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CoE Experts to EF on Social Charter compared to Other Tools v. Poverty (Basic Income, US MedicAid +)

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 24 January 2018

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Some First, but Interesting Comparisons between CoE's PanEuropean Social Charter and Other Tools to Fight against Poverty Today, (as Basic Income, USA's MedicAid, etc), started to be made during the Annual Press Conference for the Year 2017, thanks to the Replies given to relevant "Eurofora"'s Questions by the President of the European Committee of Social Rights, Giuseppe Palmisano, and its General Rapporteur, Eliane Chemla.

 

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The main Focus of this January 2018 CoE's Press Conference on Social throughout more than 33 European Countries,, was about Medical Assistance, and Protection against Poverty/Social Exclusion, together with Social Welfare, Social Protection of Elderly People, etc.

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

 

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- Initially, "Eurofora" asked President Palmisano's view about the Topical Issue of "Basic Citizens Income", on which CoE's Parliamentary Assembly had just Debated and Voted a new Report, Yesterday in Strasbourg, after several quite "Hot" Exchanges, and in the middle of a Strong Controversy.

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

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- Palmisano's first reaction was quite Positive, welcoming, in substance, a tool like the Basic Citizens' Income that CoE's Assembly had just Adopted, as another tool which could Respond to several Needs covered by the Social Charter, and provide some Satisfactory Answers in real Practice.

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- But, at the same time, he carefully added that, in fact, such a move wasn't always absolutely Necessary, since CoE's Social Charter was, in his view, able to Meet many among those Needs also by Different Mechanisms, according to its own prescriptions.

 

__________________________


+ More Complex appeared, a priori, anOther Topical comparative Question raised by "Eurofora", (this time to the General Rapporteur, Eliane Chemla), about the European Social Charter's "Right to Medical Assistance", etc., and the well-known current "Hot" Debate in the USA on "MedicAid", in the Wider Context of Attempts to Reform the American "MediCare" System in general, (similar to Europe's "Social Security" and/or "Right to Protecion of Health", etc:

 

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- Initially, Chemla focused on a rather Classical Distinction between a very Different European Model of Social Security, and an American one, much more related to Private schemas, estimating that the respective situations would be beyond any comparison, on those key points.


>>> But, interestingly, when she Discussed with "Eurofora", Later-on, in more concrete details, a Comparison between USA's "MedicAid" and CoE's "Socio-Medical Assistance", including "Social Protection" for the "Elderly" (a very Topical Issue Nowadays even in Germany, it seems, but Similar to what exists in the USA since the Late 1960ies), and/or USA's "Food-Stumps" compared to CoE's wider "Protection against Poverty", etc., Chemla appeared more Thoughtfull :


- Indeed, her subsequent estimation was, in substance, that what exists in Europe, but not yet in the USA, was an Elementary Right to Social Security in general, which helped also prevent risks of extreme poverty in this regard. But, in Fact, when it really came to cases of real Extreme Poverty and/or Social Exclusion risks, the situation did Not necessarily seem to be so Radically Different between CoE's and USA's relevant tools, as some hasty comparisons used to claim...


=> In Conclusion, CoE's Social Rights' General Rapporteur agreed with "Eurofora" that, Nowadays, a Serious and concrete Comparative Analysis between various Different Approaches of the common but MultiFacet Fight against Poverty, had become Necessary and useful, in order to Better Clarify the real Situations, Choose the more Efficient Solutions, in full Knowledge of the main Facts.

- Sometimes, there might be certain Unexpected "Surprises", at First Sight, as, f.ex., the Fact that a so  Important European Country as Germany, has Not yet Ratified CoE's "Collective Complaints" Procedure, for the Protection of Social Rights, while, on the Contrary, several Less Rich and Powerfull European Countries have already done so, as President Palmisano critically observed, in Reply to anOther Question by a German Collegue Journalist, during that same Annual 2018 Press Conference in Strasbourg...

 

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


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PACE Talks on Russian MEPs and CoE's Future Started + Continue on March 2018 in Paris

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Will Spring 2018 bring a Thaw in the Controversy on CoE Assembly and Russian MEPs, "Frozen" since 2014, when a Minority droped an Initial Deal and put Heavier Sanctions on pretext of the Conflict provoked in Ukraine, pushing all Moscow's Elected Parliamentarians to quit the PanEuropean body, for the 1st Time in CoE's Post-Cold War History, until Moscow Government anounced on 2017 its intention to Suspend all its Annual Financial Contribution from February 2018, unless all MEPs' Equal Rights are Guaranteed ?

Not Sure at all, But Something has Started in Dialogue : That seems to be the Wider Impression left to various Participants in an Exceptional Meeting of a brand New "Ad Hoc" Committee on the Mission of COE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and its Future, which was just Created by PACE's Bureau on December 2017, and brought Together, in a 1st Session, all National Delegations' Heads, Presidents of Political Groups of MEPs, and Chairmen of Commissions, with the participation of Russian Delegates as Duma's new vice-President Pyotr Tolstoy, experienced Senate's Foreign Affairs' Committee President Kostantin Kosacev, etc, after an Exceptionally Long Absence from Strasbourg, (where, on the Contrary, the Inter-Governemental cooperation continues, with the Russian Ambassador/Permanent Representative, Ivan Soltanovsky in CoE's Committee of Ministers and various other Sectorial bodies).
 
