Saturday, December 3, 2016

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Closting declaration CELAC/EU top conference

1. We, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) and of the European Union and the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, met on the occasion of our first Inter-Summit meeting, held in the Dominican Republic on the 25th and 26th of October 2016.

2. We underscore the importance of our partnership and reiterate our commitment to all the bi-regional declarations adopted in the Summits of our Heads of State and Government since Rio de Janeiro in 1999. These declarations reflect our common vision on important matters.

3. We recall the mandate received from the Heads of State and Government in their Political Declaration “A partnership for the next generation” adopted in June 2015, to commit to a comprehensive and inclusive exercise of reflection on the future of the bi-regional relationship in order to deepen our long-standing strategic, bi-regional partnership based on historical, cultural and human ties, international law, full respect for all the purposes and principles enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations, all human rights and territorial integrity as well as on common values and principles, and mutual respect and interests. We reiterate our rejection of coercive measures of unilateral character with extraterritorial effect that are contrary to international law and we reaffirm our commitment to the peaceful settlement of disputes.

4. We endorse the conclusions and recommendations emanating from the “Assessment of programmes and actions adopted by the Summits”, which have constituted an important input in our reflection. This evaluation has proven to be a positive contribution in the identification of successful bi-regional initiatives, areas of our relationship where more efforts need to be made and suggested changes in our working methods, which will lead to more concrete and valuable results. These recommendations should be considered in the further implementation and development of the CELAC-EU Action Plan. We also agree to enhance coordination between the cooperation programmes and the CELAC-EU Action Plan.

5. We agree to build on the conclusions of our discussions on the assessment of the programmes and actions adopted by the Summits, strengthening the bi-regional dialogue and deepening mutual relations, financing for development and climate change, during this first Inter-Summit meeting to consolidate a more ambitious, strategic and balanced association on the basis of clearly identified common interests, which shall be the framework of our future bi-regional relationship.

6. We are convinced that together we can play an important political role to jointly address ongoing and new global challenges. We commit ourselves to a reinvigorated and more frequent political dialogue based on common bi-regional objectives. We commend the bi-regional dialogue in the lead up to the major international conferences, summits and special sessions on issues of global concern, in particular the Third International Conference on Financing for Development, the United Nations Sustainable Development Summit (2015), which adopted the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the 21st Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP 21), the UN General Assembly Special Session on the World Drug Problem (UNGASS 2016) and the UNGA High Level Meeting on Addressing Large Movements of Refugees and Migrants (2016). We commit to further working together, as applicable, to achieve our common goals in the multilateral fora, including in the UNFCCC COP 22 to be held in Marrakech in November 2016 and the Open Government Partnership Summit to be held in Paris in December 2016.

7. We welcome the dynamism of our long-lasting economic ties, while acknowledging the need to give new impetus to our economic partnership. We recall our earlier commitments in Santiago de Chile and Brussels, to promote sustainable development and inclusive economic growth in our respective regions, including through increased and diversified investments. We recognize that economic growth within a policy framework of environmental and social responsibility is essential to achieve sustained and inclusive development. Our countries share the common challenge of enhancing productivity growth and would gain from cooperating more closely in this field. We propose to create an enabling environment encompassing all aspects of bi-regional relations related to productivity, as defined in paragraphs 45 to 49 of the EU-CELAC Brussels Declaration adopted in 2015. Therefore, we mandate the CELAC-EU Senior Officials to carry out consultations at different levels with the business sector and other relevant stakeholders to identify objectives and modalities for a possible CELAC-EU partnership in this field and report to the next Summit.

8. We acknowledge the need for open, constructive dialogue and closer collaboration in tax matters, recognizing the need to address tax evasion, base erosion and profit shifting (BEPS). We also acknowledge that this dialogue should be reinforced between all parties and we take note that some countries have already undertaken commitments in accordance with standards monitored and assessed by the Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes (Global Forum).

9. We stress the need to enhance bi-regional cooperation, using all available instruments in an integrated manner. The new challenges linked to the implementation of the 2030 Agenda should be taken into account in the design and implementation of the CELAC-EU Action Plan. We therefore mandate the CELAC-EU Senior Officials to conduct a reflection and consultation process on this issue with all relevant partners and to present initial results before the end of 2016 with a view to submitting its outcome to the Summit in 2017. Given the importance of ODA as a lever for effective implementation of the SDGs, this reflection should include the issue of graduation in order to properly reflect the realities and challenges of the populations of Latin American and Caribbean States and its potential side effects in our bi-regional cooperation.

10. We recognize the need to promote broad participation of all sectors of society and relevant organisations and engagement in the advancement of the bi-regional relationship. We also wish to ensure the adequate representation of youth and women, and to identify ways of making our partnership more effective, visible, participatory and inclusive with a view to enhancing the achievement of our common strategic objectives.

