Thursday, October 19, 2006

The European Commission faces both ways...

The EU commission is currently working on the agenda for the unofficial meeting of EU heads of state and government to be held in Lahti, Finland on Oct. 20. The agenda apparently suggests that Turkey could become an extremely important energy terminal and a zone of strategic importance for energy security. It is believed that the Commission will suggest that Turkey should sign up to the EU’s energy Acquis Communitaire even before being an EU member and that Turkey should be accepted to the Treaty Establishing the EU/SEE (South East Europe) Energy Community which entered into force last October. An interesting development given that the European Commission is expected to publish a highly negative report on Turkey's progress towards membership on 8th November....
Yesterday, the EU's enlargement commissioner, Olli Rehn met the Turkish Foreign Minister, Abdullah Gul, in Luxembourg as the countdown began to a year-end deadline for Turkey to end its embargo on vessels from Cyprus which joined the EU in 2004. As I have posted before, the Cyprus issue could be the breaking point in Turkey's membership talks which began in October 2005. Or perhaps energy security goals will win out. Will the European Commission favour pipelines or principles in Turkey's quest to join the EU?

10 comments:

Serf said...

My guess is pipelines.

istanbultory said...

Ditto.

Colin said...

For oil, they don't care to sacrifice Israel, Christian religion, the rights of women or European culture. Why should they care more about Cyprus.

However, there is something I do not quite understand. Maybe you have a better insight in the matter, Istanbultory.

Oil is on sale. Turkey probably needs the revenues from the use of its oil pipelines. Since Turkey are selling its services, why would the country need to become a member of the EU?

According to EU logic, all trading partners (including SA) would have to become EU members.

Does somebody have an explanation?

istanbultory said...

True. Turkey is beginning to realise that the EU probably needs it more than Turkey needs the EU. At least, in terms of energy security. Business circles, the intelligensia and certain sections of the political establishment overwhelmingly want Turkey integrated into the EU: the bulk of the population are rather more ambivalent.

Colin said...

Istanbultory,

Yes. But I mean why would the EU or e.g. China need a political union with Turkey, if
Turkey is selling its services?

To use an analogy, we don't need to marry the waitress to get a steak in a restaurant, except if she would blackmail us by refusing to bring the steak if we do not marry her. However, marriage would not solve the problem of blackmail since after marriage she could continue to blackmail us by demanding the PIN for our bank account or else again she wouldn't deliver the steak.

Turkey within the EU would still be able to blackmail the EU and to demand more power and more money from other EU countries or else it wouldn't deliver the oil. We just have seen this scenario between Russia and the countries of the former Soviet Union.

Somehow, Turkey's EU membership for oil doesn't make sense except if the EU is planning to control the oil pipelines for blackmailing other countries, e.g. the USA.

CityUnslicker said...

If they let Turkey in, can we escape out of the door whilst it is held ajar?

istanbultory said...

I am not an expert on energy security but I know that the EU (and others) have been increasingly concerned about the rapprochement of Moscow-Ankara since 9/11 and the current flourishing of economic co-operation between them. Anti-Americanism and the current political position on the Middle-Eastern conflict and Iraq unite the countries in a way previously never seen. And of course, Turkey has a strong dependence on Russian gas. If Turkey were to be left outside of the EU, the thinking goes, Turkey might be oriented towards developing a substitute relationship with Russia. In 2000 Erdogan`s adviser on foreign policy prof. Davutoglu published a book in which he stressed the importance of control over all the ex-Ottoman territories as Ankara and Turkey`s influence must play a "special role" in their future. Thus, its not inconceivable in the future that Ankara and Moscow acting in concert could in any way or another exercise decisive control over the flow of energy resources to Europe from Central Asia and the Caspian Sea and dictate terms on the flow of energy to the EU. Is that what the EU envisages (or fears)? I know not. But perhaps that would go some way to explaining Washington's unconditional support for Ankara's EU ambitions....

Colin said...

