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Home arrow newsitems arrow UN SG Ban Ki Moon to EuroFora: Cyprus reUnification needs Long Vision +Human Rights = basis of Peace

UN SG Ban Ki Moon to EuroFora: Cyprus reUnification needs Long Vision +Human Rights = basis of Peace

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 19 October 2010

* By Angelo Marcopolo/Strasbourg/- After visiting both CoE/ECHR and EU Parliament, UNO's Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon, replying to "EuroFora"'s questions, stressed that a desirable solution on Cyprus' issue needs "Long Vision", as he put it, shortly after underlying, earlier in Strasbourg, that, as a matter of General Principle, "Human Rights are at the foundation of Peace".

UNO's Head, was, precisely, replying to our Question if, after visiting here Europe's 2 best bodies on Human Rights, Democracy, and Foreign Pölicy : ECHR and EU Parliament (a meeting place also for EU Commission, EU Council, Ministers, Diplomats, etc), he hoped to facilitate Cyprus' Talks to progres towards a solution by Safeguarding Human Rights and Rule of Law, instead of letting anyone push them aside, so that the island may become in the Future succesfuly ReUnified.

- "Our Partnership (EU - UNO) is delivering Results : We are working together to deliver Peace, Human Rights, Development" etc, which "are 3 Major Pillars of UN's Charter", Ban Ki Moon stressed from the outset at EU Parliament, as a matter of General Principle. - "I urge the Europeans not to give in the Sirenes of Suspicion (who) ...will only draw you off course of the Values that we, UN, hold as dear", he also appealed earlier, speaking in front of a large number of interested MEPs. 

-  "EuroFora" observed that UNO's "Secretary General", visited "here in Strasbourg two most Important Institutions" of Europe : - "EU Parliament, on Economy, Foreign Policy and other issues, but also the CoE, concerning Human Rights, and ...spoke about both".

- "Among your first activities in the forthcoming period of time, will be, inter alia, to also Help resolve some Conflicts. One of them is Cyprus", "EuroFora" pointed out, considering in particular a forthcoming UN SG's Report on that issue, expected on November.

- "Do you think that you can succeed, during the Talks that are going on now and in the (foreseable) Future, to find a way to contribute for Human Rights and EU - UNO's Principles (such as Rule of Law, etc) to be Safeguarded, instead of being pushed away, so that (Cyprus') Future ReUnification could work efficiently ?", (i.e. in a Stable mannner, without more differends, tensions, divisions, conflicts and/or breakdowns, contrary to the Past), we asked Ban Ki Moon.


This was also an indirect but obvious reference to what he had just stressed, earlier this same day in Strasbourg, from the beginning of his speech at the CoE, on the celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, where he observed that, "as a matter of Principle", a "Cardinal Mission of the UN is to shine the Light of Human Rights everywhere, including the Darkest corners", because, "as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights proclaims : - "Recognition of the inherent Dignity .. and of the ... inalienable Rights of all ... Human(s) .. is the Foundation of Freedom, Justice and Peace".


UNO's Secretary General was the Key Speaker of the exceptional PanEuropean Human Rights event at the CoE, which was also addressed by ECHR's President, professor Jean-Paul Costa, and CoE's SG, Thornbjorn Jagland, (President of the Oslo Committee for the Nobel Peavce Prize), in the presence of all EuroJudges, Ambassadors, etc. from more than 47 Countries, followed by a Song with Barbara Hendrix (a Gospel of former Slaves for Freedom) and a Debate on the Future of Human Rights in Europe animated by the Heads of all CoE's Monitoring bodies against Torture (CPT), Discrimination/Racism/Ethnic Cleansing (ECRI), etc.

- "Thank you for your questions" :These "are very Important matters", reacted spontaneously UNO's Head,  choosing among two differend "EuroFora"s questions (See other Draft NewsReports, already sent to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors), to put "Cyprus, first of all" :

- "It has been now a little over 2 Years since" representatives of "both Communities have engaged in Direct Negotiations (Talks) at the Leaders' level", he reminded.

