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Focus on Estonia: Chapter 3

Europe/Policy/Politics di

The celebrations of the 60th Anniversary of the EU foundation held in Rome during the last weekend, gives us the opportunity to talk about Estonia, as we promised in our previous articles, from an european point of view.  

As we mentioned, Estonia is holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU in the second half of 2017, starting from july, and taking over this job from Malta. This means that Estonia will be responsible for defining the Council’s positions, while taking into account the interests of all member States and remaining neutral at the same time.

Estonia will act as the first country of its &trio&, in partnership in the next 2018, with Bulgaria and Austria. We described what the &trio& in other previous occasions. This estonian &european& task will end while the country will start its centennial anniversary in the mentioned 2018 (in effects, Estonian consider the period under the Soviet Union like a military occupation; and also a good part of the international community recognizes that their history, as an indipendent State, never stopped during that period).The Estonian Permanent Representation to EU

While new legislation is normally initiated by the European Commission, it is negotiated and adopted by the Council of the European Union, which represents the governments of member states, and the European Parliament: national ministers from each country meet at Council meetings to take decisions at the political level. The most important rule is that the meetings are chaired by the Minister of the country holding the EU presidency, and this procedure also works at the strategical groups level and at the techinical subgroups level (the so called working parties).

During the presidency, Estonia will be responsible for leading the work of nearly 200 working parties in both Brussels and Tallinn, organizing the work of the Council and working parties, developing agendas for meetings, trying to achieve common positions trough the single different opinions, while chairing the meetings and negotiating. As leader of the Council, Estonia will have to face the Commission and the Parliament in negotiations.

All the issues which the Presidency will focus on comes from the past; but each Presidency generally tries to add something more, something specific that should be remembered at the political and legislative level.

From official sources, we read that the Baltic republic will focus on the single and digital markets, the energy union and the closer integration of the Eastern partners into Europe. They also want to promote and disseminate e-solutions across the Union and support the information society in EU policy areas (as we said, in our first intervention, Estonia is the most “e-educated” country in Europe).

It has been planned that approximately 20 high-level meetings will be held in Estonia, during the semester (JHA and defense/security events included). In addition, while the majority of meetings and working meetings will take place in Brussels, on the other hand, Estonia is going to host nearly 200 different events, whose scale of levels will be different, with an expected total of 20,000 to 30,000 international guests. So, it’s a fact that this future and temporary leader will increase its visibility in the fields of culture, business, information technology, tourism, education and research, raising in the meanwhile all issues which are important for Estonians.

Organizing the Presidency also means increasing the country’s capacity to have a say and assert its interests and objectives in Europe and elsewhere. The Government already declared that the semester will not be an one-off effort, but the work done and the related investments are supposed to bring long-term benefits for the country.

This strategical work starts from the past. Since 2012, the Government of this smart and high-technological country formed a commission responsible for the preparations for the presidency, chaired by the Secretary of State and started to recruit and train the necessary staff, organizing the above mentioned unofficial ministerial meetings and other high-level events.

c-justus lipsius ilustracka_mensiaTogether with the Committee of Estonia 100, which is not obviously related to the semester, they prepared the political and legislative time table of the Presidency, with the aim to earn time and save money and efforts in order to jointly implement an international programme in foreign countries to introduce Estonia and Estonian culture.

Approximately 100 officials and support staff will supplement the existing staff of the Estonian Permanent Representation to the European Union in Brussels.

This demonstrates that this IT-high-specialized country, formerly governed by the Soviet Union, is now playing an important role in its history and in all the European main issues. What we’ve tried to show in these chapters is that Estonia represents a modern country, available to host international institutions, open to new fundamental political experiences, like the Presidency and the celebrations of its centennial anniversary.

In the next chapter we will focus on the NATO in Estonia, and the “estonian NATO” seen by Russia.

Libia: le divisioni interne e lo scenario politico italiano

Le divisioni interne libiche e la realpolitik di casa nostra. La vicenda legata alla liberazione dei due ostaggi italiani Filippo Calcagno e Gino Pollicardo, rapiti in Libia lo scorso 20 luglio, si è intrecciata infatti attorno alle divisioni tribali del Paese nordafricano e alla reazione del premier Matteo Renzi nei confronti della stampa nazionale e degli alleati internazionali, in particolar modo degli Stati Uniti.