 
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Held behind Closed Doors, at CoE's "Room 9", at the Eve of the Year 2019 during which the PanEuropean Organisation notoriously Hopes to Organize a New Summit of Heads of State/Government bringing Together All its 47 Member Countries, to Mark the "Unity" of all Europe and its role for "Democratic Security", this Exceptional Meeting of CoE' Assembly's "Role and Mission" New Committee (Comp. Supra), concluded this Evening withOut any official Public Anouncement.
 

- However, "Eurofora" learned, after briefly meeting Ambassador Ivan Soltanovsky with Duma's new vice-President Pyotr Tolstoy and other Diplomats on their way out of CoE's main Building, that, at least, a 2nd, Follow-up Meeting of that brand New "Ad Hoc", High-Level PACE Committee was due "on March 2018, in Paris".

+ This was Confirmed, shortly Afterwards, also by the New President of PACE's Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Cezar Florin Preda, from Romania :
 
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 - Indeed, "We (PACE) Need some Time, in order to seriously Exemine the overall Situation, instead of Taking any Hasty Decisions on such a Serious matter". And "I spoke about that with the New President of the PACE, Michele Nicoletti", Preda told "Eurofora".

 - From an Ukranian source, "Eurofora" heard that the Chair of the Country's National Delegation, President of PACE's Committee on Culture, Volodymyr Ariev, "made a Statement" during Today's Meeting, as well as "2 or 3 Presidents of Political Groups", and they agreed to Postpone their work for Later-on.

- Another Experienced Collegue Journalist, from a 3rd European Country, told "Eurofora" that he met Briefly, by chance, with the President of the Russian Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosacev, who would have qualified the Meeting as "Constructive", and "a Beginning", but without revealing now any concrete point.

- Previously, a CoE's Experienced Officer had confirmed to "Eurofora" that, in Practical Terms, the most Crucial Time Deadline for an eventual Deal which might, perhaps, incite Russia to pay, as usual, its full Annual Financial Contribution to CoE's Budget, (recenly "Freezed" because of the +3 Years-Long provoked Non-Participation of Russian MEPs in CoE's Parliamentarry Assembly, would be "towards the End of February" 2018.

=> I.e., very Close to the March 2018 Date, reportedly Chose for the Next Meeting of PACE's "Role and Mission", High-Level "Ad Hoc" Committee (Comp. Supra), which stands Also almost at the Eve of the Next Plenary Session for the Spring 2018, scheduled on April...

>>> Obviously, this Fact might, eventually, also Facilitate a possible Agreement for an adequate Change in PACE's Rules of Procedure, (as Russia notoriously asks, and EPP's Chairman, Preda, Confirmed Today : Comp. Supra), perhaps at the Next PACE's Plenary Session, (almost as "Eurofora had recently suggested... Comp.: + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coereformtoeaserussiasolution.html).

+ Meanwhile, the New President of CoE's Assembly, Italian MEP Michele Nicoletti, in his Official Inauguration Speech, Yesterday (Monday, January 22, 2018), Symbolically stressed that the CoE "Must Not Cease openly Denouncing any Violation of Human Rights, committed in Any Part of our Continent". "However, this Defense of Human Rights will be even Stronger if we (CoE) are able to Combine it with an ever Increasing Unity, between our Peoples : .. No Wall has been Able to Divide European Humanism, which canNot Thrive withOut All its .. Different Strands", he concluded, right after citting Both "Dante", "Shakespeare", "Beethoven", and "Dostoyevsky" as well as "Tolstoy".
 
 
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Murdered Web-Journalist Daphne's Sons to EF: -We Want Justice! => EU/CoE Cooperation on Enquiry Gaps

Written by ACM
Monday, 22 January 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- It's thanks to her Critical, Investigative Journalism, and the Independence that gave her a WebNews Site, Free from Censorship which, Otherwise, used to hit her Traditional Weekly Newspaper Articles, too often Affected by Threats to Reduce or Stop Paid Publicity by a Corrupted Establishment, that Murdered Web Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia had managed to become probably the Last Real Independent Check for a Controversial Government in Malta, her 3 Sons told "Eurofora", after a Special Event with Medias and MEPs at CoE's PanEuropean Assembly in Strasbourg Today.


 - "What we Want is Justice, for our Mother's Murder, Not Money ! That's why the Urgency is to make Now an Efficient and Transparent Investigation in order to Find and Punish those who instigated and carried out such a Brutal Murder in broad DayLigt at an EU Member Country as Malta, told us in substance the Victim's Elder Son, Mathew (born on 1986 : By a Coincidence, exactly as "Eurofora" Co-Founder's own Son !). That's why an eventual Condamnation by the ECHR won't be enough, since usually it arrives Late, and most of the times consists, in Fact, mainly at a Payment of a "Just Satisfaction", which is Not what we want : It's European/International Pressure Now for a Real, Independent Investigation that is Urgent, he stressed.


 - "It's a Crime, Not a mere "Tragedy !", they sharply cried, slaming an obvious fan of the Criticized Regime in Malta, who had Claimed, on the Contrary, that .. "every stone was unearthed  (sic !) by the Suspected Government's Officials, in order to shed Light to the Deadly events...


