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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow +Merkel: Long EU Debate with Various Views+Concerns on Turkey, Starts by Funds' Cut

+Merkel: Long EU Debate with Various Views+Concerns on Turkey, Starts by Funds' Cut

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Παρασκευή, 20 Οκτώβριος 2017
 
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*Brussels/EU Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- By wishing, with a Smile, ..."Good Morning !" to "Eurofora" and other Journalists present at her entry for an UnExpectedly Delayed Press Conference, ...Late MidNight, from 19 to 20 October, German Chancellor Angie Merkel indicated from the outset that she was thinking about "the Day After", on the "Hot" Issue of Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid, regarding which a Long and Intense, 2 Steps Discussion has just Started among EU Heads of State/Government in Brussels earlier Today, (See Infra).

 

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In fact, EU Council had Already Warned, as Early as since the 18 of September 2017, that it "May Address specific Foreign Policy Issues", as it had said, mentioning "p.m. Relations with Turkey", "in the light of Events". And at a "Draft Press Program" published on Early October (4/10/2017) this was  linked with a "Working Dinner" for After 7.30 p.m. Afterwards, on 17 October 2017, EU Council's President, Donald Tusk, finally wrote to EU Heads of State/Government that "over Dinner, we will look into the Deeply Worrying Developments in DPRK, the situation as regards Iraq, as well as Turkey".


But, initially, the official "Conclusions", published ToNight, of the "European Council Meeting (of) 19 October 2017", Surprisingly, did not contain more than only ... Half a Line, placed under the Heading on EU's "External Relations", merely mentioning that EU Summit "held a Debate on Relations with Turkey".

- It was only Many Hours Later, that Tusk's own remarks became known on that matter, speaking about "a Substantive Discussion", "last Night on Turkey" - i.e., apparently, having Left to Chancellor Merkel a chance to Earlier present that Key point (particularly in the German Elections of 9/2017) to the Press, (See Infra) :


- The main Outcome was, at least for the Time being, that "We (EU Summit) Tasked the (EU) Commission to reflect on whether to Cut and Re-Orient Pre-Accession Funds", Tusk confirmed, as expected, (See Infra, and, already : ....).


   - We would like to "Keep the Door Open to Ankara, But, the current Reality in Turkey is Making this Difficult", he Criticized.


+ "It was Also Stressed that Turkey Needs to Respect All (EU) Member States, in its relations with the EU, including when it comes to the Implementation of the Existing (EU - Turkey) Customs Union agreement", Tusk added. Obviously refering to the Only Condition put by the EU for the Beginning of Accession Negotiation with Ankara had been (as early as, already since 2004-2005), to Stop Discriminating against EU Member Cyprus' Airplanes and Ships, (still Hindered, even Nowadays, on 2017, to use Turkey's Seaports/Airports, despite Ankara Government's undertaken Obligation for the contrary).


++ Moreover, Tusk noted the "Concerns raised by (Cyprus') President Anastasiades regarding Turkey's actions vis a vis the Greek Cypriots and Maronites", as he said, evoking the Foreign Occupation regime's Scandalous Recent Decision to Block traditional Humanitarian Aide to Enclaved Greek Cypriots, (mainly Elders, for the situation of whom ECHR has Condemned Ankara), f.ex. by Imposing "Taxes" even to UNFICYP's Humanitarian convoys, (as UNO's own services Denounced as Contrary to International Agreements), to which were recently Added also Turkish Military Occupation's attempts to sadically Divide its Victims : F.ex. by Imposing Discriminations between various Groups of Christian Refugees, etc., in a way which Risks even to eternaly submit some among them to a Never-Ending Foreign Military Occupation by Ankara's Invasion Army, (etc).  


Typically, such Negative Moves come shortly after Turkey was accused to have practically pushed to a Deadlock the UN-sponsored Talks for a Peaceful ReUnification of the Island, mainly because it Insisted to Keep Invasion/Occupation Military Troops in Cyrus even when a Peace Deal might enter into force, and persisted in its Unilateral Military Intervention Claims :

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- The Recent "Failure to reach a comprehensive settlement at the (UN-sponsored) Crans Montana Conference" for a Peaceful Solution of the Problem of Cyprus' ReUnification, "is due to Turkey’s insistence on maintaining guarantee and intervention rights in Cyprus, and the continuation of the presence of Turkish military troops" there, Denounced, meanwhile, ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party's President, Joseph Daul, after a long EPP Leaders' Summit, Earlier on Thursday, October 19, here in Brussels.