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La notizia della liberazione e le congetture

La notizia della scomparsa di Salvatore Failla e Fausto Piano (le due salme saranno sottoposte ad autopsia a Tripoli e non in Italia) di giovedì 3 marzo è stata seguita, il giorno successivo, da quella della liberazione degli altri due italiani e colleghi Filippo Calcagno e Gino Pollicardo. Una concomitanza particolare dopo gli scontri tra le milizie di Sabrata e i jihadisti dell’Isis e la notizia della liberazione nella stessa località quasi preannunciata dal presidente del Copasir Marco Minniti nella giornata di giovedì, quando ha assicurato che gli altri due italiani erano “in vita”.

Una concomitanza che ha lasciato scettici alcuni osservatori italiani e la vedova di Failla: “Lo Stato italiano ha fallito: la liberazione dei due ostaggi è stata pagata con il sangue di mio marito”, ha affermato.

Le difficili trattative per il rientro dei due dipendenti della Bonatti

Aldilà delle congetture, i fatti della giornata di sabato 5 marzo sono stati convulsi. Dapprima, con il presidente del Consiglio Renzi che aveva preannunciato il rientro dei due italiani entro la serata. Poi, con il complicarsi del ritorno a casa dei due italiani.

Infatti, il governo italiano aveva inviato a Sabrata, luogo dove i due dipendenti della Bonatti sono stati liberati, due funzionari. Ma le autorità della città, in aperto contrasto con Tripoli, hanno richiesto, e ottenuto, che Filippo Calcagno e Gino Pollicardo venissero prelevati anche dalla delegazioni ufficiale del governo della capitale libica: “Non siamo rispettati come doveroso – ha dichiarato al Corriere della Sera Taher Algribli, uno dei capi militari che partecipato alle operazioni militari contro il Daesh -. Vogliamo delegazioni ufficiali del Ministro degli Esteri libico. Dopotutto, i ragazzi hanno combattuto e sono morti per battere l’Isis”.

Una volta risolta la questione, l’unità di crisi della Farnesina ha dovuto gestire il difficile spostamento di Calcagno e Pollicardo, attesi domenica in Italia dopo essere transitati dalla difficile rotta da Sabrata a Mellitah, per poi essere trasportati in elicottero a Tripoli, da dove un aereo li riporterà a Roma.

Divisioni interne alla Libia

Una questione, quello dello scontro tra Tripoli e Sabrata, a testimonianza delle divisioni interne al tessuto sociale, politico e militare della Libia. Oltre alla crescente radicalizzazione dello Stato Islamico in più zone del Paese, quello che preoccupa gli osservatori internazionali è il contrasto non solo tra i governi di Tripoli e Tobruk, ma anche tra le tante fazioni e tribù locali. Un ostacolo, innanzitutto, alla formazione del governo di unità nazionale caldeggiato dalle Nazioni Unite, giudicato, con ogni probabilità, un corpo estraneo da gran parte della popolazione libica.

Raffreddamento dell’asse Roma-Washington

Oltre ad avere preannunciato il rientro di Calcagno e Pollicardo, Renzi, nella mattinata di sabato 5 marzo, si è rivolto in modo stizzito ai media e, seppur non citandoli, agli Stati Uniti, dopo le pressioni ricevute in merito ad un intervento militare italiano a breve e con un contingente significativo: “I media si affannano ad immaginare scenari di guerra in Libia che non corrispondono alla realtà. Questo non è il tempo delle forzature, ma del buon senso e dell’equilibrio”. E ancora: “Il coinvolgimento militare avverrà assieme a tutti gli alleati, americani compresi”.

Una chiara risposta all’ambasciatore statunitense John R. Philips, che aveva chiesto all’Italia un coinvolgimento attivo nella sempre più papabile azione militare in Libia, ma aveva anche escluso un impiego diretto di forze americane sul campo. E una replica alle pressioni di Francia e Regno Unito, già attive in Libia da qualche settimana.