=> In Consequence, a practical EU/CoE+ Cooperation seems Possible and Necessary, particularly after new EU Parliament's President Antonio Tajani (former LongTime EU Commissioner) recently declared to "Eurofora" his "Readiness" to Help do so, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentpresidentoncoeandjournalistmurder.html), while, Nowadays, the Experienced vice-President of CoE Assembly's Human Rights Committee, Pieter Omtzigt, a mainstream MEP from the Netherlands, and CoE Assembly's Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki from Poland, replying to relevant "Eurofora"s Questions, have Both reacted Positively in this Direction, (See also Infra), while More than 14 Important NGOs on Press Freedom, (including, f.ex., CPJ, EFJ, RSF, etc), have already Declared their Support for an Internationaly-Monitored Investigation on that Brutal Murder, signing for Today's CoE Event.


+ A Fortiori, when Not even a proper Investigation on various  "Threats" that the Victim had Faced shortly Before being Murdered, has Not yet become Visible at all, as it results from the Facts cited by the Investigative Web-Journalist Daphne Caruana-Galizia's 3 Sons, Mathew, Andrew and Paul, Replying to "Eurofora"s Questions during and after the Special Event organized  on the sidelines of the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law's Plenary Session of Winter 2018, this Afternoon in Stasbourg, (See f.ex. Infra)...


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


Among others, f.ex. :


- "It seems that there is No Chance for Justice by our National Institutions", Mathew Caruana Galizia, speaking on behalf of all 3 Sons of the Victim, Denounced from the outset.


 - F.ex., even EU's "1 Minute Silence", paying Homage to the Victim, was Not Broadcasted in Malta, perpetuating there a "Dangerous Environment" where Law Enforcement Authorities have been Captured, politically, by the Executive part of the Government, Mathew criticized.


- "Our Mother was Simply doing her Duty as Investigative Journalist, But she was a Lone Voice. She spoke for Hundreds of Thousands of People, but she was Isolated", he described.


=> Thus, "She was Targetted and Harassed before her Assassination, simply for what she Wrote".


>>> And "the (Public) Institutions not only Failed to Protect her, but they even took part in her Harassment : There were Key Members of the Government, and of the Police Force, going out for her", he denounced.


+ In Addition, "F.ex. Our House was set on Fire Twice. Several of our Pet Dogs were Killed, (etc)...  And at the "Last Year" of her Life, she was at the Receiving end of no less than ...47 Law Suits, for what she wrote. 9 or 10 Libell Law suits, used only in order to get after her. She also Faced 5 Criminal Defamation procedures, which means that the Police was Persecuting her, adding also to Financial and Psychological Harassment and Hate, our Family being Targetted by various Vexations and countless Harassments, provoking a Dangerous Environment in which occured her Brutal Murder (by a Car Bomb Explosion, near her Family Home, where her Son Mathew saw her Disappear, while his Mother's "Body Parts" were falling around him, as he described the Horror).

 

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 - "On the Investigation, normally, we (Family of the Victim) should Know what happened. But, the Reality is that we are Completely Shut out !  We find out about oue Mother's Murder Invstigation only by Press Reports, Leaks from Officials, or Prime Ministers' declarations...


 - "When someone proposed an Independent Panel of Enquiry, composed by Retired Judges, that was Shot Down by the Parliament", (where the Governing Party holds a Majority). + "We found out that the Head of the Police Unit Investigating our Mother's Murder, was personaly linked to someone against whom our Mother had Investigated as a Journalist. He was Married to a Senior Cabinet Minister, and related to Suppression of Reports about Money Laundering by Government Officials. So, the Family is Fighting a Legal Move to Replace that Officer, against which the (Socialist) Government is Fighting Back".


==> "Investigation is in Serious Breach of Fundamental Human Rights, according to ECHR's standards (as also a reknown Lawyers' Office acknowledged recently). No way to declare it "Independent" or "Impartial". "It's Failing to Secure Evidence", etc.    


 - "The Greatest Problem we face as Victim's Family, is that we DoN't have Domestic Remedies (able) to Change the Course of Investigations", he denounced. We have Nothing to Ensure that Police would operate withOut Political Interferences. We have No InSight in this Investigation. We dont' have a Mechanism to Seriously Examine, inter alia, All those Issues, and Find out what happened".


=> That's why, "Today, we Ask your Help : F.ex. to Sign a Motion for the Nomination of a Special Rapporteur, to supervise the Investigation, concluded the Victim's Sons Appeal to PACE's MEPs, at Today's Event, sponsored by representatives from the 3 Biggest Political Groups, (Pieter Omtzigt, from the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Frank Schwabe, from the Socialists, and Anne Brasseur, from the LIberals).


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


In this Context, "Eurofora" Raised 2 Different, but Converging Questions, during tha CoE's Event :


* (A) EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, in Addition to his other relevant Statements, also Told "Eurofora" that he would Like to Cooperate with the CoE, f.ex. in Parallel, to Help the Investigations of this Murder. What can be done, in this regard, as a Standard-Setting move, for Other such Cases too ?", we asked, at First, MEP Omtzigt, Experienced vice-President of PACE's Human Rights Committee.  


