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Home arrow newsitems arrow Juncker aims Impetus on Reforms+Minsk Deal in EU-Ukraine Summit his Spokespersons tell EuroFora

Juncker aims Impetus on Reforms+Minsk Deal in EU-Ukraine Summit his Spokespersons tell EuroFora

Written by ACM
Sunday, 26 April 2015
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*Angelo Marcopolo/- New EU Commission's President, experienced long-time Prime Minister of Luxembourg and €uroArea's Chairman, a profoundly pro-European ChristianDemocrat/EPP political leader, Jean-Claude Juncker, who currently heads for Tomorrow's EU - Ukraine Summit at Kiev, where he's due to meet together with President Poroshenko, Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, joined also by EU Council's President Tusk, and EU High Representative for External Action Mogherini, etc, "Hopes to stir Impetus" in much needed Reforms and Minsk Peace Deal's implementation, crucial both for the Country and for Peace and Development throughout all Europe, told in substance to "EuroFora" his Spokespersons Nathalie Bertaud and Aamenn Predergast, speaking of the 1st Euro-Ukranian Summit since the signature of the EU Association agreement last year in Brussels, a controversy over which had initially given pretext for the beginning of the 2013-2014 clashes in the embattled Country, which had, until now, also a Strategic importance for EU's Energy supplies from Russia's abundant Gas resources, at least before a recent attempt by Turkey to take over the Moscow - EU Gas Transit towards the Balkan region's EU Countries, etc, after 2019.


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+ Juncker is also the Keynote Speaker who will open a crucial "International Support for Ukraine Conference", next Day, on Tuesday Morning, at Kiev, where he will be joined by EU Council's President, former Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk, as well as USA vice-President Joe Biden, etc., before arriving to Strasbourg, on Tuesday Afternoon, during EU Parliament's Plenary Session, where we will address the MEPs at Wednesday Morning's Plenary, on the outcome and the follow-up of the latest EU Brussels' Summit of last Thursday, April 23.


This is expected to be an Important move for further developments, inter alia, also since the above-mentioned Conference has practically succeeded to a long-awaited, initially entitled "Donors' Conference" mainly for Economic Support to Ukraine, just after EU's High Representative for External Action, Federica Mogherini had recently stressed in Kiev that the EU - Ukraine relationship started to reach the level of EU Funding linked to Reforms. Something that the latest official EU Heads of State/Government's Summit in Brussels already clearly evoked in its Conclusions, f.ex. by supporting a "Conditional IMF Aid to Ukraine", (etc).


German Chancelor Angie Merkel has already pledged to offer a low interest Loan of more than 500 Millions € for the much-needed Reconstruction of Eastern Ukraine, where the 2014-2015 Armed Clashes, since the Kiev's Military Attacks against the Donetsk/Luhansk Autonomists, have notoriously provoked a reportedly fast growing Humanitarian Tragedy affecting Millions of People in that area : Something which has also been included in the latest Minsk Agreements for Peace in Ukraine, and for which  special "Contact Groups" including all sides of the Conflict is reportedly now in the process of being prepared, f.ex. in Humanitarian and/or Economic Reconstruction issues recently.


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>>> Among the "Hotest" Political issues concerning the Eastern Ukraine Conflict, currently are, mainly, the DeCentralisation of Power Reforms, as well as the "Dialogue" between Kiev's Government and Donetsk/Luhansk's Autonomists both on DeCentralisation and on the "Burning" issues of the forthcoming Local Elections, due around October 2015, to be followed by the question of Borders, etc. In addition, Moscow's Strange recent U-Turn towards droping its "Blue Stream" Pipeline, initially scheduled via the Black Sea to Bulgarian, Greece, etc., in order to replace it with a controversial ... Turkey-related Pipeline, (due to followe afterwards through Greece, etc), which might take over all Russian Gas transport towards the EU, so that the Ukranian Transit pipeline could be Closed after 2019, has added another Puzzle for the New EU Commission, (mainly due, as President Putin has noted several times, to the Previous, Baroso Commission's reluctance vis a vis Russia).