Istanbultory,

Many thanks for your very helpful information so that I can better understand what is going on.

If I interpret your information correctly, Russia and Turkey are interested in forming a cartel similar to the cartel of the OPEC to blackmail Western Europe and the USA.

Russia already controls the Russian oil, the third largest of the world. Turkey will control the pipeline for the oil of the Caspian Sea and has plans to also control the oild fields of its former Ottoman Empire. Together, Russia and Turkey would control the major part of the world's energy supply and would be able to blackmail the industrialized countries.

”Is that what the EU envisages (or fears)? “

Yes, I think so. The EU fears that its industry wouldn’t get the energy it needs to survive and it envisages getting a piece of the energy cake. If the EU strategy works, it would make the EU richer and more powerful than the US. Why?

The US rulers have developed a highly sophisticated method to rob the rest of the world of its riches. They do not need to send their soldiers in foreign countries for plundering like the Roman emperors did. Instead the riches are shipped to the US and everybody thinks that it is a good business. How does it work?

The dollar isn’t backed by gold but instead consists of worthless paper. The Federal Reserve in the US is constantly printing huge amounts of dollars . This worthless paper is exchanged for valuable goods of other countries such as oil from the Middle East, machines from Japan and Europe, and consumer goods from China. Why do other countries accept such a bad deal? Because the US ”made in 1972-73 an iron-clad arrangement with Saudi Arabia to support the power of the House of Saud in exchange for accepting only U.S. dollars for its oil. The rest of OPEC was to follow suit and also accept only dollars..

In other words, the US hegemony depends on the fact that all countries need oil and therefore need dollars, which the US is constantly printing in abundance. Iraq was invaded to prevent Saddam from implementing his plan to sell oil for Euros. Iran is planning to do the same. If oil can be purchased in Euro instead of Dollars, the American Empire of Debt would collapse and the EU would obtain the permission to print money like the US. This would be the end of the American Empire because they wouldn’t be able any longer to finance their huge military build-up by deficit spending. The EU would inherit the US Empire, that’s what they seem to envisage.

No politician, whether left or right, is able to change the fact that Islam is sitting on oil and that the Western world, including Europe and Great Britain depend on oil. And no amount of rhetoric about the advantages of Christian religion and Western civilization will change the dependency of the Western world on oil. Any political strategy has to take this fact into consideration. UK politicians are trying to avoid an oil boycott from Islamic countries (hence all this nice talk about Islam) and - since nobody knows the future with certainty - to play the American as well as the EU card.

” It is here noteworthy that for all the rhetoric about the reasons for the surviving British Pound, the British most likely did not adopt the Euro namely because the Americans must have pressured them not to: otherwise the London International Petroleum Exchange (IPE) would have had to switch to Euros, thus mortally wounding the dollar and their strategic partner.”

Colin said...

The interpretation that Russia might use its energy supplies for blackmailing Western Europe appears to be supported by recent events at the EU summit in Finland.

On October 20, 2006, the EU vowed a united front to press Putin on energy. "The Europeans delivered a united message that Russia must give European firms a fair chance to exploit its huge energy resources or risk an investor exodus."

"We need to develop mutual trust that requires transparency, the rule of law, reciprocity, non-discrimination, market opening and market access," European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso said...The EU has expressed dismay at Russian moves to impose punitive sanctions on firms such as Royal Dutch Shell and Total that signed contracts in the 1990s.

Vanhanen voiced satisfaction that EU leaders had presented a united front to Putin."


One day later, the media report Putin Ducks EU Demands on Energy Charter. "The leaders of the European Union which already depends on Russia for a quarter of its energy urged Putin to implement a legally binding energy charter that would ensure supplies of Russian oil and gas for Europe... but Putin disagreed with their views, Estonian Prime Minister Andrus Ansip told the AP."

That makes Western Europe even more dependent on Turkey's oil pipelines. How likely is the scenario that Turkey will not attempt to blackmail the EU?

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