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* (B) "There were some Informations that, Shortly Before the Murder, some kind of Threats had appeared recently. Do you know if there Might be something Interesting for the Investigation there ?", "Eurofora" also asked Daphne's Sons.


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Omtzigt Replied sharply :


 - "On the 1st Question : We (EU and CoE) Always Cooperate with Each-Other, f.ex. it Happened with the CIA (Reddition Flights, Massive Surveillance, etc), the Experienced MEP reminded, as a matter of General Principle.


 -  "Of course, we don't have a formal Common Mechanism, Both for EU Parliament and CoE's Assembly, but we always Cooperate", he confirmed.  
 + "By the way, it would be Helpful if the EU would live up to the Lisbon Treaty, and finally Accede to the CoE, (i.e., practically, to the PanEuropean Convention for Human Rights), Omzigt suggested.    

     
 - At any case, most in "EU Parliament were very Positive, (about the Need for International Monitoring on the Investigation of Daphne's Murder), and felt that "something Appalling Wrong" had happened in Malta, he attested.        

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        ______________________


+ On the 2nd Question raised by "Eurofora" (Comp. Supra), the initial Replies came from Daphne's Eldest and Youngest Sons, Mathew and Paul :

daphne_murder__1st_oldest_son__mathew_born_1986_replies_to_agg_question_at_the_coe_400


 - "About Threats that my Mother Received : These were well Documented", Mathew observed.


 - In particular, "She complained several times about those Harassing her. We all Know Who they are", he stressed.


 - "F.ex. It's No Secret for the Economy Minister", and/or "one of the Governing Party's Financial Backers", "the Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, and that one of the Biggest Goverment supporters, who were Selling Maltese Passports", (etc).


+ Recently, "there were even anonymous Sources coming among the Police in Malta. But when it was Published, the Police immediately Denied it, saying that there was No Report in our Mother's Local Police Station". However, "There isN't still a Clear Answer, Whether they Verified that Report, or Not", he critically observed.


 - "The Reality is, that by the End of her Life, she hadn't given up Fighting, Despite Death Threats, which were Repeated", resulting in a "Dangerous" situation, also "By the Lack of Police Action against her Main Harassers".


+ The Fact that the Police was so Quick to Deny, and Classify even Police Reports, is also Evidence that the Police is Interested in Exonerating itself, from any kind of Responsibility. For us, there is a Clear case for that"


>>> - Indeed, "Our Mother was visibly Threatened. Visibly Under Pressure. Visibly Isolated. Everyone could See this !"


++ "After the Change in Administration of 2013, ... Police Present in our Mother's Neighbourhood was Relaxed. ... The Excuse was that <<the Police didn't want to intrude in her Privacy>>" (sic !).


 - "But, there are Ways of providing Police Protection, withOut Intruding in someone's Privacy", Mathew objected.


 - "One of these ways, which might be effective, is to Prosecute Criminals"... "Another of these ways is to try to Follow People who make Bombs, and plant Bombs. In Malta, there have been several Car Bombs in the Last Few Years", probably by "Organized Crime"... None of these Car Bombs have been Solved" yet, and Noone has been yet found", he denounced, pointing at a Wider Scandal.


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 - "From EU Parliament, MEPs have interviewed a (Maltese) Police Commissioner, and one of them Asked, directly, whether Effective Police Protection was provided".


 - "The Police Commissioner said: - "No. Because they would have found it Intrusive" (sic !)...


- "This is on a Report, that I really Encourage you to Read", added Paul, also in Reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question, Comp. Supra).


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+ In such Conditions, a Claim often repeated by fans of the Socialist Maltese Government of controversial Prime Minister Muscat, (whose entourage was a notorious target of Anti-Corruption Enquiries and Denonciations by the Murdered Journalist), that National Police would have asked to use also ... "FBI"s (sic)  Help in order to Investigate that Brutal Murder, - as, indeed, a fan of that regime (rapidly UnMasked by the Sons of Daphne) did during Today's CoE's Debate - is Not at all Enough in order to appear Convincing...


Particularly given also the considerable Erosion of Trust to FBI even inside the USA, Nowadays, where Many People Criticize it for pushing Too Much the so-called Anti-Trump Investigations for alleged "Collusion" with Rusian Attempts to Interfere in the 2016 US Presidential Elections, but, on the Contrary, to be Too Lenient vis a vis Hillary Clinton (the former "Socialist" Candidate) and former President Barack Hussein Obama, etc., to the point to have reached an all times Low in Credibility, as part of what American People often Denounce Nowadays as a Politically Motivated "Witch-Hunt" by un untrustworthy "Deep State", (Comp., f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/journalistgreenwaldfortrumpondeepstate.html).


 - A Fortiori when Mr. Muscat has been notoriously, strongly Criticized and ridiculed by Dissidents, (as, precisely, that Murdered Journalist herself, and her supporters), just a few Weeks Before that Brutal Killing of October 2017, for having made a Failed Attempt to ... Imitate Hillary Clinton's camp in the USA, by Claiming, also himself, (since a memorable Press Conference during Summer 2017), that Russian President Vladimir Putin may have attempted to Interfere even inside the Maltese National Elections of 2016 !...

