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EUParliament Vote on Ombudsman backs EF project Key parts (1997-2019, incl. Historic Buzek 2009 act)

Written by ACM
Thursday, 17 January 2019

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- A strong Majority in EU Parliament's plenary backed a Key part of "Eurofora" project's (+1997-2019) Principles about Citizens' Participation, on which is based the Latest EU Ombudsman's, Emily O'Reilly's, Special Report (2017-2019), including an Historic move on Transparency of the Decision-Making process made by former President Buzek, just after -and according to- what we had discussed here, already as early as before a Decade now : since 2009 !

 

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Significantly, the overall EU Parliament's Resolution succesfully attracted 479 Votes in favor, against Only 18, (with 81 abstentions).

 

 

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On the Contrary, 225 MEPs (against 360 in favor) Contested (191 opposed + 34 abstaining) just a Part of a Paragraph, which Applied such General Principles also to a Specific, Controversial Issue, relevant to EU Member States' sovereignity, (about "Preparatory Bodies" linked to "€uroGroup" and other "Financial" organs), and/or to EU Council's rejected Demand for a 1,5 Month more Timeframe in order to Reply in what it considered as "Complex" Issues, requiring "in Depth Reflection", (until "Early July" 2018), that EU Ombudsman Refused, because it Exceeded the Standard 3 Months overall Deadline set by EU Parliament's Rules, while the matter was "Important ... to EU Citizens", as she stressed (on May 2018). 

 

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- But, concerning the above-mentioned General Principles, on which is Based both "Eurofora"s Project (+1997-2019) and this EU Parliament's 2019 Resolution on EU Ombudsman's latest Report (2017-2019), a Strong Majority of MEPs (Comp. Supra) stressed Today, in particular, that  "ensuring that (EU) Citizens are able to ... Participate in the Progress of Legislation is a Legal Requirement under the (EU) Treaties (See Infra), and a Basic requirement for a Modern Democracy".


- In this regard, MEPs point at the "Articles 1 and 10 (3) of EU Treaty, (which) establish that, at Union level, Decisions must be taken as Openly as possible, and as Close as possible to the (EU) Citizens".


+ In Addition, Lisbon Treaty's Article 11 speaks even for "Regular Dialogue", as well as the "Expression" of EU Citizens' Views, and "Exchanges", on the "Acts" of EU Authorities, including EU Parliament itself, EU Commission or Council, and others, as "Eurofora" has recently evoked both with EU Ombudsman, Emily O'Reilly herself, and her Director of Communication, etc, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsmanoneurofforaproject.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsmandecisionandeuroforaproject.html , respectively).


=> That's one reason more, for which EU Ombudsman's latest Report "found that", as a matter of Principle, "the ... Lack of Transparency ...of (a) Decision-Making Process - specifically during the Preparatory Stage ...- constitute(s) Mal-Administration", MEPs pointed out.


I.e. practically endorsing, on 2019, former Twice EU Ombudsman, Professor Nikiforos Diamandouros' 2010 Anouncement to "Eurofora" of his Intention to use EU's "Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms", (part of Lisbon Treaty package), and particularly the Principle of "Good Administration", (established by the Charters' Article 41), in a "Wide" way, including, in Addition to "Transparency" Issues, also f.ex. the Legal Principles of "Impartiality" and "Fairness", as well as of  "reasonably Timely" Public Administration's Decisions, added to Citizens' Rights to "be Heard", have "Access to ...Files" affecting their "affairs", as well as for a Motivation giving the "Reasons" of Decisions. With the Result to form a Coherent Series of Rules inciting for a kind of <<Dialogue>> between Citizens and Public Authorities, (since the "Reasons" of their Decisions should, normally, Reply to affected Citizens' previous "Hearing", as National Administrative Law often precsribes also in several EU Countries, etc), serving also as a Safeguard against eventual "Abuse of Discretionary Power", (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsman.html), which are becoming, Taken Together also with PanEuroepan CoE's recent similar Legal Tools for  National Administration, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeruleoflawchecklistandeuroforaproject.html), Key Building Blocks applying"Eurofora"s Project's main Idea.


>>> Now, "especially in the run-up to the European Elections in May 2019", EU Parliament "is deeply convinced that Truly Democratic and highly Transparent Decision-Making ... is indispensable to increase Citizens' Trust, ...and is, therefore, determined to Enhance the Democratic Accountability of all EU Institutions", as the new Resolution stresses.


- Otherwise, nowadays' "common Criticism", "of the EU" (and/or National States) as being "Democratically Deficient", can become "Detrimental" to any "Ambitious ... European (and/or National) Project", EU Parliament warns, expressing "Deep Concern".


=> Therefore, the Resolution adopted Today, formally "Demands" that EU Institutions, including the Council, "Align (their) Working Methods with the Standards of a ... Participatory Democracy, as required under the Treaties", (Comp. Supra).


- During Today's Debates, Dutch former Minister and currently vice-President of EU Parliament's Delegation to Palestine,, "Green" MEP Margrete Auken, rightfully pointed at the fact that "We are here with the very Core of what is called the <<Democratic Deficit>> in the EU", which appears as "a kind of Ghost (sic !) story", that "is too Far Away"...


- She referred to an expression used by experienced EU Parliament's co-Rapporteur for Ombudsman's work, German SD MEP Jo Leinen, who had just Warned that "Citizens" have important "Expectations" on "the whole Decicion-Making Process" of Public Authorities, and what "they expect at Home, inside the Nation States, they expect it, all the More, from the EU, because, (otherwise), Brussels is bound to be (perceived as) More and More Away from the People ! That is why we need (f.ex.) More Transparency at the European level, than perhaps at National level" : Here, the Decision Making Process must Not look as "a Black-Box", where "Much is happening Behind Closed Doors", he Warned.


