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EUParliament Head Tajani to EF +French President Macron: April RDV+Citizen Debate before Decisions ?

Written by ACM
Friday, 23 March 2018
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*Brussels/EU-Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, speaking to "Eurofora" on the sidelines of his Press Conference during the EU Summit of March 2018 in Brussels, confirmed French President Emmanuel Macron's venue in Strasbourg Next Month, and did Not Exclude a cooperation with his Plan for EU "Citizens' Consultations", eventually Starting by that visit of Macron, who meanwhile, (apparently reacting to relevant "Eurofora"s move here : See Infra), took, afterwards, the initiative, (during his subsequent joint Press Conference together with German Chancellor Angie Merkel)) to speak about the Substance of his idea to create such Popular Gatherings all over Europe, (in a way which Brings them even Closer to "Eurofora"s 1997-mainly 2007-2018 Project) :


 - Yes, Indeed, the French President Emmanuel "Macron is due to Come on April" to EU Parliament, as things stand Now, clearly confirmed, on Wednesday, its President, Antonio Tajani, an Experienced former Twice EU Commission's vice-President, f. Top MEP and former Italian Foreign Minister, in Reply to a wider "Eurofora"s Question (See Infra), as things stand Today.


- It's on Tuesday, 17th of April 2018, that Macron is expected to Speak at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in the Framework of an exceptional series of Hearings by MEPs of Heads of State/Government of EU Member States on "the Future of Europe", and, particularly, about the outcome of the currently on-going Franco-German Talks on the Future of €uroZone.


- Macron revealed, Later-on, Today, during his Joint Press Conference with Merkel, that he intends to Visit, Meanwhile, also Berlin, "in the Next Weeks", in order to Fine-Tune the Franco-German views mainly on Economy and €uroZone, etc. Such Franco-German Meetings are due to continue also on April, and even on May 2018, he added.


+ But, the most Important, from the point of view of "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question to Tajani, is that the French President is Also expected, (according to other, Well Informed, French Sources), to "get out, shortly After his Speech at EU Parliament's Plenary, and go elsewhere to salute the 1st (EU) Citizens' Convention", which is due to Start in Strasbourg, that Same Day, Inaugurating a Long Series of similar Popular Events throughout all EU Countries, in the run-up to the forthcoming European Elections of May 2019, which are notoriously Planned to spread until around the End of 2018.


>>> And, indeed, the Main thrust of "Eurofora"s Question to Tajani was whether he found Both Feasible and Desirable for that Unique Opportunity of April 2018 in Strasbourg to be Seized io order to Kick-Start also a Joint Move between EU Parliament and various other Similar Popular Events, as those of EU "Citizens' Conventions", in order to Advance towards that kind of "Expression" of EU Citizens' Views on EU Organisations' Activities, and of "Regular Dialogue" between EU "Civil Society" and European Decision-Makers, as that which has been prescribed by the current EU "Lisbon" Treaty's Article 11, (since its Entry into Force, already as early as since 2010), but Not Yet really put in real Practice, at least not fully, (Comp., among others, also: ..., etc). I.e., something almost Identical to "Eurofora"s (+2007-2018) main Project for Systematic EU Citizens - Politicians Debates Before Decisions.

- Exceptionally, on this Key Point, EU Parliament President's immediate, spontaneous Reaction to that 2nd, and More Important Part of "Euforora"s Question (Comp. Supra), was to suddenly become quite Thoughtfull, but chosing, rather, Neither to immediately Confirm that, clearly and Explicitly Now, Nor to Deny any Possibility to do so in the Foreseable Future, no more : I.e., ipso-facto, in other words, Leaving that Crucial Question "Open", with a kind but somewhat mysterious-looking smile...
 
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It's also true, that, in Fact, on this particular Moment, as things are going on, it's not even sure that Antonio Tajani won't become, during the Next few Weeks, eventually, the ...New Prime Minister of Italy, (i.e. entering, ipso-facto, inside EU Council), as it was, notoriously, proposed to him, Recently, by one of the main Winners of the Latest Italian Elections, including the Experienced, former 4 Times Prime Minister himself, Silvio Berlusconi, now Head of a New Center-Right Coalition, (Together with Rightist Leader of the "Lega" party, Matteo Salvini), which Succeeded to arrive at the Top of the Votes, and might, even, attract the 2nd Frontrunner, Beppe Grillo's "5 Stars" Movement, in a New Kind of Pioneer Coalition Government, (See: ...).


Given these Facts, as well as the Radical Inovation that "Eurofora"s Suggestion might inaugurate, Tajani's carefully Reserved, immediate reaction to that 2nd and Key point of our Question, (Yesterday, on Thursday), appears, at least for the Time being, quite natural, (particularly as it does not exclude anything, at this moment)...


---------------------------------
+ Macron's indirect but eloquent Reply, goes along "Eurofora" Project's query :
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Suprisingly, but Logically, the Next Day, this Friday Afternoon, in Brussels, it's French President Macron himshelf who Suddenly Gave an Eloquent "Push" towards a possible, and much needed, Development, apparently Going almost entirely in the Direction of "Eufora"s above-mentioned suggestion/question to Tajani (Comp. Supra)...


Macron's move came, Unexpectedly, at the very Last moment of his Reply to one of the Exceptionaly Few (3 each) Questions allowed during his Joint Press Conference with German Chancellor Angie Merkel, on the Conclusion of the March 2018 EU Summit in Brussels, where the (almost Synchronous !) Deadly Islamist Terrorist's cowardly Attack Targetting Civilian People in France (Aude) Hindered a Normal, (usualy much Longer) Dialogue with Journalists, since it obviously had to be Cut Short, this Time, in order to give him a chance to Returng Fast enough Back in France, where Tragic Events were still evolving when that Conference started.


>>> Thus, "Eurofora"s Declared intention to Raise a Question related to Macron's wish for EU "Citizens' Conventions" throughout Europe, (Comp. Supra), which we had Transmitted by an Elysée Palace's Press Official, together with our ID, even if it could not be immediately satisfied as such, given the Short Time Available Now, in the Exceptional Context of a Deadly Terrorist Attack against Civilian People, nevertheless, seems to have helped Trigger an Interesting Reaction by the French President, who seized an opportunity given by a (partly unrelated) Different Question raised by a Collegue, (on the Conditions in which various Important EU's Top Jobs were reportedly Attributed to certain Candidates, instead of others), in order to add  a Reply (indirectly but surely) also to "Eurofora"s Query (Comp. Supra), at the End of his Last Public Declaration, just before leaving Brussels !  


Shaped as a matter of General Principle, this particular Macron's "Reply", is very Interesting, (also because he chose practically the Eve of his forthcoming Visit to EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in order to magistraly Boost Main Elements of "Eurofora"s Project) :

 - When "a Procedure has been Launched by the EU Parliament", which "raises several Questions" on Hot Topical Issues, then, "this Procedure Must be Followed" (also by Critical and Independent Observers, as, f.ex., Citizens, Journalists, etc), "and Transparency must be established, so that Decisions will be taken (only) After such a Procedure", he stressed from the outset, (on this special point).

 - For Macron, it's better to Raise Questions, establish a Procedure, and create Transparency : That's the way for things to be done, Democratically", as he characteristically Added.


- On the Contrary, "If (a Critical Question) was Censored, (swept under the carpet), as if there was nothing, that would provoque a Problem", he Warned.


 - "But, (whenever) there is a Democratic Controversy, a Journalistic Controversy : It should be Fuelled. There is a Parliamentary Debate : it should be Treated with calm. And, when all Elements of Truth will be gathered, then, Decide", Macron urged.


 - "That's the Way for a Mature Democracy to stay Alive !", he proposed. I.e., "when, in our Democracies, we have the Capacity for Controversies, and to make them thrive in a Transparent Framework".


