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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

Pisac ACM
11. 11. 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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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

***

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