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Αρχική arrow In Brief arrow Viewpoint: Regions of Europe: the Alsatian case

Viewpoint: Regions of Europe: the Alsatian case

Έχει γραφτεί από ACM
Wednesday, 02 June 2021

 haut_koenigsburg_castle_in_alsatian_countryside_bracker__eurofora_400

 By Patrick Bracker

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( ACM : "NewsViewPoint" Columnist Patrick Bracker seeks a revival of the Historic "Alsace" Region, as Bridge between Nations in Europe, criticizing the 2015 choice for a new, "Great East" Region, shortly before the forthcoming French Regional Elections. This represents his Personal view, (on the occasion of a relevant Collective Meeting near High Koenigsburg Castle), and Not necessarily that of "Eurofora".


F.ex., among various other points, (after having Criticized the 2014-5 Abolition of Alsace, See : http://www.eurofora.net/brief/brief/alsacenotoalcaponearea.html), we have already Published that many find Interesting also ...Both realities, including for Bridges between Nations in Europe, (where the Franco-German core obviously is the Key, particularly after UK's BREXIT, but also from the De Gaule - Adenauer link). So, we naively Hope that our French friends will manage to find a way to Combine the Advantages of Both ("Alsace" and "Great East"), in an adequate way. In such Direction, an Artistic Symbol of a Strasbourg - Reims Historic Link,  is ... Joan of Arc herself, Born at nearby Lorraine and active particularly at Reims, on whom also a German Rock Music Group of quality, as "Eloy", has created a sympathetic work, (as usual for them : in English, a language of Franco-German Synthesis : Enjoy Infra ! ). By the way, perhaps something Bigger than expected might Emerge in the forseable Future from this Controversy : Naturaly, with a Right, Ambitious "Vision", as Eloy evoked nowadays (2017 + 2019 and well Beyond, towards a New European Horizon, with No more Fake Europeans, But towards Real Europeans : at the Core of Joan's Legacy)...
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Regions of Europe: the Alsatian case

 

haut_koenigsburg_alsacian_meeting_bracker__eurofora_400
 

Within the framework of European construction, the perspective of the Europe of the regions represents a fundamental link between the authorities and dimensions of the territories: local, regional, national, European, cross-border and international.

The region allows a structural and human interface between the various organizational layers of a state, between the local and the national, and constitutes a bridge between nations when these regions are located at the borders of the member states of a multidimensional organization such as Europe. One understands here the importance of the bilateral cross-border relationship and the supranational dimension or extraterritoriality. These structures include specific objectives while combining complementary with their members.

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The organizations of the Council of Europe, the CLRAE or the European Union, the Committee of the Regions, the CEMR, respond to these multifactorial dimensions in the continuity of the member states. These internal organizations provide in principle the impetus for progress between the Member States through these regional and local levels.

We know that bridges are one of the logistical issues to be destroyed during real wars. In view of its experience, Europe, on the contrary, builds bridges between member states and external relations. At the intra-European level, bridges are also partnerships, twinning, and cross-border regions. Joint projects and activities of civil society, universities, companies, or shared policies allow for meetings, and to get to know each other. Open-mindedness allows bridging the gaps of ignorance or distance. Let's build bridges!

 

haut_koenigsburg_castle_hig__bracker__bracker__eurofora_400 

 

For example, with regard to the Council of Europe's Charter of Local and Regional Self-Government, the reform of the regions in France in 2015, carried out in an unfriendly and authoritarian manner without respecting European law by the government concerned, in no way corresponds to the state of mind intended by the founders of the European project, whose stakes have been well defined since the beginning, after the war. Moreover, the internal law was seriously undermined, since this reform did not respect the concept of equal treatment between regions, even though it was a founding constitutional act of the Republic.In addition to these facts,there was a cynical denial of the anthropological reality of certain regions of this country. The case of Alsace is a flagrant example, it is distressing to note that the decision-makers concerned, did not show respect for the history, nor for the population and the families of this region.

One will remember the opposition of the Senate to this reform which limited the number of regions to 13 instead of 22, while the upper house of Parliament proposed 15 regions. The majority of local elected officials as well as the population in a proportion of 80% were opposed to it. To this day, the majority of the population is still opposed to it at nearly 70%. And one evokes the democratic deficit or the notion of confidence!

In this context, we can also ask ourselves at the local level what were the motivations that pushed the creation of euro-metropolis, too big and destructive of the real estate, environmental and natural quality for the small region of Strasbourg. Is there a complementarity or a will to harm, and if so, for which objectives? Indeed, the European project is also a project of human dimension and quality of life, compared to the size of the big capitals as Berlin, Brussels, Paris, Roma... in relation to these great capitals, the human and geographical dimension of Alsace does indeed correspond to a human dimension of proximity and quality, in a way a laboratory of quality and happiness at the European level since 70 years...Actually the new mega-region named Grand Est seems far of the game.

