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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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  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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