April 12, 2016
The war in Afghanistan and the invasion of Iraq damaged Washington’s claim to world’s moral leadership, particularly America’s public discourse on spreading democracy. Russia and China did not entertain such claims. This left the world with the EU for inspiration. Democracy promotion, however, depends on a robust foreign policy as well as consistency.
Official website of the EU says that foreign and security policy, which has developed gradually over many years, enables the EU to speak and act as one in world affairs; that acting together gives the EU’s 28 members far greater clout than they would have if each pursued its own policies. It also states that the 2009 Lisbon Treaty has strengthened this policy area by creating:
- the post of EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and,
- the European External Action Service (EEAS) – the EU’s diplomatic corps.
Okumaya devam et
March 20, 2016
The EU-Turkey Statement of March 18, 2016 starts with these two paragraphs (*):
“Today the Members of the European Council met with their Turkish counterpart. This was the third meeting since November 2015 dedicated to deepening Turkey-EU relations as well as addressing the migration crisis.
“The Members of the European Council expressed their deepest condolences to the people of Turkey following the bomb attack in Ankara on Sunday. They strongly condemned this heinous act and reiterated their continued support to fight terrorism in all its forms.”
Dictionaries define “as well as” in the following way: “and in addition”, “and also”. So, at first look, one may assume that the “meeting of the Members of the European Council and their Turkish counterparts” was essentially about “deepening Turkey-EU relations” and “in addition” or “and also” they addressed the migration crisis. Wrong! Okumaya devam et
March 8, 2016
The 1951 Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees defines the refugee as someone who is unable or unwilling to return to his/her country of origin owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion. The Convention stipulates that its provisions are to be applied without discrimination as to race, religion or country of origin. Developments in international human rights law have reinforced the principle that the Convention be applied without discrimination. The Convention also lays down basic minimum standards for the treatment of refugees, “without prejudice to States granting more favorable treatment”. Such rights include access to the courts, to primary education, to work.
Syrian conflict has created huge refugee problems for neighboring Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. This is what the European Commission says in its “ECHOFACT SHEET” on the refugee situation in Turkey:
• “The overwhelming influx of refugees into Turkey has reached over 3.1 million registered, making Turkey the largest host of refugees in the world.
• “In 2016 some 126 166 people have arrived through Turkey to Greece by sea. 91% come from the world’s top 10 refugee-producing countries.
• “About 90% of Syrian refugees in Turkey remain outside of camp settings with limited access to basic services.
• “UNHCR estimates that more than half of the Syrian refugees are children, with 400 000 children remaining out of school…” (*) Okumaya devam et
September 25, 2015
In October 2012 President Assad said that Syria’s downfall would put the entire Middle East on fire. Now the heat from that fire, if not the flames, has reached Europe in the form of a refugee crisis. Conflict over proposed refugee quotas reflects varying degrees of attachment to the core values defining the EU. Some former Soviet bloc countries are finding it difficult to put into practice the principles they had aspired to for decades. In view of the numbers involved and the urgency of the situation this is understandable to a certain extent. After all it has only been two decades since their adhesion to the EU and absorbing the essence of such principles takes time. Okumaya devam et