- The "UN ...have been working very hard to Facilitate this Process" 

- "This is done not only " through my Special Adviser, Alexander Downer, (former Liberal Foreign Minister of Australia, recently criticized in a Book currently discussed at Cyprus' Parliament, and whose precedessor was obliged to leave after Turkey made complaints), but also "through my own direct (personal) engagement", UNO's SG Ban Ki Moon ensured.


 - UNO's work is made "in close Consultation not only with the two Leaders,  but also (with) Leaders of (other) Concerned Parties", (apparently Turkey, Greece, the UK, EU and/or USA, Russia,  etc), he added.

- "It has been Encouraging that the (Cyprus' communities') Leaders have been meeting more than 80  times in Direct Talks", (after many Years of merely Indirect contacts), trying to solve what is, "I think, one of the Longest-standing issues in Europe, at this time", Ban Ki Moon obseved.

- However, it's only "Recently" that "they have ... begun to Discuss ....(Refugees'/Displaced Persons') Property", which is "one of the most Complex Issues", UNO's Head realistically acknowledged.

-  "Now, (i.e. on October 2010) they have Both presented Concrete Proposals" on the Refugees/Displaced Persons' Family Homes and personal belongings issue, Ban Ki Moon officially revealed.

Indeed, after various partial Leakages, these days, the Governing Coalition Party DHKO, joining others, accused Cyprus' President Christofiias to have made Excessive Concessions to the Turkish Cypriot side, that they did not accept, while  the main Governing Party, AKEL, prefered to denounce as "Intransigeant" and "Unacceptable" the demands made by the new leader of Turkish Cypriot Community living at the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Ankara's Army, Mr. Eroglu, as "Intransigeant", "Unacceptable", "pushing at the Margins the (Human Rights) Principles" in order to obtain "Ethnically Clean" separate areas, contrary to the official aim of the UNO-sponsored Talks to reUnify Cyprus, (by asking to impose Absolute "Ceilings", Mass "Exchanges of properties",  Priority of illegal Occupiers on Refugees' Homes, Loss of Refugees' Homes "Modified" by anyone who might have Occupied them illegaly, Permanent Derogations to EU Law, Exclusion of ECHR, etc).

Since the start of ECHR's case-law on Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons (1996), the Turkish Government has, indeed, claimed that it would be materially "Impossible" for Ankara to pay "more than 22 Billions €" for Financial Compensation of Refugees, (reportedly based on the famous "Loizidou" ECHR judgements' calculation for 1 person), obviously implying that Turkey would Never accept (despite ECHR's case-law, and Contrary to what is going on even in the Western Balkans, where Croatia a.o. claim to be Open to Serbian a.o. Refugees' return) that many Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons ever find anew their Homes... This seems due to Ankara's eagerness to continue Military Occupation and/or other ways to keep a Total Control over Cyprus' Northern Coasts, perhaps because Turkey either has excessive fears for its own "Security" ..in front of Tiny Cyprus, or because some Lobbies might seek to secretly usurpate Cyprus' hidden Natural Resources, (such as rare Minerals, Oil/Gas, etc).

This has notoriously been a major Stumpling Block also in previous attempts to reUnify Cyprus. Not only because it affects a Large Number of People, (more than 20% of Greek Cypriots being Refugees/IDPs, something that inevitably counts in any Democratic Election and/or Vote). But also because an Excessive, Mass-Obstruction of Refugees/IDPs' Human Rights to return and/or find Restoration of their Family Homes and/or personal belongings, would inevitably provoke an "AppartHeid"-like Separation between 2 "Ethnically Cleaned" Areas, artificially composed and keeping most Greek Cypriots away from Turkish Cypriots, contrary to the aim of Cyprus' ReUnification : Obviously, by imposing for ever such an Ethnic Separation, even to the detriment of Refugees/IDP's Human Rights, a Risk is provoked to keep constantly Cyprus de facto Divided, Hindering the creation of Common Interests, so that Differends, Tensions and Conflicts may anew arise between the 2 Separated Parts, giving to some Foreign Powers a too "Easy" Prey for eventual cynical Destablization, so that Peace could be Undermined almost at any moment, and the island Condemned to chronic Instability,  against Europe's interests and UNO's official aims.