11. We welcome the signature of the Agreement establishing the EU-LAC Foundation as an international organization of intergovernmental nature as an important instrument of our bi-regional relationship. We recognize the voluntary basis of financial contributions reflected in the Agreement and encourage all countries to promote financial, legal and political support for the EU-LAC Foundation in fulfilling its mandate.

12. We welcome the results of this first Inter-Summit meeting of Ministers of Foreign Affairs which contributes to boosting the strategic partnership. As decided by our Heads of State and Government at the 2015 EU-CELAC Summit, we will hold regular Inter-Summit Ministerial meetings with the aim of ensuring a comprehensive follow-up of Summit decisions and sustain regular high level dialogue between our two regions.

13. We commend the Dominican Republic for the organization of this Ministerial Meeting, which enriched the bi-regional agenda and was instrumental in achieving substantial progress, paving the way for the next CELAC-EU Summit to be held in the second semester of 2017 in El Salvador.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

De Dame is gevallen

La Romana, 12 Mei 2016. Dilma Rousseff is niet meer de president van het economisch sterkste land van Zuid Amerika. Ze heeft de slag om de populariteit in het parlement verloren van een persoon die bekend staat als nog corrupter dan zijzelf. Michel Miguel Elías Temer Lulia, haar grootste opponent en haar tijdelijk opvolger, is advocaat en een bekend politicus in Brazilië. Hij is de voorzitter van de Partido del Movimiento Democrático Brasileño. Als Vice President zal hij de functies van Dilma Rousseff waarnemen tijdens haar verbanning uit het politieke leven voor de duur van 180 dagen.

Op twintig jarige leeftijd werd Dilma Vana da Silva Rousseff lid van de ondergrondse politieke beweging Política Obrera. Daar ontving ze een training in het bouwen en plaatsen van bommen. Ze werd opgepakt door de toen niet erg vriendelijke politie van Brazilië en twintig dagen lang gemarteld. Daarbij heeft ze nooit het adres opgegeven dat haar van die martelingen zou hebben gered. Toen ze werd vrijgelaten was haar kaak volledig ontwricht door de klappen in het gezicht.

Een sterke dame die weet wat ze wil en zich niet makkelijk uit het veld zal laten slaan, ook niet door haar tijdelijke opvolger. Die standvastigheid heeft haar nu politiek in een zwakke positie gebracht.

Een Congres en een Senaat bevolkt met parlementariërs die beschuldigd worden van corruptie, met meer dan 60 % van de Senatoren en Gedeputeerden die open zaken hebben lopen bij het Braziliaanse Ministerie van Justitie, heeft niemand ook maar een schaduw van corruptie kunnen vinden bij Dilma Rousseff of haar familie. In een land waarin het stelen uit openbare fondsen zo gewoon is als het dansen van de Samba heeft men bij de oude guerrillera niet een gestolen Real kunnen vinden. De tegenstanders herinneren zich dat ze minister was van Mijnen en Energie en presidente van de Administratieve Raad van het beruchte Petrobras, toen dat bedrijf bekend stond voor omkoping. Maar er is bij Dilma Rousseff niets gevonden.
Voorzitter van de Democratische Beweging, Michel Temer heeft geen roemrijke geschiedenis achter zich als vrijheidsstrijder en slachtoffer van marteling Rousseff.

Geboren in Tietê, in de staat São Paulo, zoon van Maronieten, immigranten uit Libanon. Zijn ouders emigreerden naar Brazilië in de twintiger jaren van de vorige eeuw samen met drie oudere broers vanuit Btaaboura, in het noorden van Libanon, om te ontsnappen aan de instabiele toestanden na de Eerste Wereldoorlog. Temer is de Arabische taal niet machtig maar kan wel een conversatie in die taal volgen.

Temer is een meester in de Rechten van de Facultad de Leyes Universidad do São Paulo en heeft een Doctoraat van de Pontificale Katholieke Universiteit van São Paulo. Hij was Openbaar Aanklager en twee maal staatssecretaris voor Openbare Veiligheid. Hij is professor in Constitutionele Wetgeving aan de PUC-SP, en heeft een aantal boeken op zijn naam staan.
Maar hij is ook getrouwd, en wel met Marcela Temer, een model dat 42 jaar jonger is dan hij en dat begon met daten toen ze 17 jaar oud was.

Er is veel tegenstand onder de gewone mensen in Brazilië tegen de niet verkozen president die door middel van een technische staatsgreep zijn concurrente opzij heeft gezet. Niet alleen vanwege zijn politieke ideeën en denkbeelden maar ook om zijn manier van leven.

