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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament Defense Committee Chair Loiseau to EF: For EU Autonomy +S/E Med Energy (v. Turkey risk)

EUParliament Defense Committee Chair Loiseau to EF: For EU Autonomy +S/E Med Energy (v. Turkey risk)

Written by ACM
Saturday, 19 June 2021

euparl_defense_committee_chair_loiseau__agg__uef__eurofora_400

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- The Strategic Issue of the required High-Tech means for EU's Autonomy in Defense, and the Topical Issue of  How to Protect South-Eastern Mediterranen Energy Resources, mainly vis-a-vis Turkey's threats, were at the Focus of "Eurofora"s Questions to EU Parliament's Defense Committee's President, former French Minister for EU Affairs, Nathalie Loiseau, after an Invitation to a Video-Seminar on "Europe : a Global Player ?", organized by the Union of European Federalists in Strasbourg, on the occasion of the 1st Plenary of EU's landmark Conference on the Future of Europe (2O21-2022) at EU Parliament's Building this Saturday.

- "Eurofora" asked President Loiseau mainly What does the EU still Lacks, in terms of High-Tech Means, in order to have an Autonomous Defense, and How could we Protect the important New Energy Resources of South-Eastern Mediterranean, (Notoriously Threatened by Turkey even with WarShips), owned by EU Member States and/or Friendly Neighbouring Countries Ready and Willing to Cooperate with Europe, (particularly after the recent Extinction of the Northern Sea's deposits). In this regard, we Reminded, inter alia, on the 1st Point, also the Fact that, according to the previous Interview of an Experienced French General detached to the ESA, what was Mainly Lacking for EU's Autonomy would be an "Early Warning System" based on Space Technologies, (See, f.ex. : ..., etc).

    - "You are Right !", reacted spontaneously the Top Key MEP to "Eurofora"'s above mentioned Questions, pointing, at the Beginning, to the 1st one, concerning Space-related Technologies :

    - Indeed, "on Space", EU must have, "First of all", an "Access", by "a Launcher and a Base" of its own, withOut being obliged to use anyone Else's means, she Stressed from the outset, as a matter of Principle. (UE Already notoriously has a good Space Base at Kuru of French Guyane, and, when, in the Past, USA Restricted its Partners' Cooperation in Space activities Only into eventualy Participating in some "Tests" on Space, withOut Any active Role on Transports towards Space, "Eurofora" Co-Founder had sharply Suggested a PanEuropean Cooperation, making use of Russian "Soyuz" Launchers "at Kuru", and Historic f. President Chirac, indeed, Succeeded to Realize that, supporting De Gaule's famous idea for a "Greater Europe" ! But, obviously, it's Even Better for the EU to have its own Launcher too, f.ex. with an adequate Developemnt of "Ariadne", etc).

    + Concerning Earth "Observation Capacities" from the Space, "We (EU) Now Have" some, Thanks to Slow But Real Advances made with the "Galileo" Program, Despite a Delaying Obstructionism by the UK in the Past, and USA's Previous Attempts to Undermine EU's "Galileo" in order to Impose its "GPS", as she Reminded. (Comp. "Eurofora"s relevant Publications Earlier with Replies to Our Questions by former EU Commissioner, and Later EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, from Italy, competent also for Space Tech.,  and f. EU Parliament's Rapporteur, from Germany, on "Galileo", as well as a Key f. Chinese Ambassador, first to Brussels for the EU and afterwards to Strasboug for the CoE, while Even China had, in the Meantime, Initialy Proposed to the EU an Offer of about 500 Millions € in order to Cooperate Together for the Development of "Galileo"'s Earth Observation capacities..., etc).

    + But we (EU) Need Also, for "Space Security", to be Able to Protect f.ex. "our Satellites", including by Knowing if, when, and who might, eventualy, attempt to approach and/or follow them, she added.

    F.ex., we Found out that a Russian Satellite had been Following Ours' Movements, But this was Only Thanks to Help given by our Friends from the USA. Nevertheless, when we Developed further Our Own, Independent Means for Space Security Surveillance, we Discovered that ..."Most" of the Foreign Satellites who attempted to Follow Ours, were, in Fact, ..."from the USA itself !", Loiseau revealed with a smile...

