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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

Автор ACM
Пятница, 20 Октябрь 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.

 

 joseph_daul_eurofora_400


+ 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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swed_eu_400

    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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