- But, both EU Ombudsman's and EU Parliament's relevant Reports clearly show that "we have some very Good Tools" in order "to Deal with that Problem", optimistically stressed MEP Auken. A key part of "the Problem is", in fact, that various Obstacles to Transparency and/or Participation in EU Decision-Making Process "have Kept entire important National Layers Out of (the European) Democracy", as she characteristically Denounced, instead of inter-Linking them, (f.ex. via Citizens', Medias', and/or Political Parties' Access to what is happening at EU Level, so that they could Act also through the National Level, by Holding their Representatives Accountable of what they are doing here).


=> It's Interesting to note that the Most Important such "Tool", in order to Find a Solution to those Problems, according to Both relevant EU Ombudsman's Report and EU Parliament's Resolution of 2019, (Comp. Supra), Focus mainly on "Transparency" at the "Preparatory Stage" of EU's Decision-Making Process, i.e. for Information of Citizens a.o. Before Measures are taken, f.ex. by Opening Access to what is happening inside EU Parliament's Committees which Prepare the Final Decisions due to be taken, Sooner or Later, by the Plenary.


>>> That's precisely a Key Point of "Eurofora"s wider Project (+1997-2019), with which We have Helped to Deal, in real Practice, by Inciting the former President of EU Parliament, ex-Prime Minister of Poland, Professor Jerzy Buzek, (current Chair of Industry-Transports-Research-Energy Committee), to be Insprired by a Discussion that we held, the same Day of his Election as EU Parliament's Head, as Early as since 2009, in order to take the Historic Decision to "Innovate" then, by Starting to Open all the MEPS' Committees' Meetings' Events and Documents for "Live" Transmission, Registration and Permanent Access through the New Communication Technologies of Digital Tools and the Internet, already before a Decade (2009 - 2019) !


- The Crystal-Clear and Locacious Dialogue between "Eurofora" and President Buzek, in an Exclusive Interview that we had the chance to take then, just after his Election and Press Conference, in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, back on July 2009, speaks itself about the Importance of that Exceptionaly Important Event, which obviously Triggered the Web-Transmission and Publication of EU Parliament Committees' Events and Documents, for the 1st Time in History, systematically, until now (2009-2019) : See the Original NewsReport at  http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/buzekeurofora.html.


- It also Reveals the Fact that, by doing so, President Buzek was initially Motivated mainly by "Eurofora" Project's central Idea to Help Debates between EU Citizens and MEPs Before Decisions which affect their Lives and/or Society at large, i.e. a kind of "Dialogue" with concerned Citizens in the EU Decision-Making Process, by using Modern Communication Technologies.


+ In consequence, Nowadays, since this 1st Part of "Eurofora"s Project has been almost Realized in Practice, (i.e. as far as Prior Information and Transparency Before Decisions is concerned, mainly in EU Parliament, mostly in EU Commission, and at a Lesser degree, Partly even in EU Council, where it seems on its way, mutatis-mutandis : Comp. Supra), then, from now on, the main Focus should, normally, be placed on the 2nd -and Most Important- Part of our Idea of +1997-2019, which notoriously was from the Start, and still is Today, to Help Develop Citizens' Debates and Dialogue with EU Politicians/Deciders Before they take impotant Measures affecting People's Lives and/or Society.


As also various converging Recent Events clearly indicate, (f.ex. in France and several Other European Countries, as well as at an overall EU Level), a Complete Application of that "Eurofora"s main Project (+1997-2019) - i.e. Also of its 2nd (and Crucial) Pilar - could Help Face, Alleviate and/or Solve most of current notorious Problems faced by the EU in its relation to Citizens, while also contributing to Open some New Horizons for a really Modern, Developed, Popular and more Democratic Europe.


 

(../..)

 

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EU Parliament's Top Press Officers in Upbeat mood ahead of crucial 2019 European Elections...

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 16 January 2019

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- A Fast-Track look at the Annual Reception of accredited Journalists for the Crucial New Year of 2019 European Elections, by EU Parliament's Top Press Officers, as well as by its President, Antonio Tajani, yesterday (Tuesday) evening, on the sidelines of this January Plenary Session, clearly surprized by a quite UpBeat Mood witnessed by "Eurofora" at several Key persons, in various but converging ways, despite the awesome Challenge that notoriously represent for EU's present and foreseable Future the main conditions, turnout and results of this exceptionally important, forthcoming Vote of May 23-26 :

 

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- Starting by the experienced new Director General of EU Parliament's Communications, and long-time Spokesman, Jaume Duch-Guillot, who, while Greeting "Eurofora", confirmed the well-known moto : "An Image worths 1.000 Words", by spectacularly resuming his mood with an expressive "Thumbs-Up" Bright Smile, in a superb Winston Churchil style, (See relevant Photo)...

 

- Among Jaume's probable motivations certainly is also the Fact that he had just succeeded to bring, together with him, EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, (a very experienced, former Twice EU Commissioner, Top MEP, Foreign Minister, High-Tech Engineer, etc., who has even touched upon Journalism personaly the Past), despite an exceptional overload by many other meetings held in parallel that same day, to greet Journalists, in front of "Eurofora", with a Toast firmly dedicated to the "Freedom of Press" :

 

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 - Simply Because an efficient and Democratic Society needs Pluralist and Free Information by Medias regularly covering European Issues, sometimes even at the Risk of their own Lives, as it was shown in the Recent Tragic Examples of the Brutal Killings, in 2017-2018, of an experienced Maltese Journalist, who had dared dangerously expose herself in public by adding an Independent and Critical Web-News Site with Original NewsReports to her routine articles for a traditional weekly, followed even by that of a young Slovak Web-Journalist reportedly investigating some corruption affairs for Big Medias, (etc), evoked President Tajani, vowing to Resolutely Continue to Defend Press Freedom also after the May 2019 EU Elections.