 

=> Therefore,"We call on Turkey to comply immediately with the approach of the UNSG (Gutieres) and the EU’s principles and values, and constructively work for a comprehensive solution to the Cyprus problem,” said Joseph Daul.

 

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+ The EPP also "calls on Turkey to withdraw immediately" "the recent measures imposed ...against the Enclaved Greek Cypriots and Maronites", (Comp. Supra), of which it was "informed" now, "and refrain from actions that are clear Violation of Human Rights", an Official EPP Press Release, send to Journalists, including "Eurofora" on Thursday, Evening,
October 19, added

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 - However, Cyprus' President Anastasiades, speaking to "Eurofora", earlier Today, had critically Warned : - "Don't Expect much about Turkey !..."


+ Different Sources told "Eurofora" and other Journalists, later-on, that Many at least along the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group found that Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid has, nowadays, revealed to he "Not Credible".


Nevertheless, several EU Member States apparently wished a Different way of reacting than simply "Stop" EU Negotiations, (as, f.ex., Austria, Denmark, a.o., reportedly prefer), or "Freezing" EU - Turkey Negotiations, (as a recent EU Parliament's Resolution has called), etc.


But, on the Opposite side, if EU did Not Act at all, or only Superficially, even in front of a so-called "Candidate for Accession to the EU" who obviously tramps underfoot its basic declared Values, has so Blatant GeoPolitical and Cultural Contradictions, and is so UnPopular, with a Strong Majority of EU Citizens notoriously Opposed to its EU claims, then, inevitably, such an EU would obviously Risk to be Discredited, First of all vis a vis the European People, (as it had Started to occur since 2000-2001, etc, provoking 3 "No" to EuroReferenda, Blocking/Delaying further EU Integration, provoking a rampant Euro-Scepticism, etc.  

   

According to other well informed sources, at least the EPP Heads of State/Government would be Ready to Cut Pre-Accession Funds, while still maintaining Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants - related Funds, unless Turkey persists to drag its feet and aggravates a recently growing failure to cooperate, particularly on readmissions : In that case, part of those EU Funds too, could be Withheld by the European Institutions in the foreseable Future. 


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=> So, Chancellor Merkel stressed that this October 2017 EU Summit "Spoke about Turkey, in Great Detail", at "an Important Debate".


- Significantly, that move Extended, widely, all over "Various Aspects of EU - Turkey Relations" (i.e. Not Only from the point of view of Ankara's controversial and unpopular EU bid), including, f.ex., "NATO", "Influence" to the "Balkans", "Syria", "Refugees", etc., she pointed out.


>>> In particular, "we (EU) were United" also "in the view that we should not only Talk ABOUT Turkey, but also Need to Discuss WITH Turkey", and, "also Discuss the FRAMEWORK in which we can Continue to do so", the German Chancellor stressed. (I.e. the Kind of Relations, between EU and Turkey in the Future : f.ex., if not full Accession, then, probably, a kind of Privileged Partnership, etc).


 - In these regards, "there were, certainly, Different Accents" between EU Member States, but, "the Discussion was very Balanced", she found.


 - Mainly, "We (EU Member States' Leaders) were United ... First of all, into Asking from (EU) Commission, for (EU's) Pre-Accession (Financial) Aid to be Cut !", Merkel officially Anounced Tonight.


  - Such a "Cut" should be done "in an acceptable way" : I.e. considering the fact that EU Funds "canNot be Only for the (Turkish) Government, but also, to some extend, for those who have Different Views, inside Turkey", (f.ex. Dissidents, Minorities, etc), since it should concern "All Citizens", she explained.


   - On the Contrary, EU's Aid for Syrian and other "Refugees in Turkey" "must be fulfilled", Merkel promised.


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  + Replying to Many Questions raised by German Journalists about Turkey, the Chancellor added several interesting observations, on particular Key points :


- Naturally, the 1st relevant Question was to Remind Angie Merkel's famous TV Duel with the Socialist Candidate, Martin Schulz about Turkey, where she had Anounced her Intention to "Talk with" all the Other EU Member States' Leaders, "in order to find if we (EU) can arrive at a Common Position for the (EU - Turkey) Accession Negotiations to End".


 - "Have you done this? Have you actually Raised the Question whether the (EU - Turkey) Accession negotiations can be Terminated ?" ...And do you see a Chance to Cancel or Suspend the Accession Negotiations ?", she was asked. A Question Repeated also by another Journalist, who wondered is there was, or not, Tonight, any "Majority" among EU States' Leaders to "Cancel the (EU - Turkey) Accession Deal".


 - For the moment, "ToNight", "there is Not (yet) a Common Position to IMMEDIATELY STOP (EU Accession) Negotiations with Turkey", she noted in reply.


