Manifold Importance of the overall EU moves for Autonomous Defence capabilities :


Indeed, f.ex., that concrete move is, apparently, linked also with EU's possible Direct Energy Supplies of Oil/Gas which may soon start to arrive from evolving Findings at EU Member Cyprus' Seabed, as well as at the Neighbouring and Friendly Countries of Israel and Egypt, etc., (Comp. f.ex. : ...). And all this has, Timely and Significantly, been associated, thes

e very days, also with various relevant Moves and Visits by Egyptian Naval Forces, the Israeli Defence Minister Liberman, etc., inter alia also in Greece, while an exceptionally important EU Mediterranean Member Countries' Summit its scheduled, during the next weeks/Months in Cyrpprpriot counterpart, President Anastasiades, earlier this week in Paris.


Meanwhile, in addition to France and other EU Countries' (f.ex. Italy, Denmark, etc) role at an efficient UN Peace-Keeping force between Lebanon and Israel, since 2006, it's also Germany, which has had ensured the management of a relevant Naval Force, based in Cyprus' island.


The overall aim being to help guarantee a Peaceful and Stable Development of Energy and other Economic Activities of Europan Interest at that Southern Middle-East key area, with Direct Links to the EU.

(../..)

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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.
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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 !

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

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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