 - "Europe" should further Develop its Historic (Comp. Macron's landmark Speech at Athen's Ancient Pnix Rock, near Acropolis, where Direct Democracy had been Invented, at: ...) Capacity to be an "Area where Democracy is living, where there are Citizens' Controversies (Polemical Debates), and Issues are approached in Transparency", he advised.


+ "Truth, and Both Journalists' and MEPs' work, are very Important, in this Framework", the French President added, going even Closer to "Eurofora"s Original (1997-2018) Idea for News-Generating Citizens' Debates before EU Decisions.


- "And that's why, (i.e.) in order to completely ReVitalize (European Democracy) ..., that I am a strong Believer in (EU) Citizens' Consultations !", Macron stressed.

 

french_president_macron_with_german_chancelor_merkel_points_at_eurofora_project_eurofora_screenshot_from_eu_council_video_400
 


=> -  "The point is for (EU) Citizens to be able to Deal with (take posession of) all Issues of importance for them, in order to Share (Express/Present) their Proposals, and Will for Change", he Explained, (with an Amazing Relevance to "Eurofora"s +2007-2018 Project for European Decision-Making process).


- It's a matter for "a Well-Functionning Democracy and Transparency" on Decicion-Making processes which are still "Evolving", he concluded.

 

(../..)


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***


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


***



EUSummit+Parliament+Germany+France Leaders Tajani+Merkel+Macron slam Turkey Violence (Varna RDV eve)

Written by ACM
Friday, 23 March 2018
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*Brussels/EU-Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU's 28 Heads of State/Government clearly slamed, during a 2 Days-long Summit in Brussels, Turkey's latest Violent Abuses against EU Member Cyprus' Energy, and the Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of Syrian Kurdish Canton of Afrin, as well as other Provocations at EU's External Borders in Greece across the Aegean Sea, etc, just a Few Days before a Crucial EU - Turkey Bilateral Summit, exceptionaly organized in Varna, Bulgaria (the current EU Chair-holder) Next Week.


But a series of Blatant Rejections by Ankara of all relevant EU Parliament and/or EU Council's Decisions, added even to a Return of Deadly Islamist Terrorism, cowardly Targetting Civilian People, Today in France, (Despite the Heroism of some), added to some Pressure to eventually Water-down Varna's meeting with even more unpopular and controversial Concessions to Turkey, are obvious Challenges that Europe needs to Face efficiently, (See Infra).


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 - "The European Council strongly Condemns Turkey's continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean Sea, and underlines its Full Solidarity with Cyprus and Greece", concluded EU's 28 Heads of State/Government from Thursday Night, as far as Turkish GunBoats' Threats against European Energy Supplies' Security, and Protection of EU's External Borders are concerned, (See also Infra).


=> In consequence, the March 2018 EU Summit in Brussels "Urgently Calls on Turkey to Cease those Actions, and Respect the Sovereign Rights of Cyprus to Explore and Exploit its Natural Resources, in accordance with EU and International Law".


+ "In this Context", (and significantly "Recalling its Conclusions of October 2014 and the Declaration of 21 September 2005", already, prepared according to Statements made by the then Prime Minister of France to "Eurofora"s co-Founder a week earlier at UNO's HeadQuarters in New York, Published then at "TCWeekly"), the EU Summit also "Recalls Turkey's Obligation to Respect International Law, and Good Neighbourly Relations, and Normalise its Relations with all EU Member States, including the Republic of Cyprus", (a "minimal" Condition which had been Explicitly put by the EU in order to Start "Negotiations" with Turkey on its controversial and unpopular EU bid, already from 2005, but Not yet really fulfilled by Ankara)...


>>> Most Important, "the European Council will remain Seized of these Matters" during all the foreseable Future, this Brussels' Summit also Warned Ankara (See Infra).


++ In Addition, EU Leaders expressed (their) Grave Concern over the continuing Detention of EU Citizens in Turkey, including (even) 2 Greek Soldiers, (who were reportedly following the Footprints of Intruders on the Snow, inside Greek Territory at the Borders with Turkey on Evros River, surprisingly leading towards a ...Group of Turkish Soldiers in Turkey's side of the Border, who arrested them, closing them to Jail for a Too Long Time, even WithOut any Court Hearing and/or Decision yet).

These Crystal-Clear, Official "Conclusions" of EU Leaders on Turkey were adopted after Marathon-Long Discussions Over-Night from Thursday to Friday, Stopping only about ...2 o'clock a.m.. To the point that, as "Eurofora" witnessed on the spot, even German Chancellor Angie Merkel was, Exceptionally, led to Cancel her Usual Press-point on the Conclusions of the 1rst Day of Brussels' EU Summits, Contrary to what she was accustomed to do...


"Eurofora" was informed by EU Council's sources that this Turkey Discussion, late Thursday Night, (Despite substantial Earlier Preparations) had a supplementary Duration of at least one Hour-Long.
The rest of that Time, overnight, was spend on Other Foreign Policy issues, concerning mainly Relations with Russia and USA, (particularly on the thorny "Salisbury" alleged poisoning affair, and New US President Don Trump's imminent decision about Taxes on Steel a.o. Imports from certain Foreign Countries, including China, India, Mexico, Canada, etc, respectively).


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


- In Fact, it's "in view of our Monday (March 26) Meeting with (the Turkish) President Erdogan" (in Bulgaria), that EU "Leaders discussed Turkey, pointed out from the outset, at the Concluding Press Conference, on Friday, EU President Donald Trump.


=> "In this Context, the European Council strongly Condemned Turkey's continued illegal actions in the Eastern Mediterranean" (i.e. Ankara's GunBoats bullying European Ships from Italy to Explore EU Member Cyprus' Exclusive Economic Zone's underseas Natural Resources in Oil/Gas : See ...), "and the Aegean Sea", (i.e. various, persistent provocations over EU Member Greece's Sea Borders, which are also EU's External Borders vis a vis Turkey), he stressed.


>>> "This Issue Will be Raised in Varna, where we hope to have a Wide-ranging Discussion on EU - Turkey relations, and the way Ahead" : And, therefore, "I am Aware that it will Not be an Easy meeting...", Tusk Warned Ankara.


+ Because "the EU is Concerned not just with the the Situation in Eastern Mediterranean and the Aegean". But, Moreover, "Certainly a number of Other Complicated Issues will be Discussed in Varna", he Announced.


=> "Including Developments in Turkey" itself, (i.e. the Notorious Aggravation of Massive Violations of Human Rights of various Dissident or Critical People, which have already reached an Historic Record-High level, (Comp., f.ex., among many others, also : ... + ...), "and its (Ankara's) actions in Syria", (i.e. the Deadly Foreign Military Invasion and Occupation of Syrian Kurdish Afrin canton : See ...).


- Significantly, concerning Europe and Turkey, President Tusk, (following a notoriously Big Majority of European People's wish, repeatedly Expressed recently in both various Elections and Polls, etc), Limited that relationship to a Simple "Cooperation", Only in certain (undetermined) "Areas of Common Interest".


- Even there, however, "Still, ... we (EU and Turkey) Need to Find a Way to Talk to Each Other Openly", he chraracteristically observed, (particularly in front of Turkey's repeated Total Rejections of Both recent EU Parliament Resolutions and EU Heads of State/Governments' Conclusions, added, even, to several Provocations, rarely seen before...


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


+ EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, (an Experienced former Twice EU Commission's vice-President and Top MEP, who served also as Italy's Foreign Minister), Replying to relevant Questions at his Press Conference of Thursday Afternoon (Comp. also Other Tajani's Statements to "Eurofora" on this occasion at : ...), Both reminded his Earlier Call, last Week in Strasbourg, on the Need to Avoid Civilian People's casualties inside Syria, particularly during Turkey's Deadly Military Invasion/Occupation of the Syrian Kurdish Afrin canton, and Added, even more clearly now, a Fresh Call for Ankara to "Respect International Law", in this and other above-mentioned cases.