    - In General, However, as a matter of Principle, "We (EU) have Also to Overcome what is often Nick-Named as "The French Paradox" : Indeed, France usually Speaks very Well in Favour of European Defense Autonomy, But does Not Always Sufficiently Act as it Should...", she added in a Sincere Auto-Criticism of Paris, at least Some Times in the Past...

    + Concerning Other concrete Points where EU Defense's Autonomy Needs to be Boosted, well Beyond Space, the President of EU Parliament's Security and Defense Committee went on to Add also the current "Lack of Inter-Operability of Tanks" from various European Countries, and Pointed out at the Current "Franco-German" Projects for "a New Airplane Fighter", and "a New Tank", (etc), where EU's Recently Created "Fund" could Help considerably.

    But what we (EU) absolutely Need is also to become able to have an "On Flight ReFuelling" Capacity for Our Airplanes, that is Currently realized mainly by relevant Help from the USA, she Criticaly observed. *

    And to this is Added something which became obvious particularly in the Middle East, around Israel etc., consisting in Military "Drones", Loiseau added. In this regard, even if there is a Plan including Franco-German Cooperation for such EU Drones, nevertheless, a Problem is provoked particularly by the German "Socialists", who doN't want even to hear about any kind of "Armed" Drones, currently Blocking that, even if they still are supposed to be a Coaliion Partner in the Government (at the infamous "Gro-Ko"), Loiseau Denounced... Indeed, "Eurofora" has observed that, such kind of Obstacles seem to have, Recently, pushed f.ex. EU-Member Poland, when it needed to Buy some Armed Drones, after Finding Nothing of that kind to Buy in Germany, France, Italy, or the UK, etc., to be Obliged to Seek such Drones in ... Turkey (sic !). And that, Despite the fact that ...Easily Shooting Down such clumsy Turkish Drones, has Recently become a "Sport" by various Beligerants, (Even "Weak" ones), f.ex. mainly in Libya, but also in Syria, Iraq, or Armenia, etc...

Last, but not least, Loiseau pointed Also on the Importance for EU Member States to "Act All Together" in Key Foreign Policy Security and Defense "External Operations", Stigmatising f.ex. a Negative Case where Not Even 50% of the Required Military Forces had Not Yet been Deployed on the spot, as she said, But, on the Contrary, Felicitating EU's Readiness, f.ex., in Africa's "Sahel", to Collectively Deploy the necessary Forces, from More than "11 EU Member States", Including, f.ex., Tchechia, Esthonia, Italy, Greece, soon Lithuania, etc., United "Together at the BattleField".

+ Naturally, she Also Praised the Recent "Progress" made by the EU f.ex. in Boosting various High-Tech Joint Projects related to Defense, thanks to Reinfoced Cooperations between Many EU Member Countries, and with a Common EU Funding, as those which were, in Recent Years, Promoted at an Interesting EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Brussels, that "Eurofora" has covered on the spot, (See, f.ex. at: ...., etc).

Finaly, on USA's curent overall attitude, Loiseau said Earlier that she Believed Americans understood that a Strong European Defense is Good Also for NATO.

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

    ++ Concerning "Eurofora"'s 2nd Question on the Protection of S/E Mediterranean Energy Resources (Comp. Supra), the Experienced former French Minister observed from the outset, that "this is what is mainly at Stake in Our (EU's) Different vis-a-vis Turkey"....

    => In this regard, "We (EU) are going to Base our Defense Strategy on 2 Pilars : (A) the Freedom of Navigation, and (B) the International Law of the Sea", which Will be Promoted at the Program of the forthcoming French Presidency of the EU on 2022", she Announced.

    + Meanwhile, "Eurofora" noted that French Air Carrier "General De Gaulle", (which had been Previously Hindered to move as it had been Scheduled on April 2020 because of a Cluster related to the Virus' Pandemic), This Year, on 2021, on the Contrary has just Accomplished a Plan of Joint Security and Defense Exercise Together with EU Member Cyprus, whose EEZ is located at a Key Strategic Position for those Energy Sources, (and has Developed a strong Network of relevant Good Diplomatic Relations with Friendly Neighbouring Countries, also Rich in Oil/Gas "Off Shore" Resources, such as Israel, Egypt, etc).