+ Naturally, Jaume Duch, who is of Spanish origin, had also the rare pleasure, these days, to Welcome in EU Parliament both the Speaker of Spain's National Parliament, and the Prime Minister of the Country, respectively at an Exhibition opened on Tuesday Evening (together, inter alia, with the former EU Parliament's President Gil Robles), and on Wednesday, at a Plenary Debate with MEPs. Moreover, earlier ceremonies to celebrate the Anniversary of "20 Years" since the adoption of €uro Currency, were added on Tuesday.

But it's even his Spokesman Office's Head, and Deputy EU Parliament's Spokesperson, Marjory Van Den Broeke, who gave one of her rare Smiles, while Wishing a Happy New Year to "Eurofora", just after listening to our description of the beautiful spectacle of Huge Trees and/or even Gardens often preserved inside the Center of Buildings' Blocksa at several Hotels in Brussels, sometimes giving a Superb View of SunRise, at Early Morning's time, (f.ex. when returning from a Long EU Heads of State/Governments Summit's Night), as we highlighted, (See, f.ex., relevant Photo, taken from the latest, December 2018 EU Brussels' Summit nights, etc).

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Brussels' interior Garden Sunrise, during the latest EU Summit (Eurofora)

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>>> Much more Important, however, for the overall Mood of EU Parliament's Senior Press Officers Nowadays, obviously was the Exceptional Fact that, by a Timely Coincidence, the above mentioned Annual Reception for Journalists took place in Strasbourg almost ...at the Same Time that, at London's Westminster, Brittish MPs were engaged in a Decisive Vote on the latest UK - EU draft Deal on "BREXIT" !


- A Big and Topical Issue, scheduled to be Debated by MEPs' the Next Morning (Wednesday), which inevitably Dominated also various Discussions among Journalists and EU Parliament's Press Officers, etc., during that Annual Reception of Tuesday Evening :  - Despite a spontaneous ... "What a Mess !", reaction by another Press Staff Member, speaking to "Eurofora", when it became clear that a Big Majority with a Difference of more than 200 Brittish MPs were, indeed, Opposed to that Draft Deal, as it stood, on the contrary, Most Interlocutors looked rather ...Happy about it, apparently Hoping that the UK may finally Stay inside the EU...


Some, inside EU Parliament, might, perhaps, have been Glad for the prospect of certain Other EU Member States to Gain More MEPs than before in the May 2019 Elections, due to a probable "BREXIT", meanwhile, on March, (as, f.ex., +5 for France and Spain, +3 for Italy and the Netherlands, +2 for Ireland, +1 for Poland, Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Austria, Croatia, Romania, etc, but +O for Other Countries, so that the Total Number of MEPs would go from 751 down to 705, after the Departure of the UK, while 46 Seats would be Reserved for eventual "TransNational" Lists in the Future, and/or for Enlargement). Nevertheless, Others notoriously prefered for the UK to Remain inside the EU.


- The Best Example was that of EU Parliament's new Press Director, Neil Corlett, a serious and experienced former Long-Time Head of Medias/Communication for the Liberal Group of MEPs, and Brittish himself, who Laughed wholeheartedly, together with some Friends, when he heard "Eurofora" suggest that a Key reason for an eventual "NO" to "BREXIT" could be People like Corlett himself !


- Indeed, obviously he was, personally, Against "BREXIT", and had been, surprisingly, Selected by EU Parliament in order to become its Press Director Recently, when "Hot" EU - UK Negotiations had been engaged, Despite the Fact that he was Brittish, without clearly knowing what might happen to him (and other UK Citizens employed by the EU) if and when the UK might Leave the EU, (as he had already told "Eurofora" since then). By a strange Coincidence, Neil Corlett had assumed the role of EU Parliament's new Press Director during that Same Plenary Session of Autumn 2017 in Strasbourg in which EU Council's President, Donald Tusk, a former Prime Minister of Poland, had Surprized Observers during a key MEPs' Debate, by Evoking a Possibility for the UK to Finally Stay inside the EU, if it wished so...


>>> However, the most Interesting was what the experienced Corlett had to say nowadays on the Crucial Issue of the estimated overall "Turnout" in the forthcoming 2019 EU Elections, (which had Previously been Discussed several times in the Past, mainly between "Eurofora" and Jaume Duch : See Infra) :


- I think that there is, now, a real chance for EU Citizens' Turnout in the 2019 European Elections to be Higher than the Last Times. Not just Because of our (EU Parliament's Press Service) more or less "ProActive" Strategy, but, much More due to "the Political Context" of nowadays, Neil Corlett told us.


=> Indeed, from the one side, so-called "Populists, and/or various "EuroSceptics", Far Leftists or Rightists, may feel Recently that they could have a Chance to get a Bigger Say inside EU Parliament, than they ever had in the Past. But, at the Same Time, alleged "Pro-Europeans", and/or several Traditional, mainstream Political Parties' fans, may Feel that their Ideas about Europe would Risk to be seriously Heart and Damaged or Replaced by some reportedly "Anti-European" Views. So that Both Sides of this Political Spectrum would be Incited to Participate in the May 2019 Votes, More than in the Past, increasing the Turnout, EU Parliament's new Press Director, agreed with "Eurofora", in substance.


+ Turnout's Numbers in EU Elections has become a very "Hot" Issue of Crucial Importance, particularly since the 1979 - 1994 Majority of Registered EU Citizens, suddenly Ceased to appear, after a Sharp Fall of Participation from 62 - 57% down to Only a Minority of 49 or 45%  of Voters between 1999 - 2004, before a Stabilisation around 43% twice, on 2009-2014.