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

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++ Speaking later on Friday Afternoon, in a Joint Press Conference, Together with German Chancellor Angie Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron stressed from the outset that "this EU Summit was Important because it allowed to cover several Issues affecting, in fact, Both the European Model (i.e. Principles/Values)and its Sovereignity".


- Among others, (Comp. Supra), "Just a few Days before a Meeting betwen Presidents Tusk, Juncker (of EU Council and EU Commission, respectively), and of Prime Minister Borissov (from Bulgaria, current EU rotating Chair), with the (Turkish) President Erdogan", (Monday in Varna), "We (EU Leaders) have also Spoken, Yesterday Night, about Turkey", Macron observed, particularly, in this regard.


=> Thus, EU Leaders "have Stronly recalled EU's Concern vis a vis Turkey's Behavior nowadays, (Both) in Cyprus' Territorial Waters, and jn the Aegean Sea", the French President pointed out.


+ But "Also concerning its (Ankara's Military) Action inside the Syrian Territory, at the (predominantly Kurdiosh) Canton of Afrin", Macron clearly added, (Comp. Supra).


>>> Because, "I  remind" the fact "that this (Military) Turkish Intervention is Obviously Contrary to the United Nations (Security Council) Resolution 2401", he clearly Denounced, speaking of UNO's Top Body's recent, Unanimously adopted decision for a Cease-Fire throughout ALL Syria, (i.e. including Afrin).         


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


+ Indeed, Already as early as since February 28, even UNO's Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey FELTMAN's (USA) Official Statements to the UN Securiy Council in New York, Strongly Criticized the fact that even that "Brief Respite that (UNO's SC) Unanimously Demanded, only Days Ago, in Resolution 2401, has Not Materialized" Everywhere in Syria, since, at least in certain areas, "The AirStrikes, shelling, and ground offensives continue" : "We (UNO) Need Implementation", But "that is Not Happening", as he Denounced.  


>>> In particular, concerning mainly the Syrian Kurdish Region of Afrin, Feltman stressed that "we (UN) canNot Forget that (UNSC's Unanimous) Resolution 2401 Demands a Cessation of hostilities Throughout (all) Syria".

=> But, Nevertheless, "Violence Continues in AFRIN", (that UNSG significantly Chose to Cite 1st), Idlib", etc, he Denounced. The First Area ("Afrin"), obviously concerns Directly Turkey's Military Attacks against Syrian Kurds and Pro-Government Syrian Forces, but Also the Second ("Idlib") involves, indirectly but surely, Turkey, since it concerns various Islamist Jihadists and outright Terrorists, who have been Concentrated and Piled up there, by Gathering the Remnants of Al-Quaida-like and/or ISIL's collapse, elsewhere in Syria, who have all been, in one way or another, notoriously tolerated and even Supported also by the Turkish Government...


- UNO's Political USG Denounced, for those Areas, (i.e. "Afrin" at First), "the Humanitarian challenges and Suffering of the People", and, even, went as far as to "Emphasize that Developments in these Areas will undoubtedly render the situation in Syria even more Complex", as he Warned.


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


+ Today, (Friday Noon), German Chancellor Angie Merkel, speaking side by side with French President Macron (Comp. Supra), also pointed at "the Discussion that We (EU Leaders) had Last Night (Thursday) on Issues regarding Turkey", while "Next Week there will be a Summit in Varna (Bulgaria) between the Presidens of the EU Institutions, the Bulgarian (EU Council's rotating) Chairmanship, and the Turkish President".


=> On this occasion, "We (EU Leaders) have Expressed our Concern with regard to Afrin, the Events in the Mediterranean around Cyprus, and also the Question of the 2 Greek Soldiers who are currently in Turkish Custody", she pointed out, (Comp. Supra).


>>> In fact, even if "we want a good Relationship with Turkey", the German Chancellor conceded, (withOut even mentioning, however, Ankara's controversial and unpopular EU bid), "Nevertheless, We (EU Leaders) have Very Big Concerns" on those Turkish actions, Merkel also Denounced.

+ Speaking just 1 Day Earlier at the Bundestag in Berlin, Angie Merkel rejected as "UnAcceptable what is happening in Afrin", (the Syrian Kurdish canton near the Borders with Turkey, which has recently Invaded and Occupied almost all of it), "where Thousands and Thousands of Civilian People face Attacks, obliged to Die or Flee", nowadays, she denounced.

=> "We (Germany) Condemn that, in the Strongest possible terms", Merkel firmly stressed then.

 

+Significantly, these Days during the EU Summit in Brussels, it's for the 1st Time (at least in "Eurofora" co-Founder's Memory, at the EU Summits that we have attended here since 2005), that, Exceptionally, a loud Public Demonstration against Turkey's Deadly Military Invasion and Occupation of the Syrian Kurdish Afrin canton, was tolerated by the Local Authorities, up to the Famous "Schuman Square", which is Located almost right in Front of EU Commission's and EU Council's HeadQuarters... 

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


But, Turkey's Reactions were Harsh and Astonishingly Negative, Rejecting Everything :


- Already, on EU Parliament's latest Resolution, adopted earlier in Strasbourg by almost All Political Groups against the Turkish Military Invasion/Occupation of the Syrian Kurdish canton of Afrin, (See: ...), Turkey's President Erdogan reportedly Replied by Claiming that "there is Nothing the European Parliament can tell us on this (sic !)"...


=> Thus, EU Parliament's "Statement will go in one Ear, and Out Other ! (sic)", Erdogan reportedly stressed.


+ Turkey’s Minister for EU affairs, Omer Celik, cited by "Reuters", went as far as to, in fact, Accuse MEPs to be ... Supporters of Terrorism (sic ! ) :


 - "Calling on Turkey to Withdraw its Troops (from Afrin) is a clear Support for Terrorist organizations" (sic !), Mr. Celik claimed, criticizing the "Decision the EU Parliament has taken".


Many International Observers, however, Critically Noted that Turkey had, initially, attempted to justify its Military Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Afrin Canton by Claiming that it Seeked Only to ensure the Safety of its Borders towards Syria, But, Later-on, its Army started to Intrude even at the Central Core of that Area, surrounding, Attacking and Occupying Afrin's Capital City itself, located at that Canton's Heartland, Far Away from the Borders ! (See : ...).


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


+ Moreover, Today (Friday), the EU 28 Heads of State/Government Summits' Conclusions on Turkey (Comp. Supra), were briefly Rejected as ..."UnAcceptable" (sic !), by Ankara's Foreign Ministry Spokesman.

 

++ The Turkish Foreign Ministry earlier droped the German Chancellor's criticism on Afrin by claiming that it had "Nothing to do with Reality", and would be tantamount to "Supporting Terrorist organisations" (sic !)... 


+++ In Addition, Turkish President Erdogan reportedly Phoned to French President Macron in order to Complain for the above-mentioned EU Summit's Decisions and his own words at the subsequent Press Conference with Merkel in Brussels, (Comp. Supra), that he Accused to be "Baseless", (after having, previously even Claimed to find "False Informations" in them)...


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


- In Reply, Macron reportedly "stressed", Later Today, inter alia, also that "France had Clearly Expressed its Concern, already since the Turkish Military Intervention in the (Syrian Kurdis) Canton of Afrin, had been Launched", underlying, particularly, that "Nothing should Weaken the Pressure on (Deadly Islamist Terrorists of) ISIL's remaining means in Syria and Iraq", as an Official Press Release by the Elysée Palace in Paris pointed out on Friday Afternoon.


