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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUCommission 1stV.President Timmermans to Eurofora: EU Security/Defense policy can be used in Cyprus

EUCommission 1stV.President Timmermans to Eurofora: EU Security/Defense policy can be used in Cyprus

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 04 July 2017
v.president_of_eu_commission_timmermans__agg_eurofora_400

*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- Experienced 1st vice-President of EU Commission, Frans Timmermans, former Foreign Minister from the Netherlands, speaking to "Eurofora" Today in EU Parliament, said that EU can play a Role also in order to Help UnBlock the Security Issues which (in addition to Human Rights, Governance, etc), are a crucial Challenge in front of an eventual International Agreement for the Solution Cyprus' issue and the peaceful ReUnification of the island, currently Negotiated, under UN auspices, at Crans Montana (Switzerland).


Timmermans was Representing the EU, Together with High Representative for External Action Federica Mogerini, a former Foreign Minister of Italy, in the UN-sponsored Multilateral Top Political Conference on Cyprus, which resumed recently there, with the Participation of Top Political representatives from Cyprus, Greece, Turkey and the UK, etc., under the supervision of UN Security Council's members.

 - "Yes, I was in Switzerland for Cyprus, and I should go back there, but I don't know yet exactly when, Replied Timmermans in relevant "Eurofora"s Questions, Today Afternoon, i.e. shortly Before it was anounced, later this Evening, that the New UN Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, would also Return at Crans-Montana apparently on Thursday, July 6.
 
+ Questioned by "Eurofora" about his Feeling on how these UN Cyprus' Talks are evolving until now, Timmermans appeared quite Sober, pointing at UnCertainties to lift :

- "I don't know : One Day I am Optimistic", but "anOther Day I am Less !..", Replied EU Commission's 1st vice-President, apparently noting the notorious Turkish Govenment's insistance to Ask, in addition to Keeping several of its Troops which Occupy the Northern part of Cyprus since the 1974 Invasion, even a Claim for Unilateral Military Interventions also in the Future :


I.e. something which was already a main cause for a "Sine Die" Postponement of UNO's Cyprus Talks since back on January 2017, and reportedly Risks, even Today, to Block them again, since Cyprus, Greece, and Many EU and Other States consider Unacceptable and Dangerous to submit a UN + CoE + EU Member State under a Constant Threat to be Invaded anew, at any moment, by the Military of a Foreign Country like Turkey...

=> Therefore, at another "Eurofora" Question about EU's possible Contribution into Solving eventual Security/Defense Issues in EU Member Cyprus, after a possible ReUnification, Timmermans started by a Positive initial observation :


- "Well, there are Elements in Economy...", (something which includes, at least partly, also Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons' Family Homes and other Private Properties, that they are practicaly Hindered by Ankara's Military to Access, resulting in many Condemnations of Turkey by the ECHR for Violations of Human Rights), "...and in State-Building, that Contribute to Security", he Rightfuly Noted, referring, at first, to certain among EU's traditional competences.


 + - "However, as such, Security Issues are not so much matters for the EU. They are also matters for others" (i.e. UNO's Security Council, etc), Timmermans went on to add. This probably includes Cyprus' President Anastassiades' proposal for UN SC (acting according to its Competences under Chapter 7 of UNO's Charter) to ensure the Security/Defense of a ReUnified Island in the Future. But, if limited only to that, it might also Underestimate EU's own capacities to act, nowadays and in the foreseable Future...


   - "But, you are (also) comming from Brussels, where EU has just spoken even about Defense policy !  Don't you think that something about it could be used here ?", "Eurofora" reacted by asking Timmermans.  


- "Yes. I think that Some of it (i.e. EU's Security/Defense policy), will be there (i.e. on Cyprus)", EU Commission's vice-President concluded Positively in Reply to "Eurofora"s Question.


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The Latest EU Summit in Brussels notoriously Decided to Boost EU' Security and Defense policy, (Comp. f.ex. "Eurofora"s NewsReport from BRX: ...), while More is Expected in ths field also by the December 2017 EU Summit, i.e. After the conclusion of the Electoral period of this year in France and Germany.


