That’s the outcome of last week’s EU summit with regard to Belarus and Turkey. The heads of state and government of 27 EU countries continue to threaten Ankara with sanctions — and at the same time with a promise of trade concessions — are trying to get Turkey to stop its exploration work in the Mediterranean Sea. The media do not hide their frustration and outrage at the outcome of the summit.
Just rhetorical spells
The Der Standard newspaper sharply criticized the EU decision:
“It is not uncommon for the Heads of State and Government of the 27 EU countries to demonstrate so clearly to the world what the common EU foreign and security policy is: … There is no need to talk about determination or effective action. Those who violate human rights and despise democracy face no consequences from Brussels, even though they are countries in close partnership with the EU. Beyond the rhetorical spells, just put on a new form, nothing new can be expected from the EU. German Chancellor Angela Merkel sold a “threat” to constructive dialogue with Turkey.
Sanctions will not give Cyprus anything
Cyprus Mail criticizes the obsession of the Cypriot government with the idea of sanctions against Ankara:
“For the government led by Anastasiades, the sanctions against Turkey have become an idea-fix… But are these sanctions part of a strategy that would contribute to the achievement of certain goals — and really benefit the state? …. Sanctions will not stop Turkey’s illegal actions — they may even spur and strengthen their momentum. The sanctions would not improve the prospects for an agreement on the Cyprus issue — and would threaten the interests of many of our EU partners in Turkey, which in turn would force them to oppose Cyprus. The sanctions can only provide the government with a questionable moral victory over Turkey, but this victory will not be of any practical benefit to Cyprus.
Enough of this theater!
The very fact that the sanctions against Belarus were adopted only after heated debate and the renunciation of the Nicosia veto is completely unacceptable, — says NRC Handelsblad:
To preserve the ability of the European Union to act quickly, it would be better to renounce the veto. Even when it comes to foreign policy, which is traditionally considered the prerogative of nation-states. A waiver of the veto would certainly be a loss of power to some extent for small EU member states. However, on the other side of the scale is an obvious win for the whole team. In addition, veto power could be abolished only in certain areas — where human rights, sanctions, or rapid diplomatic intervention are at stake… The Sanctions Theater, which we have seen in recent weeks, can no longer be afforded by the EU.