=> Most of all, the French President pointed at "the Need to ... give an Absolute Priority to the Fight against (the Deadly Islamist Terrorism of) ISIL", (as also USA's Authorities had reportedly done in parallel).


>>> Also Because "this is, for France (as also for other EU, Russia and/or American Countries, etc), an Issue of National Security !", Macron Strongly stressed Today.


* Significantly, the French President was Speaking just Hours since a New, Bloody Islamist Armed Terrorist Attack in France's Aude area, cowardly Targetting Civilian People, Killed 4 and Wounded a Dozen of innocent Victims.


- As he Earlier Denounced from the Beginning of his Press Conference here in Brussels, this New Deadly Islamist Terror Aggression Targetting Defenseless Civilians, "are Influenced and in Contact with ISIS or Other External (Foreign) forces Related to Islamist Terrorism", for the 1st Time after a Long Pause since ISIS had been almost Chassed Out of Syria by an US-led International Coalition, particularly under New US President Don Trump, notoriously Fighting in efficient Alliance mainly with the Syrian Kurds.


>>> But, obviously, as it had been Expected by several Observers, (including, even, USA's mainstream "Wall Street Journal", etc), the recent Deadly Turkish Military Invasion and Occupation of the Syrian Kurdish canton of Efrin, had Divided and Weakened that, until now, Succesfull Coalition against ISIS, mainly by Underminig Trust and by Diverting Kurdish People and Resources, from the Fight against Islamist Terrorism, towards the recent Need to Defend Afrin from Turkey's Deadly Military Invasion and Occupation (Comp. Supra)...


=> Indeed, its just a Few Days after even the centrally located Afrin City faced Deadly Turkish Attacks, (including by Artillery Shelling, Airplane Bombardments, Water/Elecricity Cuts, etc), that an ISIL-motivated, Armed Thug suddenly Started, anew, to Cowardly Target, Kill or Wound innocent Civilian People again, as in Today's Bloody Tragedy, (Comp. Supra).


+ And various Other Converging sources had Already Denounced, Recently, that, Shortly After Turkey's recent Military Invasion at Syria's Kurdish Afrin Canton, various ISIS' Attacks had suddenly re-Emerged Both inside Iraq and, mainly, Syria (Comp., f.ex., Facts cited at ... + ...).


++ Given also the Fact that Turkey had Notoriously Helped various Islamist Extremists' Armed Gangs, even Al-Queda-like Terrorists, as well as ISIS itself, to Exploit various illegal Trafficks of Weapons, Smuggling of Stolen Goods, including Oil/Gaz and Cultural Heritage, etc, Recruit of "Jihadists", Money Laundering, etc., for Many Years in the Past, mainly through Turkish territories, this New "Comme Back" of ISIS, precisely when Turkey Invaded and Occupied the Syrian Kurdish area of Afrin, should Not really be a Surprize...


+++ A Fortiori when Ankara has even been Accused, recently, to ..."re-Train" former ISIS' (and/or "Al-Queda"-like) Terrorists, in order to use them to Back its Armed Invasion/Occupation, precisely of Afrin.
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In such Circumstances, it would obviously be an Absurd Big Blunder if any EU Bureaucrat might, eventually, Fall to the Trap to Discuss, almost at the Same Time, UK's Withdrawal Out of the EU, (as this Brussel's Summit of March 2018 actually has just done here : Comp. Supra), AND ...Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU "Accession" bid !


And it would, certainly, be even Worse if, in Addition, anyone might, perhaps, commit the Same Bloody Errors that have notoriously done some in the Past, precisely at ...Varna, where the forthcoming EU - Turkey meeting is scheduled now (Comp. Supra) :


- Back on 1.444, a number of European Volunteer People and Soldiers had, indeed, arrived in Varna, in order to Try to Save the ailing Capital of the Byzantine Empire, Constaninople, surrounded, then, by Ottoman-Turk Troops. But, Some among them, finally preferred to remain Servile "to the (Turkish) "Sultan", while Others Betrayed their Promises, for some petty "Trade" interests... , Droping everything. The Result was to Abandon the remainder to be Slaughtered by the Ottoman Turks, who, immediately Afterwards, found a unique Opportunity even to Invade and Massacrate the Defenders of the over-Millenary Capital City of the Christian-Greek Byzantine Empire : Constantinople, soon Afterwards, on 1453. The Catastrophic Result of that Short-Sighted and Treacherous Cowardise, committed by Some in Varna,  notoriously was to practically Throw the Half of Europe into an UnPrecedented Foreign Occupation, Slavery, Massacers, Massive Oppression, Under-Development and Backwardness, during Many Centuries, seriously Hindering a semi-Occupied Europe's further Development, (as, f.ex., the World Famous UK Encyclopedia "Brittanica" reminds).


Until, Later-on, a Growing Series of European Armies' Vitories, started to Succesfully Defend, (f.ex. at Lepante : 1571, and Wien : 1.683, etc), and Afterwards Liberate, one after the other, most European Lands, (f.ex. netween Budapest : 1.689, and All Hungary : 1699, etc., up to Balkan Countries and most Greece : 1.821-1919), a very Long Time Afterwards...


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TODAY's HERO against Islamist Terror : BELTRAME, has unexpected EUROPEAN LINKS...
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The Hero of Today's Horrible Massacre committed by an Islamist Terrorist in Aude, (France), who cowardly Targetted innocent Civilian People, i.e. Gendarme Lieutenant-Colonel Arnauld Beltrame, who notoriously Sacrificed his own Life in order to Save that of Civilian Hostages, (by Taking their Place), is a well Known Physionomy also by "Eurofora"'s co-Founder: Indeed we were Surprized to find his Photo at Today's Headline News, with his UnForgetably Serious and Deep Eye-sight, that we've met and seen several times, during his Service at Elysée Palace in Paris, and/or as Key Member of the Security Team for the personal Protection of France's f. Presidents Jacques Chirac and Nicolas Sarkozy between 2006 and 2010.


+ Moreover, Arnauld Beltrame's links to Europe have an astonishingly Strong, Historic Symbolism:


Indeed, his Conversion back to Chrisianism had reportedly occured at 2008 : - I.e. the Year of a landmark Official Visit of f. Pope Benedict in France, which Chaired then the EU. This had given Him a chance to raise the Topical Issue of the conditions of EU Citizens' adherence to European Ideals, focusing mainly on the Defence and Development of basic Human Rights.  (Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReports from Elysée Palace, Notre Dame de Paris, and Lourdes, then, at : ...).


+In Addition, since then, Beltrame had become, reportedly, fascinated also by the study and rediscovery of Europe's Historic Christian roots.


++ And he has just chosen to Risk and Sacrifice his own Life for that of Innocent Civilian People, cowardly aggressed and taken Hostages by a Radicalized petty Thug obviously manipulated and turned into Fanatic Islamist Murderer by ISIL's Deadly Terrorists, atrocious BeHeaders and cowards systematically Targetting Defenseless innocent Civilians, exactly on the Day of the Conclusions of EU Heads of State/Government's Summit, here in Brussels, which notoriously Discussed both Turkey's recent Violent Threats and/or Aggressions, at the Eve of a Crucial forthcoming EU - Turkey Summit in Varna (Bulgaria) Next Week, as well as €uroArea's foreseable Future.


Last, but not least, Beltrame was reportedly Engaged with Mariell, his Future Wife, at Brittany's Abbay "Notre Dame of Timadeuc", (Burned Down by a Criminal, but Restored Afterwards, it Won a "Resistance Award" for Helping during the 2nd World War, the Resistance to NAZIsm at Rohan area : Origin of ...Strasbourg's Historic "Rohan Palace", located near CoE's and EU Parliament's Buildings), during 2016's Easter : I.e. almost as Nowadays, et this Eve of 2018's Easter, when he Engaged for Ever with the History of Humanity.


