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Home arrow newsitems arrow Sarkozy proposes EU Parliament debates on Europe's Identity in the ranup of 2009 Election

Sarkozy proposes EU Parliament debates on Europe's Identity in the ranup of 2009 Election

Written by ACM
Thursday, 10 July 2008


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In a last-minute, surprise move, New EU Chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, anounced a proposal in Strasbourg to open an EU Parliament debate on Europe's Identity in the ranup to 2009 Election :

    - "I am conscious of the fact that there is, today, a real Crisis on Europe's
Identity", he replied earlier to a question by Greek MEP Ioanis Varvitsiotes, who had asked him to "advance beyond those who don't really want a Political Europe",

    - "Why not a real Debate on what is Europe's Identity ?", proposed
Sarkozy, in this regard.

    -  "EU Parliament could organize such Debates", he suggested :"It's
better for EU Parliament, than for National Governments, or EU Commission, to
define what is the European Identity", the French President proposed.

    A diplomatic way to avoid obstacles by some Governments and/or some Brussels' bureacrats, reportedly opposed to really free and popular, critical European debates on hot political issues..

    Sarkozy brillantly won the 2007 Presidential and Parliamentary Elections in France in 2007, in the line of the principles anounced at an important Speech in Strasbourg, February 2007, about a Political Europe, and a European Identity on issues which matter to the People.

   

The French President later referred anew to his Historic February 2007 Speech,
at another meeting on Europe, July 2007 in Strasbourg, and this was followed, since
September 2007, by a formal proposal to the EU to start a Debate on Europe's
Future.

    But this was reportedly watered-down, after a usual Brussels "compromise", into a mere establishement of a "Wisemen"'s Committee, headed by former Spanish Prime Minister, Gonzales...

    Thus, MEP Joseph Daul, the Chairman of EU Parliament's largest Group : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, agreed, smiling, with EuroFora, that it would be a very interesting development if 2009 EU Elections were inspired by the way 2007 French Elections unfolded, with real political debates, boosting Popular participation...

    The move points, in fact, to 2009 :

    - "We (EU) have to know on which basis will take place the forthcoming European Elections in 2009", warned earlier Sarkozy. This was said on the occasion of the EU Treaty issue, after the Irish "No", but obviously includes also the question of the political substance of the 2009 electoral debates.

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     The Political, Economic and Cultural dimension of Europe, as well as Enlargement (including Turkey's controversial EU bid) ,etc., "naturally are part of this Debate on the European Identity", confirmed to EufoFora Sarkozy's Spokesman for International News, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

    Sighificantly, Sarkozy mentioned, earlier in Strasbourg, the Western Balkans, and even Ukraine, despite difficulties, among "European countries", while carefully ommitting to add the "T" word..

    Current Events give "as all heavy responsibilities" for Europe's Future, the Frendh Preident stressed from the outset in Strasbourg : -"But I see that Difficulty also as a Chance", he added.

    Part of its strategy to "protect Citizens", is French EU Presidency's wish to
boost concrete progress on issues such as Climat and Envrionment, Immigration,
Security and Defence, Agriculture, as well as promotion of certain Social
aspects and European Culture, Sarkozy said earlier to MEPs.

    But the most important for "EuroFora" is his declared wish to open new possibilities for Citizens' participation to political European debates.

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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
-------------------------

CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

tomllinson

Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

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"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

curtis

PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

vries

Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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