Le ripercussioni sulla politica interna italiana

Come già accaduto a Hollande a novembre, anche Renzi deve rapportarsi con la popolarità delle scelte del suo governo in materia di politica estera. La scelta di entrare in guerra in Libia, seppur subordinata ad una richiesta del governo di unità nazionale, potrebbe portare ripercussioni sulla tenuta dell’esecutivo.

Ci sono tre ragioni a testimoniarlo. Il primo, la modalità d’intervento in Libia: ovvero, se a pieno regime o se solo come supporto agli alleati e alle forze di sicurezza locali. Il secondo, già intravisto negli effetti con la notizia della scomparsa dei due dipendenti della Bonatti: le ripercussioni della morte di soldati italiani inviati sul campo di battaglia. Il terzo, le Amministrative alle porte.

In definitiva, sul piano internazionale, oltre ad aspettare la formazione del governo d’unità nazionale libico, gli Stati Uniti vogliono accertarsi che l’Italia assuma il ruolo guida nell’operazione militare in Libia.

D’altro canto, questo contesto s’intreccia con il piano nazionale, dove dalla partita libica dipendono le sorti del governo Renzi.
Giacomo Pratali

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New people inserted in the anti-North Korea “Black list”

 

Today, the Council of the European Union – which, we remember is the Union’s executive body – has added 16 persons and 12 entities to its “black list” of individuals and companies affected by restrictive measures taken by europe against the conduct of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

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The decision reflects the new requirements imposed by the 2270 resolution of the United Nations Security Council adopted on the 2nd March 2016 in response to the test launches of nuclear rockets by North Korea, which took place on January 6 and 7 February.
The formal proceedings of this diplomatic initiative will be published in the EU Official Journal tomorrow. The EU’s restrictive measures against North Korea have been introduced for the first time on 22 December 2006. Current measures comply with all the resolutions of the UN Security Council adopted after the launches and nuclear tests performed by North Korea, using ballistic missile technology, and also include additional measures taken by the EU autonomously. Such decision is to hit the North Koreans launch program policies.

 

 

The most important measures include import and export bans for weapons, and every object or technology that could contribute to such activities. Both the UN and the EU, independently, have also imposed restrictive measures for financial and commercial activities and transport services.

With this initiative, today, the European Union has strengthened its latest measures, which were decided on 22 April 2013, implementing the UN Security Council Resolution. 2094.

 

Domenico Martinelli

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Security and privacy: the eternal dilemma

Europe/Innovation/Policy di

“Security and privacy. The eternal dilemma “. Sometimes it is so. Sometimes not. From a relative and business perspective, privacy is one of the fundamental aspects of security, meaning that a bug in the privacy system will involve considerable damage to the company and its customers.

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In the enterprise field, and in almost the whole world, the issue of privacy is recognized as one of the fundamental ones, which may imply – in the larger companies, the separation of the post of privacy “officer” or “consultant” from the most generic post of “security manager”. But from an absolute point of view, privacy and security are two titans destined for confrontation. What and how you oppose? Undoubtedly in Europe there is a double need: on one hand making Europe citizens grow and progress in terms of human rights and individual rights, and perhaps privacy, at first glance it would seem one of the most important individual rights almost to rise, nowadays, in the category of natural rights.

From another point of view, it is necessary that national and European institutions literally invade the privacy of residents and foreigners who apply to reside in the old continent. This, of course, for clear reasons of public order and security, in order to counteract the sad phenomenon whom every day we hear and read: from illegal immigration to migrants smuggling, from terrorism to money laundering.

And that’s why Europe is taking on regulatory instruments to govern on the one hand the duties / rights in the field of private citizens and, secondly, the duties / rights of the institutions towards the citizens. We are talking, respectively, of the Regulation and the Directive on Data Protection. “Regulation” and “directive” are two very general words, which bear far more complex legal and long nomenclatures, but, in the data protection background, interested people can immediately understand what they refer to.

In both normative sources, upcoming promulgation – it  seems that both measures have passed the steps of the discussion in trilogue – roles, responsibilities, recipients and “actors” of the data protection system and, consequently, privacy are defined and soon they will cover Europe, the United States and Third Countries. Much importance will be obviously assumed by the national controller authorities, which are already partly coordinated by the European Data Protection Supervisor.