+ In this Similar Direction, an even more Recent Attempt to "Discredit" a Whistleblower Maria Efimova in Malta, (almost, mutatis-mutatis, as ... lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya in the USA...) by unearthing, (after a previous failed attempt to "Blame Putin" politically), at the Last Minute, Many Years After the Alleged Facts, a Controversial and UnRelated Claim Against her, Obliging Authorities in Cyprus to reportedly issue a "Warrant" for a Private Company (reportedly dealing also with some Azeri personalities) claims against her, (Largely commented by the Medias this Week), was also Criticized by the Murdered Journalist's 2nd Son, Andrew, himself a Journalist, speaking to "Eurofora" and other Medias, inside the CoE in Strasbourg.

 

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That latest move is related with an Affair about a "Pilatus (Private) Bank" set up in Malta (and later in London) by an Iranian Businessman, who got "Citizenship" at St. Kitts and Nevis islands, Seyed Ali Sadr Hasheminejad, on whose suspected activities the Murdered Journalist had notoriously written several Articles in the recent Past, and which seems to be related with several possible "Links" around the current Regime in Malta, as Daphne's Sons confirmed to "Eurofora".



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>>> - At any case, "What We are Asking for, is Not just an eventual ECHR Judgement, a Long Time Later, which might just condemn this Government to Pay some Money : Because "We do NOT Want Money. We Want an Efficient Investigation on the Murder of our Mother, in order to Find the Truth and for Justice to be done" !", clearly and strongly stressed to "Eurofora" Daphne's 1st Son, Mathew.

 
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=> For that Purpose, a Draft "Motion" has already Started to Circulate inside COE's Assembly, in order to be Signed and Published asap, Later this Week in Strasbourg, Experienced Top MEP Pieter Omtzigt confirmed.

Omtzigt was Holding in his Hands the precious White Paper, where he Hoped to Attract the Maximum possible of his collegues PACE MEPs' Signatures, this Week in Strasbourg.

 

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A crucial piece of Paper, like the Leaf of a Bay Laurel Tree : a Mythic "Daphne" in Ancient Greek, from where Originated the Name of Daphne Caruana Galizia, as her Youngest Son, Paul, confirmed to "Eurofora".


Events had Obliged her to Drop the Classic White Leaf of Paper, since her Traditional Newspaper faced too often Pressure for "Censorship", mainly through Establishment's Paid "Publicity" Monguls, who could Threaten to Reduce or even Stop Funding, unless they were obeyed.


=> Therefore,  Daphne, in order to be Free as a Critical/Investigative Journalist, had to Change her Media, and Drop the Leaf of Paper, for a Leaf of Light :


- i.e. the Internet, with her WebNews Site, where the 30-Years practicing Journalist used to Write and Publish her "Hotter" Articles, as Paul told us...


- But, what a Surprise : The Murdered Maltese Journalist's Youngest Son, a Student of London's School of Economics, knew well the Ancient "Greek Mythology" from which had Originated his Mother's Name !


- "Daphne was a Nymph ... chassed by (the God of Light) Apollo, who turned herself into a Bay Laurel Tree", in order "TO DEFEND Herself", Paul symbolically explained by Writting, in "Eurofora"s NoteBook.

 

daphnes_mythology_by_the_youngest_son_of_murdered_web_journalist_for_eurofora_400 


=> Nowadays, "the Leaf of a Bay Laurel Tree, has Become a Symbol  of Daphne Caruana  Galizia" too, the Handwritten Note of the Youngest Son of the Brutally Murdered, Independent-Minded, Brave Critical Web Journalist, concluded, in a Emotional but Rightful move...

 

 daphne_400

http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/wejournalistmurder.html

 

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


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New PACE President Nicoletti to EF+: Strasburg key of University Network for European Humanism Unity

Written by ACM
Monday, 22 January 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Meeting briefly "Eurofora" soon after his Election at the Presidency of CoE's PanEuropea  Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) for the Next 2 Years (2018-2019), Michele Nicoletti, from Italy, (former Chairman of the Socialdemocrat Group), practically Agreed that Strasbourg University may, naturally, be a key for the Desired "Creation of a European Academic Network", able to "Mobilise European Universities around the Values of European Humanism, and teh Defense of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", which are at the Heart of the "European Culture", and the "European Civilisation", by placing "Respect for Human Dignity... at the Root of our European Identity", as he has just stressed at his Inaugural Speech in CoE's Plenary, Earlier Toda, (for Previous Nicoletti statements to "Eurofora", See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/pacepresidentrow.html, etc).

 

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    - After "a Clear Political Call", made since 2017, for a New, "4th Summit of Heads of State and Government", probably on 2019, to "Ensure that the CoE can be the "Common European Home" of All", while also "Remaining True to the European Convention on Human Rights", "We (CoE) Must Not Cease Openly Denouncing any Violation of Human Rights", but in a way "Able to Combine it with an ever Increasing Unity between our Peoples", Nicoletti urged.


    - "Tirelessly Seeking to Emphasize what Unites us", "we can draw Support from the Cultural and Social Dimension", he proposed.


    - In this regard too, "Respect for Human Rignity forms the Heart ... and lies at the Root of our European Identity", "Typical of European Civilisation", PACE's New President stressed.


      - "The Centrality of Human Rights flows from an understanding of What it Means to be Human".