A ReNovated and Authentic European History, where the Past is inseparably Linked to the Present and its current struggles for Europe's Future.


It should Not be neither Forgotten, nor Betrayed anew at Varna, (Comp. Supra), but rather, Nowadays, adequately Honored and Vindicated.

(../..)

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




CoE to Boost Athletes' Human Rights after Anti-Doping Zig-Zag Row between Russia - SKorea Olympics

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
coe__ada_conference_on_athletes_human_rights__doping_after_olympic_games_row__eurofora_400

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Acting Fast, After the Recent Olympic Games' Row, which initially Excluded, Before Later Restoring to their Rights, many Russian Athletes, regarding Doping Allegations, according to Controversial Procedures, for the First Time, a consistent Draft "Charter of Athlete Rights" was Discussed in Strasbourg, in view of a possible adoption in a Few Months' Time,  at CoE's 47 Member States-strong PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, in Cooperation with the Global Anti-Doping Agency (ADA), during an Exceptional International Conference co-Organized Together with CoE's Anti-Doping Convention's Experts, (a European Legal Text, Open for Signature to All Countries in the World).


While, on December 2017, IOC had Banned Dozens of Top, Prize-Winning Russian Athletes, and Stripped them from the Medals and Titles that they had Won, allegedly thanks to Doping, exceptionally Excluding even the Country as such, from the Latest, 2018 Olympic Games at PyeongChang, in South Korea, because of Doping Allegations Dating since the Previous Olympic Winter Games of 2014 at Sochi (Russia), suddenly, on February 2018, the Court of Arbitration on Sport (CAS), cancelled many of those rulings,  reversed or, at least, reduced and limited several others, after Finding that they Lacked of Sufficient Evidence, had been obtained after Controversial Procedures, and/or were DisProportionate, etc. But that Rectification came too Late, for the concerned Athletes, who were Excluded from the 2O18 Olympic Games, added also to various Other Negative Repercussions to the Detriment of their Honor, Reputation, Social and/or Professional Lives.


+ By a Timely Coincidence, the Experienced Russian Health Minister, Veronika Skvortsova, (who has Recently been Elected also President of  the World Health Organisation (WHO)'s Assembly at nearby Geneva), was Today in Strasbourg, where she met with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland this Same Morning.

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

 

 coe_antidoping__athletes_human_rights_top_panel_eurofora_400
 


=> - "Athletes' Human Rights must be Protected, and their Voices Heard" : This "Issue ..will be addressed at (CoE's) Next Conferene of Ministers responsible for Sport, which will take place in Georgia, on October" 2018, Announced, from the outset, CoE's Deputy Secretary General, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, (who has also a personal Experience on that area, since she has served also as former Sports' Minister).


-  Indeed, "the Credibility of the Anti-Doping" Institutions, as well as "the Human Rights of Athletes" require to Act, particularly for their Right to a "Fair Hearing" by an "Independent and Impartial" body, similar to that of EConv.HR's "Article 6", etc. For that, we need to hold sincere and open "Discussions" with all the stakeholders, pointed out ADA's vice-President, the MInister for Children and Equality from Norway, Linda Hofstad-Helleland.


- We want that forthcming "Charter" on Athletes' Rights "to be Robust", and, for that purpose, we must "add Input to the Process" if its Preparation, while also meeting the relevant "Time Deadlines", incited the President of CoE's Anti-Doping Convention's Monitoring Group, Anders Solheim, who introduced to the Debates which followed, (partly Open to the Press, partly "In Camera").


- Several among the Participants to that Debate, (taken among Athletes, NGOs, Experts, etc), Criticized what they found to be the "too Complex", sometimes even "Confusing", character of the current Legal Texts and/or Mechanisms used in the Anti-Doping activities, asking to "Clarify" them for the Athletes+.


=> - "Whenever we speak about Sochi (Comp. Supra), I'd better Put my Glasses on !", characteristically Joked, in this regard, the former Football Player, and currently Chie Technical Development Officer at the FIFA, Marco Van Basten, during a Dialogue between Experienced Athletes, Together with another former Footballer, Jan Age Fjortfoft, from Norway.


+ Other Participants tno that Debate prefered to Focus on the Need for "Transparency" of the relevant Procedures, and for the "Independence" of those due to take Decisions.


++ Last, but not least, several Participants asked for "Efficiency", and "to Make Sure that the Rules are Applied to everybody", etc.


The 2nd Debate, about the Concrete Measures, with which CoE intends to Boost Athletes' Rights, was held Behind Closed Doors (for the Press).


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

 coe__ada_conference_on_athletes_human_rights_and_doping_eurofora_400

 

=> "Eurofra" found, meanwhile, CoE's Draft "Declaration" about the forthcoming "Charter of Athlete Rights", which is a Document of 5 Pages, in the form of a Legal Convention with 17 Articles :


 - "Sport is Controlled by International ... Federations, National ... Organisations, Professional .. Leagues, Employers, Businesses and Governments", while "Athletes are the Public Face of Sport, and Athletic Performance is fundamental to the Prestige, Popularity and Viability of Sport". In consequence, "the Politisation and Commericalisation of Sport Today, sees a Failure to uphold the Humanity of Sport and the Dignity of the Player, and a Violation, by Sports' Organizations, of Internnationaly Recognized Human Rights", COE's Draft notes from the outset.

 - "Education, Health and Safety", "Equality of Opportunity", "Fair and Just Sporting Conditions", "Privacy" and "Protection of Name, Image and Performance" and "Rights of the Child", as well as "Freedom of Expression", "Representation", "Access to Court", "Procedural Justice" and "Right to an Effective Remedy", concerne the Substantial Rights of the Athletes, and the Means to Defend them.

+ "Freedom from Doping and Corruption", as well as the "Duty to Respect the Rights of Others and (to) Advance Sport", go more in the Direction of their Obligations, (even if CoE's text also speaks of "Freedom from Doping", and about "Athlete"'s "Right to a Sporting Environment ...Free of" Doping) :


- "Doping"'s Definition is considerably Simplified, (compared to the Complex and Confusing original Definition in the Anti-Doping Connfession) : It's just "Using Banned Substances".  

      
- Relevant "Genetic Manipulations" should, normally, be Included into that, since almost All of them use some kind of "Substances", noted a CoE's Expert, speaking to "Eurofora". Moreover, CoE's Draft calls also to "Presetve teh Integrity of Spot, ...Fee from ...Manipulation" (etc), she pointed out, in his regard.


+ At the same time, "Every Athlete has the Duty to Advance and Promote the Interests of his .. Sport and Community", and to Help "Ensure that Everyone can Enjoy Sport, and that the Health of Sport and the Social and Cultural role in Society is preserved", CoE's text concludes.  ,


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


 >>> Curiously, this CoE's "Charter" does Not contain any Definition of what is an "Athlete"... Therefore, "Eurofora", speaking to CoE's Experts, suggested that, in fact, this New Draft might implicitly Refer to the Crystal-Clear Definition already Given by CoE's Anti-Doping Convention, according to which : - ""Sportsmen" .. means those Persons who Participate Regularly in organized Sports Activities". (Article 2).


An eventual Professionalisation is Not a matter of Definition of what is an "Athlete". But, on the Contrary, a "Right", that "every Athlete has", "to Share Fairly in the Economic Activity and Wealth of his .. Sport, which Athletes helped generate", (i.e. If and When he might Wish to do so), as it results from CoE's Draft "Charter of Athlete's Rights" (Article 6, on "Economic Activity").