What complicates things is that the Leadership of Greek Cypriots had, nevertheless, been obliged, shortly after the Turkish Miiltary Invasion and Occupation, to formally accept to seek only a "Bi-Communal and Bi-Zonal Federal State" as a Political Solution, and this is, sometimes, abused by some Turkish argumentators as a Pretext for Excessive Restrictions of Refugees' Human Rights. But, in fact, the differend question of the Constitutional Structure and the Power-sharing in a New ReUnified State between Political Leadership, do not necessarily impose so Disproportional and too "Heavy" Derogations from Human Rights of Individual Citizens, while, also, other New,  Creative Solutions seem Intellectually possible to Imagine and propose at an Honest Negotiation Table, if all are really consciously animated by a sincere wish to reUnify and pacify the island in a Stable manner.

Normally, Cyprus should be an .. Easier problem to solve on Refugees' return, since Greek and Turkish Cypriots, fortunately, had Never engaged in quasi-generalized Bloody Conflicts spreading even among Civil Population, as it occurred in the ex-Yugoslavia's area at the Western Balkans, where, nevertheless, despite that, unlike Turkey's 35 Years long Refusal, on the contrary, Croatia and other involved Countries now clearly affirm their Willingness to help Refugees' Return, (including many ethnic Serbians) with Restitution of their Homes whenever possible, etc, which, indeed, advances, even if slowly, reportedly because of Economic hardships to overcome (See relevant earlier statements by Croatian Leaders to "EuroFora").

But, Experience shows, that, sometimes, even for some hidden reasons, Refugees' return issues might become, in fact, too nasty : F.ex. the unprecedented brutal Murder of UNO's Permanent Envoy at Iraq, the famous former UNO High Commissioner for Human Rights, Sergio de Mehlo, who had worked for Decades at the UNHC for Refugees, at nearby Geneva, helping numerous People to voluntarily return back Home after various conflicts all over the World, from Africa up to Latin America, the Balkans, Caucasus and Asia, etc., before being suddenly killed, together with his close collaborators, by a non-revendicated Bomb which exploded shortly after he reportedly anounced that he was preparing to help also many Kurdish Refugees to return at the Northern Area of Iraq, close to Kirkuk, where Turkey and others notoriously try to revendicate some rights or pretexts to intervene in the Oil/Gas-rich area, (2003).....  
- Thus, despite aknowledging the obvious Difficulties of the Task, Ban Ki Moon energetically expressed in Strasbourg, in his long reply to "EuroFora"'s first Question on Cyprus, his "Hope that they (i.e. the political Leaders) will be able to  resolve this long-standing issue, .... towards a Mutually Satisfying Agreement".

-  "The recent Opening, of a Crossing between the two Communities, at Limnites, (a long-awaited, Positive development aimed to locally facilitate Civil and Religious Movements, Meetings and Exchanges of People accross the "Green Line" which practically Divides the Island in two parts since the 1974 Turkish Military Invasion and continuing Occupation), ... is also a co-sign of their Commitment. to move Ahead", UNO's Head optimistically observed.

- In this regard, "I have been Urging,  in my Meetings with the two Leaders, President Christophias of Cyprus, and also Mr Eroglu of (the) Turkish Cypriot Community,  that it is Now Time to make Decisions, to make an Agreement", Ban Ki Moon revealed.

Apparently trying to Stimulate Serious Progres, while, at the same time, avoiding to set Time Deadlines, which have been explicitly excluded when this New Round of Talks started, in order to avoid any risk for eventually hastily imposed "recipes" which might fail : A well known Risk, against which,  all those who really want Cyprus' Reunification have understood that they must protect the Talks, in order to keep their flame alive and have a chance to succeed).

