EU Summit December 2020 - Politics | PoFo

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By noemon
The summit of EU leaders is to be held tomorrow to decide on 3 very hot-topics.

1) The imposition of sanctions on Turkey
2) The EU budget and the veto of Poland and Hungary
3) Brexit

1) The imposition of sanctions on Turkey

Sanctions against Turkey at the very least for arms should be a given as Turkey has in the course of a single year:

a) officially declared the annexation of EU territorial waters with the Turkish-Libya accord that took place last December 2019
b) sent drilling survey ships to prospect the annexed territory in total violation of UN laws
c) reopened the occupied town of Ammochostos in Cyprus in contravention of several UN security council resolutions
d) is openly calling for a revision of the Lausanne Treaty
e) is openly calling for war against both Greece & Cyprus

The EU has already decided in the October Summit that:
sanctions should be placed if Turkey fails to remove herself from the aforementioned "occupied territorial waters", in addition during the same summit Turkey was offered an extended customs union agreement that she has been seeking for decades in order to sweeten the deal. Erdogan instead of accepting the offer, spat on it and kept his warships in the waters up until 5 days ago, he did the same thing in 2 previous summits as well. The EU President has already stated that playing "cat & mouse" with Turkey must come to an end tomorrow.
The main obstacles to sanctions are Germany, Spain & Hungary. Germany and Spain refuse to halt their military sales to Turkey even when those military weapons directly threaten the security of EU members. Hungary's Orban on the other hand sells no weapons to Turkey but they both adhere to Pan-Turkic narratives(with Orban essentially calling Hungarians 'Christian Turks') while also maintaining excellent personal relations between Orban and Erdogan. Spain's military sales are extremely low while Germany's stealth-submarine deal is quite large. It should be noted though that France halted the naval sales to Russia during the Crimean crisis and these multi-billion worth of ships were eventually sold to Egypt. Germany can also easily re-sell her stealth submarines to someone else instead of Turkey and even Trump stopped the sales of F-35 to Turkey as well as Canada who stopped all drone technology sales to Turkey.

How can Germany or the EU pretend to care about international law, and liberal values and norms when they are not taking any action against a country that has officially declared the annexation of EU territory while breaking a list of UN security council resolutions and UN laws to boot.


2) The EU budget and the veto of Poland and Hungary

The EU has initiated a new "law" that is so-called "rule of law" that has been adopted by 'qualified majority' rather than total consensus under special regulations that came into force during the financial crisis. This new law stipulates that EU countries can be punished by having their funding cut if they diverge from 'democratic & liberal values'. The EU is planning to use this to cut its funding to Poland and Hungary unless they take back things that the EU considers to be against its values. Lots of talk but very little specificity on this regard about Polish and Hungarian alleged anti-gay and anti-abortion legislation with the recent scandal in Hungary just throwing more coal into the fire. On top of the anti-gay anti-abortion stuff there is also talk about media freedoms in those countries as well as attempts by the central government to remove the independence of various bodies. Poland and Hungary on their part have vetoed the EU's budget in an attempt to prevent the "rule of law" from being adopted even though the 2 are not related with each other. Poland and Hungary are essentially saying to the EU: "forgo the rule of law and we will allow the budget to go through". The EU has come back threatening to go ahead with the Budget by ignoring the Polish, Hungary veto altogether.


3) Brexit. The only holdout to a Brexit deal from the EU's side is France who is seeking to protect its fishing industry by maintaining access to British fishing grounds. For a liberal & capitalist government like Johnson's that should not be a problem as EU fishermen should be able to compete with each other without hindrance, if French fishermen dominate British waters is because of being better at it after having spent decades competing on the field. EU fishermen should maintain access on British waters and British fishermen to EU waters. For Boris that is a political matter however that would destroy the pro-EU Scottish nationalists, if Boris gives British(essentially Scottish) fishermen a larger catch then he will be a "hero" while the Scottish nationalists "traitors". Political hot-potato for both. There is also the issue of the level-playing field and the nature of the arbitration mechanism but these are major issues in all free-trade deals and can be overcome.

Lots of tough choices to be made.

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