 

20180320_113758_400 


In other words, it Reminds (mutatis-mutandis) the Definition of "Journalism" already given by 2 landmark Decisions of the Inter-American Court, as Early as since 1985, as a Person engaged in a Regular Activity of Searching, Formulating and Publishing News of General Interest for the Society, that a Recent CoE's Book on "Press Freedom" published on March 2017, by a Team of Experts (including the new Secretary General of the European Federation of Journalists from Brussels, etc). Something which is, obviously, much more Closer to ECHR's Case-Law, than a merely "Fiscal" Description of some Bureaucrats who, curiously, insist to Reduce the Noble Vocation of "Journalism", only to a mere ..."Card" attesting what kind of Business might Pay the Majority of an Individual's Revenues (sic !)...


I.e., CoE naturally Prefers, Both for "Athletes" and for "Journalists", a Definition Focusing on the "Substance" of their Real Activities in the Society, instead of Merely Restricting it to a Sly, Fiscal Description, which has Nothing to do with the Substance of the Issue.

(../..)

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

CoE Expert Prof Aebi to EF on Penal Stats: Turkish Prison rate Booms, Supervision Grows, Cost Enigma

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 20 March 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- From the Data and the Replies given to Questions raised by "Eurofora" and/or Other Journalists during a Press Briefing at the CoE in Strasbourg by CoE's Penal Statistics' Director, Professor Marcelo Aebi from Lausanne University, Switzerland, on the Latest Annual Stats about Prisons and Alternative Supervision Measures, several, more or less UnExpected Realities emerge, revealing some, more or less, Astonishing Trends throughout the PanEuropean area of some 47 Countries (with just a few exceptions, only for this year) :

 

coe_press_briefing_on_penal_stats_eurofora_400


-------------------------------------
TURKISH PRISON RATE BOOMS !
----------------------------------------------------------


- First of all, even if it was already known that Turkey was one of the Exceptional Cases as far as "Prison Population Rates" (i.e. the Number of Jailed People per 100.000 Inhabitants of a Country) are concerned, given the notoriously "Hot" situation of Human Rights there, Nevertheless, even Experienced Strasbourg Journalists following and publishing for Decades on CoE's activities, were Surprized to Find out that, Nowadays, Turkey has become the Unique Country monitored by the CoE with such a Fast Deterioration during a whole Decade, that its Prison Rates show, by Far, the Highest Increase of all, between 2006-2016 : + 161,7% !  

 

 coe_stats__turkish_prisoners_rate_booms_eurofora_shot_400

 

This is Contrary to the General Trend, which is slightly in Favor of Decreasing that Rate in 19 Countries, opposed to 18, during that Same Period. And it repesents a Very Exceptionaly Big Increase Compared to All Others : F.ex. nearly X 3 Times More than the Next Increasing National Rates, as that of Albania (+66%), etc.  (See relevant Graphic).

Moreover, the Full Extent of that Phenomenon has Not Yet been Officially Registered and Compared, Because, curiously, the Data concerning that Notorious Huge "Tsunami" of Massive Arrests of more than +150.000 Dissident People Jailed in Turkey, sooner of later, particularly After that Strange, Short-Lived : 6 Hours-Long alleged "Coup" Attempt of July 2016, was Not yet Included in these CoE's Statistics, for "Technical" Reasons, as Professor Aebi replied to a relevant question by a Turkish Collegue... Indeed, that "Trend" towards an Exceptionaly Big Increase of ImPrisonment's Rate was steadily Going-on, all-along that Latest Decade, he observed.


+ In Addition, Turkey has also the Fewer Short Duration Sentences imposed to Prisoners (Less than 3 Years : Only 7,4% in cumulative Percentage, But the Biggest such percentage of LONGER IMPRISONMENT Sentences : 3 to 10 Years or more, (being Bypassed, nevertheless, just by Moldova concerning 3 to 5 Years Jail terms : 88% compared to 82,6% in cumulative Percentage, as well as, Surprizingly : by ...Greece, concerning 5 to 9, and 10 or more Years : Respectively 76,5% and 50,1%, compared to 70,3% and 44,9% in cumulative Percentages of Imposed Sentences).


--------------------------------------------
"ALTERNATIVE", SUPERVISION MEASURES GROW TOO MUCH...
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

However, in most European Countries, an Initial Push towards "Alternative" Measures to Imprisonment, Risks to become even a "Supplemetary Sanction", considering, particularly, the Fact that it has "Grown" too much, Recently, going so Far as even to Bypass the Number of Imprisonments :


- F.ex., already on September 2016 there were 1.505.187 Inmates, but More persons Condemned to be "Supervised" by "Agencies" in charge of so-called "Alternative" Measures to Imprisonment : 1.628.016, according to CoE's newest available Data.


+ Replying to an "Eurofora" Question, Professr Aebi clarified that such "Alternatives" to Imprisonment or "Supervision" Measures concern, in real Practice,  a Large Variety of Concrete Techniques and/or Methods, Nowadays :


- F.ex., in Addition to Electronic Tagging ("Bracelet Eletronic" in French), they Include also "Community Serving" sanctions, (f.ex. Work for General Interest Tasks), Monitoring by Phone-Calls, Obligations to Visit Regularly the closest Police Offices, "House Arrest", Confiscation of Travel Documents (as Passports), etc...

- But "No" Electronic "Chips"' Implants, CoE's Penal Statistics' Director, clearly Excluded.


=> Could, such "Monitoring" Measures, and their Bigger than Expected Growth, eventually hide also a Risk for a Trend towards a Dangerously Wide-Spread "Supervision" of too Many People by certain "Agencies", sometimes even with more or less Controversial Methods ?


Professor Aebi's alert, seems, apparently, to Warn about an eventual such risk, in the foreseable Future.


However, a French Collegue Journalist, smiling bitterly, observed to "Eurofora" :  - "In Fact, something like that, has almost started to exist, in real practice, in one way or another, for ...All of Us !"... And she Noded affirmatively, when, in response, we pointed, half-joking, half-seriously, inter alia, simply ...Our "Smart-Phones" !

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

IMPRISONMENT COSTS' ENIGMA...
-------------------------------------------------------


 + Last, but not least, concerning the Material Conditions of "Life in Prisons", "Eurofora" also Questioned the CoE's Top Expert about his Team's astonishing Findings that, in fact, the Amounts of Money spent by 1 Prisoner/Day ranged, already as early as since 2016, from about 6 € (in Moldova), up to ... 359 € (in Sweden) :


 =>  i.e. a Difference of More than X 600 %, (= almost X 60 Times more, or less), from one European Country to anOther !


 - A Volume Level which is, obviously, Much Bigger even than the Differences between the Lower permitted Salaries ("SMIG" in France) throughout Various EU Countries :


=> Which are, Already, Too HIgh : F.ex., "only", about 500 €, compared to almost 1.5OO € per Month, i.e. a Difference of some X 3 Times Bigger Minimum Salary, (naturally indicating also, at least Partly, the general Cost of Everyday Life in a given Country), as "Eufora" reminded, withOut being bellied at all...


 - Why ?


 - Professor Aebi Replied, mainly, that the above-mentioned, much Bigger Difference in Costs (Comp. Supra), should, probably, be due to the Fact that, particularly several "Scandinavian Countries", (such as Sweden, etc), would have much "More Social Security" mechanisms than Other EU Countries, etc.


+ But also, probably, to the Additional Fact  that, mostly these Same "Nordic" Countries, use to "Invest More" in various "Infrastructures, Staff", etc., concerning also Prisons, while, almost at the Same Time, their Occupancy is much "Lower" than in Other EU Countries, as he added.


Indeed, - to take the Same Examples cited Above - in Moldova, the "Ratio of Inmates per total Custodial Staff" was, f.ex., on 2016, the Biggest of all in Europe : 9,9. While, on the Contrary, that of Sweden was one among the Lowest : Only 1,3 !


Such a Reasoning seems also Proven (almost "Ad Absurdum") in the particular Case of ... San Marino : Having Only such a "Ratio" of just 0,4, (i.e. : the Lowest of all), it was Registered as if it Spended, in Fact, an "Average Daily Expense per Inmate" of as much as 707,92 € ...     

