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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

Pisac ACM
04. 07. 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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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

imag0475_400
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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