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EUOmbudsman Press Head Gadesman to EF on Citizens in Decision-Making: Transparency OK, but Dialogue?

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 13 February 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- "Eurofora"s Project for Citizens' Debates with European Institutions before important Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society at large, is obviously Facilitated by EU Moves "Starting Today", as far as prior "Transparency" is concerned, including even EU Council's Member States' positions during Deliberations in Brussels, (until now kept Secret), but could be Followed asap also by "Dialogue", as it results, in substance, by the Replies given to our Questions by the Press Director of EU's Defender of Citizens, alias Ombudsman, Gundi Gadesmann, (or, rather, Nowadays : "OmbudsWoman", since, for the 1st Time in History, the current EU Top Official is a Lady : Emily O'Reilly, an experienced former Long-Time Journalist, and also National Ombudswoman from Ireland).


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- Using EU Lisbon "Treaty-Based Rights", "EU Citizens should be EmPowered to ... Participate in the Democratic Process, and Seek to Influene Decisions on New Legislation", stressed, as a matter of Principle, Emily O'Reilly's Conclusions, Published Today and send by EU Ombudsman's Press Service to Journalists, including "Eurofora", following a one Year-long (2017-2018) "Strategic Inquiry" at her own Initiative, after becoming "Aware of Concerns about percieved Lack of Accountabiity and consequent Lack of Opportunity for Citizens' Participation" in EU Decision-Making, particularly Because there is Not "Sufficient Openness to Allow" that.


- Indeed, according to the 1st Article of EU's Lisbon Treaty, "Decisions are Taken as Openly as possible, and as Closely as possible to the Citizen"


+ To which is Added also Article 10, alinea 3, which stresses that "Every Citizen shall have the Right to Participate in the Democratic Life of the Union". Therefore, EU "Decisions shall be taken as Openly, and as Closely as possible to the Citizen".


>>> In that regard, EU's Lisbon Treaty "marks a NEW STAGE" in EU Integration "process of creating an ever Closer Union" among European People, reminds Aticle 1.


The Concrete Occasion in order to remind those General Principles, had been given to O'Reilly by Problems Faced by EU Citizens in knowing the Position of each EU Member State during the Deliberations of EU Council :

Until Now, this was Not made Public, as well as several related Documents, seriously Restricting the Transparency of EU's Decision-Making process, and Limiting the National Governments' Accountability, vis a vis interested Citizens, in National and/or European Elections.


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+ But as a matter of Principle, O'Reilly made now a Wider Reference, (in order to better Motivate her Decision for more Transparency, related particularly to EU Citizens' role regarding the Decision-Making Process of Public Administrations), to the Fact that EU Parliament already practices a full Transparency (via Internet "streaming" and Videos on line) of MEPs' Debates and Votes in its Commission's work for the Preparation of Final Decisions by the Plenary Sessions, afterwards :

I.e. an Idea which was Conceived, Decided and Announced by former EU Parliament's President, Professor Jerzy Buzek, (former Prime Minister of Poland), during a Press Contact with "Eurofora", as early as, already since July 2009, as one among his Practical spontaneous Reactions when we had Discussed with him, precisely, the overall "Eurofora"s Project, on EU Citizens' Debates with MEPs Before Final Decisions are taken by EU Parliament's Plenary, using also New Communication Technologies in order to Facilitate and Simplify things, (for which, he had kindly Asked us to Send him also a Written Note : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/buzekeurofora.html). 

Buzek is, Nowadays, President of EU Parliament's Energy, Industry and Scientific/Technological Research Commission, which naturally deals also with various Topical Issues concerning the Internet, etc, (Comp., f.ex., a Recent INTW given by Buzek to "Eurofora" on 2017, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/buzekoneucloud.html).

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 By a Coincidence, the above-mentioned 2018 Move from EU Ombudsman was announced Today Morning just Hours after "Eurofora" spoke, Yesterday Evening, in a Collective Meeting organized by Strasbourg City on "European Democracy" projects about Big Changes introduced, on the Key issues related to our Project, precisely by EU's latest "Lisbon" Treaty, (which was, notoriously, Drafted since 2007, but didn't Enter into Force before 2010). A key point, which, curiously, didn't seem well known (and/or acceptable) by some, not even Eleven (11) Years Later, on 2018...  

- Already, as Early as since January 2010, (i.e., practicaly, from the Beginning of the current, EU Lisbon Treaty), the Experienced, Twice Elected, former EU Ombudsman, Professor (of Law) Nikiforos Diamandouros, speaking to "Eurofora", had clearly Announced his Intention to Start Using EU's brand new "Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms", (part of Lisbon Treaty package), and, particularly, the General Principle of "Good Administration", 'established by EU Charter's Article 41), in a very "Wide" way, in Addition to "Transparency" Issues, which might, Taken Together, become Key Building Blocks for "Eurofora"s Project's main Idea :


I.e. by including, f.ex., the Legal Principles of "Impartiality" and "Fairness", as well as of  "reasonably Timely" Public Administration's Decisions, added to Citizens' Rights to "be Heard", have "Access to ...Files" affecting their "affairs", as well as for a Motivation giving the "Reasons" of Decisions :

=> A coherent series of Rules able to push for a kind of Dialogue between Citizens and Public Authorities, (since the "Reasons" of their Decisions should, normally, Reply to affected Citizens' previous "Hearing", as National Administrative Law often precsribes also in several EU Countries, etc), serving also as a Safeguard against eventual Abuse of Discretionary Power. (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euombudsman.html , and Comp., as far as PanEuroepan CoE's recent similar Legal tools are concerned : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeruleoflawchecklistandeuroforaproject.html , etc. Comp. also various Other Statements by Diamandouros, as well as by his Predecessor : the 1st EU Ombudsman in History, Jacob Söderman, to "Eurofora"'s co-Founder, Published, Earlier, to "TCWeekly" and/or "MPAgency"+).

 

eu_ombudswoman_on_2017_good_administration_award_brx_photo_eu_400 

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++ But EU's Lisbon Treaty's Innovations as far as it concerns "Eurofora"s Project (Comp. Supra) are Not Limited Only to those "Transparency" and/or "Hearing"+"Motivation Issues, already Evoked Above, regarding Citizens' role in EU Decision-Making.


 >>> Indeed, according Article 11 of the Treaty, alineas 1 and 2, Adds also that "Institutions shall ... Give Citizens ... the Opportunity to make Known, and publicly Exchange their Views, in All areas of (European) Union Action", as well as, that "Institutions shall maintain an Open, Transparent, and Regular DIALOGUE with ... Civil Society".


O'Reilly did Not Refer, in her above-mentioned Decision Published Today, to this EU Treaty Article, simply because it was Not yet Necessary for the sole purpose of Disclosing Member States' Position during EU Council's collective Deliberations, which was at the Focus of her latest Strategic Inquiry.


However, this EU Lisbon Treaty's Addition of Citizens' Right to "make Known, and publicly Exchange their Views, in all areas of (EU's) Action", as well as, for all "Civil Society", to "maintain an Open, Transparent and REGULAR DIALOGUE" with EU "Institutions", (thanks to "appropriate Means", provided by them), Naturally lies at the Heart of "Eurofora"s Project, for EU Citizens' Debates with EU Decision-Makers (as MEPs, EU Commissioners, Member States' Representatives, EU Council's Presidency, and various specific EU Bodies, partly also National bodies when applying EU Law or Principles, etc), Before they take importan Measures which affect their Lives and/or Society at large...


=> In consequence, "Eurofora" raised, on Today's Occasion, a Question to EU Ombudsman's Press Director, Gundi Gadesmann, on whether these important Additional Possibilities for Citizens' Participation in EU's Decision-Making process, as prescribed by Lisbon Treaty's Article 11, perhaps were or will be Examined by any relevant O'Reilly's Enquiry, in the foreseable Future.


- Gadesmann reminded that a Similar, but quite "Particular" Issue had been Raised, in the Past, just on the occasion of a "Religion-related" Case, but, at First Sight, Not yet as a matter of General Principle, as in "Eurofora"s Query.