From an operational point of view and spare change, however, it should change little, but it will be very useful once and for all to give uniformity to the individual national laws and procedures to provide common data access and litigation systems.

In any case, to date, the European and national institutions acting in the field of security are – in extreme and deep synthesis – legitimate holders of power related to the use, collection and retention of data, to fulfill their purposes and founding their institutional purposes. The so called “Swedish Initiative”, the “Prüm Decisions” are nothing more than legal attempts, already adopted or in the process of transposition in national law, in order to provide a better use of these information and their exchange between Authorities.

And this is the knot of the question: according to the European and national case-law, the compression of the right to privacy has so far been generally considered correct, if the same interest conflicts with higher interests, such as the right to life, or the principle that it must a crime must be prevented or brought to completion. In fact these – let’s call them philosophical – principles, are underlying the legislative existence of disparate databases – even if, some of them, are not yet operational – that support justice and European police forces in their daily mission of prevention and contrasting crime.

In this specific sector there have been fundamental judgments of the European Court of Justice who have disciplined and completely redesigned the architecture of data protection, especially in the economic relations with major US giants, which are in fact the monopoly of social communication and service providers online.

For example, think about the famous sentence on the “Data Retention” (to Security-vs-Privacy-420x300which we refer integrally) that made completely skip the agreements so far perfectly and “efficient” between EU and US. Before the sentence, every non-EU state, which managed European citizens’ data was in fact free to manage by itself: or rather, despite having to ensure an adequate data protection regime, it was quite free from forms of controls and inspections by the EU institutions. The  so called principle of the “Safe Harbour” proved to be insufficient to protect the privacy of citizens who entrusted to the giants of the global telematics their data, their own interests and their own photographs. Following the judgment, the “Safe Harbour” has been completely revised and replaced by a safer agreement called “Privacy Shield “.

European institution which is tasked with signing these agreements is the Commission. The agreement has developed has developed a new legal system putting, so to speak, “the stakes” for the United States, providing clear guarantees and transparency requirements applicable to access to data from the government of the US, by imposing specific obligations on companies and a robust application, providing effective protection of the rights of EU citizens with different possibilities of litigation and devising a mechanism of annual joint review of the effectiveness of the shield.

So, to sum up, Europe is not in contrast with common sense: on the one hand provides for the guarantee of the right to privacy issues and fundamental rights, on the other manages to balance strongly her action of collecting information necessary to safeguard of its citizens, defending its interests and its autonomy from friends across the Atlantic.

On this dilemma some very strong doubts remain, especially with regard to national legislation. Consider, for example, in countries where prostitution is illegal. Many political movements or currents of thought are clamoring for the legalization and the drafting of specific rules. A writer’s opinion is that a law in matter can never be enacted, precisely for reasons of privacy, even if the “prostitution” topic is touches many others: human rights, gender-based violence, exploitation, immigration, acts of disposal of his own body and so on.

If a law to regularize and reinstitute prostitution would issued, the same would conflict – without limitation – with rules requiring the accommodation lists to be communicated to the authorities (and thus to enter into the databases). Inevitably a client and a prostitute would be identified, and a profile of the people who attend the same prostitute or who usually frequents that area could equally be traced or, worse, sexual habits (which are, for now, quite rightly, a as sensitive) could be profiled. Again, it is essential for the authorities to know hotel customer records (that can be crucial in resolving judicial and investigation cases) and hotel owners are oblige to communicate them.

Here the dilemma: to protecting the public interest or  the individual interests?

Domenico Martinelli

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Libya: Rome, two Italian hostages killed

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“In connection to the circulation of several images of the victims, apparently Westerners, of a shootout in Libya’s Sabratha region, the Farnesina informs that from the images, albeit in the absence of bodies, it could be possible to identify two of the four Italians who worked for the Bonatti construction company and who were kidnapped in July 2015.  More specifically, the images could be of Fausto Piano and Salvatore Failla. The Farnesina has already informed the families. However, despite efforts to verify the news, confirmation thereof is made difficult due to the absence of the bodies ”. On March 3, Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Thursday confirmed that Fausto Piano, 61, and Salvatore Failla, 47, were killed in Libya. While the other two Italian coworker kidnapped last July, Filippo Calcagno and Gino Pollicardo, “are still alive “, as reported by the president of Copasir Marco Minniti.