- Because, "during the last 2 Years (2009-2010), they have opened all their Positions, all their Cards", as he noted, speaking, however, shortly after the recent, April 2010 Political Change of the Leader of the Turkish Cypriot Community living in the Territories of Cyprus Occupied by Ankara's Army, replacing Mr. Talat (allegedly more open to compromises) by Mr. Eroglu (traditionally presented as, comparatively, more "Hardliner").

However, even Eroglu had taken part, together with other leaders of Cyprus' Political Parties, Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, at a landmark meeting organized by the CoE in Strasbourg back on 2003, and participated in a Symbolic event where they all jointly transplanted a unique young Tree, symbolizing Cyprus' Future ReUnification, at Orangerie's Parc in Strasbourg, (Comp. Eroglu's statements to "EuroFora"'s co-founder then)...

- "And now it's Time to Fold together whatever Cards can be Met Together", as UNO's SG characteristically put it, "and make Decisions", he suggested.

- This should be done, naturally, "on the Basis of Compromise and Flexibility", he advised.

- But, "most of all, a Long Vision, a Long Vision for their Future", UNO's Head stressed, apparently inciting all those directly involved to overcome any Short-Term, Short-sighted Expediences, but to search, instead, to build a real and succesful Common Future on Solid Basis, able to safeguard Essential Values and provide Stability.

 - At any case, "I'm' going to continue working together" with Europe for "this" purpose, Ban Ki Moon promissed.

 - "On this (Cyprus') case, "EU's role will be Crucially Important", UNO's SG admitted, (contrary to Turkey's traditional reluctance for a transparent, democratic and strong EU's involvement).


 - That's why, "I have been Discussing this matter with the European Leaders", Ban Ki Moon revealed during his 3 Days-long stay in Strasbourg, ( where he came from New York via Morocco and Paris, from Monday Evening up to Wednesday :  18-20 October , as "EuroFora" learned from other UNO's sources).

 - Indeed, "EU, which is the biggest Donor in the Word, (while also spending a lot of Taxpayers' Money for Turkey each year since the 1999-2000 controversial attribution of a "Candidate" status),  we (EU) don't want only to be a Payer, we want also to be a Player", stressed earlier EU Parliament's President Jerzy Buzek, underlying a general trend, which obviously includes also EU Member States as Cyprus, where EU traditionally had a permanent EU Council's Representative, as early as since the 1997 Irish EU Chairmanship, (See f.ex. published Statements to "EuroFora"'s Co-Founder by EU Council's 1st Representative to Cyprus' Top level Talks under UN Secretary General's auspices, already on 1997 at Montreux/Glyon - Switzerland)

But, curiously, Ban Ki Moon, (who had faced an exceptionally Intensive Day of astonishingly Numerous Meetings at many and various places in Strasbourg : from his CoE's Speech and Press point, to his EU Parliament's Plenary Speech and Press Conference, followed by a special event with the European Movement against Poverty, a visit to Strasbourg's Mayor, long debates at EUP's Foreign Affairs Committee, etc., including several Bilateral contacts, etc), apparently missed or implicitly put aside (without denying, but keeping, perhaps, for another moment), unless simply evoked only implicitly and indirectly (Comp. Supra), a concrete and explicit Reply to "EuroFora"'s main point about the need to sufficiently "Safeguard Human Rights and other EU/CoE Principes" (f.ex. Rule of Law, etc), so that Cyprus could experience a successful future ReUnification (See supra)

+ Earlier at the CoE, he had, nevertheless, stressed, as a matter of General Principle, the crucial importance of Human Rights for UNO's main Missions (See supra), and references to "Common Values" were omni-present also in Ban Ki Moon's statements to EU Parliament on EU - UNO cooperation....