The Fact that a Long Trend to always Fall towards a Lower Turnout, already since 1979-1994, suddenly Agravated on 1999-2004, was apparently Diminished, before being Stopped (if not reversed) on 2009-2014, (Comp. Supra), has been often Discussed, earlier, by "Eurofora" with EU Parliament's Spokesman and former Long-Time Press Director, Jaume Duch, currently Director-General of Communications, as, f.ex., inter alia, also back on July 2014, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/whatstopedabstentiontrendandstartedparticipationgrowthineuelections.html , etc). According to that latest discussion in public, (during the regular Press Briefing of Monday Afternoon, at the Beginning of a Plenary Session), Duch had already announced that EU Parliament was, normaly, expected to Examine the way in which it had Succeeded to achieve that Stabilisation, of a previously Falling Turnout, (as mentioned above), in order to reach Practical Conclusions for the Next EU Elections of 2019, (Comp. Supra). Something which, precisely, remains to be seen Nowadays, (Hoping, also, for an eventual Reversal of that previous Trend, now, towards a Stronger Electoral Participation by EU Citizens, much needed for Europe's present and Future)...


At any case, an Unforgettable Fact, in this regard, naturally is what had told "Eurofora" the Famous 1st President of EU Parliament in History, former Minister and afterwards Academician, Simone Veil, back during a Conference in Paris' prestigious University of Sorbonne, already as early as since 2010, (precisely when Polls had shown that she was, then, the Most Popular Figure in France) :


- When "Eurofora" had asked Veil to explain the "Paradox", for EU Citizens to have been regularly Voting, with Big Majorities, at EU Parliaments' Elections back on 1979-1994, when MEPs had Only a Few Competences, while, on the Contrary, they suddenly Started to Abstain in Majority, more Recently (since 1999-2004), Despite the Fact that MEPs have got, meanwhile, much More and Important Competences than in the Past, that Historic and Popular European Personality had not hesitated to Reply, realistically but Optimistically, (with a Bitter Smile, after a Thoughtfull moment), that, in her view, "Europe is still in a Transitional" Stage, between a Past and a Future Level of Development, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/simoneveileuropeintransition.html).


=> Shall we Start to see, at least Now, in the forthcoming, crucial May 2019 EU Elections, something like a Prelude or Beginning of such a New Stage for Europe, or shall we have to Wait, even Longer, perhaps until the Next, 2024 EU Elections, if not even Further Away in the Future ?


+ It's also a Fact that even the Experienced, current EU Commission's President, former Long-Time Prime Minister of Luxembourg and €uroGroup's Head, Jean-Claude Juncker, has concluded a landmark Conference, in Strasbourg University's Political Science Institute, more recently on Autumn 2017, (See: ...), by the Surprizing Observation that, Contrary to what Most People Think, the European Construction is Not "Too Old", but, rather, "it's Just Beginning !"...


Juncker has certainly said that in order to Encourage, but Not to Delay.
But, has Nowadays Europe, and its People, the "luxe" to Wait even much Longer, or No more ?...


Aren't Real Europeans obliged to, at least, help Start Something New, in the few Time still available, around these crucial May 2019 EU Elections ?

 

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(../..)

 

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CoE SG Jagland to EF on meeting German MFA Maas, +Russia-Syria-US: "New Situation"

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 15 January 2019

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 *Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo.Marcopolo/- Experienced twice CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, f. Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway, speaking to "Eurofora" on his meeting with German Foreign Minister Maas, here, just after Russia-CoE Assembly top Talks with Russia at nearby Geneva yesterday, on the issue of Russian MEPs Voting Rights/Moscow"s Financial Contribution to the organisation, (See f.ex.: ... etc), observed, inter alia, also that the recent USA President Don Trump's will to withdraw from Syria, notoriously risking to provoque there an explosive void, particularly due to Turkey's threats against Syrian Kurds combatting Islamist Terrorism of ISIS as Western and other Countries' Allies, while many CoE's Member States are involved in that Mediterranean Country, (f.ex. Russia, France, Germany, Italy, Turkey, etc), creates now, as far as Strasbourg's PanEuropean Institution's responsibilities and potential role are concerned, "a New Situation".

 

 

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German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, from nearby Sarre, speaking earlier to Strasbourg 's Jpurnalists, including "Eurofora", acknowledged the Fact that Russia's obligation to pay its Annual Financial Contribution to the  CoE, (that Moscow is currently withholding, as long as Russian MEPs are Deprived from their Voting, Participation and Speech Rights in COE's Parliamentary Assembly [PACE], by a Controversial Decision, triggered by a Minority in PACE, back since 2014, when the Ukranian conflict had been suddenly provoked, by Deadly Snipers killing both demontrators and Policemen, so that a Violent Insurrection droped the Peace Agreement compromise,signed by f. President Janukovich and all then Opposition Leaders, under the auspices of EU Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and Poland, for a National Unity Government, Amnesty, Elections, etc., to which, Eastern Ukrania Region replied with Autonomy revendications, and Russia with Crimea Referendum for ReUnification), it's certainly a Statutory duty, so that if it persists, CoE would have to take Measures against that.

But Maas also stressed that "Russia is part of Europe" and naturaly a Member Country of the PanEuropean Organisation, while an eventual Departure out of the CoE would also Harm the Institution, and particularly those Millions of People who are now using the Protection of ECHR for their induvidual Rights : A position strongly supported also by Jagland. Therefore, a Political Solution has to be found, and that's why the German Foreign Minister is now going to visit his Russian counterparts in Moscow, as he anounced.

From what both Maas and Jagland told us Today in Strasbourg, it seems that efforts are currently on the way in order, inter alia, to start a kind of Process which could reach a final solution to these problems asap.

 

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 Meanwhile, concerning the latest developments in Syria, and "Eurofora"'s relevant Questions to CoE"s Secretary General, (Comp. Supra), he observed, in substance, that, even if the main Mandates in those areas lies more in Other International Institutions, nevertheless, CoE might usefully contribute,:at least in certain key domains of its competence : Such as, f.ex. on Refugees, and/or new Constitution-building, etc.