 
However, there are also Various Other European Countries, which have also Low "Ratios of Inmates per ... Custodial Staff", (such as, f.ex., Monaco, with Only such a Ratio Prisoner/Staff as 0,9, and Ireland, with 1,6 added to Cyprus with just 1,8, which doN't Spend more than ...81 €, 188 €, or 73,5 €, Respectively, in their "Average Daily Expense per Inmate" on 2016...


=> Thus, it seems that there might, perhaps, be added also some Other Factors, in order to produce those Astonishingly Different Prison Costs per Inmate, already cited above.


Indeed, (Reacted in fine Professor Aebi, to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Factual Observations), to put it in a NutShell, it all looks as that Film by Michael Moore, called  : - "Who to Invade Next ?", which, naturally, points towards Countries such as Norway !...


(../..)


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

EUParliament USA+Security Commitee Leader Ehrel to EF: STOP Turkey Invasion in Syrian Kurds' Afrin !

Written by ACM
Thursday, 15 March 2018
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- The New President of EU Parliament's Delegation for the USA, as well as vice-President of its Defence/Security Committee, German MEP from Bayern, (Host of the World-Famous "International Security Conference" annually), a ChristianDemocrat/EPP of the Governing Coalition, Christian Ehrel, speaking to "Eurofora" the Same Day that the Plenary of EU Parliament's Weekly Session in Strasbour, after a Public Debate on Tuesday, was Voting an important New Resolution on Syria, including on the Turkish Military Invasion in the Syrian Kurdish Canton of Afrin, which has Now, notoriously reached a Crucial Point, as its Capital City, reportedly hosting some 600.000 People, including many Refugees, has been surrouned and attacked by Turkey's Army and its Islamist Extremist Jihadist Armed Gangs, clearly found that there is any Interest to "STOP" such a Bloody Turkey's Military Engagement, which also Risks to "Destabilize" the region.


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

president_ehler_chairing_eu_parliaments_delegation_on_usa_eurofora_400 


 - "Eurofora" had Questioned the EU Parliament's USA and and Defence/Security Committees' Leading MEP, about his feelings on such an exceptional and crucial "ConJunction of Human Rights, GeoPolitics, and Security issues", as the Turkish Military Invasion to Syria's Kurdish Afrin canton, which notoriously Affects Both Many Civilian People and the Best Local Ally of the US-led International Coalition against the Deadly Islamist Terrorists of ISIL's Coward Killers Targetting innocent Civilian People throughout Europe, including also Russia, but even in the USA, etc.


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


 - Europe could, "Sure", be more Active on that Topical issue, President Ehrel agreed with "Eurofora" from the outset.


- "The Problem, right now, is that this is Linked with the (Wider) Syrian Conflict, which is, more or less, Influenced by Foreign Powers", told us, in Reply, the Top MEP of the Governing Coalition in Germany.


- In particular, Nowadays, "the Question arises : - "What is Turkey going to do ?", he pointed out.


- "And, I know that a Lot of People are, acturally, Worried", both in Europe, in the USA and elsewhere, , "about the Kurds, etc", (in an Area where more than 360.000 Displaced People also from Various Other Communities had found Refuge in Afrin's Canton, according to International Organisations' data, already Since 2016 : Arabs, Alevi, Yazidi,, Christians, etc).


 - "Alhough", YPG might be "a fairly Socialist, or Stalinist Party, we should overlook that, Because, in Fact, it's just the Ombrella Organisation of (all) the (National) Kurdish Interests", in general, he observed realistically.


 => Thus, "in terms of Containment, I think that there is any Interest to get the Turks to STOP that kind of (Military) Engagement", the Leading MEP of EU Parliament's USA and Defence/Security Committees stressed.


- "Because, First of all, it's very likely that it's going to be a Bloody Fight for the Turks", themshelves, he observed, (while London-based NGO "Syrian Observatory on Human Rights", and others, have already, repeatedly Noted Bigger Number of Casualties among Armed Fighters, on Turkey's side, than on the Syrian Kurdish, as far as strictly Military staff is concerned).


- Moreover, "it could DeStablize also Turkey (itself), in a way", "Specifically in the (Turkish) Kurdish Regions", he naturally Warned.


+ "Secondly, I think that, Still, for the Americans, the Problem is that if the Kurds withdraw (in the Fight against ISIL's Deadly Islamist Terrorists : Comp. Supra), the Next Time they (USA) will Have to Intervene themselves".


 - "Even for Europe, it's a problem, (also) Because, (inter alia), you have, f.ex., German Tanks from one side, and German Anti-Tank Rockets from the Other Side !", etc., he noted, at the tip of the iceberg...


>>> "So, the Question is if Erdogan is going to (further) engage in a (fully-fledged) War on the Ground, in a(en even) Longer Perspective", or not.


=> - In that case, "then, the Situation is going to Explode, from my point of view !", EU Parliament's USA + Security/Defence Committees' Leading MEP sternly Warned.


- "Or, if he (the Turkish President) Needs that Only Politically, (i.e.) in order to Show some <<Strength>>, Before the (forthcoming) Elections" of 2019 inside Turkey, he speculated.


- In this case, then, "I think that (from Turkey's point of view) Much will be Decided After the Elections" of 2019.


 - Also "Because Erdogan is really Worried that they are going in the Wrong Direction", the Exerienced European MEP from German felt.


- "They (Ankara's current Government) had (initially) perceived that it was going to be an Easy Win", he reminded.


>>> - "But, Now, all out of a Sudden, it does No longer seem like that...".


- Particularly, "as Coffins (of Killed Soldiers, Jihadists, etc) are Comming back from the Borders", (Comp. Facts evoked Supra).

- "And, so, in my view, the (overall) Setting (from Ankara's Side) is going to be Decided After the Turkish Elections" of 2019, "because then you can count what will be Ankara's position in all that", he reiterated.


+ "Russia, though it has no (particular) interest to stop that, But, Also, No interest at all to put Oil in there, in this situation", EU's Top MEP added, as far as GeoPolitic realities are concerned.


++ "And, the other thing, is what is the Perception of the New Alliance between the USA and the Saudis etc" Arabs, (UAE, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordany, etc.), he Topically added,


 - "It will have a Lot of Influence", particularly "in terms of the (Arab) Sunni Community", the Experienced, Top EU MEP estimated, in this regard.  (Timely speaking just after a Crystal-clear and interesting Reaction by UAE's Foreign MInister Gargash Against the Turkish Foreign Military Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Canton of Afrin : See ... ). "


- "But, is it going to Work (further enough) ?", he wondered, particularly after USA's "First Attempts to play there a more Active Role, well Beyond just signing the Pay-Check", (i.e. also Politically), as he noted, expressing EU's Interest to find out.

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

eu_parliaments_delegation_to_the_usa_eurofora_400


+ In Addition, according to EU Parliament's USA Desk Officer Alexandros Karides, who works for the EU - USA Inter-Parliamentary Committee, (due to Meet in Full on June 2018, in Varna, Bulgaria : the current EU rotating chairholder), the "US Congress is very Upset about (what's going on in) Afrin", and "they (US Congress) put a lot of Pressure" on that Issue.


=> - So that, it seems that "the (USA) State Department and the Presidency (at Don Trump's White House) will Try to Mediate Something". (Inter alia, perhaps, also, f.ex., "in terms of American Troops standing in front of those Villages", so that, probably, "there is no way of going inside" for Turkey's Military and/or its Extremist Islamist Jihadi Armed Gangs' proxies, etc).                 