    In the run up to the Crucial Forthcoming EU Summit in Brussels, later this June 2021, which is Notoriously due to Discuss and Decide on Turkey's Behavior vis a vis the EU, Turkish President Erdogan has just required an Exceptional Meeting with the French President Macron, from the Beginning of the Recent NATO Summit, where Nobody Else wasN't Allowed to be Present during their Discussion behind Closed Doors, "Not even a Minister", as she pointed out Earlier Today.

    - Concerning Tukey's Controversial and UnPopular EU bid, "Nowadays, Nobody Wants that, at all, Not Even any Leftist MEPs !", Loiseau Clearly Stressed, (as Also the most Recent EU Parliament's Resolution and Amendments Voted on Turkey showed : See, f.ex., at ..., etc).

    Nevertheless, it's also a Fact that Turkey is traditionaly known for having a substantial Army, on whom had been partly based the West's Defense vis a vis Russia during the Cold War period, Loiseau Replied, Earlier, to anOther Question, raised by a German (Experienced former CoE's Top Official : Ulrich Bohner) Participant to the UEF's Seminar, about Whether she Believed that the Appearance of a so-called "Change" in Erdogan's Behavior, just a Few Weeks Before the above-mentioned, Crucial EU Summit's forthcoming Decisions on EU - Turkey Relations, might be Only an Hypocritical "Attempt to Lure" and Mislead Europe on Ankara's Real Intentions...

    However, "Eurofora" observed that Recent Facts clearly Indicate that, particularly After the so-called short "Putch" Attempt of 2016, and the Massive Arrests, Brutal Opression, Lynching Attacks by Mobs against Defenseless POWs, reported Rapes of Young Conscripts, Numerous Demands of Asylum Abroad by Turkish Army Officers, (including in Neighbouring Greece, Pseudo-"Trials" and Heavy Condemnations even of Top Key Army Leaders who used to hold Important Positions in the Recent Past, (etc), as a Result, the Turkish Army has, Surprisingly ... "Disappeared", almost "Vanished", from the 1st Rank of the Battle-Fields, in practicaly ALL the Numerous Violent Conflicts that Ankara's regime has Provoked, and/or in which it has Intervened During the Last 5 or 6 Years : Invasions of Afrin Eastern area, of Syria's Noth-Western Kurdish Region, inside Libya, Greek Borders at Evros River, Northern Iraq, at the Caucasus' Armenian Lands, (etc)...

    On the Contrary, Everywhere, Ankara has Notoriously  Started to Systematicaly push at the 1st Rank of the Battlefield Only several Groups of Foreign Armed Islamist Extremists' Gangs,  (some reportedly from various Former Terrorist Thugs), who often Steal, Rape, Murder, etc., even innocent Civilian People, and are usualy promised to be Paid, as Mercenaries, partly in Cash, partly by Looting...

    In Parallel, almost at the Same Time, some Remnants from Former Ordinary Army can be seen, Now, Curiously "Hidden" in the BackGround, often Down Inside some Large Hollow Areas like Big Holes Deep In Lower Ground, mostly operating a Series of Tanks, Canons, Rocket-Launchers, etc., usualy Bombing the Adjacent Territories, several Hundreds of Meters or Kms Away, in a "Blind" and/or Remote way, systematicaly Avoiding Any Direct Fight with the Adversary, Face to Face, (unless they are OutNumbered, Wounded/Killed, or Disarmed, Trying to Flee, Humbered by Refugees, etc). Sometimes they get Inside Armored Conways, and Patrol around a Previously Bombed Territory, Always Hidden Behind a Lot of Ugly Metal, etc.