 - In that latest matter, things ( i.e. political developments) have not yet reached such a point, Jagland noted, but, if and when they do, then, we (CoE) could do also for Syria at least what we have alteady done with several other Third Mediterranean Countries, he positively concluded in his replies to "Eutofora""s above mentioned question, (obviously hinting at CoE's "Democracy and Human Rights through Law" famous watchdog, known as Venise Commission, with currently 61 Member States covering about 1,6 Billions of Population : Comp. f.ex. ..., etc).

The Wording used recently by new US President Don Trump on Syria appeared to imply that European Countries should pay a greater role there, now. This obviously includes particularly Russia.

 


(../..)
 

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***


(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


***

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Exploration re-Starts on 2019 in the World. But what about EU's Autonomy ?

Written by ACM
Thursday, 03 January 2019
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- On Space, the Biggest Generator of various High-Tech. Innovations, Christmas 2018 and the Beginning of the New Year 2019 were Both Marked by some highly Symbolic Rendez-Vous, bearing Catchy Names as "Mars InSight" and "New Horizons", etc, and Signaling the Fact that Space Exploration Projects are Back, (after a Long Eclipse, during former US President Barack Hussein Obama : See ..., etc), including for Human Space Flight.


    Americans, Russians, Chinese, and even, soon India, are Now Present in this relaunched Race, which includes also the rest of the Europeans, mainly through various Cooperations and "Autonomous" Projects. But the key Question of EU's "Autonomy" in Space Access, still Remains Open (See Infra)...


    - Thus, f.ex., Launched on May 2018, (i.e. when New USA President Don Trump had just presented his Vision for a "Moon to Mars" Strategy including Human SpaceFlight, 50 Years after the Historic "Apollo" landing of Austronauts on the Moon), NASA's "Mars InSight" landed at the Red Planet on November 2018, at ..."Elysium planitia", (i.e. while Trump was Visiting the French "Elysée" Presidential Palace in Paris), and brought a pioneer French Tool for Seismic Research, whose Mission extends up to November 2020, (i.e., by another yet Coincidence, until the Next USA Presidential Election !) Already, around Christmas 2018, "Mars InSight" gave its First Photographs from the spot, as a Welcome Christmas Gift...


    + And on this 1st January of the New Year 2019, NASA's "New Horizons" Spacecraft, initially Launched already as Early as since ...January 2006, (i.e. soon after former US President GWBush's - a Supporter of Space Exploration - unexpectedly Brillant Re-Election on November 2004, immediately Followed by an Iimportant Trip in Europe, including at nearby Germany, f.ex. at Gutemberg's City Mainz, where "Eurofora"s co-Founder met him : Comp. our Publication, then, at "TCWeekly", etc), Now Reached "the Most Distant Object" ever Directly Explored by Man : But, even if it's Named ..."Ultima Thule", in fact, this Asteroid is the First among Thousands of various objects that "New Horizons" is due to Explore accross the "Kuiper Belt", at the outer area of our Solar System, reportedly up to 2020, (i.e., once again, by a Coincidence, until the Year of the Next US Presidential Elections : Comp. Supra)...  


    Meanwhile, China has just managed to Land at the Moon's Dark Side, for the 1st Time, with a workable Rover, and is also Planning a kind of New "International Space Station" asap...


    Russia, (the Historic Space Pioneer, since the "Sputnik 1" Times, Gagarin, etc), in addition to a very Busy Rocket Launching activity accross the Globe, (from Siberia until French Guyane's Kuru ESA Base), considers its on-going Partnership with the EU on the 2016-2022 "Exo-Mars" Project (See Infra), as one of the Most Important Scientific Cooperation affairs, according also to the President of its Academy of Sciences, Alexander Sergeyev. In Parallel, Moscow is also planning to cooperate with Washington DC's New Space Exploration Strategy (See Infra), particularly on the segments of Moon Orbital Station and Moon Landings, where Russians still keep a strong Pioneer Experience, since a long time ago.


    USA, indeed, has just announced, since Spring 2018, New US President Don Trump's ambitious Vision for Space Exploration starting "from Moon to Mars", and well Beyond, including with Human Space Fight, due to Begin with a original "Space Gateway" orbiting around the Moon, where several Landings and even Bases are scheduled, preparing more Steps towards Mars and, progressively, even Further.


    Meanwhile, even India, after having just Launched more than 30 Satellites in One Operation, has just Anounced that it Intends to engage in Human Space Flight at the Horizon of 2022.


    As for EU Countries, EU Parliament has just debated and Voted, during its latest Pleary Session of December 2018 in Strasbourg, a Multi-Billion (about 16 Billions €) Programme for "Autonomous" Space activities during the Next Multi-Annual Financial Perspectives' period of 2021-2027, including mainly the Strengthening of "GALILEO" and the Development of "Copernicus", "SSA" and "GovSatCom" Projects, for Satellite Navigation Systems, Earth Observation, but also Security and Communication, etc., according to a Report drafted by mainstream Italian ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Massimiliano Salini, (from the Same Party as EU Parliament's President Antonio Tajani, an Experienced former EU Commissioner in charge also of Space : Comp. Tajani's relevant Replies to "Eurofora" Questions on his Space Vision, f.ex. at ..., etc).

Shortly afterwards, EU Council also adopted an Agreement on EU's Space Program, on 20 December 2018 in Brussels, around Similar Key Projects, (Comp. Supra).


    + In Parallel, ESA is still Preparing the 2nd and most Important Phase of its "Exo-Mars" Project, (in Cooperation with Russia : Comp. Supra), which will Focus on a European Rover due to work on Mars between 2020-2022, as part of a Wider Pioneer Research particularly seeking for traces of Life in the Red Planet's Historic Past, through an Exploration of its UnderGround sediments.


