A shortened EU Summit admits failures, makes risky promises

European Council, Brussels 15/12/2016. From left to right: Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Brita Haj Hassan, Mayor of East Aleppo. Understandably, after the fall or the liberation of East Aleppo, Hassan is a mayor without a city. Shoot location: Bruxelles – Belgium. Shoot date: 15/12/2016. Copyright: European Union.

European Council, Brussels 15/12/2016. From left to right: Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, Brita Hagi Hassan, Mayor of East Aleppo. Understandably, after the fall or the liberation of East Aleppo, Hagi Hassan is a mayor without a city. Shoot location: Brussels – Belgium. Shoot date: 15/12/2016. Copyright: European Union.

Last Thursday, 15 December, the cut down to one day European Summit, confirmed that Europe continues on the wrong path. The 27 + 1 leaders acknowledged the complete failure of key policies regarding Syria and Turkey and kept making promises to Ukraine and Georgia they cannot honor. Unfortunately, Brussels refuses to learn the lessons still being delivered by the fuming ruins of the complete destruction of Libya and Syria.

Now Europe pretends it tries to reconstruct Libya out of the carcasses its past policies have left on the ground. As for Syria, the perfect deadlock was accomplished last week, after the Bashar al-Assad forces helped by Russia plus Shia Muslim fighters from Iran and the Lebanese Hezbollah took control of East Aleppo, throwing out the extreme Sunni mercenaries. No end then in sight for EU’s refugee and immigrant problems. Assad controls now the entire Aleppo, the largest city of Syria, once the industrial and economic center of the country.

Past blunders

Alas, it’s not the first time Europe completely destroys a country and then pretends it’s business as usual. This is the helpless case of Bosnia-Herzegovina, where the once well faring bread basket of central Europe, a paradigm of peaceful coexistence of different races and religions, is now incapable to offer anything to its destitute inhabitants. The region is practically run by a bunch of corrupt local ‘politicians’ aka Mafiosi, salaried by Brussels. Shocking unemployment rates and extreme poverty is the standard for the rest of the population.

Coming back to the latest EU blunders, the breakdown of the EU-Turkey agreement and the reopening of Libya – Central Mediterranean immigration and refugee route to Italy must be wholly and directly charged to Brussels’ faulty policies. Let’s follow the string of facts. The central- Med route reopened after the EU-Turkey agreement was struck last March. Brussels had paid dearly for Ankara’s consent, but the reopening of the Libya-Mediterranean-Italy route proved that the EU gained nothing out of it. On top of that, Turkey can now threaten Europe with three million immigrants and refugees.

In view of all that, last Thursday afternoon, the European Council President, Donald Tusk, said “Leaders stressed their commitment to implement the EU-Turkey Statement (n.b. this is the Agreement), which also requires continued efforts from Turkey”. As if the implementation of the agreement with Turkey to control the immigrant flows on her soil depends of the EU leaders. Not a word about the extortive tactics of the Turkish ‘Sultan’ Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who keeps demanding visa free travels to Europe for the 75 millions of his compatriots.

Erdogan’s blackmail

From his point of view Erdogan is right to insist on that, because last March when the agreement was struck, the EU essentially promised visa free travel to Turks within a brief period of three months. The agreement foresaw that Turkey had to control and restrict the refugees and immigrants flows to the Greek islands and also take back those who would be refused asylum in Greece. In return, the EU even promised to pay €3+3 billion and introduce visa free entry to Europe for the Turks.

All along the past months only some tens of people were returned back to Turkey from Greece. For that only, Ankara has already cashed in some hundreds of millions euro in return. In reality, Erdogan unofficially ordered the Turkish police and coast guard forces – widely known for illicitly supporting if not organizing the refugee and immigrants embarkations for the Greek islands – to withhold or release the flows of people, according to the developments between Ankara and Brussels. These flagrantly extortive tactics of Ankara taciturnly constituted the official foreign Turkish policy and the EU accepted it.

Who fights for what

The result is that, today, Ankara can threaten Europe with sending three million refugees and immigrants stationed on Turkish soil over the Aegean Sea and. In short, with the EU consent, Erdogan doesn’t recognize any responsibility relating to the incredible flows of refugees and immigrants passing from Syria to Turkey, despite the fact that his country eagerly accepted the role of the destructive force in Syria. This role was of course delegated to Turkey by the West, including, of course, the EU.