- Nevertheless, "My own train of Thought, already Earlier, is to eye a Special Partnership (and Not at all Full EU Membership) with Turkey", Merkel reminded.


 - "But, once again, Turkey Must be Discussed" now, even if "it's not (yet) appropriate to Talk in Public, about How this (Other kind of Future EU - Turkey Relations) Might Look", the German Chancellor advised, (apparently Prefering Discrete Talks, at least for the Moment).
 
=> - In fact, as things stand "Today, here, the Comon (EU) Position is that We (EU Member States' Leaders) have Asked from the (EU) Commission to Reflect on the progress of the (EU - Turkey) Process".


>>> "And, Now, the Task that lies in Front of us, for which I shall Continue (Afterwards) with anOther Consultation, is (to Find out) HOW will we (EU) get back to Talks with Turkey, (i.e.), in WHICH FORMAT, should it be Reasonable to talk, without a showdown", Merkel anounced.


 + "And, I think that even about the Question of a (possible EU - Turkey Future) PARTNERSHIP i.e. Not Accession), No matter what it might Look like, Must also be Discussed with Turkey" itself, she added.


- Because, inside the EU Council, nowadays, "there is a very Wide Range of (various) Positions from my Colleages" (EU Member Countries' Leaders) on Turkey, she observed. And, even if, at least "Directly from the Start", "there is Not" yet "a Majority in favour" of a clear-cut position on that issue, "from the Other Side, there is, also, a Great Scepticism about the Current (EU - Turkey) Situation", Merkel Denounced.


- Indeed, from the EU Leaders' side, "there is a Great deal of Concern" about Turkey, she confirmed. "However, there is a Wish, No just to Cut the Bridges, But to stay in Contact with Turkey".


=> Therefore, the German Chancellor presented a kind of 2 STEPS Process :


=> (A) "NOW, we (EU Summit) have Asked from the (EU) Commission to Make Proposals to us, (initially) for the REDUCTION and Modification OF the (former) Pre-accession (Financial) AID", she reminded (Comp. Supra).


+ => (B) "But, the NEXT STEP is to Contact Turkey", she Addd. "We (EU Summit) have Not yet worked this out, as such, ToNight, But I am going to take Care about that !", Merkel promised.


- Because, "I do believe that We (EU) Must Talk anew with Turkey", she stressed, on this crucial point.


- Indeed, "it's somewhat Strange, if 27 or 28 (EU) Member States, ... which are in Association (with Turkey), and have been conducting accession Negotiations since 2005", and now even "regarding the Question of a (possible EU - Turkey) Partnership, whatever it might be", the might be obliged to deal only Indirectly, "Through a 3rd Party : the (EU) Commission", while, on the Contrary, "they (EU Countries) Must also Speak (directly) with Turkey", she found.


- Even if "It's Not Easy, because it requires, of course, a bit of very HONEST TALK", the German Chancellor warned, "at least" we have started "Tonight", she concluded on this point.
 
- Merkel made it "quite Clear", However, that such Talks with Turkey, at least "for the Time being", would "NOT" be for any eventual "OPENING of A NEW CHAPTER" (in the controversial and UnPopular EU - Turkey Accession Negotiations), "NEITHER on EU ENLARGEMENT, but, rather, about How to Advance" about all those above mentioned matters, as she said in Reply to Another relevant Question.


 - Because "this is WORRYING, equally for All" (EU Countries), she observed.


 - "And, yet, there are many STRATEGIC Reasons to remain", at least, "in DIALOGUE with Turkey", she added.


- "But NO ENLARGEMENT of the EU !", vis a vis Ankara. "This was also made CLEAR", Angie Merkel ensured in fine.

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Now, since Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid was Initially Motivated, right from the Start, (and according to a Proposal made by Ankara's Government itself, explained as such in a 1999 Letter : See, f.ex. ...), by an Attempt to get EU Funds, until then Blocked by Series of Unfullfiled Conditions on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of (International) Law, 


then, Merkel's main Idea to Start Now Cutting "Pre-Accession Aid" previously earmarked for Turkey, while, on the Contrary, keeping EU's Financial promises to Ankara if she plays the game on the Middle East's Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants Issue,

=> May, eventually, Convince Turkey to, at last, start Droping its Contested EU Claims, which might be Paid Less and Less, in order to Focus, preferably, on those Other Tasks, which would be much Better Paid by the EU, (Comp. Supra).

 

 

(../..)


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(NDLR: Partly UpDated)
 
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("DraftNews", already send to "Eurofora"'s Donors/Subscribers earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap.)

 

 


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    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
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    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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