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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow Juncker Appeals to EU Member States+Citizens, proposes Measures, to Build a Better Europe

Juncker Appeals to EU Member States+Citizens, proposes Measures, to Build a Better Europe

Escrito por ACM
14.09.16

 juncker_at_ep__state_of_union_speech_2016_400

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- In a carefuly Prepared, but Unusual Move, the New EU Commission's President, Experienced Long-Time former Prime Minister of Luxembourg and f. Chairman of €uroGroup, Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking at a landmark Public Debate at EU Parliament's full Plenary Session in Strasbourg, launched a vibrant Appeal to EU's 27 Member States, but also to EU Citizens, to take decisive Action, with the Help of  EU Institutions, and already Proposed a Series of Measures, in order to Saveguard the Best Achievements, Ensure and Develop Europe's Future, at the eve of a Crucial forthcoming EU Heads of State/Government Summit at Bratislava, chaired by "Visegrad" Group Member, Slovakia, whose Leadership is notoriously part of European Dissidents vis a vis some, perhaps, "Politicaly Correct", but Controversial and  UnPopular EU Choices, (particularly those recently yielded under intense "Blackmail" Pressure by the Turkish regime around the 2015-2016 Unprecedented Mass Asylum-Seekers/Irregular Migrants influx though Turkey, and subsequent Deadly Terrorism, Violent Sexual Abuse, Harassment, and other various Attacks against Innocent Civilian People, meanwhile. Comp. f.ex. : ...), as EU Council's President, former Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, had already strongly Denounced in a Dramatic Letter to EU Countries' Leaders, just Published Yesterday, (See : .....).

Characteristicaly Addressing himself, several Times, to the "European People", or to "the Europeans", as he often said, Juncker Warned from the outset, that, despite having Personaly "Witnessed several Decades of EU Integration,", until now, "Never before have I seen so much Fragmentation" : National "leaders speak only of their domestic problems, with Europe men-


tioned only in passing, if at all", "representatives of the EU institutions set... very Different priorities, some-times in direct Opposition to National governments", while "Never before have I seen national governments so Weakened". "It is as if there is almost No intersection between the EU and its national capitals anymore", he Denounced.



In fact, "Our European Union is, at least in part, in an Existential Crisis".
Promissing to speak "with ... Realism, and with ... Honesty", Juncker observed that, currently, "we have many unresolved problems in Europe".


F.ex., "high unemployment and social inequality", "mountains of public debt", from "the huge challenge of  integrating refugees, to the very real threats to our security" (etc), "every one of Europe’s Member States has been affected by ...continuing crises", while "even ...  a member le Leaving our ranks", he observed.  


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


=> Therefore, "We now have a very important Choice to make" :


>>> "will Europe disappear from the international scene and leave it to others to shape the world?


- Will we "let our Union unravel before our eyes?"

- "Is this not the time when Europe needs more determined Leadership than ever, rather than politicians abandoning ship ? Is this not the time to roll up our sleeves and double, triple our efforts? ", he Questioned.


=> -In Fact, "It is Time, We – the Institutions, the Governments, the Citizens – all took responsibility for Building that  Europe. Together.", Juncker stressed, urging to "Work for a Europe that EmPowers our Citizens".

 

eu_parliaments_main_entrance_14_september_2016_400
 


In particular, even EU "Commission has to ... become Political, and Not Technocratic", he stressed. And "a Political (EU) Commission is one that ... Listens to the People !", Juncker concluded.

"Europe can only work if we all work for unity and commonality, and forget the rivalry between competences and institutions"

In particular, "Member States must build a Europe that protects. And we, the European institutions, must Help them deliver this promise", he pointed out, inter alia.

Indeed, "Europe is a cord of many strands – it only works when we are All pulling in the same direction: EU institutions, national governments and national Parliaments alike", at least "in a selected number of areas where common solutions are most urgent".

"In our Incomplete Union, there is No European Leadership that can Substitute National leadership", Experienced Juncker observed. "European Nations have to defend the rationale for unity. No one can do it for them. They can", he stressed.

In general, "Europe can only be Built with the Member States. Never Against them", Juncker acknowledged.

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

Because, "This (EU) is Not the USA, where the President gives a "State of the Union" Speech to both  Houses of Congress, and millions of Citizens follow his every word, live on television"... "We are Not the "United States of Europe". Our EU is much more Complex", he pointd out.

