European Council meeting (14 December 2017) : Conclusions


The European Union’s position is extremely clear. We have expressed it in these days in a united manner – from my side, from the foreign ministers of the 28 Member States came a very clear message, including to Prime Minister Netanyahu on Monday.

I think it was heard in a very loud and clear manner, not only in the Arab world, not only with our Palestinian friends, but also in Israel, in Washington and the international community at large. This morning I received Foreign Minister of Indonesia Ms Retno Marsudi – the largest Muslim country in the world – who came here to discuss about Jerusalem, appreciating the position of the EU. The world knows where the EU stands on Jerusalem – the capital of two states along 1967 lines.

The European Union’s position is clear, determined and very well known. We are now working on giving this a perspective. Heads of State and Governments will decide whether they want to include this position in their formal statement or not but this is and will stay the consolidated position of the EU in any case.
Federica Mogherini
High Representative/Vice-President

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EU Leaders’ Summit – 14 – 15 December in Brussels


 

No Turkey at the Dinner’s Table

The Last Summit of the Year 2017 is reserved more internal problems and topics than International issues..

The EU engages more directly on the politically sensitive issues of EMU and migration.

Chancellor Merkel and President Macron will also report on the implementation of the Minsk Agreements, with a view to renewing economic sanctions vis-à-vis Russia. Prime Minister Michel has also asked to raise the question of the United States’ decision to move their embassy to Jerusalem.

Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO). This will be a historic moment, not only because we are witnessing European countries taking up long-term defence activities together. But also because of the context and how this decision came about. his example of unity in practice should be an inspiration to all of us, and hopefully a good omen for other important decisions.

Finally, the European Council will decide whether it is time to move our negotiations with the UK to the next phase. Whether we have enough guarantees that citizens’ rights, EU financial interests and the integrity of the Good Friday Agreement in Ireland will be effectively protected when the UK leaves the EU.

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Guess who’s coming to Breakfast!


 

Netanyahu «invited» by the EU in Brussels.

In the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council, EU foreign ministers will meet with Prime Minister Netanyahu. They will discuss the Middle East peace process, bilateral relations and regional developments.

It can be expected that ministers will discuss consequences of the US President’s announcement on 6 December regarding the status of Jerusalem, and its implications for the Middle East peace process and regional stability. In her reaction, the High Representative expressed the EU’s serious concern about the announcement and the repercussions this may have on the prospect of peace. She confirmed that the EU position remains unchanged: The aspirations of both parties must be fulfilled and a way must be found through negotiations to resolve the status of Jerusalem as the future capital of both states. She has also called on all actors on the ground and in the wider region to show calm and restraint in order to prevent any escalation.

Ministers will also discuss how the EU can further contribute to preserving and fostering stability in the region.

© photocredit

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COUNTERTERRORISM YEARBOOK 2017


 

Security Challenges Faced by Turkey!

Turkey chapter discusses the security implications of the failed coup plot, the underlying dynamics of the PKK insurgency and IS militancy and the government’s response to these twin security challenges.

Post-coup commentary has focused primarily on the bitter feud between President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the reclusive Pennsylvania-based Muslim cleric, Fethullah Gulen. That’s unsurprising, in the light of the Turkish Government’s allegation that Gulen had a central role in the coup plot.

However, this oversimplifies the coup by sheeting it home to the relationship between two consequential personalities while ignoring the deep polarisation in Turkish society as its root cause. Recent opinion polls reveal the extent to which ideological, sectarian and ethnic divisions bedevil Turkish politics and society.

Turkey’s botched coup and its aftermath have occurred at a time of a rising PKK insurgency and IS militancy. Wholesale changes to the military, intelligence apparatus and security forces have raised concerns over the country’s readiness to counter security threats, whether from Kurdish nationalism or Islamist militancy.

Turkey’s secular–religious and Turkish–Kurdish cleavages created the enabling environment for the botched coup. Putschists sought to exploit fractures in society and visceral feelings towards Erdogan but underestimated the overwhelming popular preference for electoral politics over military intervention.

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EU Foreign Affairs Council and Syria Conference…


 

…and NATO Foreign Ministers’ Meetings

Foreign Affairs Council: EU for Syria, the situation in Libya, the situation in Yemen, EU and the League of Arab States, conclusions on the promotion and protection of the rights of the child, EU and the League of Arab States, The new partnership agreement is expected to be adopted at the London Somalia Conference on 11 May 2017.

Syria Conference: Bringing together ministerial representatives from 70 delegations, including from the EU and the region but also the wider international community, the United Nations, major donors and civil society, humanitarian and development organisations, the conference will address the situation in Syria and the impact of the crisis in the region.

NATO: First, fair burden-sharing to keep the transatlantic bond strong. The Alliance have started to increase defence spending, but needs to keep up the momentum and meet the pledge the allies have all made.
The second major topic will be stepping up NATO’s efforts to project stability and fight terrorism.

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Protecting children affected by the refugee crisis…


 

Main challenges for migrant and refugee children in Europe

The fields raise serious concern:

Identification and age assessment

Registration and guardianship

Adequate reception conditions including preventing and responding effectively to disappearances

Alternatives to detention for families and suitable alternative care arrangements for unaccompanied and separated children

Accurate information, quality legal aid and access to child-friendly procedures

Preventing and responding to violence, trafficking and exploitation

Education and integration measures

Access to health services

Relocation and resettlement

Family reunification

Statelessness

Transition to adulthood

The [SRSG,]carried out four fact-finding missions to Greece and “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, Turkey, northern France (Calais and Grande-Synthe) and Italy.

[Full Report]

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EU Foreign and General Affairs Councils’ Meeting – Brussels


 

Western Balkans, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Egypt, Migration, Middle East peace process, Security and Defence…

brussels

Defence: to review progress on: operational planning and conduct capability, permanent structured cooperation, coordinated annual review on defence, EU’s rapid response toolbox, including the EU battlegroups and civilian capabilities, capacity building in support of security and development, situational awareness and defence capability development. Responding to external conflicts and crises, building the capacities of partners, and protecting the European Union and its citizens.

Western Balkans: The High Representative Mogherini will brief on her visit to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. Council expected to reconfirm the EU engagement and focus on the region, including through political and economic ties. Also stress the need to deliver on reforms, to ensure that the partners progress steadily on the European path. regional cooperation.

Middle East Peace Process: EU’s strong commitment to long-standing consolidated positions; not least on the two-state solution, on settlements and on Jerusalem and to continue working to achieve a comprehensive peace deal, preserve the viability of the two-state solution and reverse ongoing negative trends on the ground.

Sameh Hassan Shoukry: political developments, economic reforms, cooperation in various sectors, including counter-terrorism and migration, as well as Egypt’s role in the region, in particular in regards to Libya, Syria and the Middle East peace process.

Migration: key element of a sustainable migration policy is to ensure effective control of our external border and stem illegal flows into the EU. EU leaders stressed the importance of stabilising Libya and expressed willingness to step up their work with Libya as the main country of departure for crossings of the Mediterranean sea, as well as with its North African and sub-Saharan neighbours.

Children’s rights: EU Guidelines for the promotion and protection of the rights of the child (2017) – “Leave No Child Behind”. With these guidelines, the EU reaffirms its commitment to comprehensively protect and promote the rights of the child in its external human rights policy.

© photocredit

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