             
- "But, they (USA) have Not Yet gone into Action, because they want to give some Time to the Organizations to Deal with it. So, we (EU) don't know" yet how things might really evolve, from these points of view, those Other EUP Sources estimated. WithOut, however, making it clear whether they meant Both for Afrin and Manbij Cities, located accross the Syrian Kurdish Region, near the Syrian-Turkish Borders, or Only for Manbij, where Turkey has also, notoriously, Claimed to Intervene with its Army asap, particularly during the Latest Visit of USA State Secretary Rex Tillerson (See: ...). Neither saying whether they spoke on the basis of elements which existed Before Tillerson's Withdrawal, this Week, or After his replacement by Pompeo, (See Infra)...      

  
----------------------------

SoS TILLERSON - POMPEO CHANGE COINCIDES WITH CRUCIAL US - TURKEY TALKS ON SYRIAN KURDS' ROLE IN FIGHTING ISLAMIST TERRORISM

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


++ Meanwhile, the New USA State Department Secretary, after Tillerson's withdrawal, (Announced Earlier this week by US President Don Trump himself), Mike Pompeo, notoriously comes also from US Congress, where he had served for a Long Time in the Past.


- Today, EU Parliament's USA Delegation Chairman, MEP Christian Ehler, said to "Eurofora" that he "Knew Pompeo, from the NSA", i.e. the North American "National Security Agency", while Pompeo recently had been named by President Trump as CIA's Chief, (where he will be succeeded, Now, by Gina Haspel, an Experienced CIA veteran and, until now, its Deputy Director).


Pompeo, (who needs also an US Congress endorsement procedure, Before he fully assumes his New Task), is, reportedly, due to Visit Brussels, inter alia, for relevant NATO Meetings there. 


>>> By an Astonishing "Coincidence", Tillerson's replacement by Pompeo was Announced in Public by a Short and Sharp "Tweet" of US President Don Trump, on Tuesday, 13 of March :  I.e. After the Beginning of this Week's EU Parliament's Plenary Session for March in Strasbourg, when it was Officially Confirmed that it would hold a Public Debate and Vote on a New Resolution on Syria, which would Include Afrin, as it became obvious by its President, Antonio Tajani's Public Statements, at the Official Opening of EU Parliament's Session, and by the Draft Resolutions Tabled then by most Political Groups of MEPs, on Monday Afternoon, 12 of March here, Followed by a Public Debate, on Tuesday 13, where EU's High Representative for External Action, Frederica Mogherini, stressed that all this concerned, now, "Afrin FIRST" (See: ..).


- But, Despite Tillerson Spokesman's, Goldstein's Denial, Earlier this week, that the Out-Going USA State Secretary might have known about that Beforehand, nevertheless, according to White House sources, its Chief of Staff, Kelly, had Already Warned Tillerson by Phone that something was "Imminent", as Early as since Last Friday and Saturday, 9 and 10 March.


+ Thus, Tillerson suddenly Cancelled a previously Scheduled Meeting in one among the African States that he was Visiting in a Tour, last Saturday evening (10/3/2018), and, on Sunday, March 11, he "Cut Short" his African Tour, in order to Return immediately to Washington DC.


>>> The Point is that, All these Series of apparently Converging Moves, Started precisely, the Same Day that a  1st USA - Turkey Experts/Diplomats Meeting (of Thursday and Friday : March 8 and 9) had Concluded, in Washington DC, where it was supposed to Deal, inter alia, particularly about Ankara's Claims for Turkish Army and/or Proxies to "Replace" Syrian Kurds (Allies of USA-led International Coalition against ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists) throughout all or most of the Syrian Kurdish Region, accross the Syrian - Turkish Borders, (Starting by Afrin and continuing, eventially, by Manbij, etc).


* On February, Tillerson had Faced Heavy Pressure by Turkey on that, very Controversial Issue, during his Latest Visit to Ankara, where he had met with Turkish President Erdogan, under Exceptionaly Strict Conditions of Secrecy : I.e. even withOut any American Interpreter, Nor Diplomat, but Only the Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglou serving also as .. Interpreter, Contrary to the Established US Practices, as Many had Noticed, then. This had been shortly Followed also by a quite "Hot" Press Conference, Next Morning, by Tillerson and Cavusoglou, where the American side was also Pressured in Public about alleged Past Promises (dating since the Barak Hussein Obama's era) to practically Drop the Kurds, After having Used them for the Fight against ISIS' Islamist Terrorists, (See ..).


Tillerson diplomatically had prefered, then, to Postpone any Public Statement on that Controversial Issue, Pointing, Instead, to a Series of USA - Turkey Experts' Meetings, which were due to Start, in Washington DC, later on March.


=> Then, the Conclusion of the 1st among those "Hot" Meetings behind Closed Doors between Turkish and American Experts/Diplomats, Last Week in Washington DC, on Friday, March 8, practically "Coincided", strangely, with the 1st Known Move by USA's White House which was reportedly Related also with Tillerson's replacement by Pompeo, officially Announced Later-on, (Comp. Supra)...


New US President Don Trump, has notoriously Based his Popular 1st "State of the Union" Speech, Earlier on January 30, in the US Congress, mainly on Economic progress and on the Defeat of ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists, concerning Most Territory that they had previously invaded and occupied in Syria and Iraq.


>>> This Latest Achievement, against a particularly Deadly Islamist Terrorism by ISIS' Cowards, (who used to Target Defenseless Civilian People in several EU Member States, Russia, USA, and various Other Countries also in Africa, Asia, etc), was, notoriously, Obtained also with the Decisive Help of Syrian Kurdish People on the Ground, (and their allies, in the "Syrian Democratic Forces", that they had created and leaded).

 

Turkish sources were Now Sticking again in what they ambitiously Claimed to be "a Proposal", "Model" or "Road Map", "for the Issue of Manbij", during these Experts' Talks in Wash.DC, seeking to Extend Turkey's Army's role in, somehow, perhaps invading/occupying, mutatis-mutandis, also the Eastern Part of the Syrian Kurdish Region. However, they had already made a similar claim with Tillerson, Last February in Ankara, and he had replied, in public, that such issues would be simply "Discussed".

 

-  "But we doN’t know which path the New Staff will follow", Erdogan reportedly said on that now, (Calling "Staff" the New USA Secretary of State, former Congressman, Mike Pompeo, for whom New US President Don Trump has just said that he was "always on the Same Wavelength" with POTUS).


+  At any case, meanwhile, an important Visit that Turkish Foreign Minister Cavusoglu was due to make to the USA on March 19, was, now,  "Postponed" sine die.

 

 ++ And, EU Parliament, by Adopting Later Today in Strasbourg a Last-Minute Amendment which "Expresses Deep Concern at Turkey's Intervention in Areas of Syria which are controlled by Kurdish forces",

gave a Crystal-clear and Strong Boost for USA to Resist to Ankara's pressure for UnEthical, UnJustified and Dangerous Concessions against the Best Local Allies on the Ground for the US-Led International Coalition to Fight ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists cowardly Targetting Civilian People, which recently became Succesful, on 2017, notoriously thanks, particularly, to the Syrian Kurds-led "Syrian Democratic Forces" (SDF).

i.e. Not Only in Afrin, but Also Elsewhere, f.ex. at Manbij, where Ankara notoriously Pressures the USA to Drop the Syrian Kurds and Replace them by Turkey's Military and/or its "Proxies" Jihadists Armed Gangs... (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euonturkeyamdafrin.html).

 

A quite Succesful move of Euro-American Cooperation, on a Rare Topical Issue where, normally, all the Other relevant Global Partners (as Russia and China, even the directly concerned Syrian Government, added naturally to Syrian Kurds themselves) would not have any objection at all to support, (as well as all Freedom, Justice and Efficiency-Loving People in the World)... 

 

(../..)


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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
----------------------------------
    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
-------------
The precise Text :
-----------------
    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

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

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

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

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
***

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