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Inicio 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

Escrito por ACM
11.11.17

 20171111_115028_400

*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 official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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