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Home arrow newsitems arrow Tusk's Dramatic Letter, eve of Exceptional Bratislava EU Summit, urges Solid Basics

Tusk's Dramatic Letter, eve of Exceptional Bratislava EU Summit, urges Solid Basics

Pisac ACM
13. 09. 2016.

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Just 1 Day before a "State of the Union" Public Debate at EU Parliament's full Plenary Session in Strasbourg, with one among the most Experienced Euro-Politicians, EU Commission's new President Jean-Claude Juncker, a long-time Prime former Prime Minister of Luxembourg as well as f. Chairman of "EuroGroup", and 2 Days before a Crucial, Exceptional EU 27 Heads of State/Government Summit in Bratislava on Europe's Present and Future after UK's BREXIT and various other Serious Recent Developments, the new President of the European Council, former Prime Minister of Poland, Donald Tusk, felt the Need to take  the unusual Initiative to write and publish Today a both Dramatic-looking, but also "Realisticaly Optimist", as he says, official Letter to EU Leaders, practicaly Urging them to Timely Respond to the main current concerns of the European People, based on Solid Basics.

After Meeting with almost all 27 EU Member States' Leaders, President Tusk allowed himself "some Personal Reflexions", striving to make "an Honest Assessment", for "the Best possible Basis for Building our Future Together", as he wrote.

"We are ... at a particularly Historic Moment", after "the 1st ever decision of a Country to Leave the EU", (i.e. the UK, which had, however, done a Lot of Efforts in the Past in order to be Accepted inside the EU from the 1970ies), in a Wider Context of "Turbulent Times, Marked by Crises and Conflicts", just "a Few Months" before the EU turns 60 y.o., Tusk reminds from the outset.

In Fact, (Joining a recent "Eurofora"s Analysis, See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/brexitparadox.html), he stresses that "the BREXIT Vote (by a Majority of the British People) was a Desperate Attempt to Answer Questons that Millions of Europeans Ask themselves Daily", and concerning "the very Essence of Politics" :

I.e. "about ... Security of the (EU) Citizens and their Territory, ... about the Protection of their Interests, Cultural Heritage, and Way of Life". So that, "We (EU) would Have to Face", "these Questions", at any case, "even if the UK had voted to remain".

Indeed, "People in Europe want to know if the Political Elites are capable of restoring Control over Events and processes which Overwhelm, Disorientate, and sometimes Terrify them", President Tusk warned, speaking also after a notoriously Exceptional "Hot" Summer, which included various Deadly Attacks against Innocent Civilian People by Extremist Islamistic Terrorists, in France, Germany, the UK, Austria, even Switzerland, etc., almost in Parallel with several Bands of Irregular Migrants, massively brought in by Turkish Smugglers, slyly Aggressing, including by Mobsters' Brutality, defenseless Young Girls, sometimes Aged only 14, and even Young Boys, almost Kids, (See various unprecedented Violent Incidents, particularly in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark, the UK, etc).     

- That's why, "quite Rightly", "People ... Expect their Leaders to Protect the space they live in and ensure their security. If the Belief that we have Abandoned this responsibility is Further strengthened, they Will start Looking for Alternatives. And they Will Find them", Tusk Warns, speaking shortly after various atypical Rightist a.o. Political Parties notoriously Started Recently to Mushroom accross several European Countries, not only in the UK, but also in France, Germany, Austria, Finland, Denmark, Norway, Switzerland, Greece, Hungary, Croatia, Sweden, etc.

- "The Migration Crisis was the Tipping Point. Last year's (2015) Chaos on our Borders, ...every  Day ...Hundreds of Thousands of people Moving across our continent withOut Any Control, created a feeling of Threat among many Europeans", who "had to Wait Too Long for action to bring the situation under Control, such as (1st) the Closure of the Western Balkan Route (since Mid-February 2016 ; Comp., f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/unpopulareuvisafreefor80millionsturksuseless.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/weltadoptseuroforaviewonuselesseuturkeymigrantsdealafternewthreat.html), and (2nd) the EU-Turkey Deal", (from the End of March-Beginning of April 2016).

 - But, "Instead, ....they heard "Politically Correct Statements", f.ex. "that Europe canNot become a Fortress", that it "must remain Open", etc.. All this "Weakened Citizens' Trust in their Governments, ...and in the wider Establishment, already Undermined since the (2008-2009+) Financial Crisis". he observed.

 -"We do Not have too much Time to spare" : "We Must Demonstrate to our Citizens that we are willing and able to Protect them from a repeat of the Chaos of 2015", Warned Tusk, while France, soon followed by Germany and several Other Key EU Countries, Starts already to Prepare Crucial Elections for 2017.

+ "It is equally important to Combat Terrorism Effectively", he stressed, after an Unprecedented Long Series of Various Deadly Terrorist Attacks by Islamistic Extremists during this Summer, in many EU Countries (and even in the US, Australia, etc) : "Someone must Give back to Europeans their sense of Security", he urged.

