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Home 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

Parašė ACM
Friday, October 20, 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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Pierre Pflimlin's visionary line : Honouring the Memory of the man who wanted to build Europe on the Mountains, based on Spirit !

 

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One of EuroFora's best inspirators is naturally Pierre Pflimlin :

We had a chance to personally meet the dynamic and experienced former President of both EU Parliament and CoE's Assembly, France's Prime Minister and Strasbourg's Mayor, only at his 90th anniversary, during an Historic speech at the Council of Europe, exceptionally full of people.

But his energetic figure looked more like a youngster of 19 years old, eager to win the Olympic games !..

Visionary, 2P was, from many points of view :

His daughter, Antoinette, Artist-decorator, and Senator Jung, President of a group of friends, confirmed us an Historian's revelation, that Pflimlin had initially the idea to build all European institutions (EU Parliament, Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, etc) at the spectacular heights of Oberhausbergen hills, with an eye-catching view of both French Vosges and German Black Forest Mountains, in the midst of a Forest : A real vision to create a brand New European Headquarters with a big ambition !

But, it seems, that "someone in Brussels" found that picture, precisely, too big for his taste, and threw a spanner on the works...

Pflimlin stroke back a Decade ago, at his Historic 1997 farewell speech :

He urged Europeans to find another, more substantial way, to lift Europe to more important Heights in Future :

- "On which basis can we imagine the birth of a great Europe ?", he asked.

"Certainly an Economic basis ! A solid market economy, meeting also the needs of social justice. A Political basis : Europe must become a strong Political Power, able to influence World's changes, naturally for Peace."

"But I believe that the essential foundation of a greater Europe should be of Spiritual nature : .... The great pacific Revolutions were Spiritual Victories" : They expressed "People's main motivation to live in a society with our Values of Liberty, Democracy, respect for Human Dignity".

"Then, the roadmap is ready : Yes, the foundation of the unity for a large Europe is the spiritual heritage, inspired by Christian Humanism and the Humanism of Renaissance, of Enlightenment, from which emerged a Civilisation focused on the Human person".

"Here is the task to be accomplished. It's very difficult".

"The Time approaches when I'll have to pass over the torchlight. God willing, this torch should enlighten the path of those who are going to build, tomorrow, the great Europe, marked by this Spirit".

 

(Extract from the Book "Pierre Pfilmin : Alsacian and European", 2007. Texts by Senator Louis Jung, by the long-time f. Director of Strasbourg's Newspaper DNA, Alain Howiller, and by f. EU Parliament's Press Director, Paul Collowald : See dedications, hand-written by the authors, the day the book for Pflimlin's 100th Aniversary was launched at Strasbourg's Press Club and European Parliamentary Association's headquarters, 13 April 2007).

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