- Nevertheless, she did Not Exclude at all that such an Important Development (which was also Timely : given both the forthcoming 2019 EU Elections, and the current Political Context in most EU Countries, with Electoral Abstentions, rise of so-called "Populism" and/or "EuroScepticism", as well as Citizens' DisTrust of Establishment's mainsream Medias, often also Politicians, etc), might, Indeed, eventually Pop-up at the Forefront of EU Ombudsman's Future Activities, during the Next 1 or 2 Years, etc.


 - She even went as far as to kindly Suggest, amused, that, if there were Sufficient concrete Elements, and if "Eurofora" really Felt so Strong about that Issue, perhaps, since Journalists are also simple Citizens, we might, eventually, take an Initiative to Lodge a relevant Application to EU Ombudsman ourselves, asap...

 

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+ Already, anOther Lisbon Treaty-related Variant of the project Supported during +20 Years (1997-2017+) by "Eurofora" co-Founder, (Comp., f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/walstrom.html , etc), was to Add to that Radical Innovation which is the EU "Citizens' Initiative" mechanism, (prescribed by Article 11, alinea 4, significantly the Same which also speaks about "Regular Dialogue" with Citizens: Comp. Supra), also a Debate with MEPs and an EU Commission's Representative in EU Parliament, independently of whether that Initiative's concrete Suggestion was going to be Endorsed also by a Commission's Official Proposal for a New EU Legislative Measure, or not:

 

Indeed, this had Not been Foreseen at all by the Treaty, but when "Eurofora" explained the main Reasons for such a Debate to EU Parliament's competent Rapporteur, former Minister for EU Affairs, ChristianDemocrat/EPP, MEP Alain Lamassoure, he found the Idea Interesting and Endorsed it, as well as EU Commissioner Maros Cefcovic, and that Mechanism works like that since then, introducing, for the 1st Time in History, a Cutture and concrete Practice of EU Citizens - EU Decision-Makers Debate inside a New Procedure related with EU's Legislative Process, (See, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/debatesincitizensinitiatives.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucitizensinitiativestobeheard.html) , with an Important Potential, which has not yet been fully realized, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucitizensinitiativenewdecisionmaking.html , etc).


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+++ An Other Interesing point was also the Fact that Gadesmann found Plausible that EU Ombudsman could, eventually, use her contacts with the CoE, (Headquartered in Strasbourg, as also O'Reilly's main office), and/or the European Network with National Ombudsmen that has been created since er 1st Predecessor : the 1st EU Ombudsman, Jacob Söderman. (See "Eurofora"'s relevant Publications also at "TCWeekly" and/or "MPAgency", then).


Not only in order to Spread the above-mentioned Ideas, issued from O'Reilly's latest Findings, anounced Today, and Strengthen their Implementation, as far as EU Law is concerned.


But also in order to Discuss these matters with, and eventually influence even a Wider circle, well Beyond EU Law's area, such as PanEuropean CoE's 47 Member States, and/or National Ombudsmen's activities also on National Law cases, (since They Apply Both EU and/or National Laws), Helping to Forge One main Legal Culture across Europe, at least as far as Citizens' participation in Public Authorities' Decision-Making is concerned, (as well as to eventually Exchange "Best Practices" concrete examples, if and where they might exist).


=> Indeed, EU Ombudsman's Press Director revealed to "Eurofora", also for such a purpose, that the Next Annual Conference of European Countries' Ombudsmen Network, (initially created by Sôderman), is due to meet very Soon :


- At the Beginning of "March" 2018, offering, indeed, an opportunity for O'Reilly to eventually Launch such Discussions on her Latest Jurisprudence about EU Citizens, Published Today, also accross a Wider Area, particularly in the context of current and forthcoming debates on European Society's foreseable Future.

 

 

(../..)

 

 

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***

 

 (NDLR: Headline PHOTOS = Parlement Européen

+ Patchwork Synthesis = Eurofora)

 

***

EUParliament Warns Turkey against Continuing disproportionate Military Attack on Syrian Kurds Region

Written by ACM
Thursday, 08 February 2018
ep_vote_on_turkey_8.2.2018_eurofora_400_01
 

*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- A Strong Majority in EU Parliament, adopting a last-minute Amendment Today, "Warned" Turkey "against the Continuaton of disproportionate actions" with its "Military Intervention in (the) Kurdish Majority Region of Syria" in "Afrin". The Text had been Tabled by the 2 Biggest Political Groups : those of ChristianDemocrats/EPP and Socialists, together with the Rightists of "EFDD".

 

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This comes shortly after French Army Minister, Florence Parly, reportedly called Turkey to Stop its operations inside Syria, while President Emmanuel Macron, in 2 successive Statements, had also Warned Ankara that, if the Turkish Military did not stay where it was until that Day, then, its Attacks would be assimilated to an "Invasion", provoking "a Serious Problem", (which would be Raised inside the EU, NATO, etc).


+ Moreover, about 100 MEPs, mainly of Rightist Groups, (such as ENF and EFDD, where participate Parties in Coalition Governments Chairing the EU during 2018, as Bulgaria and Austria, etc), as well as several Other MEPs from Various Political Horizons, Voted Today an Amendment "Calling for an Immediate Retreat of Turkish Armed Forces from Syrian Territory" in general, "and for an Immediate CeaseFire", while also "Heavily Condemning Any further Military Action in Syria by the Turkish Military".

pe_vote_on_turkey_amendment_5_eurofora_400


++ They were practically Added to anOther 100 MEPs, mainly of Leftist Groups, (such as EuroLeft, Greens, etc), but also from various Other Political Horizons (f.ex. Socialists, Liberals, etc), who had Already Signed a Written Statement, from the Beginning of this Week, "Urging the EU Commission and EU Member States to ... Ask Turkey to immediately Stop its Military Attacks" "against Afrin, a Kurdish Region at Northern Syria", which "occurs withOut Any Provocation, Nor Attack from those Kurds or from Syria", as they observed.

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 enf_group_president_ferrand_dies_eve_of_hot_ep_plenary_session._tajani_asks_1_minute_of_silence_screenshot_by_eurofora_400

  The Total Number of MEPs Voting to Stop and/or Withdraw Turkish troops from Afrin would have, normally, been quite Bigger, if the President of the ENF Group (Rightists), Dr. Edouard Ferrand, father of 5, had Not Died, Suddenly, aged Only 53 y.o., at the Eve of this Plenary Session, as EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, announced officially Last Monday, asking to keep 1 Minute of Silence in his Memory.

 deceased_enf_group_president_edouard_ferrand_400

ENF Group MEPs asked to Postpone the Votes, in order to Attend Ferrand's Funeral in Paris, but this was Refused by a majority of opposed MEPs, so, it's obvious that, in fact, there were More MEPs who really Wanted to Vote for the "Immediate Retreat" of Turkish Military from the Kurdish Region of Syria, But were Hindered....

 enf_group_president_ferrand_absent_pe_screenshot_by_eurofora_400

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+++ Almost 200 MEPs, from Various Political Horizons and/or EU Countries, went on to Vote another Amendment (tabled by the "EuroLeft") aiming to Explicitate the "illegal" nature of the "Turkish Military Intervention in Afrin".

 

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Meanwhile, EU Commission's vice-President, and EU High Representative on External Action, Frederica Mogherini, during an EU Parliament's Debate on Tuesday, expressed "Deep Concern" First of all about "the Humanitarian Consequences" of Turkey's Military Attack in Syria's Kurdish Region of Afrin, where many Civilian People (reportedly More than 151, including Children) were already Killed, while several Thousands are becoming Refugees/Displaced People, in Addition to obvious "Political" Risks to Hamper International Efforts to Find a Peacefull Solution to the Syrian Conflict, (mainly through UN Geneva Talks), while also Not making Turkey's security better, (if it doesn't even Worsen it), as she Carefully Warned...