- "And ...we must do more to Fight Radicalisation", But,  withOut Genuine Determination to Fight Terrorist threats, we will Fail to Stem radical and increasingly aAggressive behaviour", President Tusk Warned, reminding also "the Fact that ...it was (found) Not possible to Prevent a number of Attacks".

++ Moreover, "Our Citizens also Expect the EU to better Protect their Economic and Social interests", and "Stand By them in the Confrontation with Outside Competitors", President Tusk added. "Free trade and global competition lie in the interest of Europeans, But ...they Pose significant and often Unprecedented Challenges", he pointed out.

 - Howewer, the above-mentioned Crucial Points "are Insufficient", withOut also "Other equally Important endeavours", "such as Economic and Social Development, Jobs and opportunities for the Young, the single Market, the Digital agenda and Investments", EU President Tusk added.


=> Therefore, "Bratislava (EU Summit) will have to be a Turning Point", he Urged : "Business as Usual is Not an option".

EU Leaders should "also provide a Road Map" :

>>> "Effective Control of our External Borders comes First", from that September 2016 Summit in Slovakia.

 - At the forthcoming "October (2016) European Council Summit", "our (EU's) Relations with Russia will be Reviewed", (i.e. just after the September Elections in Moscow).

- "In December" 2016, we shall seek "to Strengthen Practical Cooperation in Defence".

 - "Later (i.e. in 2017), we will ..come back to ...the Banking Union and the further development of the Economic and Monetary Union". (etc).


- "The Future of Europe will Depend ....on how we Handle the Migration Crisis, Terrorism, and the fears associated with Globalisation", while also ensuring "Development", Tusk resumed.

In Wider terms, "it is ...Crucial to restore the Balance between the need for Freedom and Security, and between the need for Openness and Protection", he advised.

- "Rebuilding ...Trust, has become an Urgent Necessity", with "Rapid Action, and a .. European Strategy", by National Governments and EU Institutions, able "to Control the Sirtuation" and Protect EU Citizens from such "Threats", (See Above).

- "The main Instruments in this field remain at National level, but we (EU) can and must do More Together".

As long as "We will Not ... change the EU into a Single State", "it will be Crucial for the Member States to better Cooperate ...to bring our Forces Together in the Union". "The Keys .... lie in National Capitals. The (EU) Institutions should Support the priorities as Agreed among Member States", which have to "Change Attitude".


>>> "There is No Fatalism ..., everything is still in Our Hands", and "our Countries' Potential" is "More than Enough", in order "to Believe in Europe and its Ability", Donald Tusk Firmly Stressed.

After a "Critical Diagnosis", "there is ample room for "Real - Optimism", as he said.

In fact, Tusk rejected any "Gatopardo"-like attitude, as the Italian Writer di Lampedusa had named those who Pretend to "Change Everything, if (they) want things to Stay as they are", in substance...

=> On the Contrary, "We (EU) Must ... Preserve what is Best", and "Take ..., in fact, Simple Decisions", he urged.

Even if they might be "Difficult", nevertheless, "What we Need is a Strong political Will and Imagination !", Tusk Concluded.




    Meanwhile, Welcoming the preparations for the forthcoming EU Summit in Bratislava, Slovak Prime Minister Robert Fico, who currently Chairs EU Council, (Comp. Fico's Reply to "Eurofora" Question in a Press Conference at June 2016 EU Summit in Brussels : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/ficomigrationpolicymightpushbrexits.html), anounced that he would be Glad if it Succeeded to set up running "a Process", due to be Further Developed, later-on, also by Similar EU 27 Summits in Malta and Italy on "Spring 2017", when the EU is due to celebrate its "60th Anniversary",  (eventualy followed by Estonia at the second half of Next Year).


    As for the Slovak Foreign Minister, Miroslav Lajčák, (who is also a FrontRunner Candidate in the still on-going Electoral process for the New UNO Secretary General), "the EU is Not Only a Political Project", because "Culture is what Brings Europe Together", as he stressed on the occasion of the presentation of the Cultural Program of Slovakia's current EU Presidency, earlier this Summer.




    Last, but not least, that Crucial, forthcoming Bratislava EU Summit, is scheduled to take place at a Hilltop Castle, which looks both Rock-Solid and Citizen-Friendly, while, after Lunchtime, the 27 EU Leaders are expected to visit a Danube River Museum, which currently Hosts an Exhibition of "European Paintings", including that of Spanish "Miro", Famous for "his Characteristic Language .. reduced to Basic Signs", such as, f.ex., "Pictograms, patterns drawings from PreHistoric Paintings, Childrens' Drawings, and Folk Art".




    I.e. just what might Inspire that "Simple", but Important, "Best" Solid Basics' style, that EU Leaders are Today urged to practice for EU's Future, (Comp. Supra)...






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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  

    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".

- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...

    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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