    - This Includes, "Not Only .. Legal Documents", such as the "ECHR", "Magna Carta", and "the French Declaration of the Rights of the Man and the Citizen", "But Also the Poetry of Dante, the Plays of Shakespeare, the Music of Beethoven, and the Novels of Dostoyevsky and Tolstoy", he underlined.


    - In Fact, "No Wall has been able to Divide European Humanism, which canNot Trive withOut All of these Different Strands", the New PACE's President pointed out, calling, "Today", "to bring to Bloom ... the Pluralist Wealth of this Humanism".


    + CoE, "as Guardian of European Unity", "must Enhance the role of European Culture", by "forming an Alliance with the World of Culture, Schools and Universities", Nicoletti went on to add in a landmark Speech.


     - Indeed, "the University is a Typical European Creation", and "it would be Wonderful .. if the CoE could be Able to Mobilise all European Universities around the Values of this European Humanism", he proposed.     


     - I.e., "Encourage the Creation of a European Academic Network", around "the Defense of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", including, f.ex., "the European Social Charter", "the Convention against Corruption", and "each of our Conventions taking the CoE as ... point of Reference", in "a Network of Teachers, Researchers and Students from throughout Europe", "United by its Efforts to Defend and Promote the Values embodied" in those CoE's Legal tools.


    => "These are Issues", where "Academic Networks could ...promote Research, the Exchange of Information and Best Practices, as well as the organisation of Training PathWays", i.e. "to reinforce the Connective Tissue of European Civil Society", President Nicoletti concluded on this Idea.

 

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CoE Assembly Secretary General Sawicki to EF: Rules UpDate may Facilitate Decisions on Russian MEPs+

Written by ACM
Friday, 19 January 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Even a simple Change (or, rather, UpDate) of CoE's purely Procedural Rules may Facilitate a much-needed Agreement for a Compromise on Russian MEPs' participation to the PanEuropean Organisation's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), as it results from the Reply given to an "Eurofora" Question by the Experienced PACE's Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki.


Since the 2014 Ukraine Conflict, which risked to Divide Europe, a Controversial Vote in PACE, Rejecting a Compromise, striped Russian MEPs from so Many Rights, that they were pushed to Quit CoE's Assembly, until the Participation Rights of All PACE's MEPs might be equally Safeguarded in Future, (i.e. for 3 Years now: See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminorityamendmentpushesrussianmepsout.html+http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/pacerussiasanctionscutcoeoffukrainepeaceprocess.html
), after what, Russia Recently Suspended its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, (while Turkey also Reduced its own, shortly afterwards), resulting in an UnPrecedented Crisis, that CoE's Governments, together with PACE's Majority, would like to Solve asap, and, at any case, Before a forthcoming New Summit of CoE's 47 Heads of State/Government, expected on 2019, (Comp., f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentandrussiadebates.html).


Significantly, Today's move was made during the Press Briefing of  European Correspondents on a Crucial forthcoming PACE Plenary Session for the "Winter 2018", Next Week in Strasbourg, which is due, not only to Elect the body's New President, (normally for the next 2 Years : 2018-2019, during which a New CoE Summit is due), as well as CoE's New PanEuropean Commissioner on Human Rights for the Next 5 Years (4/2018 - 2023), but also to Host, for the 1st Time, a brand new body, including Both Governments' and Parliamentarians' Top representatives from COE's Ministerial Committee and its Parliamentary Assembly, Together with Russia's Duma and Federal Council's representatives, (according to a Deal brokered on Top Political Level last December 2017).


In Parallel, Heads of State from Countries which Traditionally play a particular Role also on EU - Russia relations, such as Austria and Armenia, as well as Denmark (including its Prime Minister), that is currentlly Chairing the CoE (for the period of 11/2017-5/2018 : See, f.ex. ...), will all Address this same PACE's Plenary.


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


 - In "Eurofora"s Question to PACE's SG Sawicki, we Observed the Fact that CoE's Assembly, as things stand until now, is, curiously, Deprived of the Possibility to Decide on the Credentials of National Delegations send by CoE's Member States to Strasbourg, during any of its 4 Plenary Sessions traditionaly organized each Year, (on Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn) : On the Contrary PACE is Hindered to take such a Decision at any Other Moment, except from Only Once per Year : Solely on January, (i.e. at the Beginning of its Winter Session), with Consequences durating for ...12 Months-Long, withOut Any Possibility to Decide Otherwise, f.ex., at its Spring, Summer or Autumn Sessions, Neither Between them. So that CoE's Leadership is, in fact, Deprived of a Necessary Freedom to Move Fast and whenever there is a Political Will, being Obliged, by too Old Rules of Procedure, to Limit its own Decision-making in Only 1 Occasion during a Whole Year : I.e., an obviously Too Long period of Time...