 

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This was Echoed at the above-Mentioned Amendment, Adopted Today (Thursday Noon) by EU Parliament in Strasbourg, expressing "Serious Concern about the Humanitarian Consequences of the (Turkish) Military Intervention", which were also Denounced by Many MEPs during Tuesday's relevant Public Debate.

 

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turkish_thugs_islamist_terrorists_cronies_trumple_underfoot_a_mutilated_killed_and_sullied_syrian_kurdish_woman_webshot_400
 

 
+ Moreover, several Mainstream Medias, in France, the UK, USA, etc., had just Strongly Denounced the Horrible spectacle of the Mutilated body of a Kurdish Woman Militant, Sullied and Trampled UnderFoot by a Band of Cowards Islamist Gangs systematically used by the Turkish Army for its Invasion at Afrin, as revealed a Video obtained by the well-known London-based NGO "Observatory on Human Rights in Syria", the Atrocious Images of which were Published and/or Described also at Establishment's Newspapers both of the Right (as f.ex. "Figaro"), and of the Left (f.ex. "Guardian"), or others, (f.ex. "Independent"), etc.

turkish_thugs_islamist_terrorist_cronies_trample_underfoot_a_killed_syrian_kurdish_woman_webshot_by_eurofora_400
 


Shocked by such a Blatant and Sadic War Crime, Exceptionaly, "Figaro "publised an Article stressing at its Headlines, that France was now Obliged to "Choose" between "Islamists" Radicals around Turkey, and the Syrian Kurdish People, who notoriously helped Save many People and Liberate most Territories from ISIS and other Deadly Islamist Terrorists targetting innocent Civilians...


This also gave, inevitably, a Topical Feeling to the (otherwise naive) Headline of a parallel Article, recently published at Mainstream "Jerusalem Post" by a Couple of Writers linked to USA's Washington DC, with the premonitory claim that the Syrian "Kurdish Fight is Humanity's Fight" : Indeed, it was naturally Awfull and Scandalous to see that those People who notoriously Risked their Lives to Help EU, Russia and USA, as well as other Allies, to succesfully Fight against ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists (cowardly Targetting innocent Civilian People everywhere, with particularly Bloody Massacres throughout the EU, in Russia, USA, etc), Faced Nowadays, Deadly Military Attacks added to Vile, Atrociously InHuman and Degrading Treatments, without any elementary Respect not even for their Body after being Killed by the Turkish Military and its Cronies, who notoriously were, during many Years, ...ISIL's Islamist Terrorists' local Suppliers, massively Offering and Exploiting Jihadists' arrivals and departures, Traffics of Arms, Stolen Oil/Gas or Cultural Heritage Artworks, Money Laundering, even Fake Passports/ID Cards' traffic for infiltration of Terrorists, etc, as it's well known...


Leftist Turkish MEP from Germany, Kurkcu, recently Reminded, at CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly, at the End of January 2018, in Strasbourg, that a Popular "Symbol" of that Heroic Resistance and finally succesfull Fight had become also thoe World Famous Syrian Kurdish Women, who helped Liberate also many Yazidi a.o. Women kidnapped and abused as "Sex Slaves" etc. by ISIS' Jihadists, (as those 2 Vistims who were awarded CoE's and EU's Prizes for Human Rights and Freedom of Conscience recently in Strasbourg : See ... + ...), Pictured at Global Mainstream Medias' FrontPage Headlines, such as in "TIMES" Magazine, etc., (See relevant Photo, and "Eurofora"s NewsReport from PACE's Debate at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/pacebureauslamsturkishinvasioninsyria.html).

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Such Facts, apparently Moved some Officials inside EU Parliament, given that it Symbolically Decided to place, this Week in Strasbourg, its Debate on Turkey on Tuesday Afternoon, after an Introductory Debate on ..." Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation", and Locating the Turkish Problem only Between ...ZImbabwe and Venezuela (sic !), (even if it might be quite Unfair for Zimbabwe at the current situation, as an "Eurofora"s fan observed... See: http://www.eurofora.net/forum/index.php/topic,870.msg1152.html + relevant Photo of EU's Agenda)...

 

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=> So that Many MEPs, from Various Political Horizons, both from the Right and from the Left, asked (during the Debate of Tuesday) for "Sanctions" to be Imposed on Turkey.


+ Around 70 MEPs went, Today, as far as to Vote even a very "Hot" Amendment, (Tabled by Rightists, but Voted by 2 Political Groups and Various Other MEPs), "Calling (EU)'s Member States to put a Definitive End to the (Controversial and UnPopular) Negotiations on the Accession of Turkey to the EU withOut Delay", and to "Definitively Suspend the Pre-Accession Funds", as well as "to Stop Negotiations on the (Extension of) Customs Union between the EU and Turkey".


Meanwhile, speaking on behalf of the Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, on Tuesday's Debate, even Romanian MEP Cristian Dan Preda, who had, in the Past, personally Supported Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU Accession bid, (as he Reminded), nevertheless, "Now", "Believed" that it was "Inconcievable to Continue Talking about Turkey's Accession into the EU", but, on the Contrary, EU should Better think about a kind of "Partnership" with Ankara, instead, and "Focus on Human Rights", (as concluded the New vice President of EU Parliament's Human Rights' Committee).

 

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=> EU Parliament's Resolution, Adopted Today (Thursday Noon) by a Strong Majority, Reminds, in this regard, that, Already, recently, the "Parliament called, in November 2016, for the Accession process with Turkey to be Frozen, and, in July 2017, to be Suspended", particularly "if" the Controversial "Constitutional Changes" pushed by a seriously Contested Referendum, "were implemented unchanged", (i.e. something which, reportedly, has already started to be done).


+ Moreover, Today's Resolution, topically "Reiterates" EU Parliament's "position of November 2017, in which it Called for Funds destinated to Turkish Authorities" as "Pre-Accession Assistance", "to be Made Conditional on Improvements in the field of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law".


Already, "Turkey’s pre-accession funds have been Cut by EUR 105 million, ...with a further EUR 70 million held in Reserve, Until the country makes ‘measurable Sufficient Improvements’" in this regard, the Adopted Resolution also Reminds.

 

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+ EU Parliament also Adopted Today, by a Strong Majority, an Amendment to "Condemn the most Recent Arrests", by Ankara's Regime, of reportedly More than 600 Dissidents inside Turkey itself, "for expessing their Opposition to the Turkish Military Intervention in Afrin".


Those +600 Oppressed Anti-War Dissidents include "Journalists, Activists, Doctors and Ordinary Citizens", reportedly publishing mainly at the World Wide Web, and they were Added to  "at least 148 Academics, from public and private Universities, who Signed the "Academics for Peace" Petition", and whose "Detention and Trial" was Also "Condemned" by EU Parliament today.

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The moves came at the Eve of EU's Foreign Ministers' "Gymnich" Meeting, Next Week in Sofia (Bulgaria) on February 15-16., and in the run-up of an EU - Turkey Summit Next Month, which has just been Pushed for Later than Initially expected (from 7 to 26 March) and, Exceptionally, far Away from Brussels, in Bulgaria (Varna) too..., (between the Presidents of EU Commission and Council, Juncker and Tusk, with Bulgarian Prime Minister Borissov, current EU Chairman-in-office, due to meet Turkish President Erdogan).  Meanhwile, the 27 EU Member States' Leaders will be holding a normal Summit in Brussels, on Mars 22-23, focused on Europe's foreseable Future, where Financial and other aspects of EU Enlargement process could be reviewed.  

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+ Previously, the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, the CoE, is holding Important Meetings of its Parliamentary Assembly's Political and Standing Committees (the latter being Equivalent to a Plenary), in the Middle of March in Paris, France, where its New Rapporteur on Syria, former Foreign Minister, Dora Bakoganni, (which has Recently issued a Critical Statement on Turkey's Military Attack in the Syrian Kurdish Region of Afrin : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coerapporteurslamsturkishinvasionofsyriankurds.html), is due to actively participate. By a coincidence, Bakogianni had already Voiced CoE's 1st Succesfull Call to Save assieged Kobane City from ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists cowardly Targetting even innocent Civilians, back on 2014 (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeforimmediateinternationalhelptosyriankurds.html, etc).

