EPP MEP Ramona Mănescu, together with S&D MEP Andi Cristea, has organized on Wednesday, March 20, the debate “Human shields – complex realities of the modern battlefield”, an event which will be held on the initiative of the My Truth non-governmental organization and EIPA, a pro-Israel advocacy group with offices in Brussels, Paris, Berlin and Israel.
Please find below her intervention at the event:
”The “Human Shields” report, which generated the discussion we are having today, is an extremely valuable document. Many should carefully read it, no matter if they are EU decision makers, media representatives, or they are just interested in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
It certainly opens the debate on a challenging and difficult topic!
We can actually look at today’s debate as a fact-finding mission in an area that witnessed more armed conflicts than most of the world. This is because we have a rare opportunity, to freely address questions to some of those that have personal experience in conflicts from places like Gaza, West Bank or the Golan Heights.
The “Human Shields” report is not the first one of its kind. I remember another valuable document, the 2015 High Level Military Group Assessment on the 2014 Gaza Conflict. It was followed by several other reports, examining various operations, exploring comparative national approaches in a variety of modern conflict scenarios that Western nations have fought in recently.
One thing, which we can understand going through the “Human Shields” report, is that the issues in discussion do not relate just to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. They are common to many of the conflict areas, where UN peacekeeping missions are present or NATO forces are involved in support missions. We are talking about Western Sahara, Sudan, Libya, Mali, Iraq or Afghanistan. In all these places, there are active terrorist groups with a complete disregard for the Law of Armed Conflict and no respect for human lives.
Romanian, Italian, French or Belgian soldiers, serving their countries, encounter similar situations with those described by the Israeli Defence Forces. This makes today’s topic to be important both for the EU and the Member States.
Here, in the European Parliament, but also in the Commission and in the Council, we take decisions that ultimately affect the citizens of the European Union. However, being a global power, our decisions also affect other people, all over the world. Sometimes, we vote based on very strong convictions, but without having a complete and correct understanding of the facts.
Discussing here today, we have the opportunity of a dialogue, so our decisions could come out more deliberated and better informed.
Thinking about past decisions, I remember the 2018 European Parliament Resolution about the Situation in Gaza Strip.
I know that, at that time, the Parliament had a very correct stand, calling for the remains of Hadar Goldin and Oron Shaul to be returned to their families. Almost one year passed since then and almost five years since their disappearance and the situation is unchanged.
We also acknowledged and condemned “the persistent tactic of Hamas of using civilians for the purpose of shielding terrorist activities”.
I also know that what Hamas and Hezbollah are doing, is clearly hybrid warfare with asymmetric tactics. Here I will quote, not the “Human Shields” report, but the one belonging to our military, that I’ve mentioned earlier:
“Hamas’s strategic concept is the active encouragement of harm to its own civilians.
Hamas understands clearly that it benefits from harm to its own civilians not only in seeking to galvanise Palestinians for its war on Israel, but rather by pursuing an asymmetric strategy aimed at the court of international public opinion, where Hamas’s tactic of drawing Israel into fighting in civilian urban areas with the resultant casualties and television pictures is a targeted attempt to erode Israel’s legitimacy at the cost of Gaza’s civilian population.
This hybrid strategy is a targeted and alarmingly effective effort on the part of Hamas to exploit the protections of, and misguided notions in international forums about the Laws of Armed Conflicts”.
This situation, which exists for many years already, leads me to say that there is a connection between a growing anti-Semitic attitude within the EU and Hamas or Hezbollah hybrid tactics of warfare.
Terrorist organisations are successful in promoting their narrative at the highest levels of the EU decision! But also among the EU citizens.
Such a reality is extremely dangerous. History, especially the one of Europe, tells us that the anti-Semitism it always begins with the Jews, but it never ends with them.
In various places and at different moments in time, the well-being of the Jews was a sure indicator of the health of society as a whole:
“A country that turns against its Jews is preparing the path for greater hardships.”
It is our duty, as decision-makers, to make sure that evil, out-lawed organisation can’t put a spell on us and our citizens, altering our perception about reality.
It is also our duty to learn from the experience of others. The IDF is, for sure, among the most experienced forces in dealing with modern, urban, asymmetric warfare. Learning from them, we can help our own citizens, especially those serving their countries.
I am glad we have the chance of this discussion today, in the European Parliament, and I hope that all those who got a copy of the “Human Shields” report will see its added value for all of us.
I want to thank My Truth for the effort in bringing to us this report and the support of Europe Israel Public Affairs in organising the debate”.
Apostolos Tzitzikostas, EPP candidate, elected as new President of the European Committee of Regions: “Together, we must make our Committee the bridge between Europe and its citizens”
Governor of the Region of Central Macedonia and EPP CoR member, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, was elected as new President of the European Committee of Regions.
“Together, we must make our Committee the bridge between Europe and its citizens”, transmitted the new CoR president in his speech.