Nowadays, "Europeans are tired of the endless disputes, quarrels and bickering". "Europeans want concrete solutions to the very pertinent problem(s)". "Europeans want Common Decisions followed by swift and efficient implementation". "What our Citizens need much more is that someone Governs. That someone Responds to the Challenges", Juncker noted.

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

In this regard, "the next 12 Months (9/2016 - 9/2017) are Decisive".

It is so, "if we want to reunite our Union. ...to  overcome the tragic divisions between East and West which have opened up in recent months. ../.to show that we can be fast and decisive on the things that really matter", and "to show to  the World that Europe is still a force capable of joint action", he urged.

=> "Therefore", EU Commission's new President "Proposed a Positive Agenda, of Concrete European Actions, for the Next 12 Months"

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

The Move should Go well Beyond a simple "Vision for the Long Term".

"Yes, we (EU) Need" that, Juncker acknowledged. In consequence, EU "Commission will set out such a vision for the Future in  a White Paper in March 2017, in time for the 60th Anniversary", he anounced.

In particular, it "will address how to strengthen and reform our Economic and Monetary Union". "and ...will also take into account the political and Democratic Challenges", while Both "EU Parliament", "as well as National Parliaments", "will be Closely Involved in that process", he promissed.


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

But, "the next 12 Months are the Crucial time to Deliver a better Europe, .. that protects, ... preserves the European way of life, .. empowers our Citizens, .. Defends at home and abroad; and .. takes Responsibility", Juncker projected.


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

- "many seem to have forgotten what being European means". But, in fact, "I am convinced the European way of life is something worth preserving" :

- "Above all, Europe means Peace" : "the Longest period of peace in written history" in our Continent "Started with" the Beginning of the European Integration, he reminded.

=> Resulted "70 years of lasting peace in Europe", while, almost at the Same Time, the rest of the "World (is facing) ... 40 active armed Conflicts, which claim the Lives of 170,000 people every year".


+ In Addition, "An integral part of our European way of life, is our Values", such as "freedom, democracy, the rule of law".

F.ex., "We Europeans can never accept Polish workers being harassed, beaten up or even Murdered on the Streets", (from "Harlow", up to Reutlingen recently, etc).

++ Also "the Free Movement of (EU Workers is as much a common European value, as our fight against discrimination and racism", while, also, "we Europeans stand firmly against the death penalty" too, and "believe in independent, effective Iustice systems", because "Independent Courts keep  governments, companies and people in Check", while "Effective justice systems support economic growth and defend fundamental rights", Juncker observed.

We, Europeans, also prefer to "Trade", instead of "going to War", and EEU has become "the Biggest Trading Block" in the Planet, while more than "1 in 7 of all Jobs in the EU now, depend on Exports to the Rest of the World", he pointed out.


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

+++ "Being European (also) means the Right to have your Personal Data Protected", particularly "by Strong European Laws", Juncker observed. "In Europe, Privacy matters", because it "is a question of Human Dignity", Juncker strongly defended, (Comp. : .... + ....)


Indeed, "Europeans do Not like Drones overhead recording their every move, or Companies stockpiling their every mouse click", EU Commission's President stressed,  

Thus, f.ex., among others, EU "Parliament, Council and Commission agreed in May this year (2016) a common European Data Protection Regulation. This is a strong European law that applies to companies wherever they are based and whenever they are processing your data". he reminded.


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

 

"Being European also means a fair playing field", so that, f.ex., "workers should get the same pay for the same work in the same place", as a matter "of social justice". "Internal Market is Not a place where Eastern European Workers can be Exploited, or Subjected to Lower Social Standards", because "Europe is Not the Wild West, but a Social Market Economy". And "every Company, no matter how Big or Small, has to Pay its Taxes, where it makes Profits", as, f.ex., also "Giants like (USA-Headquartered) "Apple too", whose "Market Value is Higher than the GDP of 165 Countries in the World", Juncker Timely pointed out.


+ "For most of us, being European, ... also means the €uro" Currency, which "Stayed Strong", "During the Global Financial Crisis, and Protected us from even Worse Instability", and Nowadays "is a Leading World currency, bringing huge, often in-visible economic Benefits. Euro area countries saved €50 billion this year in interest payments, thanks to the European Central Bank’s monetary policy. ...that our finance ministers can and should Invest". And, "while public Deficits stood at 6.3% on average in the euro area in 2009, Today they are below 2%", Juncker observed, obviously referring to the "Fiscal Brake" Treaty of 2011-2012, (alias known as Treaty of the "€uroZone").