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On March 3, Fausto Piano and Salvatore Failla were probably killed during a shoot-out near Sabratha between Tripoli’s security forces, led by Fajr Libya, and an ISIS brigade. According to local sources, the two Italians would be hit while they were traveling aboard a jihadist convoy.

Images on web and the statement of Italian government certified their kill. But there are two doubts. The first one is about the kidnapping of July 20, 2015 because the four Bonatti employeers returned to their home not by sea, but by car. An unusual choice seeing that Eni and Bonatti workers generally choose the first option.

The second one is about imprisonment during the following months, when a claim never arrived. Even until late February, local sources excluded ISIS responsibility. But what happened last Wednesday showed the opposite because jihadists used the two Italians as a shield. While men Fajr Libya were not aware that in Daesh convoy were present Fausto Piano and Salvatore Failla.
Giacomo Pratali

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EU rejects 308 refugees

The EU Commission confirmed that Greece is rejecting 308 irregular migrants in Turkey. The European Union is in fact intensifying its efforts to ensure that those who did not qualify for international protection in Europe are rapidly and actually driven back to their countries of origin or sent back to the countries of transit.

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The Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos, said: “Under the EU-Turkey joint action plan we agreed to accelerate return and readmission procedures with Turkey. The European Commission has reinforced its support for cooperation on return between EU Member States and Turkey and today’s transfers of returnees from Greece to Turkey show that our efforts are starting to bear fruit. If we want to address the challenges of the refugee crisis successfully we need to get back to an orderly management of the migration flows: We have to make sure that those who are in need of protection will receive it, but it has to be clear as well that those who have no right to stay in the EU will be quickly and effectively returned“.

According to the Commission, to ensure that the European Common Asylum System will work, it is essential that the return policy is fully functioning. While fully respecting fundamental rights and the principle of reception, repatriation to countries of origin or to transit countries by irregular migrants who are not entitled to remain in the EU constitutes an essential part of overall efforts of EU to address the phenomenon of migration and, in particular, to reduce the regular immigration.

It is for this reason that the strengthening of cooperation on refoulement with Turkey is considered today as one of the main priorities of the European Commission. As part of the Joint Action Plan EU-Turkey, activated on November 29, the EU and Turkey have pledged to strengthen cooperation in the field of migration management – including the prevention of irregular migration flows towards EU – and in order to speed up the procedures for denial of entry of illegal immigrants, in line with the provisions specifically designed.

So yesterday and today, the return of illegal immigrants, mostly from Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia started.

A clear and unequivocal signal to those who know in advance to be not entitled to international protection.

 

Domenico Martinelli

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New economic funds sent from EU to Palestinian refugees

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Yesterday, the European Commission approved a package of assistance of 252 million and 500 thousand euro to support the Authority and Palestinian refugees. And this is only the first part of the EU’s annual support package for Palestine scheduled for 2016.
The High Representative for the Union’s foreign policy, Federica Mogherini, said:  “The European Union renews its concrete commitment to the Palestinians. Through this package, the EU supports the daily lives of Palestinians in the fields of education and health, protecting the poorest families and also providing the Palestinian refugees with access to essential services. These are tangible steps on the ground that can improve the lives of Palestinian people. But these steps are not enough; Palestinian institutions must continue to grow stronger, become more transparent, more accountable and more democratic. Viable and inclusive institutions, based on respect for the rule of law and human rights, are crucial in view of the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State. Because what we want to achieve is the establishment of an independent and sovereign Palestinian State living side by side, in peace and security, with the State of Israel and other neighbours“.

The European Commissioner for Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement, Johannes Hahn, said: “The EU remains firm in its commitment to Palestinians and actively supports a two-state solution. Our assistance to ensure the functioning of the Palestinian Authority and to support vulnerable Palestinian groups, including Palestinian refugees is a concrete example of this commitment. Let me also thank all EU Member States for their continued backing of EU programmes for this troubled region, which have proved effective”.

