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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow New EU Head, Austrian Chancellor Kurz: build Bridges in Challenging Times before 2019 EU Elections

New EU Head, Austrian Chancellor Kurz: build Bridges in Challenging Times before 2019 EU Elections

Geschrieben von ACM
Tuesday, 03 July 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament's MEPs debated for almost 2,5 Hours New EU Chairman-in-office, the Young Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's vow to strive to "Build Bridges" among Europeans over the Troubled Waters of these "Challenging Times", just "Before the 2019 EU Elections", as he stressed here in Strasbourg, face to face with EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, but in the Middle of a Torrid Summer Heatwave flowing Northwards, just After kicking off Symbolically the Beginning of the Austrian EU Presidency for the period of July - December 2018, already since last Week-End, in the Fresh Oxygen up to the Top of Alpes Mountains, Together with EU Council's President Donald Tusk, out-going Bulgarian former EU Chair, Boyko Borisov, and a lot of simple People, carried there Free of Charge, in Reply to Earlier Public Appeals on the Web.

 

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- As a matter of General Principle,  "We (EU) Respect People's Votes verdict", and hold "Solid Relations" with Elected Leaders : That's the Duty of any EU Official, Sebastian Kurz significantly Replied, Later-on, to a Press Question on ...the New, notoriously Atypical "Italian Government", Smiling brightly...

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- "I Know that Kurz is Moved by European Spirit", stressed from the outset in EU Parliament's Plenary the Experienced EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, who also Dismissed a curiously provocative and oppressive Question by a "Socialist" Radio Correspondent from Portugal about why there were no current attempts to Isolate (sic !) the New, 2018 EU Austrian Presidency, Contrary to what some had already attempted, in the Past, towards 2000, during the era of controversial but popular Rightist former Political Leader Georg Haider, who faced Later an ill-elucidated Violent Death in a strange Car Incident at his Carinthian Region, (where he held a Coalition with ... "Socialists"!).

 

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- "The Difference is that this (2018) new Austrian Government has a Program which is Clearly Pro-European !", sharply Replied, at a short but dense Press Conference, Juncker. (For recent Kurz's statements to "Eurofora", during the March 2018 EU Summit in Brussels, See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/austrianchancellornexteuchairkurzonturkey.html, etc.). 

 

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+ Moreover, Kurz has just come back from the Latest EU Summit in Brussels, where he met also the Popular ...Norwegian Prime Minister Ema Solberg, as he had already told "Eurofora" as early as since 2017 (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/austriankurzmetalsowithnorwaypm.html), and showed Now, on 2018, in a Frontline Picture published by the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party there : Solberg is among the First to conclude a "Unity of the Right" Governemental Coalition, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel has notoriously revealed, at the Eve of the latest German Elections of 2017,  that she considers the Norwegian Top Politician as "the Best Prime Minister" in the World !

 

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- Inter Alia, "We (EU) must Create the Conditions for the Development of a High-Tech. Europe" also at the Internet, etc. Because, Otherwise, Nowadays, "Most of the Web Giants are in USA or China", warned Sebastien Kurz at his speech in EU Parliament's plenary, Earlier Today. This a Key-part of the in-coming Austrian EU Presidency, whose Program aims to "Protect" also the European Citizens' "Welfare", mainly by realistically Safeguarding and Developping further its "Competitivity" vis a vis the rest of the World, particularly in the Nowaday's Strategic Areas of "Automatisation and Digitalisation".


For those who have Forgotten the Fact that, f.ex., the 1st Mobile Phone (and later-on SmartPhone) was a European Invention, Industrial Fabrication and Commercialisation, as well as the Electronic "Chip", etc., respectively in Finland and in France, it's, therefore, Time to Note also that even the President of the Biggest Political Party in Europe, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP : former Strasbourg's MEP and Chairman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group of MEPs in EU Parliament, Joseph Daul, had already warned that he Intended to Speak to the main EU Countries' Leaders from 2017-2018 about the Need to Create and Develop European Products particularly on Telecoms, including SmartPhones, etc., as "Eurofora" has heard him saying.