    ++ Naturally European Countries are also due to Cooperate with USA's "Moon to Mars" Strategic Plan (Comp. Supra), as well as with China's starting activities at the Dark Side of the Moon, (particularly Germany, etc), especially concerning various Experiments.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
----------------------------------


    However, Despite several MEPs' eagerness to Multiply succesfull Amendments calling for EU's "Autonomy" in EU Parliament's Reports on Space, (Comp. f.ex. Supra, etc), nevertheless, curiously almost Nothing has been Recently heard about the Natural Dream to Build a full and sustainable European Capability for Autonomous Access to Space :


     Certainly, "Ariane-5"'s Rockets are still working, from times to times, But a Strange Silence seems still kept on the Key Issue of ReUsable Spacecrafts' Technology, (as the former USA's "Shuttle", and/or its planned "Orion" Future Spacecraft, etc)...


    F.ex., it's not even mentioned in EU Parliament's latest Report on the Pluri-Annual, 2021-2027 Financial Perspectives concerning Space Projects, neither in EU Council's subsequent Agreement on EU's Future Space Program, (which, However, points at EU's "Strategic Autonomy", Comp. Supra).


    And Russia's earlier Attempt to develop a Plan, Together with EU Countries, for the Creation of such a Re-Usable Spacecraft, (then nick-Named "Clipper"), was finally Droped, despite the Efforts even of a former ESA's Head, to Negotiate such a Strategic Cooperation !


    As for USA, at least until now, it's notoriously accustomed Only to Rent some Room, (f.ex. inside the ISS, in the former Shuttles, some Rockets, Satellites, etc), for several Experiments made by Other Countries, but Not to Negotiate on providing any "Autonomous Access to Space" also by Others...


    Even ESA's "Exo-Mars" Rover project (Comp. Supra), which had been Initially prepared in Cooperation with the USA, had Suffered a serious Backlash, when, suddenly, the USA started to Drop it, (during Obama's period), Obliging the European Countries to seek, Later-on, Help from Russia, (Comp. Supra).


    In Addition, EU Countries afterwards felt to Lack sufficient Money to pay for that "Exo-Mars" project's 2nd Phase, Earlier Scheduled to Start from 2016, and were Obliged to Postpone it for the Future Period of 2020-2022 !

   Meanwhile, Russia too had been hardly hit by "Sanctions" on Pretext of the Ukranian Conflict, provoked since 2014, (by some strange, Deadly Snipers, killing Both Policemen and Demonstrators, who had pushed to Violent Conflict, Droping a Peace Agreement signed between former President Yanukovich and all Maidan Opposition Leaders, under the Auspices of France, Germany and Poland's Foreign Ministers), and herself Obliged to drastically Cut its own Space Budget.

     But EU Countries had probably faced Money-Problems from 2015-2016, since they were Suddenly Obliged to Pay Also +3 Billions € in full Grants each Year to ...Turkey, after Ankara threw into Europe more than 1,5 Millions of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, and Asked for Money and Other Advantages from the EU in order to Stop that. (Something that, in Fact, EU did Not Need, since Hungary and other Central-Eastern European Countries had already managed to Close the "Western Balkans' Route" to those Masses arriving through Turkey, who had, consequently, Ceased to do so, already Before that Controversial EU - Ankara Deal, as Official Data from International Organisations, such as UNHCR and IOM, etc, clearly prove : See ..., etc).


    However, it's mainly (at that Same Period) during former US President Barack Hussein Obama's era (2009-2016) that Human Space Flight, and even Space Exploration in general, were notoriously "Sacrificed" and practically Skiped, for Many Years, since he Decided to drastically Cut NASA's relevant Budget from 2010, (See : ...), prefering, instead, to Focus, curiously, on the International Space Station, (ISS : Closer to Earth than the small Distance "between Moscow and Saint Petersbourg", as Russian Critics use to say)...


    - MIT Professor, former Austronaut, and then in charge of Scientific Projects at the ISS, Jeff Hoffman, speaking to "Eurofora" in Strasbourg, during an event organized by the International Space University (ISU) here, as early as already since August 2010, (See: ..., etc)revealed that Obama's main Motivation for doing so, had been his will to Focus Research on Genetic Research on Human Beings, apparently Facilitated in Zero Gravity at the ISS, (as, the former US President had already shown earlier, by the Fact that his ...1st Decision at the White House was to Cancel a Prohibition of Federal Funding for Genetic Manipulations on Human Embryos, that his Predecessor, former US President GWBush, had established on August 2001)...


    Indeed, Obama's exceptionally High pre-Electoral Campaign's Private Funding, (the Biggest in USA's History !), Both on 2008 and 2012 Elections, includes Many "Big Pharma" Corporations, as Facts show. Even if, almost 10 Years Later (2008-2018), Despite a lot of Money vainly wasted on so-called "Medical Research" during all this Time, nevertheless, all this Failed to Bring any significant Breakthrough for Human Health until Nowadays, (But Resulting Only in the Invention of the Controversial "Gene Editing" Technique of "CRISPR9", notoriously Dangerous for all Humankind, since it may Alter even the Genome of Future Generations, normaly Prohibited by BioEthics' Law : See, f.ex., ..., etc).


    => So that, to put it in a nutshell,  Nowadays, European People have to Choose :


- Do they like to Waste Money on Controversial and UnPopular Turkey's EU bid, under the False Pretext that this might, eventually, serve to Stop Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants brought in Europe by Turkish Smugglers, (while, in Fact, the Western Balkans' Route was Closed Earlier by European States which are no more letting those Masses comming through Turkey to Pass their Borders : Comp. Supra)? And/or on "Big Pharma", which, after more than 10 Years of Massive Funding for Genetic Manipulations on Humans, Failed to find any Medical Breakthrough for Health, but only resulted into a notoriously Dangerous Technique, with great Risks for Humankind (Comp. Supra) ? 

- Or, do they Prefer for Europe to Develop many and various, useful High-Tech. Capabilities, thanks to that Unique Generator of Inventions, which is Human Space Flight and Space Exploration (Comp. Supra) ?


