two beasts: the first with a face can act and the second can play it's part...
"The visiting minister said Portugal would have liked to have seen many more chapters opened in Turkey’s negotiations during its EU presidency but explained: “We have to understand the complexity of the process and the internal balances of the EU we needed to assure so that the process can keep going on. Our major objective was to keep the process alive, and I think we succeeded in this.” Minister Amado recalled that with the addition of new members and new ideas emerging about Turkey’s place in the European Union, they had to maintain a balanced dynamic between different, conflicting interests in the Council of Ministers. “We couldn’t fall into panic with these new ideas and proposals that were disclosed several months before Portugal’s presidency and we managed not only to avoid that, but to also open two chapters in Brussels,” he said. He stressed that maintaining the delicate balance of the EU mechanism was necessary not only to keep the process alive, but also to assure that the EU continues to work. “I think we are a reliable ally for Turkey by means of our commitment to Turkey’s bid to become a member of the union in the future,” he added.
Commenting on the elements of these delicate balances in the EU, the Portuguese foreign minister recalled that Europe is facing a complicated challenge that forces it to find a way out of the current consensus-based decision-making mechanism. “I used to say that the European Union is a very strange animal
in political terms; the way it moves, the way it adapts to new conditions, the way it relates with different partners from the world.
… The EU is completely different from a state, a federal state or a confederation. This is a completely new political construction, and we need to learn how to deal with this strange animal.
I believe that with respect to some of the problems regarding a common constitution and a common foreign policy we have to be patient,” he said. He added that waiting for the right moment to propose the decisions that need to be made by the EU is crucial.
Asked about the future of the EU’s current decision-making mechanism, Amado suggested that the new institutional apparatus provided by the Lisbon Treaty,
which was approved during Portugal’s presidency, will both keep the principles of unanimity and consensus intact and help decisions be made easier. “I think that the new apparatus responds better to the challenges we face. The Lisbon Treaty will solve our problems with regard to the functioning of the council and the existence of a foreign minister that can act and supply a face to the European Union that it still lacks.
So I believe that what we approved in the Treaty of Lisbon will give much more consistency to our foreign policy
independent of the rule of unanimity,” he said. "
Asked about the future of the Alliance of Civilizations (AoC),
in which Portugal is highly engaged due to the fact that former Portuguese President Jorge Sampaio is serving as the high representative of the program, Amado claimed that the initiative has already surpassed the expectations set for it at the beginning. “The number of states cooperating with the initiative fully has increased significantly. The fact that the United Nations endorsed the initiative is another sign of its success. This is no longer an initiative co-sponsored by Turkey and Spain. I believe that the initiative is doing its part and I think it is responding to one of the challenges that face us by means of avoiding a rupture between civilizations
,” he said.
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