 

(../..)

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EU IT Agency CEO Garkov to EF: Data Protect+Fight Terror =Schengen/VISA/Asylum/Interoperability Boom

Written by ACM
Thursday, 08 February 2018
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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- It's at the Topical and "Hot" Crossroads between Personal/Private Data Protection and Crime/Terrorism Prevention needs, Both Growing Nowadays, concerning EU's Large-scale Information systems' Agency "EU-LISA", which manages Schengen's EU Citizens' Free Movement, Visas and Asylum seeking's IT systems, recently (2017) entrusted also with the InterOperability of EU's Networks, that its CEO, Krum Garkov, speaking to "Eurofora", after a Hearing by EU Parliament's Committee on Terrorism, chaired by French MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, highlighted some main key points in reply to our relevant questions, (including on EU-LISAgency's Next Phase of Expansion in Strasbourg) :

 eu_parliaments_counterterrorism_commission_eurofora_400

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In fact, Grakov (a UK/USA Educated IT Management Expert from Bulgaria, the incoming rotating EU Presidency for January - June 2018), has Both to Protect Data and to Facilitate Information Networks on EU Citizens' Free Movement and Security area, VISAs and Asylum Seekers' administration, as well as Inter-Operability of EU Networks  by "EU-LISA", created on 2012, whose Operational Activities are Headquartered in Strasbourg, (France), its Secretariat being hosted in Tallin (Estonia).

 

 

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Data Protection and EU Information Sharing currently Growing both in parallel, EU-LISAgency's activities and responsibilities, naturally, are recently also Growing fast, needing a Wider Space and more Means, as MEPs observed Today.


- But, will EU's Large Information Systems' Agency (EU-LISA) really meet the Challenge of both Protecting Personal/Private Data, as well as Helping Crime/Terrorism Prevention by adequate Information-Sharing, and how ?, "Eurofora" mainly asked EU's IT CEO Garkov.  

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DATA PROTECTION
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 - Questioned in particular, on the Entry into Force of EU's New Directive on Data Protection and how to cope with necessary Changes, Garkov calmly estimated that, -"Well, there woN't be such a Dramatic Impact".


 - "Of course, we (EU-LISAgency) have to Align our Internal arrangementts, related to the (Information) Systems, according to the New (EU Directive's) Requirements", he acknowledged, as a matter of Principle.


- "But", in Fact, "the New Requirements are not so Dramatically Different from what we Already have in place", ensured the Experienced EU-LISA's Chief, who is in charge since its inception and beginning, from 2012-2013, (Comp. relevant Garkov Statements to "Eurofora", already on this Historic Event's occasion, then, at : ...).


- F.ex., concerning "Scrutiny" on EU's IT Agency, we recently had "a Mission" about that, and, "So Far, there is Not something Critical that was found ... that might make Anyone Doubtful about the arrangements in the Agency", he observed, in this regard.


=> "So, there Will be New Requirements, but I'm quite Sure that we shall Successfully Cope with them", EU-LISA's Head promised, optimistically and/or with voluntarism.  

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+ FIGHT AGAINST TERRORISM
-----------------------------------------------------------------

+ On Topical and "Hot" Crime/Terrorism Prevention issues, "Eurofora" asked Garkov how could EU Avoid, in Future, the Gross Blunder (and/or Lacuna) which had allowed for a Persistent Offender, an Afghan irregular Migrant 32 Years old (as his own Father revealed Later-on), who had Already been Convicted and Jailed in Greece (where he had arrived through Turkey, amidst that Unprecedented "Tsunami" of +1,5 Millions Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants of 2015-2016) for Brutally Aggressing and throwing over an 8 Meter High Building a Young Girl who survived but was Seriously Wounded after Resisting to his Sexual Assault, to Come, afterwards, in Germany, where he Fooled the Authorities by Claiming to be a Young "Teenager" and a "Refugee",  so that they Gave him a Protected Status, a Foster Family as "UnAccompagnied Child" (sic !), regular Money and Training, until he Brutally Raped and Murdered anOther Young Girl, at Nearby Freiburg, on 2017, who was even Helping Refugees as Volunteer, and whose Father was working at EU Commission in Brussels : German Authorities reportedly did Not Know Anything about that recent Past of that Coward Monster, because of an ill-elucidated yet, Scandalous Flaw in the Information System of Police Cooperation on Criminal matters concering irregular Migrants from 3rd (Non-EU) Countries : The Famous Maria Ladenburger affair, which Recently arrived at the Courts.


-  "Here comes the role of ECRIS-TCN" (the "European Criminal Records Information System" on "Third-Country Nationals"), which is a relatively New System on Criminal Records' exchanges for 3rd Countries (Non-EU) Nationals, recently proposed by the EU Commission, and is Now at the Table" (of EU Council + Parliament), Garko punctually replied to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question in EU Parliament - (by a Coincidence, just before Meeting, Later Today, at EU-LISAgency's Headquarters in Strasbourg, with EU's Rapporteur for the Budgetary aspects of ECRIS-TCN, MEP Bernd Kolmel).


- "We (EU-LISAgendy) Shall have to Develop that. We shall do", he confirmed, after a relevant EU Commissions' official announcement, since June 2017.


+ "Mainly, it will provide (EU) Member States with the Information if a particular Individual, National of a 3rd Country, has Previous Convictions, and in what (EU) Member State", Garkov explained.


=> "So, the relevant Authorities, f.ex. in Germany, will be Able to Approach the Authorities, f.ex. in Greece, and Ask for Details :" I.e. "What was the Conviction ?", etc., etc. So that will be Known. This is Coming" asap, he announced.


 - In order to Facilitate things in real Practice, "it will be as Automatic as possible", and, at any case, it will be treated as a "Part of the (EU's) Inter-Operability package" of Measures, which EU Commission proposed recently to entrust to EU-LISAgency, its CEO concluded in reply.


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


- In the Past, indeed, "the System had some Gaps", he acknowledged earlier.


- Particularly "on Identity Fraud", which was "the Most Important" Problem, where a series of "New Technologies Will be <<Game-Changers>>, in the Fight against Crime and Terrorism !", he Optimistically announced, speaking also at EU Parliament's Commission on Terrorism, previously this Morning.

 

eu_lisagency_ceo_garkov_speaking_at_eu_parliaments_counterterrorism_committee_eurofora_400


- "F.ex.", that Islamist Terrorist who Killed many innocent Civilian People "in Germany, at Berlin's Christmas Market", (and refuged at a Turkish Mosque that he used to Visit, nearby), had ... "Forteen (14 !) Different Identities", all "Fake !", he denounced.


+ This was Added to MEP's Questions also on the case of the suspected "Ring-Leader" of the Deadly "2015 Mass-Attacks in Paris", who had, reportedly, "Travelled several Times, from/to Syria", (arriving through Turkey, into EU Member Greece : I.e. crossing again and again EU's External Borders), as it was also pointed out.


- But, Nowadays, "Modern Technology can Contribute to the Fight against Terrorism", (that "95% of EU Citizens cinsider as a Considerable Challenge"), which is mainy "Information-Driven !", Garko stressed, before Describing some More concrete "New Tools", in this regard, (See also Infra).


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


 => So that, putting it in a nutshell, he underlined the Fact that, "Today, EU faces the Challenge" of the Need "to be Both Open and Safe !"



-------------------------------------------
EU-LISAgency's GROWTH
---------------------------------------------------------

+ Questioned by "Eurofora" about the forseable Evolution of EU-LISA's Operational Headquarters, here, its CEO confirmed and Highlighted the Importance of the ForthComing Growth of the Agency, but appeared Confident that it will Find, on Time, the required Means :

=>  - In fact, at "the Operational Site here", in Strasbourg, "the Capacity is Not Enough for Everything that is Coming", Garkov admitted, just after telling us also about the New "Inter-Operability package" due to be entrusted to EU-LISAgency, as we've seen above, (Comp. also Infra)


 - So that, "Now, we are Finalizing a ReConstruction Site", he pointed out, as far as it concerns mainly current affairs.