The forthcoming EU's Elections, Debates and Votes, (including on the Financial Perspectives : Comp. Supra), can give some good Opportunities to usefully Enlighten the necessary Dialogue between EU Citizens and their Political Representatives on these Key Issues, able to Help Forge a Better Future.

 isu_ssp_19_strasbourg_space_studies_program_june__august_2019_eurofora_400

 In this regard, an International Space University's 2,5 Months-long, Space Studies' Program, this Summer 2019 in Strasbourg, apparently due to Focus on Moon projects, could certainly bring some concrete Topical Insights.

 


(../..)
 

----------------------------------


***


(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


***

























   

Eurofora Christmas + New Eve Wishes to its Readers

Written by ACM
Sunday, 23 December 2018
 
www_eurofora_logo_snow_lk_2010_zellmerry_christmas_2018happy_new_year_2019._400 
 
*Strasbourg/- "Eurofora"'s best Wishes to all its Readers for Christmas and New Eve's annual Recess, hoping that Natural Snow will succeed to overcome "Global Waming"...
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 politkovskaya_gongadze_adali_400

Hu Jia's prize brings SAKHAROV's wife to "EuroFora" on murders of Journalists Politkofskaya, Gongadze and Adali :

- Elena Bonner : "All Journalists' murders must be fully investigated", without Double Standards.                                                                                    

During a special Mega-Event to celebrate 20 Years of SAKHAROV Prize for "Freedom of Thought", attributed in 2008 by EU Parliament to jailed Chinese Cyber-Dissident Hu JIA, the move was reinforced by strongly criticizing the persisting impunity in three cases of Journalists' Murders, such as POLITKOVSKAYA in Russia, GONGADZE in Ukraine, and ADALI in Turkish-occupied part of Cyprus.

Any bureaucratic doubt about whether Cyber-dissidents like Hu JIA might have, or not, a right to be protected as all Journalists must be, particularly when they take risks to search, find and publish original and critical News on issues of general interest to the society, could not resist to the emotion provoked by the message of his Wife, Zeng JINYAN spectacularly transmitted at a big screen in EU Parliament's hemicycle :

- "The most important and most interesting thing he did was to ... say the Truth :.. to write about the phenomena he observed... He never stopped Publishing.. on websites, so that the Public could learn about the reality .. and understand it.  In my view, this has been his greatest contribution", stressed the young wife of the jailed man, eager to cite also the cases of other critical journalists who faced various kinds of "harassment".

 - "Welcoming all those who have suffered for defending Human Rights", EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING, who had invited to Strasbourg all former Sakharov prize-winners from various Countries throughout the World, said that "China needs Europe, and Europe needs China : A great nation" with which "we want to have a good relationship", "association and ..friendship". "But we are never going to stop our fight for Human Rights, and No Government can expect this from us".

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of Peace, if Human Rights are left out. In fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.

    It's in this spirit that MEPs adopted, on Thursday, a Resolution denouncing that "the criminal
investigation and trial following the murder of (a) Journalist ...raises serious concerns with regard to transparency and respect for the rule of law", when a "brutal killing has not yet been fully investigated and solved in a satisfactory way".

    The text refered to dissident Journalist "Anna POLITOVSKAYA", a critic of Tchechen conflict, killed some years ago in Moscow, where Russian Authorities have found, arrested and are currently judging two executants, while also searching to arrest also a 3rd one, allegedly escaped in Belgium. But they have not yet found the instigators.

     Similar texts were adopted recently also on dissident Ukranian Journalist Georgiy GONGADZE's murder, for which Ukranian Authorities have at least found, arrested and condemned 2 executants to 12 and 13 Years of jail, but not yet the instigators. For that purpose, they recently accepted an International Experts team to participate to the investigations.     

But, it's only for the Murder of dissident Turkish Cypriot Journalist ADALI, in the occupied territories of Cyprus, that Turkey has NOT yet found ANYONE responsible, and even claimed recently inside CoE that it would be "impossible" to do so !    

These astonishing differences exist despite the fact that ECHR condemned alike Ukraine and Turkey with 2 Judgements on the same year : 2005, for the murders of  Journalists GONGADZE and ADALI, strong critics of Corruption in Ukraine, and of Ankara's policies on mass-influx of Turkish Settlers in the Occupied Territories of Cyprus, respectively.    

Regarless of that, CoE's Committee of Ministers, who is entrusted with the duty to supervise execution of ECHR's judgements, has just asked Ukraine's Government to reply to further questions on Gongadze's murder before March 2009, while Turkey, curiously, got a longer postponement for answering questions on Adali's murder, until June...   

A comparison of these cases, raises serious questions about Double Standards :

------------------------

On TRANSPARENCY :
--------------------------
    On Gongadze's murder, CoE's body speaks even about the participation of
"an INTERNATIONAL group of Experts" in the Investigation, (f.ex. of "Tape Recordings"), accepted by Ukraine.
    On the contrary, on Adali's murder, CoE is obliged to repeatedly ask (for a 2nd
time) Turkey whether, at least, it informed the victims' Family, or not...
------------------------------
- On EFFICIENCY :
-----------------------
On Gongadze's murder, CoE formally "recalls that the Committee (of Ministers) ..URGED the Ukranian authorities.. to TAKE ALL NECESSARY INVESTIGATIVE STEPS TO ACHIEVE CONCRETE and VISIBLE RESULTS in the INVESTIGATION, aimed at the Identification of the INSTIGATORS and Organisers of the Murder", and "STRONGLY INVITED the Ukranian Authorities to provide information on the PROGRESS IN THE INVESTIGATION", before MARCH 2009.