    >>> In other words, to put it in a Nutshell, it's all as if the Former Turkish Army has practicaly Ceased to Exist as such, or CanNot be, No More, Trusted to really Fight Loyaly, and has been Replaced by Proxies, and/or Avoiding to be Directly Engaged against any realy Motivated and Able to Fight Adversary... Indeed, Since that 2016 UnPrecedented Clash between Brutal and Vicious Armed Gangs against the remnants of a formerly Regular Army, for the 1st Time in the History of Turkey Crashed and Defeated by a "Civilian" Government, backed by Armed Thugs, it's as if the Formerly Known Turkish Army, Humiliated, Raped, Discredited, Jailed or Fired, Exiled or Displaced, if not Hidden or Escaped Abroad, Deprived of Many among its Best Officers and Leaders, who were Arrested, Killed or Exiled, is No More really Operational Nowadays, and/or canNot be really Trusted by Ankara's Regime !

=> Then, How could they be trusted by anyone else ?

+ Moreover, the Above-mentioned View, that the Turkish Army which had Existed in the Past, (i.e. Before 2016), Might have also served as a kind of "Guarantee" Against the Russians, (Comp. Supra), is No more Convincing...

>>> Indeed, How Could such a Naive View (attributed to the Former "Cold War" era), be, Perhaps, Founded, when Everybody knows that, in Fact, that Turkish Army ...Owed its own Existence to the ...Russians, (and, in particular, the Lenin-Stalin-Trotski "Communist" Regime of the Past !), Since it's, Notoriously, a Decision by Moscow to suddenly Stop Fighting Against the Turks, make a Truce, and Even Sell them Arms, Back on 1921, when the Greek Army had Advanced up to ..40 km. Only from Ankara, and all the Western European Countries had just Signed the "Treaty of Serves" (1920-1921), which Marked the Final Collapse of the former Ottoman-Turk Empire of the Medieval Times, and even Endorsed the Presence of Greek, Italian, French, and British Troops throughout almost All the Anatolia Plateau, (with the Only Exception of a Small Piece of Land around Ankara alone), added to a Return of Armenians throughout a Big Part of their Historic Territories, as well as a provision for the Creation of a ...Kurdish State ? In Fact, this was, Obviously, the End of any Turkish Power Near Europe, and it's Only Russians' "Real-Politik" Move, Consisting into Throwing the Turkish "Trouble-Makers" against the Western Europeans, (whose Armies and/or Allied Troups had, practicaly, Surrounded, the New "Communist" Russian State from All Directions, Cooperating with "White Russian" Anti-Bolshevic Forces which were Attacking Moscow then), that realy "Saved" Attaturk's Doomed Armed Bands from an Otherwise Inevitable Defeat, at the Last Minute...

=> So that, in Fact, from that Sudden Blockade of the Greek Army's advance towards Ankara (1921) ; the Eradication of Any European Forces' Presence at Anatolia Plateau, by the Blockade  of the "Treaty of Sevres" (1920-1921), which had largely supported that ; the Massacre and Expulsion of Armenians and Greeks, etc., after Burning the Historic City of Smyrne (re-named Izmir) on 1922 ; the Withdrawal from NATO's Military Wing, between 1974 - 1980, by Greece (Following Turkey's Military Invasion and Occupation at the Nothern Part of Cyprus); the 2 or 3 Days-Long Blockade of the important Anniversary and Reform Summit of NATO's Heads of State/Government  in Strasbourg on 2009, by Turkish Blackmail  Demands against its Secretary General and Denmark ; the Row between USA and Turkey about Buying the Russian "S400" Air Defense Missiles System (2017-2020) ; NATO's "Brain Death" Risk by Turkey's Blockade of European Control against illegal Arms Smuggling to Libya, strongly Denounced by French President Macron (2019), etc. : The Longest Series of Trouble-Making by Turkey against Western Europe's Security, Proved that Lenin, Stalin, and Trotski had Guessed Right, by Saving Turkey from Total Collapse at the Last Minute, Back on 1921, and Throwing it among the Feet of European Countries to Weaken them...