- "But, Immediately, we shall have to Move to a Next Phase of Expansion, in order to Cope with the New Tasks of the Agency".


- This will also "be Here, in Strasbourg", in France, where EU-LISAgency's CEO looks confident that he shall find what is needed, including also the Fact that "we have a Good Cooperation with the Municipality", with "Support from the Mayor of Strasbourg", and "we have all the prerequisivities to go in the (new) site" as required, he told "Eurofora".


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


- Earlier, Garkov had observed, indeed, that, just for the "Schengen system", Internet "Searches", which, already were More than "4 Billions" on "2016", had Grown "during 2017" for "+ 25%". And, "the Data Shared" until the "End of 2017", grew up to "+35% More" than before, (etc).


+ In Addition, as he had just noted in his speech at EU Parliament's Commission against Terrorism, earlier this (Thursday) Morning, "for EURO-DAC" (the Asylum Seekers-related EU Information System), "since 2017, All Europe is InterConnected".

 

eulisagency_ceo_garkov_in_ep_antiterror_ctee_eurofora_400 


- And, "from March" 2018, "we shall have also the Bio-Metric Data", with "Important", "Efficiency" and "Sophisticated Tools" for EU's "Coast-Guards", etc.


=> So that, in Total, there are Emerging several "New (EU) Capabilities" : F.ex., "on Alpha-Numeric Data, Bio-Metric Data, New EURODAC Regulation, Inter-Operability", etc., EU-LISAgency's Head resumed in fine.

-----------------------------------
PRESIDENT NATHALIE GRIESBECK
------------------------------------------------------------

Garkov's Hearing Today had been organized by the President of EU Parliament's Commission on Terrorism, French Liberal MEP Nathalie Griesbeck, from Nearby Lorraine area of Strasbourg's new "Great East" Region.

 

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- President Griesbeck, greeting afterwards, with a smile, "Eurofora", (while rushing for the imminent Plenary's Votes at the Hemicycle), told us that she intends yet to Carefully Prepare all the concrete Issues which may be Discussed at some Long and Important Next Sessions, more than a Month Later in Brussels : On 21-22 March 2018, (eve of EU's Heads of State/Government Summit of 22-23 March, there).


- At any case, our Committee is, in general, entrusted with a Wide Mission :  To Examine both eventual Flaws and Problems, as well as Best Practices and possible Needs and/or Proposals in order to Ameliorate the Efficiency of EU's Fight against Terrorism, as she reminded earlier Today.

 

 ep_terror_ctee_pres_griesbeck_eurofora_400

 

Significantly, Griesbeck had Started EU Parliament's Anti-Terrorism Committee's Hearings in Strasbourg, at the Beginning of this (Thursday) Morning, by a Joint Exchange of views with MEPs by Germany's and France's Top Police Officers :


- Jurgen Ebner, of the German Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA), Head of the Central Information Management's Department, and Jean-Jacques Colombi, from the French National Police's Judicial Directorate, Head of International Relations' division.

Unfortunately, that Interesting, Cross-fire Hearing, concerning the 2 Biggest EU Countries, (which obviously prepared also the subsequent, EU-LISAgency's CEO Krum Garkov's Hearing), was inevitably placed "In Camera", (i.e. behind Closed Doors for Journalists, including "Eurofora", who had to Wait discussing between collegues at EU Parliament's adjacent corridors), so that the Informations exchanged on that important occasion with MEPs, (which as we Witnessed, durated Longer than Scheduled), remain Confidential.

 

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(../..)

 

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

 

Isn't Dangerous to leave only Rightist EuroSceptics to Defend EU Values ? EUParliament's Turkey test

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 07 February 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-
People who really Love Europe, rightfully Criticize possible Errors which might Harm it, has warned new French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking at the Symbolic location of Historic "Pnyx" Hill, aside Acropolis, where Democratic Institutions' direct Debates with Citizens had been Born during the Best Times of Ancient Greek Civilisation, (just after succesfully Defending Europe from the Military Invasions of Persian Masses, followed by a landmark Period of Cultural/Scientific and Democratic Development), as he reminded in Athens since September 2017, in view of imminent Moves to Boost the EU, in the run up to 2019 European Elections, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronatthehistoricsourcesofdemocracy.html).

 

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_________________________


Paradoxically, EU Parliament's current Debates and Votes, this Week, here in Strasbourg, point also OverSeas : At the new US President Don Trump's 1st "State of the Union" Speech in the American Congress, at Washington DC last week (See relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReport at: ...), where he notoriously Chose to point at the territorial Defeat of Deadly Islamist Terrorists of ISIS, who cowardly Targetted innocent Civilian People, as one of the Most Important Achievements of his 1st Year of Governance (2017 : Together with an Economic ReVival):

 

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He precisely said : - "Last year I pledged that we would work with our Allies to extinguish ISIS from the face of the earth. One year later, I'm proud to report that the Coalition to defeat ISIS has Liberated almost 100 % of the Territory once held by these Killers in Iraq and Syria"

 

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- "But there is much more work to be done. We will continue our fight until ISIS is defeated", he also warned.


It's a Notorious Fact that among those "Allies" of the "Coalition" against "ISIS' Killers" particularly concerning the "Liberation of Territory", as President Trump observed, were (and, hopefully, still are) the Syrian Kurds, traditionally living since Historic Times, across what is now Turkey's Borders with Syria, who Faced big Risks (remember f.ex. Kobane City's Attacks by ISIS' Terrorists, the 2 Biggest Massacres of Civilian People by Terrorist Explosions inside Turkey, near is Southern Borders close to Kobane, and even at an Ankara square, which Killed mainly pro-Kurdish political activists and/or fans, etc), but Succeeded even to Liberate Raqqa City, the Long-time ISIS' "Capital", etc.

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

 
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Leftist Turkish MEP from Germany, Kurcu, recently Reminded, at CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly, at the End of January 2018, in Strasbourg, that a Popular "Symbol" of that Heroic Resistance and finally succesfull Fight had become also the World Famous Syrian Kurdish Women, who helped Liberate also many Yazidi a.o. Women kidnapped and abused as "Sex Slaves" etc. by ISIS' Jihadists, (as those who were awarded CoE's and EU's Prizes for Human Rights and Freedom of Conscience recently in Strasbourg : See ... + ...), Pictured at Global Mainstream Medias' FrontPage Headlines, such as in "TIMES" Magazine, etc., (See relevant Photo, and Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReport from PACE's Debate at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/pacebureauslamsturkishinvasioninsyria.html).

 

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

 

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But, Suddenly, only a Few Days later, since the Beginning of February 2018, the World Wide Web was filled by Atrocious Photos and/or Videos showing Turkish Military's armed Cronies (mainly various Islamist Radicalized Gangs, including "Al Queda" Terrorists' successors, etc), to Sadically trample underfoot the ...Mutilated and Sullied body of such a Syrian Kurdish Woman, Killed, Exhibited and ill-treated by such a Band of Coward Thugs who Invaded the Syrian Kurdish Region of Afrin, (one of the Few to have remained relatively Stable and Calm, even during all that Destructive Syrian Conflict, as reportedly observed US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis) !


=> Immediately afterwards, an Exceptional Article published in France's (one of UN SC's 5 Permanent Members, and with Historic links to Syria-Lebanon-Southern Turkey, etc) Mainstream Newspaper "Figaro", stressed, in its Headlines, that Paris is now Obliged to "Choose" between the "Islamists" radicals around Turkey, and the Syrian Kurdish People, who helped Save many People and Territories from ISIS and other Deadly Islamist Terrorists...