Obviously, in a European or international perspective, this situation would have serious implications, since the situation in this region has been well known for a long time, and in particular the sufferings and bruises caused by wars or periods between wars when indelicate leaders showed contempt for the local level.

The techniques of totalitarian or contemptuous manipulation of the people are however outdated by recent developments, even if there is a hint of attempts by powers with limited competences in time and in the human domain. In all these situations there are technical errors from the institutional point of view, but above all there are mistakes from the point of view of human values, such as free choice or respect for the living being. 

alsacian_houses_bracker__eurofora_400 

With regard to this fundamental problem, there are intelligent reactions. It is the case of the Alsatian regional reality defended by the Movement for Alsace under the leadership of its President Senator André Reichardt. The open-mindedness of this apolitical movement, symbolized by a large gathering of currents of thoughts, allows the meeting of points of view with different angles of reflection and represents a factor of appeasement of the tensions met because of this process with the forceps carried out during this reform of the regions. The regional elections that will take place in June 2021, six years
after these events, may give orientations to the decision-makers.

mouvement_pour_l_alsace_reischart_bracker__eurofora_400

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It will be recalled that the government of the time had not deigned to respond to the recommendation made by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe during the session of March 2016. Yet France had ratified the Charter of Local and Regional Self-Government... The diplomatic issue is also engaged by thi situation. Our international colleagues remain courteous; they are no less duped by the situation. This can naturally hinder or even prevent inter-state or international transactions, or problem solving.

The issues of supranationality and extraterritoriality, as well ontology, are a driving force in the initial philosophy of the post-war founders. The main objectives such as peace, prosperity and the development of the individual and groups in their quality environmental context remain relevant. In this respect, respect for values is an essential element of the trust that citizens can place in responsible entities and representatives.

In the end, this notion of respect is a basic instrument for any form of harmonious development of our societies, individuals and groups.

The restoration of Alsace as a region represents a European challenge.

 

Patrick Bracker

 

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Régions dEurope: lecas alsacien

Dans le cadre de la construction européenne,la perspective de l'Europe des régions représente un lien fondamental entre les instances et les dimensions des territoires: local, régional, national, européen, transfrontalier jusqu'à l'international.

La région permet un interfaçage structurel et humain entre les diverses strates organisationnelles d’un état,entre le local et le national et constitue un pont entre les nations lorsque ces régions sont situés aux frontièresdes étatsmembres d’une organisation multidimensionnelle telle quel’Europe. L’on comprend ici l’importance de la relation bilatérale transfrontalière et de la dimension supranationale ou de l’extraterritorialité. Ces structurations comprennent des objectifs précis tout en combinaison complémentaires avec leurs membres.

Les organisations du Conseil de l’Europe, le CPLRE ou de l’Union européenne, le CdR,la CCRE, répondent à ces dimensions multifactorielles dans la continuité des Etats membres. Ces organisations internes apportent en principeles impulsions pour le progrès entre les Etats-Membres grâceà ces niveaux gionaux et locaux.

On sait que les ponts sont lun des enjeux logistiques à détruire durant les vraies guerres. En regard de son expérience, L’Europe, au contraire construit des ponts entre les états membres et les relations extérieures. Au niveau intra-européen, les ponts sont aussi les partenariats, les jumelages, les régions transfrontalières. Les projets et les activités communes, de la société civile,universitaire, entreprises, ou de politiques partagées permettent les rencontres, et de se connaitre. L’ouverture d’esprit permet de combler les lacunes des ignorances ou des distances. Construisons des ponts!

Pour l’exemple, sagissant de la Charte dAutonomie locale et régionale du Conseil de lEurope, la réforme des régions en Francemenée d’une façon inamicale et autoritaire hors le respect du droit européenpar le gouvernement concerné ne correspond en rien à l’état d’esprit voulu par les fondateurs du projet européen,dont les enjeux sont bien définis depuis le début, après-guerre. En outre le droit intérieur fût sérieusement écorné,puisque cette réforme ne respectait pas le concept d’égalité de traitement entre les régions, pourtant acte constitutionnel fondateur de la République. Il se rajoute à ces faitsune négation cynique de la réalité anthropologique des régionsde ce pays. Le cas de l’Alsace en est un exemple flagrant, il est navrant de constater que les décideurs concernés, ne firent preuve d’aucun respect de l’histoire, ni de la population et des familles de cette région.

L’on se souviendra de lopposition du Sénat à cette réformequi limitait le nombre de région à 13 au lieu de 22, tandis quela chambre haute du Parlement proposait 15 régions. Les élus locaux en majorité ainsi que la population dans une proportion de 80% y étaient opposés, et le reste encore en majorité à près de 70%.Et lon évoque le déficit démocratique ou a notion de confiance!

