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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

Pisac ACM
20. 10. 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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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

buzek_chairing_400 

    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

busekcoe_400

    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

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