No wonder then why Turkey supported all the extremist Sunni Muslim militant groups, including the ISIS murders who systematically engaged in ruining Syria. These extreme Sunni jihadist groups organized and supported by Turkey were and still are the only important forces opposing Assad. Mind you, the Syrian Kurds never fought against Assad. Surely, the US and Europe had no other choice for a proxy army against Assad on the ground, than the jihadist groups organized by Turkey and financed by the oil-rich Sunni kingdoms of the Gulf. The US though cleverly managed to ally with the Kurds and now can count on a quite reliable partner.

As it turns out however, Turkey’s proxy fighters on the ground are now totally defeated, being thrown out from Aleppo. Consequently, not without a very good reason Erdogan is the main loser from the fall of Aleppo. As a result, he is badly cornered, having to make face to the dreadful prospect of the war slowly but surely moving within Turkey. Last week’s deadly terrorist attacks in Turkey are a terrible omen of that. So there is no end in the bloody game played in the greater region of north Syria and south-east Turkey, not to say anything about north Iraq and the fight of Mosul.

More risks with Russia

An equally dangerous game is now played by Brussels, with the EU preparing to offer visa free travel to Ukrainians and Georgians. Kiev and Tbilisi are the worst enemies of Moscow, actually engaged in warfare against Russia. So, it’s more than obvious that the EU, by actively supporting those two countries, comes into direct conflict with Russia. Last Thursday, the European Council, apart from extending the sanctions against Moscow, also decided to go ahead with the visa waiver for the 50 millions of Ukrainians and Georgians. Even the Hague government in the Netherlands appears ready to overturn the ‘no’ of last April’s referendum, when the Dutch people rejected the open door EU policy towards Ukraine.

Prime Minister Mark Rutte is ready to propose to the Dutch parliament a vote to override last April’s referendum results and undersign the EU-Ukraine Association Agreement. Still, the EU promises something it cannot deliver. It’s out of question that, in the foreseeable future, 50 million of Ukrainians and Georgians will be given the opportunity for vise free travel to the EU. In this way though, Brussels and many EU member states, led by Germany and France, want to allure the Kiev and Tbilisi governments, offering them a real ‘goody’ they can ‘sell’ to their internal audiences, in order for Ukraine and Georgia to continue belonging to the anti-Russia line.

Lying to Ukrainians and Georgians

In reality, no EU country will ever accept to give the right of visa free entries in the EU for the 50 millions of Ukrainians and Georgians, even though many of them are eager to abandon their destitute countries and move westwards. No wonder the EU is playing a very dangerous game attempting to cheat the Ukrainians and Georgians. Understandably, such premeditated lies, when exposed, usually create more damage than the short term political gains they offer. The EU, being unwilling to tender substantial economic support to those two countries in order to keep them in the anti-Russian camp, uses lies and tricks instead. But the final cost will be much greater than the short-lived gains.

After this EU bellicose policy against Russia, what Tusk had to say about strengthening the military capabilities of the EU, came quite naturally. He explained that “Today we also agreed to step up our work on security and defense, in partnership with NATO. It is evident that Europe needs to do more to fulfill our international responsibilities and to protect our own citizens. We committed to increase cooperation and to allocate more resources to security and defense”.

Money for guns not for people

Perfect! At a time where more than one fifth of all Europeans are at the brink of poverty and social exclusion, EU’s leaders decide to spend more on armaments. It is as if the EU took to the letter the message of the US President-elect Donald Trump, who asked Europe to increase military spending. Not a word about the real everyday problems of the European society and of some crisis stricken member states in particular. Those very problems though have brought to the surface extreme political forces which threaten the very basic values upon which the Union is built.

Still, last week’s Summit had nothing to say on that. This is, possibly, the way the EU prepares for the Trump era, by increasing defense and security spending and tightening the squeeze on European societies. This is exactly what Trump also prepares for the Americans, after having stolen their votes. He forgets though that some of his predecessors were impeached for much less.

The Brexit

Last but not least regarding the Brexit the European Council just confirmed the principles concerning the procedure for Britain to leave the EU. Tusk said that the 27 had an informal meeting after the British Prime Minister left the Summit. He confirmed that they finalized the procedural planning for the Brexit and the principles, “meaning the indivisibility of the four freedoms, the balance of rights and obligations and the rule ‘no negotiations without notification’”. Of course this position doesn’t necessarily reflect the British stance.

In conclusion, last Thursday’s European Council proved that the EU is going deeper and deeper into a vicious cycle, unable to confront the centrifuge of Eurosceptic forces. Soon, internal aggressiveness and chauvinism may possibly take hold of the political developments in the EU, further weakening what is left of the old cohesive dynamic.

 

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