From the fund package sent yesterday, 170 million and 500 thousand euro will be sent directly to the Palestinian Authority, through the PEGASE mechanism (Mécanisme Palestino-Européen de Gestion de l’Aide Socio-Economique). With these funds, the EU will support the Palestinian Authority in the delivery of health and educational services, protecting the poorest families and providing financial assistance to hospitals located in East Jerusalem.

The remaining 82 million will constitute a contribution to the budget of the rescue program and the Agency’s work of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA). This UN body provides essential services for Palestinian refugees throughout the region. This support aims to provide better access to essential public services and increased livelihood opportunities for Palestinian refugees.
A second package of measures, in favor of the Palestinians, will be announced during the year.
For the readers, we specify that the PEGASE is the mechanism through which the EU is helping the Palestinian Authority to build the institutions of a future independent Palestinian state.

Through the UNRWA-logopayment of pensions and salaries of public officials, it ensures that essential public services continue to work. The PEGASE also provides social services to Palestinian families living in extreme poverty and also a contribution to the Palestinian Authority to support the costs of the hospitals in East Jerusalem.
UNRWA agency also provides essential services for Palestinian refugees in the West Bank, Gaza, Jordan, Syria and Lebanon. The EU is the largest contributor of this specialized UN agency. Between 2007 and 2014, the EU has contributed with more than 1 billion euro, including 809 million for the budget of the institution’s program. In addition, the EU has made generous contributions to UNRWA requests in humanitarian emergencies and in projects designed specifically to respond to the various crises and the specific requirements arising in the entire region. The partnership between the EU and UNRWA has allowed millions of Palestinian refugees to be educated, to live a healthier life, to have access to job opportunities and improve the general living conditions, thus contributing to the development of all the region.

Libia: nuovo governo e intervento ONU

Al termine della conferenza internazionale sulla Libia di Roma, il sottosegretario di Stato USA Kerry annuncia la formazione di un governo di unità nazionale entro “40 giorni”. I Paesi e le organizzazioni internazionali presenti varano un documento d’intenti, in attesa della risoluzione ONU del 17 dicembre su un intervento militare.

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“Affermiamo il nostro pieno appoggio al popolo libico per il mantenimento dell’unità della Libia e delle sue istituzioni che operano per il bene dell’intero paese. E’ necessario con urgenza un Governo di Concordia Nazionale con sede nella capitale Tripoli al fine di fornire alla Libia i mezzi per mantenere la governance, promuovere la stabilità e lo sviluppo economico. Siamo a fianco di tutti i libici che hanno richiesto la rapida formazione di un Governo di Concordia Nazionale basato sull’Accordo di Skhirat, ivi compresi i rappresentanti della maggioranza dei membri della Camera dei Rappresentanti e del Congresso Nazionale Generale, degli indipendenti, delle Municipalità, dei partiti politici e della società civile riunitisi a Tunisi il 10-11 dicembre. Accogliamo con favore l’annuncio che i membri del dialogo politico firmeranno l’accordo politico a Skhirat il 16 dicembre. Incoraggiamo tutti gli attori politici a firmare questo accordo finale il 16 dicembre e rivolgiamo a tutti i libici un appello affinché si uniscano nel sostegno dell’Accordo Politico per la Libia e il Governo di Concordia Nazionale”.

Questo il passo più importante del comunicato congiunto emesso al termine della conferenza internazionale sulla Libia, tenutasi a Roma il 13 dicembre e promossa dalla Farnesina. Il documento è stato firmato da UE, ONU, LAS, UA e dai 17 Paesi partecipanti: Algeria, Arabia Saudita, Cina, Egitto, Emirati Arabi Uniti, Francia, Germania, Giordania, Italia, Marocco, Qatar, Regno Unito, Russia, Spagna, Stati Uniti, Tunisia, Turchia. Adesso, c’è attesa per la firma dell’accordo di mercoledì 16 e per la risoluzione ONU di giovedì 17, data in cui i membri permanenti si sono impegnati a firmare un accordo per “un intervento umanitario, di sicurezza e di stabilizzazione della Libia”.