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Political Dialogue and/or Economic Reconstruction of the War-stricken areas of Eastern Ukraine, sometimes take certain unexpected Dimensions, touching also upon various Other, apparently Reform-related Issues in Ukraine, from which, only a Well-Informed and Careful Eye could Distinguish them :


F.ex., recently, an unprecedented Clash of the Ukranian Government with one among Ukraine's rich pro-Kiev Oligarchs, Kolomodoi, who had even been appointed as Regional Governor, and used to fund a Private Army against Donetsk/Luhansk's Autonomists, reportedly coincided with a suggestion that Kiev would better Negotiate with the Dissidents in order to facilitate a sustainable Peace... Meanwhile, another Tension between Kiev and another Business Oligarch, Akhmetov, (owner of Mines, etc), was noted these Days. Achmetov is reportedly paying his Workers who are partly located inside the Donetsk/Luhansk Autonomist Regions, against which Kiev has recently imposed a quasi-Total Financial and Economic Blockade, (including even Civilian People's Salaries, Pensions, Poor's Social Allowances, and even their own Money entrusted in Ukranian Banks, as well as the Closure of all Public Services, such as Posts, Hospitals, etc). Donetsk's Autonomist Leader Zacharenko and others would have reportedly revealed recently that Mariopol, the Strategic Seaport City of South-Eastern Ukraine, wasn't seized by a succesful counter-Offensive of the Donetsk/Luhansk's milicia, at the End of last August - beginning of September 2014, also because it was used by Achmetov in order to Export and Sell legaly his products, (according also  to Anti-Russia Media, English language Media "KievPost").


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- However, as Juncker's Press Spokespersons told "EuroFora", even if "it's quite Sure" that at least the above-mentioned "DeCentralisation" Reform "will be Discussed by the New EU Commission's President with his Ukranian interlocutors, (President Pososhenko and Prime Minister Yatsenyuk, etc), nevertheless, given that Tomorrow's Summit has been prepared by quite frequent, "Regular Meetings" in Brussels, it's probably "All" the wide spectrum of "EU - Ukraine issues", which "are expected to be discussed" from Monday at Kiev.


- I.e., f.ex. "Reforms issues, Energy Issues, etc", (while, already, EU Commission has made a really Helpful Mediation between Russia and Ukraine, as far as Kiev's Gas Supplies are concerned, as it was reminded).


 - "But, obviously, at this moment,; what is more at Focus is Implementation of the Minsk Agreements", (i.e. related to the Military and now Political aspects of the Peace process), that are expected to be certainly Discussed" at this EU - Ukraine Summit.


+ We can't yet say which one among such Political issues might be more, or less Discussed now, but, at least, as far as it concerns the Reforms, Progres on Constitutional Reforms, Decentralisation of course, Fight against Corruption, Justice's Reform, Restructuring of the Heavy Industy sector, Improvement of the Business' climate, Gas Market Law, etc, all these issues, they will be certainly discussed", some of them "for the 1st time", Jucnker's Press Spokepersons told "EuroFora".


Meanwhile, as far as it concerns the Constitutional Reforms, according to CoE's Venice Commission President, Gianni Buquicchio, at elast éthe part related to DeCentralisationn should have presented a Draft at the latest on June 2015, in order to have enough Time to be Ready for the Crucial Local Elections of October 2015, due to be followed, later-on, by an agreeméent on Borders' Monitoring, etc, as he said recently in Strasbourg, replying to Questions at CoE's Congress of Local/Regional Authorities.


 - In fact, even if all "the Political issues will be Discussed", nevertheless, "for the Commission, the Focus will be on Reforms" probably, while "the (EU) Council (i.e. President Tusk, who will join Juncker later-on at kiev) might, perhaps, focus more on Political and Security issues".


=> At any case, Tomorrow, Monday, after a Working lunch, there will be a Joint Declaration, and a Press Conference  is cheduled at Kiev, around 4 o'clock in the Afternoon".


- Even if "it's not for a Short Meeting of only 1 Day to reinvent the Wheel on issues which are Regularly Discussed" at Expert's level in Brussels, etc,, nevertheless, such "High-Level meetings at the Top may give some Impetus to tbe Discussions",
 Juncker's Spokespersons concluded, speaking to "EuroFora" at the eve of th at Crucial EU - Ukraine Summit, for the 1st time after the signature of the EU Association Agreement, and while Minsk Peace Deal's implementation still has an obviously Crucial Importance and an overall impact on the forthcoming developments.


And, as President Jean-Claude Juncker himself has recently said to "EuroFora" in Strasbourg, during one of his visits to EU Parliament, in reply to a Question about the Ukraine conflict, "Investments for Peace, are the Best Investments of all"...

(../..)

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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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