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

+ Moreover, Nowadays, "Europe must Not cower in the face of Terrorism", Juncker stressed, speaking just after the Numerous Recent Deadly Terrorist Attacks by Extremist Islamistic fans if "ISIS", etc.

- "No – Member States must Build a Europe that Protects. And we, the European Institutions, must Help them deliver", he urged.
                                                                                                                        

++  To "emPower our Economy" and "our Citizens", who "Both have gone Digital", Europe "Needs to be Connected" in "Digital Communications", because "our Economy Needs it", and European "People Need it", Juncker went on to Add.

=> "That's why, Today (EU) Commission is Proposing" to "Create a New Legal Framework that Attracts ... Investments in Connecitivity", by "a Reform of our European TeleCommunications Markets", he anounced.

    Advancing eve,n Further, EU "Commission is (also) Proposing to Fully Deploy "5G", the Fifth Generation of Mobile Communication Systems, accross the EU by 2025", so that almost "Everyone (would) Benefit from Connectivity", "Not Matter Where you live, or How Much you Earn", Juncker promissed, adding that Both these 2 Moves would also create "Millions" of "Jobs in the EU".

    In this Direction, he also "Proposed ... to Equip every European Village, and every City, with Free Wireless Internet Access, ...by 2020", (a Movement which has already Started, in several EU Regions, while Others, on the Contrary, still remain more or less "Deserts" vis a vis a  "Digital Divide", Globaly growing, elsewhere in the World).

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


    But, to "EmPower Economy", EU naturaly also Needs "to Invest also in Job Creation", as he said, Anouncing that  EU Commission "proposes Today to Double the Duration of the "Investment Plan for Europe", (that Juncker has notorioously Introduced since 2015 : See, f;ex. .....),"and Double its Financial Capacity":
    
    - Already, from the "€ 315 Billions ... which we Agreed Together (with EU Parliament) .. just 12 Months ago, ... € 116 Billions have been Raised ... in its First Year", while "over 200.000 Small Firms and Start-Ups accross Europe got loans", and an estimated "over 100.000 People got New Jobs", Juncker noted.
    
    + "Now, we will take it Further : ... We will make sure that our (EU's) Fund will provide .. at least € 500 Billions - i.e. Half a Trillion - of Investment, by 2020, and we will Work Beyond that to Reach € 630 Billions (i.e. the Double of the initial Sum) by 2022", he Promissed, (while also noting that, If "Member States would Contribute", then, "we Can Get There even Faster").

    ++ "But", in order Not to Depend Only on Banks, European Economy also Needs "to Accelerate our (EU's) Work for a Capital Markets Union", Juncker added, "putting a concrete RoadMap for this at the Table, Today", so that Euroepan "Companies" would have "Easier and  Diversified Access to Finance", (F.ex. a Start-Up that "cannot get a Bank Loan, right Now", "will be Offered Alternative, Vital Sources of Funding", as he said).

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

    +++ Even (much) More  : "Today", EU Commission also "Launched an ambitious Investment Plan" extended "for Africa and the Neighborhood", with a "Potential to Raise € 44 Billions", and able to "Go Up to € 86 Billions, if Member States pitch in", Juncker also anounced, (as it was partly Expected : See, f.ex., Yesterday's relevant "Eurofora" NewsReport at : ....).

    Operating with the "Same Logic", as also it has Started to be done "for the Internal Investment Plan", (See Above), this "will be Using Public Funding as a Guarantee to Attract (other) Public and Private Investment", he explained.
    
    => Also Because "this will Complement our (EU's) Development Aid, and Help Address one of the Root Causes of Migration" from Africa, Juncker pointed out.

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


        Concerning "Young" People, in Addition to the Continuation, even Further, of EU's "Youth Guarantee", which already helped "get a Job, Traineeship^or Apprenticeship" by "More than 9 Millions of Youngsters", EU Commission Decided Today to officialy Propose "to set up a European Solidarity CORPS", where Young People across the EU will be able to Volunteer their Help where it's Needed most, to Respond to Crisis situations", such as, f.ex., "the Recent Earthquake in Italy", etc.
    
    This "European Solidarity Fund" should be "Up and Running by the End of the Year" 2016, "and by 2020" it should "see the First 100.000 Young Europeans taking part". accordiung to Juncker. In this way, "These young people will be able to Develop their Skills, and get not only Work but also invaluable Human Experience", he noted.