-  However, meanwhile, EU Parliament's Legal affairs Committee, decided, by a coincidence, shortly after UNO's SG arrived to Strasbourg : on Monday Evening, by a Large Majority Vote of 18 MEPs against only 5, that there is No real Legal Basis in a highly Controversial, old Draft Regulation claiming to open "Direct Trade" to the Territories of Cyprus still under Military Occupation by Ankara's Army, which surprisingly treated the Northern Part of an Internationaly Recognized EU Member's Land as if it was ... a Foreign, "3rd Country", despite UNO Security Council's own Resolutions clearly asking to abstain from doing anything which might be exploited by an illegal, Separatist breakaway regime set up in those Occupied Territories, where almost all Greek Cypriots a.o. were obliged to flee, becoming Refugees/Displaced persons, and are still hindered to return to their Family Homes and Anvcestral Land, despite ECHR's case-law,  which repeatedly condemned Turkey for obstructing Refugees/IDP's return and usurpating their Homes and private properties, (from 1996 up to 2010, one of the recent ECHR's judgements having been published just on September).  

Confirming the findings of Experts of EU Council's and EU Parliament's Legal Services on this point, MEPs' Large Majority at the competent Legal affairs Committee, voted, on the contrary, in favor of a comparatively Lesss controversial possible Legal Basis, (that of EU - Cyprus' Treaty of Accession), which clearly recognizes Cyprus in its entirety, but observes the fact that, because of the persisting Foreign Military Occupation, EU Acquis' normal application is forcibly suspended in the Occupied Territories, until a solution is found. Something which, naturally, cannot nullify the existing Legal Obligation of all to respect and apply Judgements condeming anyone who might usurpate Refugees' Family Homes and/or private properties, (as EU's Court of Justice notoriously found recently at the "Orams" case), nor affect Refugees/DP's Human Rights to return to their Family Homes and/or to restoration of (and in case of impossibility : just indemnisation for)  their personal belongings, (according to ECHR's 1995-2010 well established case law).    

A main Differnce is that, in this case, obviously the Decision-making process requires the Agreement of the concerned Government at EU Council, (while, with the 3 times rejected, other version, vainly pushed by a Turkish lobby, an eventually opposed, even thin majority of other States could oblige an EU Member State to swallow anything that might be decided by others in a part of its own Country, without any possibility to have a Say, even on Crucial Issues, thereby threatening its Sovereignity (and, in Cyprus' case, even its existence, given the persisting Foreign Military Occupation by Ankara's Army), as a MEP from another EU Country critically observed before Monday's Vote.

The controversial Draft had been initially presented, a long time ago, by a former "Green" EU Commissioner, and kept on the Table by former EU Enlrgement Commissioner Verheugen, a Socialist from Germany, famous not only by his incredible Public Statement that : - "Torture in Turkey is not systematic" (sic !), and  by the fact that, immediately after quitting his job at EU Commission, he was... hired and paid by Turkey's Foreign Trade Board (!) as a "consultant" for Ankara's Commercial Interests, provoking MEP's Criticism and an 2010 EU Enquiry on possible Incompatibilities and Conflicts with his former EU Responsibilities...

Calls to definitively drop such a controversial measure as a "Direct Trade" claim vis a vis a Country's Territory Occupied by a Foreign Army, started now to multiply, but EU Parliament has yet to decide whether it would send the file right back to EU Council immediately, or not yet.

In fact, Turkish lobby has been curiously insisting on controversial "Direct Trade" claims for the Occupied Territories as early as since tha beginning of 2000, (as "EuroFora"'s co-founder observed for the 1st time while returning from a UNO-sponsored round of Cyprus' Top Talks at nearby Geneva).

However, during recent years, until now, it had started to claim that this should be a kind of Gift to give to the Turkish side because it would have started to keep a better attitude on Cyprus than in the Past...         

                                                                                                                                                                                This claim was indeed, vainly evoked before Monday's vote by a MEP of the Turkish lobby, who apparently ignored the fact that Turkey, and its representative as "T/C Leader" in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, (then Rauf Denktash, who had already rejected in the Past several UNO moves over Cyprus), had even openly ....Refused to accept a UN Secretary General (then Koffi Annan)'s Official Invitation to come at New York, to UNO's Headquarters, on 2001, to start a New round of Talks aimed to solve Cyprus" issue !