L’avanzata del Daesh, l’ascesa di Sirte come epicentro del Califfato e un complesso istituzionale alla deriva hanno imposto, forse fuori tempo massimo, l’intervento delle principali potenze mondiali e persino di quegli attori internazionali che in Libia si combattono per conto terzi: su tutti, Arabia Saudita e Egitto, Qatar e Turchia. E gli stessi rappresentanti delle fazioni libiche, compresi i leader del GNC e dell’Assemblea di Tobruk.

Roma, sulla scia di quanto avvenuto al summit di Vienna sulla Siria, ha seguito lo stesso metodo. Europa, Stati Uniti, Russia e Cina si sono mosse all’unisono in direzione di un piano d’azione che possa portare ad un processo di stabilizzazione istituzionale della Libia, indispensabile per combattere il Daesh.

Mentre la pressione per un immediato intervento militare da parte di Francia e Gran Bretagna, già alleate sul fronte siriano, non ha avuto un seguito, visti gli errori commessi nel 2011.

“Tra 40 ci sarà un governo di unità nazionale”. Anche se “ci vorrà tempo per superare il retaggio di quattro decenni di dittatura. Ma ora i libici devono governare insieme”, ha detto il sottosegretario di Stato USA John Kerry. Mentre il ministro degli Affari Esteri italiano Paolo Gentiloni ha affermato che “contro il terrorismo serve un Paese stabile”. Mentre, l’Italia avrà “un ruolo fondamentale nelle prossime settimane e mesi nel quadro delle decisioni ONU e sulla base delle richieste del nuovo governo libico”.

L’Italia, dunque, torna, seppure timidamente, protagonista nella scena internazionale, dopo che sul fronte siriano aveva adottato una linea attendista. Dopo oltre un anno di negoziati in Libia, il delegato ONU Martin Kobler, che ha ereditato da Bernardino Leon, si aspetta di strappare oltre 200 consensi dai rappresentanti dell’Assemblea di Tobruk, restii, a partire dal Presidente, a trattare sulla costituzione di un governo unico assieme agli attuali rappresentanti di Tripoli.

Rimane ancora da chiarire, tuttavia, la natura dell’intervento ONU in Libia dopo la costituzione del nuovo governo a Tripoli che, al netto dei no comment, sarà di natura prettamente militare e non una missione di peacekeeping, vista la radicalizzazione del Daesh sul territorio: “Ribadiamo il nostro pieno appoggio all’applicazione della Risoluzione 2213 del Consiglio di Sicurezza delle Nazioni Unite e delle altre Risoluzioni in materia per affrontare le minacce alla pace, sicurezza e stabilità della Libia. I responsabili della violenza e coloro che impediscono e minacciano la transizione democratica della Libia devono essere chiamati a rispondere delle loro azioni. Siamo pronti a sostenere l’attuazione dell’accordo politico e ribadiamo il nostro deciso impegno ad assicurare al Governo di Concordia Nazionale pieno appoggio politico e l’assistenza richiesta in campo tecnico, economico, di sicurezza e anti-terrorismo ”, recita ancora il comunicato.
Giacomo Pratali

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UK, brits and Europe

Europe di

With alert arising across Europe, the United Kingdom is getting back to the debate about the European Union membership. The country seems to be perfectly divided. Recent polls show that more than half of voting people are supporting “Brexit” –UK exit from the EU-, while only 47% support the membership. Similarly, the political class is sharply divided: on one hand, the UK Independent Party (UKIP) is against the Union, while the Prime Minister is trying to negotiating better conditions for the country. Moreover, a referendum has been scheduled at the end of 2017, giving Brits the chance to express their position.

The UK has always had a particular position in Europe, close to the events ongoing in the mainland but far enough to be protected from them. From a political perspective, the UK belongs to the EU, though she doesn’t embrace all the aspects. Pound beat euro, while Schengen didn’t manage to cross the Channel. More than this. Despite the strong economic posture, London has failed in playing a leading role in the continent, as Germany or France have already tried (and managed) to do. However, the National Security Strategy highlights UK willing to play a distinctive role in the region and globally.

