Frattini: EU needs US FTA and Turkey

Franco Frattini spoke to New Europe after a conference organized by the Italian Institute for Culture in Brussels
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How will an EU- US FTA help Europe in this time of crisis?

I’m positive about this agreement, despite the various polemics at the moment, and I think that all these preliminary obstacles are going to be removed; then all sectors could be positively involved in this FTA.

I think first of all, about research and development and all the high tech products that illustrate the importance of high technological specialisation, both in the EU and US.

I would us to create a common market in the defence industry; this process should start first from Europe because we still have some obstacles among countries as the European directives aren’t still operative.

What do you think about the explosive situation in Egypt?

Egypt is, unfortunately, a proof of the failure of the political Islam carried out by the Muslim Brotherhood.

It’s a fiasco for the government forces, they took power but they didn’t govern the country.
President Morsi failed as political leader and I hope that the road map, made by the interim Prime Minister and by the president, could be a rapid one and could bring to election by the end on the year. This will establish again a democratic normality.

Clearly the fact that an elected leader is dismissed by the armed forces is something that forces us to ask each other lots of questions. The important thing is that this situation could not bring to a deeper crisis and to a civil war, this would be a tragedy.

On Turkey the enlargement process is going very slow, why? 

Yes very slow. We have to speed up this issue. Turkey is a country which deserves to continue its path to the EU.

We have to understand that we have an interest that is as high as the interest of our Turkish fellows. Turkey is a great country with a Muslim majority but at the same time it’s a country with a democratic system which made great progresses. This is not a present we give to Turkish people, it’s for our interest.

But we can’t forget the speeches of President Erdogan against the EU institutions. Are you not worried?

Erdogan was, and is at the moment, a strong leader who is appreciated by the Turkish population, we have to stop the vicious circle of striking and answering.

I think that Europe should not continue to accuse Turkey; the result will be, as a reaction, that Turkey will be more cautious in answering to the EU.

Another dangerous crisis is taking place in Syria with some consequence to Lebanon? How do you see this crisis?

It’s a crisis that it’s expanding at the moment from Syria to Lebanon, I’m very worried about this dangerous contamination, and here the international community was not able to take a strong political decision, while also the Europeans were also divided.

This is a weak point of the foreign policy of the international community; the UN was also blocked by the various vetoes and unable to take a decision

Federico Grandesso

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