- But, meanwhile, notoriously, the Number 1 Need, recently badly Felt among a large Majority of EU Citizens, certainly is for Europe to "Protect" them from Insecurity (including, naturally, from Deadly Islamist Terrorism, as that of ISIL's Coward Killings Targetting innocent Civilians), and from Manifold Negative aspects of the recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants' Giant "Tsunami", which suddenly intruded in Europe since 2015/2016 from Turkey, without any sign that they might Return Back Home, at least until now, provoking, in the meantime, a lot of various Incidents, including Brutal Mob Attacks, Bullying, etc, but also Altering Europe's Cultural landscape, particularly with a much More Abrupt massive and systematic "Islamization", even at the Public Sphere, etc., to the point that it became a "Political Issue", as various Recent Elections, in several Countries, have notoriously shown. To the point that the Popular, 4 Times re-Elected, Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban, has just reportedly stressed, during the latest EU Summit in Brussels, that "the People Request 2 things : ... No More Migrants coming in... (and) that those (Mass Irregular Migrants) who are in (Europe), Should Go Back".


=> That's why Kurz, even More than Other EU Politicians nowadays, gives a Key Importance to a "Decent" "Protection of EU's External Borders", also as a Guarantee for a Satisfactory Free Movement inside the EU, without undue obstacles accross National Borders, that he vowed to struggle to fully realize at least "in the middle/long term".


Considering the Latest EU Summit in Brussels' results, at the End of June 2018, as "a 1st Step in the Right Direction", revealing "a New Trend", (f.ex. with its Decisions for "Desembarcation Platforms" at the Outer, and "Controlled Centers" at the inner Suroundings of Europe), Kurz has also explored the idea even for EU - Protected, Safe Areas for Asylum Seekers in Neighbouring Countries, including by a European Force.


Since the progressive Integration of the Western Balkans inside the EU, "Will Complete the European Dream", as the Austrian Chancellor said,
a Parallel Quest for "Stability at the Neighbourhood" of the EU nowadays, takes a Special Character as far as it concerns "Cooperation with 3rd Countries", i.e. mainly vis a vis Africa, Turkey, and Other, such Neighbours that EU should Fund also in order to keep External Asylum Demands' processing areas, whose Safety might be protected even with the Help of EU's Military, as he has reportedly just pointed out in recent Press statements.


In this Direction, both EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, and EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, pointed at the Need to Advance well Beyond the Recent Addition of +400 Millions € in EU Funds for Africa, while a 2nd package of 3 Billions € in full Grants was, in parallel, Decided for Turkey.

Juncker vowed to "Speed up" an "EU External Borders Force", able to Add + "10.000 Agents by 2020", to Help the 100.000 National Forces in those areas, and claimed that the 400.000 Millions € added by the Latest EU Summit for Africa would bring the Total EU - African Fund up to 4,1 Billion €, which would be able to Raise about 44 Billions €, (and eventualy Double its overall Financial Impact even to more than 88 Billions €, if EU Member States added their own Contributions, as he speculated. Without, however, clarifying if this would consist just in Loans, or in full Grants, as Turkey has notoriously obtained from the EU by Blackmailing when Ankara send more than 1,5 Million of Irregular Migrants/Mass Asylum Seekers suddenly flow inside the EU via Smugglers, since Back on 2015-2016+s).

 

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- Meanwhile, Sebastian Kurz, speaking After a Long and "Lively Debate" with various MEPs, noted that there are "Differences of Views", and expressed his support for "Discussions", on the condition of mutual "Respect", but stressed his Belief, that, in fact, "much More Binds us Together, than Separates us", as he concluded.


  - "It's not necessary to agree on everything. We can have Different Views. But we Must Focus on what Unites us, and need to Build Bridges, in order to Move the EU Forward !", Kurz urged MEPs.


  - Particularly Nowadays, when "we can't take the EU for Granted, but have to Work Hard in order to Preserve it, and Make it Better", the Young Austrian Chancellor Warned.


  - Indeed, in addition f.ex. to the imminent BREXIT's outcome, and to the need to Decide soon on EU's Multi-Annual Financial Perspectives", where "Negotiations are Tough", as he observed,

 

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    - Nowadays, we are living in the Context of  "an Age of Upheavals", where even "International Order is Changing", while "Tensions are Rising". "Before, Countries were Quewing in order to Enter in the EU", while, "Now the UK goes Out", with "BREXIT", and even "Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights, canNot be Taken for Granted", he warned.


    - Expressing his "Hope to Build Bridges in Difficult Areas", the incoming, Austrian EU President in office, stressed in Conclusion that, In fact, still, "We are Fortunate to be Europeans !"

 

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(../..)


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    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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