So, here is the question: what does Brits really want? 4 requests from Cameron. First, a multi-currency Union, in order to better protect the interests of those countries who are not in the Eurozone. Secondly, removing useless rules and limits that curb growth and competitiveness of the European market. Thirdly, strengthening sovereignty (for all national parliaments), allowing countries the right not to accept some reforms or policies (opt-out option). Finally, more control on immigration and benefits to foreigners only after 4 years in the country.

Understandable requests? We should analyse three core aspects that summarise what Europe represents for the UK.

  • The UK enjoys the benefits of a single market, based on free movement of goods, services and capital. This facilitates the export of British products at competitive prices, something that would be compromised, should the UK decide to exit the Union. In this fashion, the country would no longer be bounded by European legislation; however, some countries might find more convenient to do business with the “EU brothers”.
  • Despite defects and internal weaknesses, the EU represents-or at least should- “Europe’s voice”. Belonging to the EU ensures its members a platform where each country can express its point of view and protect national interests, while giving a voice to those in common. Leaving the EU could turn Great Britain in an outsider, thus losing contact with European reality but also the opportunity to take the leadership in the continent.
  • On one hand, a common defence policy that should guarantee more efficacy compared to members’ single actions. But there’s another side of the coin: though she didn’t agree to Schengen agreements, freedom of movement forces the UK to apply easier control mechanism for people travelling from EU countries (e.g. no visa needed). Since the end of the Balkan Wars, the abolition of internal borders has facilitated arms transport. Today, history repeats itself, but this time with free movement of terrorist cells, holding European passports and free to travel across countries bypassing any kind of controls. After Paris attacks, several EU members have been doubting this system.

So, what will the UK choose? There might be a shift towards isolationism, to find safety and economic stability outside the European bloc. Would it be enough to ensure the British Islands a safer future? Some doubts about it. Tensions and perils are already grounded in British society, EU or not. And undertaking a political, economic and social battle alone might be less simple than it sounds. On the other hand, we might see a different UK, which, stronger from the privileges obtained, will support a more strengthened Union and take the lead of a continent that seems to have lost orientation and compactness. Again, doubts. It looks more like Cameron is trying to stay with one foot in and one outside. “Yes, but…”, nothing new at Downing Street.

However, is it fair in an institution of 28 members to satisfy the interests of a single one as a key condition to remain in the Union? If London can benefits particular conditions, then Budapest, Madrid of Prague should have the same right. And where is the logic of a Union if each member participates only to the extent to which it most benefits?

 

Paola Fratantoni

Daesh: from Paris to Maiduguri

Europe/Middle East - Africa di

Paris attacks, on November 13, pointed out again that the terror threat reached a historical high within European borders. Beyond Syria and Iraq, where Daesh is headquartered, Africa is the favorite ISIS’s target. As proved by the last 15 days.
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More than 83 attacks all over the world from June 2014 to date, as reported by Le Monde. More than 1,600 victims. Raqqa (Syria) and Maiduguri (Nigeria) the most affected cities. Since March 2015, when the Nigerian militant group Boko Haram joined the Caliphate, terrorist actions in Africa have dramatically increased. As well as the several organizations that, from Mali to Egitto, hit in the name of ISIS.

After 129 killed in Paris, others were added from November to today:

Mali: More than 20 people were killed after a raid against Radisson Hotel last November 20. Thanks to military action by French and US special forces, 150 hostages were freed. After the arrest of two suspects, the local terrorist cells attacked on UN base at Kidal, killing 3 people.

Egypt: Two terrorist attacks. The first one, on November 24, was a double suicide attack which killed 4 people on a hotel in North Sinai. The second one, on November 28, when terrorists opened fire on checkpoint in Giza, killing 4 policemen.

Nigeria: Before a truck station, then a Shiite procession. These two places, near the capital Maiduguri, were the two targets of Boko Haram troops. Over 35 and 32 killed.

Camerun: Four different kamikaze actions of four girls killed at least 5 people in Fotokol on 21 November.

Tunisia: 13 killed following a suicide bomb attack against a bus carrying members of Tunisia’s presidential guard on 24 November in Tunis. As well as actions in the Bardo Museum and on Sousse beach last June, Daesh claimed responsibility.
Giacomo Pratali

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Giacomo Pratali
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