=> Therefore, "Eurofora" Asked Sawicki whether he found Better and Possible to Ensure, for CoE's Leadership, a Freedom to Decide, on PACE MEPs' National Delegations' Credentials, if necessary, during Each of its 4 Sessions of the Year, (WInter, Spring, Summer or Autumn), and/or at any Other Time, between them, (f.ex., perhaps during an "Exceptional Session", and/or a "Standing Committee", etc), if and when the PanEuropean Organisation's Leaders might feel a serious need to do so, for CoE's General Interest. I.e., in Practice, CoE could, thus, have, at least, 4 Chances per Year to Seek and Find a Solution on Problems as that of the Russian Delegation to the PACE, instead of Only 1... Wouldn't that be much More Efficient, from all points of view, for any such serious Political and Diplomatic Negotiations, (including, if necessary, reciprocal Pressure at/from all sides, but also Meaningful Dialogue, for Adequate Compromises), and Timely Action ?


+ Meanwhile, "Eurofora" had already Spoken, about such an Idea, with Various Other experienced Top CoE's Officials, who had mostly said that they Found that Interesting, and had Encouraged us to Raise that Topical now Question to the Right Person : i.e. to PACE's Secretary General.


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

 - Sawicki, in his Reply to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question, started by basically Agreeing on the Fact that, indeed, the Current System, of Only 1 Decision possible for the PACE on such Key Issues, during all the 12 Months of each Year, was "Too Long" and "Not Flexible" enough.

 - However, the Experienced PACE's Secretary General, went on to clearly add that, "If there is a Political Will", a Solution to that Problem was "Possible" !

=> For that purpose, "it's enough to make a Change (or, rather, UpDate : See Infra) inside iCoE's Statute", he told us, pointing at an Old, (and obviously Out-Dated), Article No 32, which still Says that CoE's Parliamentary "Assembly shall Meet in Ordinary Session Once a Year" only !


The Problem is that this is Combined with Article 25, alinea (b), which says that "The term of office of Representatives ... will Date from the opening of the Ordinary Session following their appointment", until that of "the Next ...or ... a Later Ordinary Session", (i.e., practically, until ... Next Year, the soonest)...


- Sawicki explained, in this rrgard, that the 4 Current PACE's Sessions (of Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn), are considered, for such Technical Reasons, to be "Part-Sessions".


- Therefore, as long as COE's Statute remains unchanged, it's Only in case of New Elections, Death or Resignation, that MEPs' Credentials could be presented Also at  Any among those 4 "Part-Sessions" during the Year. On the Contrary, National Delegations' credentials, should, as he stressed, be presented Only at the Beginning of an "Ordinary Session", (i.e. Only on January, each Year : Comp. Supra).


- Nevertheless, even if somewhat "Not Easy", it is certainly "Possible" to Change that, by Modifying adequately those CoE Statute's Articles, mentioned above, (so that CoE would have 4 Occasions per Year to Decide on such matters, Instead of Only 1), PACE's Secretary General underlined in Conclusion.


>>> And, in Fact, such a Move could be quite "Simple", since, "if CoE's Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly Agree, then, for this kind of Issues, there is No Need for (National) Ratifications !", Sawicki observed Positively, while Concluding his Reply to "Eurofora"s Question.


Already, CoE's Statute, which had been Initially adopted as Early as since 1949 (!), i.e. a very Long Time Ago, has been Amended (on specific points) Many Times, until Recently :


=> -, Indeed, at Least ... Thirty Three (33) Amendments have been already made to CoE's Statute, Between 1951 - 2015, as "Eurofora" found at the Official CoE's Texts !


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


+ Meanwhile, Between October and December 2017, (under PACE's interim President Stella Kyriakides from Cyprus, a Center-Right EPP MEP. Comp. various Kyriakides' statements to "Eurofora", as f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentkyriakidestoeurofora.html, etc), CoE's Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly's Leaders have Already Started to Work Together, in even Closer Cooperation than before, precisely about Issues as that of Russian MEPs' participation and Vote Rights, as well as the Subsequent Financial Problems later provoked by that (Comp. Supra).


>>> An Important and Topical point, in this regard, is a main Conclusion of the Recent Report drafted by Italian MEP Michele Nicoletti (Chairman of the Socialist Group, and probable New PACE President for the 2 Next Years 2018-2019 : Comp. f.ex., some of Nicoletti's Statements to "Eurofora", at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/pacepresidentrow.html , etc) and adopted by PACE on October 2017, about a New CoE's Heads of State/Governments Summit, for the Unity of Europe and its Democratic Security (probably on 2019), which Calls for a Coordinated Approach between Governments and MEPs, particularly on delicate Issues which Affect the "Unity" of the PanEuropean Organisation, as also that of the Fate of Russian MEPs.


So that an Eventual Change (or UpDate) of the above-mentioned Points in CoE's Statute (Comp. Supra) with a possible Agreement between CoE's Committee of Ministers and PACE's MEPs, i.e. withOut Need for National Ratifications, could, normally, be Feasible and rather Simple, (particularly, given the Urgency of the matter, in practical terms, considering f.ex., its Budget, the preparation of the Summit, the quality of its PanEuropean Debates on "Hot" Political Issues concerning all its 47 Member States, etc).

 

coe_flags_eurofora_400

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


+ On the Substance of the Issue, it's well known that Russia has clearly Asked for All PACE's MEPs' Rights, as Parlementarians, to be Safeguarded, in the Future, in unequivocal terms, which would Not allow any Other eventual Repetition of So Harsh Sanctions, Depriving them for Too Many Rights of Participation/Vote, as in that Exceptional, Controversial Case which Provoked the Departure of Russian MEPs (Comp. Supra). 