 

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At the Forefront of that Article was, precisely, the Horrible ill-treatment of that Syrian Kurdish Young Woman, whose Mutilated, Killed and Sullied body was Sadically Exhibited and trampled underfoot by those Cowards Turkey's Cronies Armed Gangs - Together with a Sharply Critical Statement, by new French Minister of Defence Florence Parly (as, earlier, her USA counterpart, Mattis : Comp. Supra), who reportedly urged for the Turkish Military to practically Stop its Invasion and Withdraw its troops from Syria. Meanwhile, French President Macron, in 2 successive Statements, had reportedly Warned Ankara that, if the Turkish Military did not stay where it was until that Day, then, its Attack would be assimilated to an "Invasion", and that would raise "Serious Problems", (which must be Discussed inside the EU, NATO, etc).


To the point that such Atrocious Crimes (there is, already, at least anOther Similar Case, according to several reports), inevitably gave a Topical Feeling to the (otherwise somewhat Naive) Headline of a parallel Article, published at Mainstream "Jerusalem Post" by a Couple of Writers linked to USA's Washington DC, with the premonitory claim that the Syrian "Kurdish Fight is Humanity's Fight" : Indeed, many were naturally "Shocked" to see that those People who notoriously Risked their Lives to Help EU, Russia and USA, as well as other Allies, to succesfully Fight against ISIS' Deadly Islamist Terrorists who cowardly Targeted innocent Civilian People everywhere, with particularly Bloody Massacres throughout the EU, in Russia, USA, etc., were, Nowadays, facing Deadly Military Attacks added to Vile, Atrociously InHuman and Degrading Treatments, without any elementary Respect not even for their Body, after being Killed by a Turkish Military and its Cronies, who notoriously were, during many Years, ...ISIL's Islamist Terrorists' local Suppliers, massively Offering and Exploiting Jihadists' arrivals and departures, Trafficks of Weapons, Stolen Oil/Gas or Cultural Heritage Artworks' traffick, Money Laundering, even Fake Passports/ID Cards' traffick for infiltration of Terrorists, etc, as it's well known...

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

 

 eu_places_turkey_between_...zimbabwe_and_venezuela__screenshot_from_ebs_tv_400

 

This Moved, apparently, at least some Officials inside EU Parliament, if we judge by the Fact that it Symbolically Decided to place, this Week in Strasbourg, its Debate on Turkey and Human Rights, including also Ankara's Military Invasion of the Syrian Kurdish Region of Afrin, on Tuesday Afternoon, after an Introductory Debate on ..." Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation", (but clearly Separated from another Debate on Opening Accession Negotiations with Western Balkan Countries), since the Turkish Problem was, finally, located only Between ...ZImbabwe and Venezuela (sic !), (even if it might be quite Unfair for Zimbabwe at the current situation, as an "Eurofora"s fan observed... See: http://www.eurofora.net/forum/index.php/topic,870.msg1152.html + relevant Photo of EU's Agenda)...

 

And, naturally, Many MEPs critically Reminded, during the subsequent EU Parliament's Public Debate, Tuesday Afternoon in Strasbourg the notoriously Important Role that Syrian Kurdish Militants (including Women : Comp. Supra) have, undeniably, played in the Recent Liberation of large Syrian and Iraqi Territories from ISIS and other Deadly Islamist Terrorists, that USA's President Don Trump had just HighLighted at his 1st "State of the Union" Speech at the Congress (Comp. Supra). While EU's High Representative for External Action, Federica Mogherini, stressed here from the outset, mainly EU's "Deep Concern", First of all about "the Humanitarian Consequences" of Turkey's Military Attack in Syria's Kurdish Region of Afrin, where Many Civilian People (including Children) have already been Killed, while several Thousands are becoming Refugees/Displaced People, in Addition to obvious "Political" Risks to Hamper International Efforts to Find a Peacefull Solution and Outcome to the Syrian Conflict, (mainly through UN Talks at nearby Geneva), while also Not making Turkey's security better, (if it doesn't even make it worse), as she Carefully Warned...

 

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


=> In Consequence, (and given also a Parallel serious Worsening of the Already very Negative situation of Massive Human Rights' Violations inside Turkey itself, including more recent Reports of Torture/Inhuman-Degrading Treatments in Prisons, the maintainance of many Thousands of various Socio-Political Dissidents in Jail, New Mass Prosecutions of Critics, after 1.700 Civil Servants dismissed, + 600 Arrests of People just Last Week simply for Publishing at the Internet Criticism of the Military Invasion in Syria, etc), Many MEPs, from Various Political Horizons, of the Right and of the Left, clearly observed, during the above-mentioned EU Parliament's Debate, Tuesday Afternoon, that, simply "Talking again" about Turkey, (as they have already done several Times in the Recent Past, between 2015-2017), is no more enough, since, after all those Events, including the latest Horrible Crimes (comp. supra), EU should, at last, Decide to impose some Real and important "Sanctions" on that Turkish regime.

- Among many and various other concrete examples, f.ex., speaking on behalf of the Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, even Romanian MEP Cristian Dan Preda, who had, in the Past, personally Supported Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU Accession bid, (as he Reminded), nevertheless, "Today", "Believed" that it was "Inconcievable to Continue Talking about Turkey's Accession into the EU", but, on the Contrary, EU should Better think about a kind of "Partnership" with Ankara, instead, and "Focus on Human Rights", (as concluded the New Chairman of EU Parliament's Human Rights' Committee). He was essentially, more or less, Supported, in such a Critical Direction, also by Many Other MEPs, from the Far Right up to, even, several Leftists, during a very Long and "Hot" Public Debate, full of Various Criticisms of the Turkish regime's recently added massive Wrongdoings against Human Rights, Peace and International Law : People, and particularly EU Citizens, need Action (i.e. concrete Sanctions) and No More simple Words, stressed Most of them in substance.


+ Even several among the various Draft Resolutions initially presented by Most Political Groups individually, did contain, Both Sharp Criticism and certain Appeals for concrete Sanctions. This came after a notorious Schulz- Merkel TV Debate at the eve of the latest German Elections, where Both appeared to Drop Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU Accession bid, (even if "Socialist" Party's Bureaucracy and/or some Foreign Lobbies, or Fringe Groups might, eventually, push to hang around that UnPopular Claim further on), while New French President Macron has recently Raised explicitly the Question whether Turkey should Better have a "Partnership" with the EU, instead of vainly insisting on its Controversial EU Accession bid, which doesN't seem reachable at all, in order to be Honest and Realistic...


A fortiori Nowadays, when EU Commission has just Announced at EU Parliament in Strasbourg its forthcoming Strategy for the Western Balkans' Countries, proposing, in sum, to Open Accession Negotiations with them, but not foreseeing any Full Accession into the EU unless, perhaps, for Serbia and Montenegro around 2025, Turkey obviously seems Threatenend to be Again ByPassed and Overtaken in Speed by even More Other "Fresh" Candidate Countries, as it has already been done Earlier with Croatia, (which had Started EU Negotiations Later than Turkey, but naturally Succeeded to become EU Member meanwhile, as the presence of Croat President Andrej Plenkovic, Tuesday Morning in Strasbourg, for an EU Parliament Debate on the "Future of Europe", Topically Reminded).

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

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But, Suddenly, a Draft "Joint" Resolution just tabled in the Name of 7 Political Groups, while more or less Clearly Criticizing most Turkey's heavy Shortcomings and even Worse recent developments, mainly to the Detriment of Human Rights and Democracy inside the Country, nevertheless, Surprisingly, does Not seem to add Any concrete Sanction, Despite the recent Turkish Authorities' serious supplementary Wrongoings, and it's hardly if it even mentions Ankara's Deadly Military Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Region of Afrin, neither the first Horrible Crimes already committed by its Armed Cronies there (Comp. Supra) !