+ In Addition, concerning EU's Franco-German+ core, by a Timely Coincidence, this Summer 2017, EUROCORPS' Army Headquarters, based in Strasbourg, and Created since 1992/1993 (i.e. during the Historic German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's era, together with Mitterand, then, and developed further afterwards also with Chirac, etc), is due to celebrate its 25th Anniversary, while Spain will hand over its Annual Chairmanship to Germany for the period of September 2017 - August 2018.


EUROCORPS' full Member Countries (France, Germany, Spain, Polland, Belgium and Luxembourg, to which are also Attached, via Liaison Officers f.ex. Italy and Greece, etc., Turkey having a partly similar link via NATO, etc), have already considered, in the Past, as theoreticaly Possible for this Unique European Army Corps to eventualy serve, under UN auspices, inter alia, also for Tasks such as f.ex. Peace-Keeping for the Implementation of an Agreement on Cyprus, (Comp., f.ex., relevant INTW to "Eurofora"s co-Founder, by EUROCORPS' Press Spokesman, published previously at "TCWeekly", etc).


Moreover, "Eurofora" witnessed personaly, last Saturday, on the occasion of a PanEuropean/International Top Political Gathering at EU Parliament for the Memorial Ceremony in honor of Historic German Chancellor Helmut Kohl (Comp. f.ex. : ...) that New US President Don Trump's Director of National Intelligence (DNI), Dan Coats, was present in Strasbourg, at the Same Time and Building with Germany's super-Minister of Interior, De Maizières, a Merkel-faithful and close ally (initialy Head of her Chancellorship's Administration), even if the venue of the latter here had Not been Scheduled.


Such exceptional Key Contacts could have been used, naturaly, also in view of the forthcoming G20 Summit in Hambourg (Northern Germany) Later this Week, but Cyprus' UN related issue's developments are the only ones which have had several UnExpected U-Turns...


German Chancellor Angie Merkel has just concluded a Keynote Speech, in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, by stressing that "Now, it's up to us, to uphold (the) Legacy" of Helmut Kohl, World-Famous Father of Germany's and Europe's ReUnification, as well as of EUROCORPS (Comp. Supra).
And Both Merkel (Germany) as well as New French President Macron, met and discussed also here, in Strasbourg, with Prime Minister Medvedev from Russia, a key UN Security Council Permanent Member, traditionaly experienced and keen on Cyprus' issue.


UNO's Security Council is currently Chaired by China, during this July 2017.


By another Timely "coincidence", China's President Xi Jiping, just after visiting Russia, is currently paying an official visit to Berlin, to meet German Chancellor Merkel at the Eve of the forthcoming "G20" Summit in Hambourg.


China will be succeeded by Egypt, in UN SC's rotating Presidency, Next Month, on August 2017, followed by neighbouring Ethopia on September, and 2 EU Member Countries : France and Italy, on October and November, respectively, concluding by Japan, on December 2017 : Most of these Countries being also Participants at the forthcoming "G20" Summit, Later this Week in Germany, where their Heads of State/Government will meet precisely at the Aftermath of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres' reported Trip Back to Crans - Montana (Switzerland), on Thursday, 6 July, for the UN-sponsored Top Political Conference on Cyprus' issue, (i.e. just before flying, during the Next 2 Days for the "G20" Summit in Hambourg (Germany), on Friday-Saturday, July 7 + 8, 2017.


I.e., this time, UN - sponsored Multilateral Negotiations on Cyprus' issue, have been inserted in an exceptionaly Dense Top Diplomatic Agenda, from Last Week's EU Summit in Brussels (where it was Discussed on the Sidelines, including with several Bilateral Meetings), Followed by last Saturday's European Ceremony in Memory of Helmut Kohl in Strasbourg, (with the Participation of more than 190 Heads of State/Government, Key Ministers, MEPs, etc : Comp. ...), and Concluding by that forthcoming "G20" Summit, (Comp. Supra).


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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
----------------------------------
    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

----------------------------------

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

-----------------------------------   

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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