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

    + Nevertheless, on anOther, absolutely Opposite Strategic Point, Loiseau appeared to be ...More Right than she thought, when she repeatedly Urged for European Countries to "Act Together", at Present and in the foreseable Future, for a Strong and Efficient European Security and Defense, (Including even the Post-BREXIT UK, which should be convinced of the Common Interest to Sign an Agreement with the EU on Cooperation in that Field) :

    - "Eurofora" had Questioned EU Parliament's Defense Committee's President, (on the Occasion also of the 1st Plenary of the Conference for the Future of Europe, Today in Strasboug), whether she Felt the Need to Stimulate EU Citizens' Conscience in that Direction, inter alia, Also by Highlighting several Landmark, but often Ignored or UnderEstimated, Historic concrete Examples of cases, through the Centuries, where People from Many European Countries Joined Common Struggles in order to Succesfully Fight and Win certain Key, Strategic Battles, for the General Interest of All Europe.

    - Loiseau's Initial reaction appeared quite Careful and Reserved, mainly Because she was Afraid that "Narratives of the Past", might be more Affected by "Nationalism" in Various Countries, than Inspired by a Common European Interest, which Should Better Guide us Nowadays and in the Future, as she Explained.

      >>> But, in Fact, Europe's real History is, often, much More Rich and full of Interesting and Inspiring Events, be it Tragic or Triomphal, (sometimes Under-Estimated or Ignored), than even its warmer supporters might guess...

      - Thus, Among Various others, f.ex., Already since Ancient Greece, when narrow "Nationalism" was notoriously linked, then, to Separate "Cities-States", the Need to Face the Big Threat of a massive Military Invasion by a Big Persian Empire, which searched to Open the Way for its Further Expansion throughout All the European Continent, made the Different "City-States" in Greece, which had been widely Separated, and/or even, often, in more or less Tension or Conflict between them, to Suddenly Decide to Unite, for the 1st Time in History, their Forces, almost All Together, to the point that they Marked even an UnExpectedly Large and Decisive Victory against the Invadors, known as the Battle of "Platea" (Means "Wide") on 323 BC, which Convinced, at last, the Persians to Definitively Stop Aggressions and Return Back Home ! A Landmark Sculpture Symbolizing, precisely, that New Spirit of large Unity and Common Action, was Crafted and placed on that Historic spot, Later being transfered to Byzantium/Constantinople, which became the Capital of the OverMillenary Byzantine Empire, 300-1.453.

    - On a Tragic but Grandiose, and Emotionaly Human tone, the Full Version of the Last Speech of Byzantine Emperor Constantin Palaiologos just before the Invasion, Occupation and Destruction of the Longest Christian Empire in the World (More than a Thousand Years) by the Army of Ottoman Turks, back on 1.453, Surprizes particularly by his Overall, PanEuropean Large View : After notoriously but vainly having tried to Bridge the Separation between Catholic and Orthodox Christians, in Many concrete ways, he Warns also against Similar Threats throughout All Europe, extending, through the Mediterranean but not only, even towards nowadays France and Spain, etc., and strongly Urging for a Brave and United Struggle againt the Aggressors. From Both Cultural, Technological, Geographic, Historic, Religious, Human, and Strategic points of view, Feels like a fully-fledged, Real European ! Just Before he Dies, Sacrificing himself, Together with his Last Compagnions, Facing Thousands of Aggressors and Even Treacherous "Kerkoporta" Cowards, he Looks, in fact, More than ever, towards Europe's Legacy and Future...

    - An Italian former Minister for EU Affairs has reportedly said that such an Event "Marked the Beginning of European History" : The Landmark and Grandiose Naval Battle of Lepanto (alias Naupactos), on 1.571, is, indeed, the First and Brillant Victory of a United European Force, (which Inspired the feast of "Our Lady of Victory", on October 7), composed by People from Many Countries, (Italy, Malta, Spain, France, Vatican, Austria, etc), involving about 140.000 Fighters, and More than 500 Ships, 2.600 Canons, as well as the Liberation of some 12.000 EnSlaved People, (etc). It put an End to the Ottoman-Turkish Domination in the Mediterranean Sea, and Revenged the Brural Massacre of Venitians and many Thousands of Greek Christians when the Turks Invaded Cyprus.

