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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow EUROCORPS Commander +EU JHA Head to EuroFora: Lisbon Treaty's Human Rights +Security/Defence horizon

EUROCORPS Commander +EU JHA Head to EuroFora: Lisbon Treaty's Human Rights +Security/Defence horizon

Geschrieben von ACM
mercredi, 02 décembre 2009
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Europe can better defend Citizen's Human Rights if there is a political will to really use Lisbon Treaty's new possibilities, said in substance to "EuroFora", EUROCORPS' new Commander for 2009-2010, Lieutenant General Hans-Lothar Domroese, and EU Commission's acting Director for Justice, Freedom and Security, Alain Brun, speaking in parallel, only hours from EU New Institutions' entry into force.

They both stressed in Strasbourg, headquarters of the European Court of Human Rights and of EUROCORPS, that, now, with Lisbon Treaty, new horizons on Human Rights and EU's Security and Defence have become possible and could evolve fast, mainly via the new method of "reinforced cooperations", but effective developments, and their timing, depend on political will....

In addition to EU's new Charter on Fundamental Freedoms, which entered into force today, Lisbon Treaty makes it possible and incites the EU to also become a member of the older and larger panEuropean Convention on Human Rights :

 A "useful" move both in order to ensure a "coherence" on EU Citizens' rights' case-law between the EU Court of Justice at Luxembourg and the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, and because "they don't cover exactly the same areas", Brun observed to "EuroFora".

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Significantly, he spoke on the sidelines of a joint EU - CoE Conference on Childrens' Rights, fex. vis a vis Adoptions, trafficking, etc, where participants (EU/CoE Officials, politicians, experts, NGOs, journalists, and even individuals whose life had been seriously affected by various related issues) held "hot" discussions highlighting various problems still in need of the right answers, well beyond an International Hague's Treaty and a specific CoE's Convention, which still left several unanswered questions open

For the Legal, technical matters, "we have been prepared since a long time ago, so that we can move quite fast" for EU's accession to the ECHR, the experienced EU's Head of JHA's services told us.

According to CoE's sources, this might, eventually, include, fex. also a guarantee that EU institution's acts would be monitored by a special EuroCourt's Chamber composed by EuroJudges coming only from EU Member States, and not from other, Third Countries, among PanEuropean CoE's 47 Member States.

- "But the ratification process might take longer than scheduled", Brun warned. Eventual delays might come "not so much from EU Member States, since they have all, already accepted Lisbon Treaty which provides for EU's accession to the ECHR, but from others" : The PanEuropean "CoE (under whose auspices works EuroCourt) has 47 Member States, i.e. 20 Countries more than the EU (fex., since the end of the "Cold War" and Germany's and Europe's ReUnification : Russia, Ukraine, and other former "Eastern European" Countries, but also Turkey, etc., since the particular era when the "Cold War" had started in the Past : 1950).

So, "we don't know, in advance, whether there might be any objection or delay from anyone among these 20 more Third Countries, which are now members of the CoE, but not of the EU", he observed.

That's one of the reasons for which "the ratification (of EU's entry into the ECHR, which will open the possibility for EU Citizens to challenge EU Institutions' acts if they affect their Human Rights) might take as long as about 3 or 5 Years more", the EU Top Official carefully estimated.

 - "In fact, it all depends on Political factors", Alain Brun concluded, pointing at the incoming EU Commissioner on Justice and Home affairs, Mrs Viviane Reding from Luxembourg, who has been appointed in order to succeed to Jacques Barrot from France in the framework of the New EU Commission from January 2010.
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    But developments might be faster on another, partly complementary, issue of particular importance to Strasbourg-headquartered European bodies : EU Defence and Security capabilities, mainly with EUROCORPS, the multi-modal and multi-national European Army's "Etat Major" :

    - After Strasbourg Treaty entered into force, at the beginning of 2009, ratified by all 5 "Framework Nations" (France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, Spain), to which are added other 5 "Sending" Nations represented by Liaison Officers, while EU Parliament was voting a landmark Resolution calling for the creation of a European Defence and Security policy based on the use of EUROCORPS' tool,  it has a Legal frame and Democratic support for further developments of a European Defence, observed his New Chief :

    - "What is needed now is that somewhere among the framework nations, emerges a "Driving Force" to boost the European Defence and Security policy", stressed from the outset EUROCORPS' new Commander for 2009-2010, Lieutenant General Hans-Lothar Domroese from Germany, speaking to "EuroFora".

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Perhaps significantly of EUROCORPS' Enlargement possibilities, his new Commander took over his duties by succeeding to a Spanish General, just before Spain chairs the EU in the 1st semester of 2010, and was present at a CoE event on the "double Anniversary of Romania's National Day and of EU Lisbon Treaty, on December 1st 2009", as CoE's Deputy Secretary General, Mrs Maud de Boer-Bucquichio observed

    Domroese, speaking the day Lisbon Treaty entered into force, akcnowledged that the possibility it provides for "Reinforced Cooperations" speaheaded by initiatives undertaken by some pioneer EU Member States and open to all other willing EU Member Countries is an adequate and efficient tool in that direction.

    - "But, in fact, it all depends on Political WIll", EUROCORPS' new Commander warned.

    Domroese, who has already served even at Afghanistan for a few months at the beginning of 2009, aqreed however with "EuroFora" that, at least at the start, EU's Defence capabilities' development can become soon Popular among EU Citizens, fex. by protecting EU's external borders, intervening in Peace-keeping operations in preference around Europe's Neighbouring Countries, (fex. in Cyprus, if a Peace deal for its ReUnification is made with a European/International Guarantee), helping to face "Natural Desasters", etc

    The new EUROCORPS' Commander, who took over his duties on September 2009 for 2 crucial years, speaking at the CoE to "EuroFora" appeared optimistic but also careful to further enhance both EUROCORPS' capabilities and political support in 2010.

    ESDP was the only one among France's 2008 EU Presidency's priorities who did not had enough time to be fulfilled then, particularly after it had to struggle (successfully) both against the unforeseen Global Economic Crisis and to stop an unprecedented Russia - Georgia War.

    Significantly, EU Parliament has recently decided to create, for the 1st time, a specific "Security and Defence Committee", which had been initially entrusted to the experienced German f. MEP Carl Von Wogau, from nearby Fribourg, (the "father" of EU's Monetary Union among MEPs, since he had worked for 10 Years as former President of EU Parliament's Economic Committee for the creation of EuroZone, before starting to help build EU's Defence).  After June 2009 EU Elections, EU Parliament elected as new President of its Security and Defence Committee the mainstream new MEP Arnould Danjean, from the Governing French Party UMP, a specialist of ESDP and GeoPolitical issues with personal experience even on the spot (Balkans, etc), who is well known among French President Nicolas Sarkozy's close councilors, as well informed sources from the Presidential Elysee palace said to "EuroFora".

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

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