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

    But, Nowadays, "Europe ... must Defend" its Citizens also "against Terrorism", both "at Home and Abroad", EU Commission's President stressed, as eagerly Expected by many.

    >>> Already, almost 50% (i.e. "13") of the 30 Terrorist Attacks in Europe, which emerged "Since the Madrid Bombing of 2004", (i.e. during 12 Years), took place just "in the Last Year (2015-2016) Alone !", Juncker observed. "More than 600 innocent (Civilian) People Died in cities like Paris, Brussels, Nice, or Ansbach", he Denounced.
    
    In Addfition to Measures against "Terrorism and Foreign Fighters", "Terrorist Propaganda OnLine", and "Radicalisation in Europe's Schools and Prisons",  EU should Now Focus also on "Defending our (External) Borders with the New European Border and Coast Guard", recently Voted by EU Parliament on Last July, (-See : ....),and that "Now, EU Institutions and Member States should Work, very Closely Together, to Quickly Set up", Juncker guaranteed.

    => In Addition to "over 600 Frontex Agendts .. at the Borders with Turkey in Greece, and over 100 in Bulgaria", Now, "I Want to see at least +200 extra Border Guards, and 50 extra Vehicles, Deployed at the Bulgarian External Border" Facing Turkey, "as of October 2016", Juncker urged.

    ++ "We (EU) will defend our (External) Borders, as well, with strict Controls, adopted by the End of the Year (12/2016), on everyone Crossing them", "Every time someone Enters or Exits the EU", he added.

    +++ Moreovern "By November (2016), we will propose a European Travel Information System – an automated system to


determine who will be allowed to travel to Europe. This way we will know who is Travelling to Europe, Before they even get here", he boasted.


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


    But, "Europe Needs to Toughen up", even more, nowadays, and this is "nowhere Truer than in our Defence Policy", Juncker stressed in Conclusion,

    F.ex., "it is Time taht we (EU) had a Single HeadQuarters for these Operations", he urged.

    +We should also Move towards Common Military Assets, in some cases Owned b the EU", (while Keeping"Complementary with NATO", as he said).

    Fopr such purposes, the "European Defense Industry Needs t Innovate", Juncker acknowled, whila also Anouncing that EU Commission intends to "Propose, before the End of the Year (December 2016), a European Defense Fund, to Turbo-Boost Research and Innovation", (Comp.: ....)

    In this regard, the forthcoming Bratislava EU Summit, could be a 1st Politiical Step" towards that Direction", he suggested, since, already, "the Lisbon Treaty enables (EU) Member States who Wish to Pool their Defence Capabilities, in the Form of a Permanent Structured Cooperation", and, "the Time to make Use of this Possibility is Now", he urged.


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

    Last, but not least, EU now Needs "a Political Commission", which "Listens to the People", and, "this means Correcting Technocratic Mistakes", Juncker concluded.

    F.ex., he cited also some Recent Developments related to "Mobila Phones' Roaming" costs-cutting when EU Citizens travel Abroad in other European Countries, as well as the Introduction of some "Flexibility" in EU's "Stability and Growth Pact", etc.

    More Widely, "we (EU Institutions) should ...seek the Necessary Rendez-Vous with Democracy", and Not Prevent this", EU Commission's experienced President Highlighted in Conclusion, (Comp. also Supra).

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

 + Juncker on Turkish VISA Blacmail

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

    => Finally, Replying to European People's elected Representatives, among several EU Parliament's MEPs' critical observations, particularly on the Topical Issue of Ankara's notorious Attempts to again Blackmail Europe (by Threatening to unleash even More Mass Migrants anew) about the Controversial and UnPopular demand for a Totaly VISA-Free status for all 80 Millions of Turks, (who could then Enter and Stay inside the EU whenever they Wanted, for at least 6 Months Each Year), President Juncker confirmed a Crystal-Clear stance, based on Principles : 

 - He "emphasized" that an eventual "Liberalisation of Visas for Turkey mightOnly be considered IF ALL (EU standard) CONDITIONS would be Fullfiled by Turkey". "This is a very Tough Issue", I Hope Possible, But Not necessarily ready to be resolved by Turkey. "F.ex., withOut an adequate Reform of its Anti-Terror Law, it woN't be possible for Turkey" to obtain that, he ensured. 

 

(../..)

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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