    + Even More Impressive, a Strong Unity of Catholic and Orthodox Christians, throughout the Great Europe, from Italy (Venice + Vatican), to Austria/Germany (Habsburg + Holy Roman Empire), Poland and Lithuania, as well as Russia, forms a "Holy Ligue", Attracting also Various revolted European People, as a kind of New "Crusade", this time inside Europe ! The Famous "Battle of Vienna" (1.683) Marks the End of the Ottoman-Turkish Invasion threats on the European Land. Follow several "Unprecedented Military Successes", according to Historians, Including the Liberation of Budapest (1686) and All Hungary (1699), as well as Dalmatia (part of Croatia), etc. Such Movements were Extended, mutatis-mutandis, also to Crimea (by Russia), Belgrade (by Habsburgs), and Morea/Peloponisos, in Greece (by Venice). But these Parts were, Afterwards,  Briefly ReCaptured by the Ottoman-Turks, (Before Later Revolutions, which Liberated them Definitively).

    - Napoleon Bonaparte reaches at the Highest level of his Achievements and Popularity until about 1.812, after a Series of Victories culminating at Tilsit, and the Homonumous Peace Treaty agreed with Russia's Czar Alexander, including a Joint Response vis a vis the UK, at one side, and prospects to Liberate the European Peoples Invaded and still Occupied by the Ottoman-Turkish Empire, at anOther side. In the Middle, from Spain to Italy, Switzerland, Benelux, and particularly with the Franco-German "Federation of the Rhine", up to Poland, Dalmatia with Corfou island (etc), he manages to Unite a Great part of Europe, while, Also, Stimulating Joint Ideological Aspirations of many People, particularly Symbolized by German Music Composer Beethoven's "Heroic" Symphony, (alias "3rd"), initialy in honour of that French ex-Revolutionary, (who Astonishingly Focuses on Repeating the use of the Key Word "Europe", even in his "Memo" dictated at his ultimate Prison, at Saint-Helen island, held by the British, a long time afterwards).

    - Navarino (Pylos) Naval Battle (1.827) was a landmark Victory of Joint Forces by the UK, France, and Russia, against the Ottoman-Turkish Occupation of Greece, which Helped considerably the Emerging National Liberation Revolution by the Greek People, that had Just Started in Peloponisos peninsula Since 1.821. The Bulk of the Fight was, reportedly, beared by the Russians. But an Important role was played by the atypical Brittish Codrington, a Philellen, whose Son had just been Killed at the Aegean Sea. (He, Also, Bombarded an Egyptian Pasha at Alexandria in order to convince him to Stop a Maveric Plan with Turkey for "Genocide" of the Greek Population by Massively Kidnaping and Expulsing them to be Sold in Africa as Slaves, and Replaced by Arab Muslims, as German Diplomats had Denounced). While French  Henri de Rigny remains Afterwards in Greece to Help France's Mission at Morea (Peloponisos) against the above-mentioned Genocide planed by the Ottoman Turks and that Egyptian Pasha, but Also for a Scientific Exploration, mainly of Archeology, with Important Findings, particularly of the period of the Ancient Civilisation, (which, reportedly, had reached, thanks to its Ships, up to the North-Western Europe of Scotland !).

    + Another Landmark European period, with particular importance Also for Defense Issues, certainly was that of 1920-1921, around the Allies, including Specialy the Popular, then, UK Prime Minister LLoyd George (an atypical Liberal), Together with the Young Churchill, (then Minister of Defense, and later of Foreign Affairs), as well as the solid French President Alexandre Millerand, an atypical politician from the left, succesfully turned to the right, (etc), added to the Peace Treaty of Sevres (near Paris), the Liberation of Arab Countries from the Ottoman-Turc Empire's jug, almost All the European Balkan Countries having been Liberated too, at that moment, etc. This was, probably, the Last Period, until now, during which, Europe appeared Strong and Influential also at a great part of its Neighbourhood. [Even if, Suddenly, it was, suprizingly, all Over, ...after a "simple" Telegram from Canada (sic !) : An Important Story, that "Eurofora" will describe asap., when we find enough spare Time]...

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
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    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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