It's true that, at least, that "Joint" Draft does Remind and "Reiterate" simply the already known fact that EU Parliament had, Previously, asked for EU - Turkey's "Accession" process to be "Frozen" (2016) or "Suspended" (2017), "IF" a Controversial Referendum's Anti-Democratic Recipes were "implemented" withOut Any "Change" (sic !). And that from "the (EU) Commission's Initial Proposal for 2018 EU Budget", (Traditionally more or less Restricted, Afterwards, during the Final Decisions by EU Council and Parliament), MEPs have already "Cut 105 Millions €" among the Foreseen "Turkey’s pre-accession funds", "with further 70 Millions € held en Reserve", unless Ankara makes "Sufficient Improvements" in "democracy, the rule of law, human rights and press freedom", as that "Joint" Draft's Preliminary Alineas also Remind.


But, obviously, it's Not yet Clear if the 1st Point has already been Realized, or not, and what it might really mean in Practice, until when, etc. While the 2nd Point doesn't really stand the Comparison with the More than 1 Billion € routinelly given to Turkey by the EU Annually as "PreAccession" Aid, (added to about 4 or 5 Billions € of Low-Cost EIB Loans each Year, as Turkish Officials have previously anounced at a Meeting on the Sidelines of EU Parliament's Plenary in Strasbourg), Together with the Supplementary +3 Billions € per Year, that Ankara's Government has Notoriously Blackmailed the EU to promise for a supposed Monitoring of Mass Migrations through Turkey towards the EU, (after that Sudden, UnPrecedented, Huge "Tsunami" of more than 1,5 Millions of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants thrown into the EU through Turkey and via EU Member Greece, that, anyway, had Already Started to Drastically Drop Down, and was Drasticaly Curtailed since the First Half of February 2016 Measures of Borders' Closure for the Western Balkans' Route, notoriously taken by Hungary and Other EU Member States, Long-Before a Controversial EU - Turkey Deal Starts to Enter into Force, Later-on, from the End of March 2016, as "Eurofora" has clearly found and published, Based on Solid Facts cited by UN and/or IOM competent International Organisations, Afterwards Achnowledged, at least partly, also by mainstream German Medias, EU Council's Secretariat in Brusels itself, etc. : See ... + ... + ...).


    And, at any case, there is Nothing there, Not Any Sanction at all, for all the New, Additional, serious Wrongdoings, also committed by the Turkish Authorities Recently, and/or Revealed Nowadays, (Neither for More Grave Human Rights' Violations, such as, f.ex., fresh Reports about "Torture" of Prisoners, the Revelation of the Blatant InEfficiency of that Turkish "Commission of Enquiry" set up by Ankara in reponse to CoE's strong Criticism for Massive Human Rights' Violations of various Jailed Dissidents, and/or the Contempt shown even for the Country's "Constitutional Court"'s scarce rulings in favor of a Few Arrested Dissidents, again Imprisoned, etc). Neither for the Current Deadly Turkish Military Invasion of Syrian Kurdish Region "Afrin", (except from an Elementary, but purely Verbal "Condemnation" of "the most recent -reportedly "600"- Arrests of journalists, activists, doctors and ordinary citizens for Expressing their Opposition to the Turkish Military Intervention in Afrin").


It's just a Last-Minute Amendment, tabled by 3 Groups (EPP, Socialists and EFDD), which, at least, aims to express a "Serious Concern about the Humanitarian Consequences of the Military Intervention in this Kurdish-majority region of Syria, and Warns Against the Continuation of Disproportionate Actions", as it says.


But, will Ankara feel really Worried by just another EU "Concern", and/or verbal "Warning" against only some (Undetermined) "Disproportionate" Military Actions inside Syria ? Obviously, given a Long and the Recent Experience of Turkish Government's usual Behavior, ... it looks quite Doubtful that Ankara might, eventually, Feel Obliged to Make any important Move, Only Because of that...


+ Moreover, curiously, Lacks in that Draft even a Simple Reminder of the Notorious Fact that the Syrian Kurdish People have just Succesfully Fought (and still do at the Eastern areas), side by side, as TrustWorthy and Efficient "Allies" with the International Coalition against the Deadly ISIS' Islamist Terrorists cowardly Targetting innocent Civilian People, (whose Retreat has just been Praised as a Number 1 Achievement by New US President Don Trump : Comp. Supra)... Why that Ommission and Silence at such a Key Point, (which is Still Topical, since ISIS did Not yet completely Disappear from the Map, as Trump Warned) ?  


=> Should, necessarily, People be Obliged to go towards ...EuroSceptic Rightists' of the "Europe of Nations and Freedom" Group, in order to Find, at last, an Elementary Mention of the Notorious Fact that "the local Kurdish militia is an important Ally against Da’esh (ISIS) and other Islamist terrorist organisations", as a Part of an ENF's Amendments simply Reminds ?


+ As for a clear "Call for an Immediate Retreat of Turkish armed forces from Syrian territory" and/or  "for an immediate Ceasefire", while "heavily Condemning any Further Military Action in Syria by the Turkish military", (Comp. French President Macron's Warning, cited Supra), as well as for "every possible measure (to) be taken to Avoid a new Humanitarian Crisis", given also "Fears that the Offensive of the Turkish Army could lead to a new Refugee Crisis in this area, as 5 000 People are already Displaced in the region, and that this could also affect Europe", Why should People be also referred Only to "ENF"'s Amendments ?


+ As for the Fact that "Turkey has been facing alarming Islamic Radicalisation" during Recent Years, (also Added by anOther "ENF" Amendment), even if somewhat Exagerated, perhaps, it isn't, however, Entirely False, and could be Expressed more Accurately and Rightfully Mentioned also by several Mainstream, pro-European People, (since even many Turks Denounce a Galoping and Excessive "Islamization" hastily and artificially imposed by above, concerning a Topical Issue which notoriously interesses also many EU Citizens nowadays). By the way : The 1st Time that "Eurofora"s co-Founder heard someone Protest and Warn against some "Foreign" (then, Bill Clinton's US Administration) Networks' alleged "Pressure to Impose a rampant Islamization", it was, already as Early as Before 1992, by an ...Arab Muslim Friend from Algeria, Professor at Strasbourg's University, (protesting Spontaneously, at his own Initiative) !...

=> Finally, the Most Important : As far as concrete and serious EU Measures are concerned, that "Joint" Draft Resolution only contains 1 thing alone :  - A call ... "to Increase (EU Financial) Support to Turkish Civil Society"... I.e., as if All NGOs would be ...Heroic Dissidents daring Criticize the current Turkish Governments' policies !


All Other MEP's calls for, at last, some serious "Sanctions" on Turkey, (at least a Part of what has been, f.ex., Imposed on Russia, a Culturally and Historically European Country), that Many Asked from Various Political Horizons during EU Parliament's Debates since Tuesday, (Comp. Supra), and which were Also contained in at least Some among the Initial "Draft" Resolutions Tabled, Earlier this week, by certain mainstream Political Groups, (even of the Left !) ... they have all, curiously ..." Disappeared" at this "Joint" Draft, (even ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group's representative, MEP Dan Preda, vice-President of EU Parliament's Human Rights Comittee's, above-mentioned Appeal to Drop Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU Accession bid, for a "Partnership" deal : Comp. Supra)...

=> So that, it Remains (again) only an ..."ENF"s Amendment, clearly "Calling" to "put a definitive End to the Negotiations on the Accession of Turkey to the EU, without delay", and/or to "definitively Suspend (All) the pre-accession Funds", as well as to "Stop negotiations on the (New, Further Extended) Customs Union between the EU and Turkey" : I.e. 3 Concrete and serious, Real Sanctions.


Why should even sincerely convinced pro-European People be, necessarily, Obliged to address themselves Only to Euro-Sceptic Rightists' Amendments, in order to be Able and Free to Defend some core European Values, even in front of Evidence of Horrible War Crimes (comp. Facts cited Supra) ?