The only cause for such a Bluntly Negative behavior and Unprecedented Contempt vis a vis UNO and the International Community in general, was merely the fact that UNO's Secretary General, (Koffi Annan then), had simply added in his Invitation Letter that the forthcoming Talks should be held "on the Basis" of UNO Security Council's Resolutions on Cyprus' issue, (i.e. something elementary, as various Letters and Public Anouncements usually reminded)...

> By a strange Coincidence,Turkey was practically "Saved", then, from otherwise unavoidable EU - Sanctions" for its bluntly stubborn stance, only by ...9/11's Deadly Terrorist Attacks, which killed some 3.000 Innocent People at New York's World Trade Center !

Indeed, the UNO-sponsored official Meetings on Cyprus' Talks  had been scheduled for the Date of September 12, 2001, but were suddenly and brutally hindered by the September 11 tragic Events.... :  Cyprus' President (then  Clerides) had just arrived elsewhere in Northern America, where he was suddenly Blocked by Orders to Stop all AirFlights, and obliged, later-on, to return back in Europe after even UNO's Headquarters were exceptionally closed down for more than a week. It's in the unprecedented context of so exceptional events as 9/11's Barbary that Turkey succeeded then to "Hide" its blatant Contempt vis a vis UNO on Cyprus on 2001 (See Supra).

When, later-on, Turkey obtained, in completely differend circumstances, an exceptional EU call to "end the (so-called) Isolation" of Turkish Cypriots living in the areas Occupied by Anikra's Armly, despite Turkish Lobby's erroneous attempts to  link that 2004 event with their "Direct Trade" older controversial claim (See Supra), as a MEP asked even now, on 2010 (!), in fact, this was already done with the 2005 EU Decision (in Agreement with Cyprus' Government) to earmark EU Funds for the Turkish Cypriots living the Occupied Territories, which should aim to advance the "Economic Integration" of Cyprus' as  reUnified Country, (and not stir Sepratism), as the EU Regulation clearly stresses, endorsing statement that EU Chairman in office, Dutch Foreign Minister, had then given to "EuroFora'"s co-Founder when this Measure was prepared.                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Moreover, in addition to the already existing possibility for Turkish Cypriots to use the Seaports of the Free Areas of the Republic for their Foreign Trade, as well as the "Green Line" Regulation for inter-Communal Trade, Cyprus has repeatedly proposed also  to legally open Famagusta's Seaport for both Turkish and Greek Cypriots' Foreign Trade, in exchange of Refugees' return to their Homes and Properties located in the Deserted area of the fenced "Ghost" Town, according to UNO's relevant Resolutions, other MEPs reminded EU Parliament's Legal affairs Committee before Monday evening's Vote (See supra).

But the most important Political reason for EU Parliament's decision to reject the controversial Draft that a controversial previous EU Commissioner had tabled (See supra), seems to be the fact that any eventual "Direct Trade" with Foreign Countries by an illegal entity of a Breakaway regime explicitly condemned by UNO's SC Resolutions, in Territories Occupied by a Foreign Army and deserted by their Lawful and ancestral Inhabitants, obliged to be transformed into Refugees/Displaced persons and still hindered by Turkey to return to their Family Homes and properties, in a  persisting Massive Violation to ECHR's case-law, would obviously risk to put in serious Danger the efforts to reUnify Cyprus : By provoking Separatist Interests, such a highly controversial measure would, in fact, threaten to  provoke an "immediate Collapse of (interCommunal) Peace Talks in 10 minutes !", as the current Head of Cyprus' Delegation to EU Parliament, MEP Takis Hadjigeorgiou, from the Governing AKEL Party, characteristically warned.during Monday evenings' debates...