Als onderdeel van het onderzoek naar corruptie, de zogenaamde Operation Car Wash is het oog op Temer gevallen voor het ontvangen van meer dan 1.5 millioen van een bedrijf dat constructie-opdrachten heeft gekregen van Petrobras. Temer ontkent de beschuldigingen en zegt dat de betalingen legale bijdragen waren aan zijn verkiezingscampagne.
Een paar uur voordat de uitspraak tegen presidente Dilma Rousseff verwacht werd is er een audio opname gelekt waarin de toekomstig plaatsvervangend president spreekt alsof het allemaal al gedaan is, alsof hij al president is.

"Ik wil geen valse verwachtingen wekken," aldus Temer op de via Bloomberg gelekte tape. “we moeten niet denken dat een mogelijke verandering in de regering alles zal oplossen in twee of drie maanden.” De tape werd gemaakt toen Temer nog Vice President was en het hoofd van zijn regering had moeten steunen.

Of deze uitspraken goed zijn voor de stabiliteit van de positie van de plaatsvervangend president en voor de stabiliteit van Brazilië valt te betwijfelen. In het door corruptie geplaagde Zuidelijk Amerika was Dilma Rousseff een verademing van onkreukbaarheid. Temer zal veel veranderingen teweeg moeten brengen wil hij aan haar kunnen tippen.

Bronnen: Wikipedia,
Edgerton, Anna; Colitt, Raymond (11 April 2016). "Leaked Brazil Tape Shows VP Temer Practicing Unity Address".

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Why do so many Dutch people vote against further cooperation with Ukraine?

The Ukraina–European Union Association Agreement is a treaty between the European Union (EU), Euratom, their 28 Member States and Ukraine that establishes a political and economic association between the parties.

The Act on the Consultative Referendum requires a turnout threshold of 30% . If this is not achieved, the referendum is not valid. If the turnout threshold is reached and a majority votes against the Netherlands-Ukraine Cooperation Treaty the Dutch Legislator should enact a law to counteract the treaty or retract the law that was accepted to enact the treaty. The threshold has been reached and a majority of 61% voted "Tegen".(against)

The Dutch Prime Minister, Mr. Rutte has already stated that he will "wait and see" and might be willing to break the Dutch Law on Referendums so the Cooperation Treaty can be accepted by the whole of Europe.

But the reason for this referendum is not an opposition against Ukraine. There are several other motives for voting. Many people in The Netherlands believe that the EU is becoming too powerful and does not take the opinion of inhabitants of the individual countries, that make up the EU, into account. The referendum may be seen as a vote of no confidence for the EU.

The Civil EU Committee, (Het Burgercomité-EU), is one of the initiators of the referendum and strongly opposes the association treaty. The reason for the oposition to the treaty is the power of the EU.

Member of the Dutch Parliament for the SP, the Socialist Party, Jasper van Dijk has a very different reason to oppose the treaty. Article 89 sub 2 of the association treaty holds a line that makes possible the implementation of investment protection measures, ISDS. The SP wants this line emitted from the treaty.

The think tank Forum for Democracy, led by publicist and lawyer Thierry Baudet, is against the treaty for a different reason. According to him the treaty is evidence for the imperialistic nature of the EU.

The party of the prime minister, VVD, part of a coalition that currently governs the country, is against the use of the referendum as a political instrument. The other member of the coalition, the more or less socialist Workers Party (PvdA) will not engage in many activities to promote its opinion, they are for a yes-vote as well as the former coalition partner, the Christian CDA.

Sadly for Ukraina, the Dutch nation also has politicians who do not seem to take their responsibilities very seriously. The present government has seen a very bumpy history, with ministers failing to fully inform the parliament about its activities, the Minister of Security and Justice topping it off recently.

On the 17 of December 2015 it came to light that Van der Steur had purposely redacted most of the content of a report detailing the Malaysia Airlines Flight 17 investigation, on false basis to cover up his own incompetence during the investigation.

After not reporting the amount of money that was paid by the minister to a notorious criminal, the so called Teeven-deal, he claimed the receipt was lost, we have seen blunders in the crisis surrounding the bombings in Brussels, Belgium and more recently a 'working group' to look at the relationship between Turkey en The Netherlands concerning the refugees entering Europe via Turkey has not worked at all, in fact it never even had a meeting.

Cooperation with Ankara on fighting the international terror groups is crucial. Many Dutch Jihad fighters travel via that country and one of the terrorists involved, and killed, in the Brussels bombing was extradited by Turkey to Schiphol Airport before the act. The Dutch Minister of Security and Justice did not know that. The Minister also missed a beat when asked who had provided that information, assuming it had been the FBI, when in fact it was the New York Police Department.

The minister, Ard van der Steur who is responsible for the security of all the Dutch people has not really performed very well, to say the least. But he has not been fired, nor has he resigned.
For many of the voters this referendum is a way to show the government that, with all the mistakes, together with the attitude of the prime minister, always proudly smiling and on the foreground in photographs, maybe it is enough. Maybe it is time to go!

sources: Wikipedia, The Abduction of Europe, detail