But, on Adali's murder, on the contrary, CoE's body merely .. "took note" of the "arguments presented by" Cyprus, which denounce the absence of any proof of new "investigation" by Turkey. Following Turkey's own suggestion (!), it simply "noted" that there is "no limitation period" for "any new element" to "lead potentialy (sic !) to a Re-Opening of the Investigation". Without saying who might find any such "new" fact, since Turkey stoped searching... It also POSTPONED the issue until .. JUNE  !
-----------------------
 - On the PUNISHMENT OF THOSE RESPONSIBLE :
----------------------
 -  On Gongadze's murder case, Ukranian Authorities already arrested and condemned, at least 2 suspects, to 12 and 13 Years of jail. And on Politkovskaya's murder at least 2 suspects are judged, and a 3rd one "wanted".

On the contrary, on Adali's murder case, the Turkish authorities simply claim that "it had not been possible to obtain new .. information .. on the basis of which criminal charges could be brought against ANY person" !...

Moreover,  a LETTER sent by Turkey ...2 Years after CoE's 2006 call to re-investigate anew Adali's murder case, is totally EMPTY of Facts ! As Cypus' Delegation denounced earlier, Turkey's Letter ONLY CLAIMS that a "New Investigation" was made without any result, but does NOT even cite ANY FACT to prove it :

F.ex.,on the crucial issue of the "MOTIVATIONS" behind Adali's murder, noted by ECHR, Turkey MERELY CLAIMS that "all allegations  were investigated; without result", but OMITS ANY FACT TO PROVE IT !..(It doesn't even remind which were these "allegations").. .

+ On ECHR's astonishment that the Turkish Occupation regime didn't produce any "BALLISTIC REPORT" on the Shots which murdered Adali, Turkey again repeats, 12 years later, that, still, even until now, "it  was not possible to obtain the BalisticReport"...

- As for the astonishing absence of key-WITNESSES' Testimonies, denounced by ECHR, Turkey agains repeats various pretexts avoiding to reveal anything, (Fex. that a person "left" the Occupied Territories  "on 2002", or that another witness was heard, but without revealing nothing of what he said, etc).

Turkey obviously "FAILS TO MEET THE CRITICISM made BY THE COURT" for lack of any efficient Investigation in Adali's case, concluded Cyprus' Government.
---------------------------------------------
Replying to our Question which COMPARED these 3 outstanding cases of "JOURNALISTS MURDERS", Adali, Gongadze and Politkovskaya, in order to avoid "Double Standards" by asking from Ukraine and Russia more than what is asked EU candidate Turkey, many European personalities were critical /

They criticised Ankara's recent claim at the CoE to stop investigating, because it would be "impossible to find anyone" responsible for the 5 bullet shots which killed Kutlu ADALI in front of his Family Home, contrary to the other two Journalists' murders, where Ukraine and Russia at least arrested the executants, searching now for the instigators :
----------------------------------

imag0103_400

    - "Where was that ? In Turkish Occupied Cyprus ? WITHOUT ANY DOUBT : Any murder of Journalist should be investigated in full ! All these Murders must be investigated !", replied the famous SAKHAROV's wife, Elena BONNER to our question on Adali's case, compared to Gongadze and Politofskaya.

    Elena Bonner spoke us EXCLUSIVELY shortly after being honored by the President
of EU Parliament on the occasion of 20 Years of her husband's SAKHAROV Prize.

    A strong personality, Sakharov's wife even had to struggle against an anonymous EU staffer who, astonishingly, tried to stop her speaking when h heard our question on "Turkey" (!) : - "Please, let me translate, she continues
speaking, don't stop us !", had to cry Sakharov's daughter, (a Journalist
herself), who was translating her mothers' reply, (obliged to speak louder to
make her voice heard despite the harassment).. (= + Audio Proof !)

    Earlier, Elena Bonner also fustigated "Double Standards" at another case, on
Western countries' attitude vis a vis Kosovo and the Kurds : -F.ex. "You have
recognized a few 400.000 Kosovars as an "independent" country, but you still
deny that to 30 millions of Kurds in Turkey !", she denounced.
-----------------------------
    - "This (ADALI's murder) is an issue which should be pursued by the Committee
for Human Rights. That's why we have one, and it's its duty to examine cases of
Journalists' murders as the one you referred to. You should bring the case in
front of that Committee", suggested in reply to our question on Adali, EU
Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert POETTERING.

    - "It's impossible  to achieve goals of PEACE, if HUMAN RIGHTS are left out :
in fact, Peace and Human Rights are intrinsequaly linked", added POETTERING.
--------------------------------------
    + "For us (European/International Federation of Journalists) it's clear :
Whenever a Journalist is Murdered, the Investigation should continue until
those Responsible are found !", replied earlier to another question on ADALI
EFJ/IFJ's Secretary General, Aidan WHITE.

    Speaking as a matter of General Principle, White asked us for "concrete data"
on the execution of ECHR's judgement on Adali case, in order to "look at it in
depth" and "make a formal statement", in comparison with the other Murdered
Journalist case, also pending at CoE's  Ministers for completing its execution,
on Ukranian Gongadze.
----------------------------------------------------
     From EU Rapporteur on Human Rights, vice-President of EU Parliament Liberties' Committee, MEP Giusto CATANIA, we were told that, since there is an ECHR judgement in both Adali and Gongadge's cases, "Turkey must naturally execute the judgement and make a full and efficient investigation, until those responsible for the Journalist's murder are found and punished".

    Even if "we (Catania's "EuroLeft" Group) support Turkey's EU perspectives, this does not mean that Ankara should not behave properly. On the contrary, it means that they have to meet tough conditions, particularly on Human Rights", was added on the occasion of Adali's murder case.

    Moreover, "since you raise the issue of Mr. Adali's muder as a part of a Series of Journalist's murders, including fex. Gongadze, Politkovskaya, ao., tthen we (EU) could also act together with CoE's Commissioner on Human Rights, Thomas HAMMARBERG, it was suggested.

    - "We (EU) must step up efforts against the problem of IMPUNITY : Real Peace cannot exist without Justice",  stressed also this week at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, French Minister on Human Rights, Mrs Rama YADE.
------------------------
                     

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