— European Committee of the Regions (@EU_CoR) February 12, 2020
Apostolos Tzitzikostas wants a change of the European Committee of the Regions and presented to the new colleagues a plan based on three pillars: Modernizing the administration, a focused dialogue between citizens and the European Union and establishing an agenda in order to ”make this Committee the point of reference in the European Union.”
The February 2020 plenary session represents the inaugural session for the European Committee of the Regions’ seventh’ term of office.
The European Committee of the Regions is the EU’s assembly of regional and local representatives. Since 1994 its mission has been to represent and promote the interests of local and regional authorities in relation to the European decision-making process. From its Brussels headquarters, the European Committee of the Regions has thus helped to ensure ever closer union of the European nations and territories with decisions being taken at the closest possible level to ordinary Europeans, in line with the subsidiarity principle.
The New Mandate
CoR members and alternates are appointed for 5 years, which is the length of a CoR mandate. The next mandate starts on 26 January 2020 and will last until 25 January 2025. At the beginning of a new mandate, all CoR members have to be appointed, and all organs, including the Bureau, the commissions, the working groups, and the interregional groups have to be re-established. A new President, a new First vice-President and a new Bureau are elected by the members meeting in the first plenary session.
Head of Romanian EPP MEPs responds to S&D Group leader: Treat Romania differently. You cannot compare PSD’s attacks against the rule of law with EPP Government measures
The actions undertaken against the rule of law by the former Social-Democrat governments in Romania cannot be compared with recent measures announced by the centre-right government, member of EPP family, says MEP Rareș Bogdan, head of the Romanian delegation within the EPP Group in the European Parliament.
In an exclusive statement for CaleaEuropeană.ro, Bogdan responded to critics drawn by Iratxe Garcia, leader of the Socialists and Democrats in the European Parliament. In a Twitter post earlier on Monday, Garcia said EPP Romanian government should take note of Venice Commission, which prohibits changing the electoral law one year ahead of the elections.
The Spaniard MEP advised the Romanian Government against going the ”same path as Poland and Hungary” in ”undermining the rule of law”.
In his reaction, Rareș Bogdan mentioned that we would ask for a discussion with ”Mrs. Garcia to clarify that her statement was made without knowing the reality in Romania and the steps taken by the Orban government”.
“I think there is no bad will, but a simply less unfortunate information about the situation in Romania”, he replied.
”There is no term of comparison” between PSD and PNL, said Bogdan, ”although both parties are from Romania”.
”You cannot compare the continuous attack of PSD against Romania’s strategic partnerships with the EU and the US, against the rule of law (…) with the natural, logical and normal proposal of PNL, using constitutional tools, to introduce a two rounds vote for the local elections in June 2020. The purpose of our proposal is to enhance the representativeness and legitimacy of the elected local politician. By introducing a two rounds election we do not reduce, in any case, electoral rights”, explained the head of the Romanian delegation in the EPP Group.
Moreover, Rareș Bogdan asked that the situation in Romania to be treated ”differently”, considering Garcia’s comparison with the situations in Poland and Hungary.
“My request is that our colleagues in the European Parliament treat Romania as a different situation. Also, pay close attention to the statements of the leaders in Bucharest, led by President Klaus Iohannis and the right-wing Prime Minister Ludovic Orban, who have no connection with the statements made by Romanian officials at the head of the Government or Parliament in the period 2017-2019”, said Bogdan.
Take part in the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign. EPP group urge the Member States to join forces and fight cancer together
EPP Group, the largest political family in the European Parliament, is launching a cancer awareness campaign, the disease that causes one of four deaths in Europe.
Through #EUCanBeatCancer campaign, the EPP group calls for better cooperation between research centers in Europe, more money for cancer research, but also fair and accessible care across Europe for citizens.
How can you get involved in the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign
You can join the 1537 citizens already registered in the campaign through 4 simple steps:
- You subscribe using the email address HERE
- Follow the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter
- Use the Twibbon in the profile picture
- Draw the Twibbon symbol and post it in order to show support
Everyone has their own story about cancer, even European politicians or leaders:
According to the World Health Organization, one third of cancers are preventable and half of the deaths could be prevented.
Breast cancer is the second most common form of cancer in Romania and in many cases the disease is detected when it is already in an advanced stage.
According to the private health network, Regina Maria, in Romania, 80% of breast cancers are diagnosed in the advanced phase, a stage in which the treatment can not bring healing, but only prolong the survival.
Romania had the lowest rates (0.2% of women aged 50-69 – 2015) in breast cancer screening.
Our multimedia platform – Calea Europeana – has joined the #EUCanBeatCancer campaign. During the campaign informative articles will be published and we will keep you updated with the measures taken at European level to beat cancer.
Liderul extremei drepte din Italia, Matteo Salvini, criticat dur pentru afirmațiile legate de femeile care fac avort din cauza unui „stil de viață necivilizat”
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