It's true that, Earlier this Week in Strasbourg, even a Mainstream Young MEP from the incoming EU Presidency of 2018 January-June by Bulgaria, as ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Eva Maydell, recently Elected as New President of the "European Movement" at International level, (Comp. President Maydell's Statements to "Eurofora" at : ...), clearly stressed that the Rightist "Patriot" Party which participates in the current Government, (together with the Experienced, 3 Times Prime Minister, and frequent EPP + EU Summits' participant in Brussels, Boyko Borisov's Party of "Citizens for European Development"), serve, in Fact, also "Pro-European" Aims, according to that New Coalition's Agreement on their Joint "Program" for their 2018 EU Council's Presidency. (See also Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, and Experienced former EU Affairs Minister's relevant Statements to "Eurofora", already as Early as since 2017 at the CoE in Strasbourg, at: ..).

 

mep_eva_maydell_new_international_president_of_the_european_movement__agg_eurofora_400 

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


+ And Austria's subsequent EU Presidency, from July to December 2018, under Young Prime Minister Sebastien Kurz, the new ChristianDemocrat/EPP Leader, (Comp. Kurz's Statements to "Eurofora" in Brussels at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/austriankurzmetalsowithnorwaypm.html), will Also have to prove that Same Key Point, in real Practice, as it's well known, immediately afterwards. Given the notorious Fact that, after the New Elections, its Coalition Partners are from the Rightist "Freedom" Party, ("FPÖ": including the vice-Chancellor, the Foreign Minister, etc), which participates in EU Parliament's Group of "ENF", author of the above-mentioned, dissident Draft Resolution on Turkey, this week, which (until now) is the Only one to seek new Sanctions and clearly Condemn, asking to stop Turkey's Military Invasion in Syria's Kurdish Region (Comp. Supra).

 

As Finland will, also, soon take over CoE's Presidency, for the PanEuropean Organisation of Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, (already Chaired, Nowadays, by Denmark), as Norway still Competes with Switzerland and/or Canada for the title of World's Best Quality of Life, awarded by UNO's Experts at nearby Geneva, (all Countries involving Nowadays various Rightists in recent Coalition Governments, recently added to the Czech Republic, etc)..


But, Meanwhile, Tomorrow Noon, when EU Parliament's crucial "Voting Time" will come, will MEPs feel Free to Vote, at least, for an ... "Euro-Left"s Amendment which clearly Criticizes the Deadly Turkish Military Invasion of Syria's Kurdish Region of Afrin as an "illegal" move ?


Or, once again, all the Real pro-Europeans, who wish, at last, that EU Dares take a Real Sanction of Turkey's obvious Brutal and Massive Oppression of peaceful Dissidents and Critics' elementary Human Rights, but also old and New, Horrible War Crimes (comp. Facts Supra), should, necessarily, be Abandoned withOut Any Other Possibility than to Use Rightist EuroSceptics' Amendments ?


Why core European (and Human) Values risk to be Minimized, in real Practice, when it comes to Turkey, by some Representatives of our Friends of the Mainstream "Pro-European" Groups ?


Does, Everybody involved, really Stay Faithful, (when it comes to Hard "tests" as that of Turkey), to what Sincere pro-European EU Citizens Believe to be core European Values ?

 

>>> Will the Real Europeans Wake Up, as the Time for the forthcoming, Crucial 2019 EU Elections approaches Fast ? 

 

 

 euparliament_riverside_eurofora_400

 

 

(../..)

 

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

European Movement Head Maydell to look at Eurofora project on Citizen Web Debate before EU Decisions

Written by ACM
Monday, 05 February 2018
mep_eva_maydell_new_international_president_of_the_european_movement__agg_eurofora_400_01


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- While EU Parliament's plenary session is due to Debate and Vote, later this week here, on the way that EU Citizens may have a Say in the Choice of Future MEPs and/or EU Leaders, at the forthcoming 2019 European Elections, crucial for EU's Future, in parallel, "Eurofora" spoke with the new International President of the European Movement, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Eva Maydell, on how Citizens might, in parallel, Find some New Ways to be Heard before Final EU Decisions.


Maydell, who is from Bulgaria, the Incoming EU's rotating Presidency for the Period of January - June 2018, had just made an original presentation of the Program of the Bulgarian Chairmanship at EU Council, chosing to point, inter alia, also at the Issues of "Digital" Society, as well as of "Citizens" role.       

 

- She even said that her own Party, under Prime Minister Boyko Borisov, (significantly Named : "Citizens for a European Development"), had also tried to Ask the People, (including also Expats), about their Preferences and Ideas, BEFORE Final Decisions on the Official "Program" of the Bulgarian EU Presidency, (using various kinds of meetings in order to do so)...

2018_bulgarian_eu_presidency_program_eurofora_400 

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

 During a Brief but Topical and Concrete Encounter, "Eurofora" asked Maydell if she found interesting to Join the Digital and Citizens' matters, by helping Develop Web Debates, between EU Citizens and EU Decision-makers (f.ex. EU Parliament's MEPs, etc), Before the latter take Important Decisions affecting People's Lives and/or Society at large : I.e., to put it in a nutshell, our Long-Time 1997-2017+ Project (Comp., among many others, also, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/walstrom.html + ..., etc).

 

It's well known, indeed, that Many People have recently expressed regrets for the current Lack of any real "European Space for joint Public Discussion" on Key Political and other Key Topical Issues concerning all the Continent and EU's Future. 


The Young MEP's spontaneous Reply was, in brief, to say : - Yes, Why Not ? However, we (i.e. the European Movement) have Already Tried something like that, but most People didn't seem so much interested, and it didn't work well enough, as she honestly found.


However, when "Eurofora" asked Maydell what kind of Web Tools had used those who told her that it didn't work, she merely replied by citting only the use of ... "Tweeter", "FaceBook", and so on !


- "But these are Only useful for some Short Notes on Brief "Events", and Not at all for Serious, Fully-Fledged and Complete, Continuous Debates on Important Issues !", objected "Eurofora".


- Because for real Political Debates you need to be able to always see what were the full Arguments of Each Party, which were the Replies of their Opponents, publish your own claims and react to other People's refusal or acceptance, or demands for explanations/clarifications, etc, with  the possibility to always easily find anew what was said, and what's the situation of the overall  Discussion, etc, we added, in this regard.


=> Therefore, you need a Real Internet "Forum" Software, which is the only one able to do so and more, at any moment, we suggested, in conclusion.


- President Maydell appeared Surprized, but Thoughtfull, and didn't deny yet the main thrusht of these points.


- On the Contrary, she accepted "Eurofora"s coordinates, in order to be able to have, at least, a look at some among the numerous relevant Publications discussing various concrete aspects of our relevant Project, and said, in Conclucion, that the matter should be Examined and seriously Discussed Furthe, in the foreseable Future.


- She appeared interested also in "Eurofora"s choice of Name, (i.e. "Fora" = Plural of "Forum" in original Latin), (etc), and did Not Exclude, a priori, our suggestion to, eventually, Cooperate with some interested Volunteers from her "European Movement" in the development of that Project in real practice, if necessary. => So, Rendez-vous was taken for an undeteremined yet moment in the Future to furher Discuss that matter.


- The New International President of the European Movement, had, indeed, expressed, Earlier Today, a Strong Interest about "Hearing (EU) Citizens and their Ideas", particularly "Before the 2019 Elections", as a matter of "Priority".


- For that purpose, she had stated her intention to seek and/or help organize several "Meetings across Europe", as she said, be it "in Brussels" and/or "in Strasbourg", in order also to "Hear some things that they (EU Citizens) have to say", and, eventually, chose even to try to "Implement" some among them, Later-on, as sne said.


=> I.e. something that is obviously much more Easy to realize, in Practice, with the Help of adequate Internet Forums, and not so far away from "Eufora"s Project, which was Briefly and Hastily, but Topicaly Evoked with Maydell, on this occasion, Opening a Pathway to do More and Better, eventually, in a foreseable Future...

 

(../..)
 
 
--------------------------------------------
 


***


(NDLR : "Eurofora" obviously intends to Develop Further this matter, simply Highlighted here, asap).


***



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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

buzek_chairing_400 

    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

busekcoe_400

    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

***


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