Dans ce contexte, l’on peut se demander également au niveau local quelles furent les motivations qui poussèrent lacréation d’euro métropole, trop grandeet destructrice de la qualitéimmobilière, environnementale et naturelle pour la petiterégion Strasbourgeoise. Y va-t-ilune complémentarité ou une volonté de nuire, et si oui, pour quels objectifs? Eneffet, le projet européen est aussi un projet de dimension humaineet de qualité de la vie,par rapport à la taille des grandes capitales comme Berlin, Bruxelles, Paris. La dimension humaine et géographique de l’Alsace répond bel et bien à une dimension humaine de proximité et de qualité, en quelque sorte un laboratoire de qualité et de bonheur au niveau européen depuis 70 ans ... Actuellement la mega-région nouvelle Grand Est semble être loin...

Evidemment dans la perspective européenne ou internationale, cette situation comporterait des incidences sérieusespuisque l’on connait bien la situation de cette région depuis longtemps et notamment les souffrances et meurtrissures provoquées par les guerres ou des périodes d’entre guerreslorsque des dirigeants indélicats firent preuve de mépris du niveau local.

Les techniques de manipulations totalitaires ou méprisantes des peuples sont pourtant dépassées par les évolutions récentes, même s’il existe un relent de tentatives par des pouvoirs aux compétences limitées dans le temps et dans le domaine humain. Il y a dans toutes ces situations des erreurs technique au point de vue institutionnels mais surtout des fautes aupoint de vue des valeurs humaines, comme le libre choix et le respect de l' etre vivant.

En regard decette problématique de fond, des réactions dintelligence existent. Cest le cas de la réalité régionale alsacienne défendue par le Mouvement pour l'Alsace sous la houlette de son Président le Sénateur André Reichardt. Louverture desprit de ce mouvement apolitique, symbolisé par un large rassemblement de courants de pensées, permet la rencontre des points de vue avec différents anglede réflexion etr eprésente un facteur d'apaisement des tensions rencontrées du fait dece processus au forceps réalisé lors de cette réforme des régions. Les élections régionales de juin 2021, 6 ans après ces évenements, pourraient offrir des orientations aux décideurs.

L'on rappellera que le gouvernement de l’époque n'avait pas daigné répondre à la recommandation faite par le Congrès de Pouvoirs Locauxet Régional du Conseil de l'Europe lors de la session de mars 2016. Pourtant la France avait ratifié la Charte d’AutonomieLocale et régionale...La question diplomatique est engagée également par cette situation. Nos collègues internationaux restent courtois, ils n’en sont pas moins dupes de la situation. Cela peut naturellement gêner, voire empêcher des transactions interétatiques ou internationales.

Les enjeux des supranationalités et dextraterritorialités, ainsi que de l' ontologie, sont un moteur dans la philosophie initiale des fondateurs d'après-guerre. Les objectifs principaux comme la paix, la prospérité et le développement de l'individu et des groupesdans leur contexte environnemental de qualitérestent d’actualité.A cet égard le respect des valeurs représente un élément essentiel de la confiance que les citoyens peuvent accorder aux entités responsables et à leur représentants.

Au final, cette notion de respect est un instrument de base pour toute forme de développement harmonieux de nos sociétés, individus et groupes.

La restauration de lAlsace en qualité de région représente un enjeu européen.

 

Patrick Bracker

 


-(*) Eloy - Jeanne d'Arc (Comp. Supra)

joan_of_arc__vision_original_eloy__eurofora_400  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PK4Jjg3-hWg

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 eloy_joan__of_arc_vision__sword__pyre_tpart_1_400

 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLofM9eGS0M&list=OLAK5uy_ly65UeVEniXYA7rHWmhFSP_4FxUSyshNQ

+ Lyrics : http://eloy-legacy.com/eloy.php?Area=music&Sub=pyre1&PHPSESSID=hs94vmojqtsbasv631dpg8lai1

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

joan_of_arc_eloy_vision_1_eloy__eurofora_400

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vk1utlg3ykw 

+ Lysics : http://eloy-legacy.com/eloy.php?Area=music&Sub=pyre2&

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

 joan_of_arc_eloy_vision_1__lurics_eloy__eurofora_400

http://eloy-legacy.com/eloy.php?Area=music&Sub=pyre1&PHPSESSID=hs94vmojqtsbasv631dpg8lai1

joan_of_arc_eloy_vision_2__lurics_eloy__eurofora_400

http://eloy-legacy.com/eloy.php?Area=music&Sub=pyre2&

+ FULL LYRICS (of 1 + 2), in German, French, and English :

http://www.eloy-legacy.com/download/VSP_Lyrics.pdf

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 joan_of_arc_eloy_vision_all_2019_ad_eloy__eurofora_400_01

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpH2A5Pul5M
 

***

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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
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    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

Polls

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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