Therefore, Moscow, notoriously finds Necessary also a Reform of PACE's "Rules of Procedure", in order for All MEPs' elementary Rights to be clearly Safeguarded in the Future. As long as this is not done, the Russian Delegation of MEPs does Not Accept to Return Back inside the PACE, in a Precarious Condition, and, after Years of provoked Absence, it has decided to Suspend all its Annual Financial Contribution to the COE, (effective from February 2018, i.e. in 2 Months Time, as another Experienced CoE's Official told us).


>>> In order to Facilitate the obviously Necessary "Dialogue" between Russia and PACE for a Solution on this thorny Issue, but also in the Wider, Topical Context of the Preparation of CoE's Summit, all being linked with a Debate on COE's Future Role at the PanEuropean area, (Comp. Supra), PACE's President Stella Kyriakides proposed, and PACE's Bureau Collectively Accepted, on December 2017, after a 1st Meeting with 5 Russian Parliamentary Leaders, (including Mrs Matvienko and Mr. Borodin, Presidents of the Federal Council and of Duma, respectively), to set up a New, "Ad Hoc" Committee, Strongly Built, with the Participation of All Heads of National Delegations, the Presidents of Political Groups, and the Chairs of PACE's Committees, as well as its Rapporteurs on PACE's Role and Procedures, explicitly charged to Focus on CoE Assembly's "Mission".


=> This, important New PACE's High-level "Ad Hoc" Committee on COE' Assembly's "Role and Mission", was Officially convoked by President Kyriakides (whose Mandate concludes on the 21st of January 2018) and the Bureau, to Meet in Strasbourg, on Next Tuesday, with the Participation of at least 2 Russian Top MEPs, (Konstantin Kosachev, Long-Time President of Senate's Foreign affairs Committee, and Pyotr Tolstoy, Duma's vice-President), as Sawicki confirmed.


 - "This is a Creaton of PACE's Bureau, and, therefore, If and when it might, eventually, Propose any Amendments to PACE's Rules of Procedure, then, normally, this should be Debated and Voted by the competent PACE Committee on Rules of Procedure, before a Final and Decisive, Public Debate and Vote at a Plenary Session, Sawicki concluded on this point.


I.e, something which, theoretically, could be done during a Week, i.e. in one Plenary Session, But, in Fact, might require a, more or less, Longer Time, ...thereby showing, in fact, again the Practical Interest for "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Suggestion to Simplify and Accelerate PACE's work, on this and other such cases, that its Secretary General appeared to find Practically Useful and Feasible, (Comp. concrete Detals Supra)...

 

(../..)

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EuroCorps, aged 15, may graduate in 2009, boosted by Strasbourg's Human Rights/Reconciliation symbols and fresh political will

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 Popular : EuroCorps' chief, General Pittarch, and Strasbourg's Mayor Ries, speak to the People, downtown.

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* EuroCorps, EU defence's etat major, which has just celebrated 15 years of age (1993 - 2008), is young enough to feel enthousiasm for missions to guarantee Human Rights, Peace and reconcilation : Strasbourg's Historic Symbols, but also maturing fast, (particularly under the current French EU Presidency), in order to prepare potentialy important developments in 2009 :

- "EUROCORPS" is a "unique tool" for "a Modern Europe", jointly managed by participating Nations without anyone deciding for others", to "support their efforts to promote Reconciliation, Peace and Human Rights' Values, which identify today's European ideal, with its Symbol-City : Strasbourg", stressed its Chief, Spanish General Pedro PITARCH, in a popular ceremony for the 15th Anniversary of the European Army Corps, at its Headquarters.

- "Today, we are ready and able to fullfil any Peace-keeping Mission may be decided by the Political leadership, since we can deploy up to 60.000 soldiers and/or other agents, mainly in land, but in coordination with Sea and Air operarions", (even to build vital Infrastructures, demining, keep public order, facilitate Elections, etc), said to EuroFora EUROCORPS' Spokesman and Press Director, Colonel Raul SUEVOS.

- "If there is an Agreement with the framework Nations, EUROCORPS could certainly contribute to guarantee manifold aspects of Peace setllements", told us recently General PITARCH.

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EuroCorps framework Nations' flags in Strasbourg's central square, on 2008, under the eyes of Napoleon's general KLEBER, famous for its Egypt campain, (reminded by German chancelor Merkel at Berlin's March 2007 EU Summit in a symbolic 1799 gift to the French President)..
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EU Parliament asked, Summer 2008 in Strasbourg, " to place Eurocorps as a standing force under EU command", and "invited all (EU) Member States to contribute to it".

France, Germany, Belgium, Spain, and Luxembourg (participating with Funds, Telecoms and Officers), are EUROCORPS"' main "Framework Nations", due to be joined by Italy in 2009. Greece and Austria participate as "Contributing Nations", while Poland decided to upgrade its role. Turkey has liaison Officers for NATO relations, and even USA decided to send Officers to Strasbourg on 2009.

Observers await with impatience also the outcome of NATO's April 2009 Summit in Strasbourg in order to have a better view of EuroCorps' future.

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  Since modern Defence must be able to use all Arms nowadays, EuroCorps tried to charm Strasbourg's People with Music accross popular streets...

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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