London House of Commons 19-20/10/2005


Report Dr. Christos Clerides
London House of Commons 19-20/10/2005
WEE Presidential Committee

19.10.2005 House of Commons
1. Administrative meeting of Enlarged Presidential Committee:  As per agenda: New  Meeting Paris 13 Tuesday at 3.30 p.m.  In the evening attended Reception of Cyprus High Commissioner at his Residence 5 Cheyne Walk, Chelsee, London.  Spoke to Mr. Lloyd host of Dinner at the House of Commons explaining why I should be excused. National Day of the Republic of Cyprus reception! Turkish Delegate at the sound of it moved 4 meters away!!!

2. Had breakfast with Mr. Stef Goris (Liberal Belgium) President of the Assembly: Explained to him that Turkey now has to comply with the stringest conditions of the Negotiations Framework.  As far as Cyprus is concerned Turkey needs (a) To recognize the Republic of Cyprus (I also explained the Counter -Declaration of the E.U.) (b) To fully implement the Ankara Protocol.  In view of the fact that the Azerbaizani Minister will be a speaker in the Assembly in December I explained to him the problem vis-a-vis direct flights Baku-Occupied tornitory and he said that he will take up the matter with the Minister when he will see him shortly.  I also explained that under the various International Conventions flights to and from non-recognized entities are illegal and the EU would have to take a common stance on that-up holding international law.  I may need, I told him take up the issue with the Minister in Question time when he will be in the Assembly in December.  Mr. Goris was helpfull and showed to be understanding the above.  He will be stepping down as from 1st January as under “pact” with socialists a Socialist will be elected.  I congratulated him for his efforts and contribution to the workings of the Assembly

3. In the morning session Mr. PATTISON and Dr. Beaver Explained the priorities of the U.K. Presidency as per the Agenda:

(1) Post conflict – stabilization Prevention – Reconstruction.  Now we have Peace keeping Commission.  To have a correct reconstruction effect co-ordination necessary between the Civil and the Military.
(2) Co-ordination must be promoted.
(3) Relation with UN, Nato, EU to work together

Dr. Sarah Beaver:  (1) Europe needs greater military capability.   A force catalogue of capabilities for implementing  Petersburg Agreement.
(2) Making EU more coherent in   terms of Linking today civil with military capabilities.
(3) ESDP to be active on the ground.  Bosnia 7.000 people (army) ESDP to deliver effectively on the ground.

Questions that followed more as per the list mainly. The Greek Delegation Damianaki and Pangalos raised the Balkans.  Pangalos pointed the Anglo-American Policy on Kosovo to recognize.  Pangalos pointed out that E.U avowed policy is not to recognize new status, or union, or partition but respect  international borders.  Pattison replied that the Policy is “wait and see”.  I raised the issue of lack of Common European Foreign and Defense Policy.  Both speakers spoke about “co-ordination” “cohesion” not for COMMON policies.  Mr. Pattison replied that there is a common policy of compromises.  Other questions on  Africa and the rejected Constitutional  Issues in the Question List.

1. Meeting with Members of the Foreign Affairs, Defence and European Security Committees.

Mike Gapes: The Chairman and Mr. Davivave (Welsh) and other members.

How the Committee works and activities and inquires to check the Government.  Various select Committees – Foreign-Defence, European Scrutiny Committees-Not legislative but scrutiny committees.  Where British forces are we go: Joint select committees to scrutinize Government.  Also control on spending of money etc.

A lot of talking in Europe but not much coherent action.  Work with European Parliament Committees also we need to look how to have proper accountability in Europe.

The European Parliament makes excellent reports so does the Assembly of WEU.
       But are they effective?

Questions put and answered on European Constitution, effectiveness of the Committee.  Mr. Nerdyan from Turkey  said if constitution adopted things will not get better.

Also Iraq if troops withdraw what will happen: Country divided into three countries.  Also Syria, USA might at exert military pressure on Syrian and Iran.  Chairman answered that he had been to Iran twice.  Different regions in Iran and different people.  We have to be involved to help.  Should stay as long as the Government there wants as to.  On Iran serious efforts were made.  But Iranians looking for confrontation.  Likely that Security Council will take sanctions.  Not military action.  Economic sanctions.  Russian and China a not support.

Syria needs to change.  Old guard there.  Not able to open up investment.

Question of Dr. Clerides:
As far as my questions are concerned they were as follows:

(1) To what extent is voting in the Committees split along party lines.
(2)  What importance does the Committee attach on International Law Principles and Human Rights in scrutinizing government policy.
(3) How effective have the Committees been so far.
(4) What does the public think of the work of the Committees.

Answers by Welsh Member:

(1) We try to work on the basis of consensus. We are trying to avoid conflicts.  The process of scrutiny has been since 1979.  We still have al lot to learn
(2) Our reports are there: How effective they are?  They are there.  We made some changes.  Questionable how effective they are.
(3) Only where a crisis the public knows.
(4) He did not answer on the question of International Law and Human Rights.

Dr. Christos Clerides,