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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Brok to EuroFora on USA Experts' Report on NSA

EU Parliament Foreign Affairs Committee Chair Brok to EuroFora on USA Experts' Report on NSA

Written by ACM
Thursday, 19 December 2013

*Brussels/EPP Summit - Meise Castle/Angelo Marcopolo/- Experienced, long-time President of EU Parliament's Foreign Affairs Committee, (which is also responsible for Security/Defence, as well as Human Rights, etc), Christian Democrat/EPP MEP Elmar Brok, of the Governing in Germany Party CDU/CSU, who has recently Headed an EU Delegation to Washington D.C. on the Internet Spying by NSA October Scandal, speaking to "EuroFora" in Brussels, was the 1st Top EU Official to react in Public to the publication, Yesterday afternoon, of the Recommendations made by a White House "Independent Experts"' Report, asked by US President Obama, on how to address the Trust Gap inevitably provoked among Citizens, Businesses and Politicians, by the still on-going , and not-denied Revelations about massive Internet, Emails and Mobile Phones' eavesdroping, throughout Europe and accross the World, by the North American NSA, etc.



    The move was topically made during the arrival of invitees to the European People's Party's  December 2013 Summit of Heads of State/Government at the Castle of Meise, at Brussels' outskirts, as usually just before the European Council's Summit, later toNight at its Schuman square premisses, which were both Exceptionaly scheduled this time some Hours Earlier than previously, in view of a forthcoming long debate and decisions, later tonight, on EU's common Security/Defence policies.           


  German Chancellor Angie Merkel, a protagonist of the issue since the October EU Summit's row (See relevant "EuroFora"s NewsReport sent from Brussels then), arrived, as scheduled, to the Castle of Meirs, a little bit later, exceptionaly without making any Public Statement, where she found, among 12 Heads of State/Government, 2 deputy-Prime Ministers, 9 Heads of main Opposition Parties, and 2 EU Institutions' Presidents : Council's Van Rompuy and Commission's Barroso, also the incoming EU Chair, Greek Prime Minister Samaras, as well as the EU Commission's vice-President responsible for Defence/Security Industry and Space, etc. Tajani, together with the new EPP President Daul, who still holds a key position in EU Parliament as Chairman of the biggest Group of MEPs (EPP/ChristianDemocrats), due to make an important contribution on EU Citizens' present concerns about Data Protection.



 - "EuroFora" asked President Brok : - "For the NSA, ...do you think that the Report that was just publIshed yesterday in the US  (by the White House), satisfies what you had asked, together with the Chancellor (Merkel, since last October) ?

- "I' am not of the opinion that they (USA Federal Government) are doing nothing", carefully started to reply Brok.

- But "The  General Question of Data protection has now to respond also to some serious data protection concerns (currently existing) in the public opinion, he added, obviously pointing at even more recent Revelations about more and more important Heads of State, including close of close Allies' Countries, such as Israel, after Germany, etc.; in addition to Massive Mobile Phones' eavesdropping and/or Emails' Meta-Data, etc, currently reported at the International Press.

 => - "And, there, I think that what has to be done is much more !", concluded EU Parliament's Security and Defence Committee's President in reply to "EuroFora"s Question.  



    Significantly, the Obama-ordered American "Independent" Experts' Report on NSA was disclosed by the White House in Washington DC. shortly before the December 2013 EU Heads of State/Goverment's Summit was prepâring to start in Brussels, officially focusing mainly on Defense and Security policy issues, after the October row, (Comp. previous "EuroFora"s NewsReports from Brussels : ....)




    => Thus, now, Enlarging the very Concepts of "Defence" and "Security" towards a set of New Challenges, the Conclusions due to be agreed this December 2013 by EU's Heads of State/Government, later NoNight in Brussels, reportedly include also an EU "Cyber Defense" Policy,  whose outlines should Start to be defined right from Next Year : 2014, together with the European Defence Agency, etc.

    + But EU Countries intend also to "enhance" their "Capabilities" on an EU Strategy for "Cyber-Security",  including f.ex. "Dual", Civil-Military projects, Training and/or  protecting "EU Missions", etc.


    Meanwhile, recent measures to enhance Cooperation between the EU's 28 Member States and PanEuropean CoE's 47 Member-States (including Russia, etc), also in this domain are reportedly evolving in areas very relevant to the NSA scandal, including f.ex. in their respective, parallel but coordinated developments of Data Protection Legal mechanisms, as CoE's General Director for Legal matters and Human Rights, Philippe Boillat, recently told "EuroFora", (comp. f.ex. also : ...... ),

    but also in New, Global EU - CoE Projects on Cyber-Crime, the Budapest Convention, etc ., as CoE's experienced Head of CyberSecurity, Alexander Senger from Austria, confirmed to "EuroFora", following an interesting International Conference, earlier this Month in Strasbourg.

    In such a direction of EU/CoE cooperation might also evolve at least some among the necessary Work on "Basic, well-established Legal Principles" about Data Protection at the Internet, that German Chancellor Angie Merkel has already highlighted at her recent, brief but Topical, Statements to certain, selected Media, including "EuroFora",just after the conclusion of her 1st Press Conference, already since last October 2013, during the precedent EU Summit in Brussels, (Comp. relevant "EuroFora"s NewsReport, already sent to Subscribers/Donors, earlier).


    But, this time, on December 2013, Merkel didn't explicitly mentioned this issue in her 1st Press Conference, and French President Hollande even reacted just with a large Smile, and a mysterious : - "Ah, the Internet !...", apparently amused, because suddenly released from the much Harsher Tension of risks for physical, even Deadly clashes in Central-Africa, etc., when "EuroFora" referred, at the end of his 1st Press Conference, to the "Internet Security" issue, asking for his views on the White House Experts' Report published at Washington D.C. Yesterday afternoon, ...


    Meanwhile, at any case, the incoming EU chairman-in-office on JHA, Greek Minister for the Interior, Dendias, a long-time CoE Top MEP for years in Strasbourg, apparently seems to have found at least certain practical means (partly inspired by Merkel) allowing some Hope for a Safe  January - June 2015 EU Presidency in the Digital Communications domain, as "EuroFora" witnessed on the sidelines of Brussels' December 2013 EPP Summit, under the careful and vigilent eye of Defense Minister Avramopoulos...





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


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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.

+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).

 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas

- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.

(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :

    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    


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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