Indeed, already the Historic American Constitutionalist, Alexander Hamilton, in his famous "Federalist Papers", had clearly warned that, in order to prevent Tensions, Conflicts and repetitions of bloody Civil Wars in the USA and/or elsewhere, it's necessary to avoid measures risking to provoke Diverging Interests and/or to be abused and manipulated by Foreign Countries in order to stir Differends, such as, f.ex. Separate Foreign Trade policies between Federated States : Instead, in order to create a Coherent and Solid Federation, its entities must have a Unified Foreign Trade Policy, among a long series of similar Measures needed in order to create Converging Interests able to ciment an Harmonious, Peaceful and Stable, integrated Federation in the Future. Obviously, all this goes even more, a fortiori, in the case of a Country still semi-Occupied by a Foreign Army, as Cyprus' northern territories which are still illegally controlled by Ankara's Army... Here, a special attention naturally needs to be placed into searching to find key domains of activity where Greek and Turkish Cypriots could have vital Joint Interests to work together.

Ban Ki Moon : Strasbourg symbol ?

Speaking later on Tuesday about Strasbourg city itself, Ban Ki Moon, who was visiting "for the 1st time" the area together with his Wife (present even at EU Parliament's Press Conference, right in front of "EuroFora"), didn't only observe that "UNESCO designated the entire City Centre a World Heritage Site", and expressed the "hope" to "taste some of the famous Traditional Food of the region" "Alsace", on which he "had a preview .. just recently at New York", when "Mrs Ban and I were very privileged", by meeting "a Chef from Alsace" (Gerichten), who "cooked for us in our kitchen when I invited President Sarkozy last year" (2009), as he reminded.

Going well beyond that, UNO's SG started by pointing at the Republic's Square famous Statute picturing a special Pieta : "A Mother grieving for her two fallen Sons – killed fighting on opposite sides", as he said, denouncing "a poignant reminder of the price we pay when we allow Division to undermine concord" : Something which fits, at least partly with Cyprus and other cases where an infamous "Divide and Rule" policy provokes and exploits Tragic Dramas of bloody Divisions, Apartheid and other Separatist Partitions.


UNO itself "was born from the ashes of the Second World War, a war that destroyed Europe", he reminded. But, "Europe should be proud of what it has built since those Dark days : A society built on mutual acceptance. A community that is still reaching out and expanding", "at the Heart" of which "lies Strasbourg".

 - That's one more reason for which "Strasbourg"'s, CoE and EU Parliament's HQ, is "better" placed in order "to conduct" an "Orchestra" playing "Symphonies of sense", with "tunes of Tolerance", and "Swetter Sounds" than "the Ugly cries of Prejudice", in a "City" which "stands for Harmony, for Human Rights, Countries and Cultures working Together for a Common Goal", after having "always known strife" in a remote Past", before it "was chosen as CoE's seat, as a Symbol of reconciliation", and became "Europe's Legislative and Democratic Capital" .

Reminding also that, "more than half a Century ago Strasbourg was Home to Johannes Gutenberg", whose invention, the "printing Press helped spread Knowledge, Ideas, Values to a public far and Wide", so that "It changed History". But, also "Today Strasbourg – Home of the CoE and EU Parliament – still has a Power to Transform our World, for the Better", he optimistically (and/or with voluntarism)...


If Strasbourg might have a  chance to efficiently contribute into convincing Turkey to really respect elementary Human Rights, as well as all or most of those parties, directly or indirectly but seriously involved on Cyprus' issue, (an Historic, Institutional and Values' Testbed of Europe's credibility, creativity, consciousness and political will, as well as of Global Community's capacity to regenerate its values), in succesfully starting to overcome the island's Tragic Divisions by developing a New Atmosphere made out of sincere rejection of Crimes or Errors of the Past,  replaced by fresh aspirations to build a much Better Future, with Converging Interests and common desire for a really Unified, stable, peaceful and properous Island, (the last point being rather easy for the Strategically located Cyprus, (in front of Suez Channel, at the Crossroads of 3 Continents), with active People, both Greek Cypriots and Turkish Cypriots, as well as Maronites, Armenians, Latinos, etc), then, UN SG Ban Ki Moon's symbolic litterature may become fertile in real fields opening new Horizons with larger scope.


(UNO's SG Ban Ki Moon with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland and Cyprus' Ambassador/Permanent Representative at the CoE, Euripides Evriviades : - "We studied together at the "Kennedy" School, in Harvard", he explained smiling to a surprised "EuroFora")...


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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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