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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE invites Pope Francis while PanEuropean Christian leaders push Dialogue on Ukraine Reforms

CoE invites Pope Francis while PanEuropean Christian leaders push Dialogue on Ukraine Reforms

Written by ACM
Sunday, 22 June 2014



*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- It's at a very Crucial moment for Human Rights, Peace and BioEthical Values throughout all Europe, that the PanEuropean Conference of Bishops (based at nearby Switzerland), by organizing an exceptional  3 Days-long PanEuropean Conference of all its 39 Member States' Secretary Generals in Strasbourg, including at the CoE, offered a Timely opportunity to CoE Parliamentary Assembly's new President, Anne Brasseur from Luxembourg, (former President of the Liberal Group of MEPs), to re-launch anew an official Invitation for new Pope Francis to address the PanEuropean MEPs' forum in the coming period, which seems to be decisive for Europe's Future and well beyond.

While the most Urgent Question of immediate Peace or War in Ukraine, (where too many People, including a recently growing number of Civilians, even defenselessz Women, Elders, Children, etc., have started to be Killed during Kiev's Military Attacks , added to a muich Wider impact of many Destructions, even of Family Homes, Water and/or Electricity Supply Networks, Hospitals, etc., until Today included, notoriously provoking both many Sufferings to the local Populations, and dangerous Risks for Destabilisation and further Conflict also accross the rest of Europe), will have to be Decided during this Week, according to the terms of a brief Cease-Fire declared yesterday by the new Ukranian President Poroshenko in the context of a Plan for a comprehensive "Settlement" of the South-Eastern Ukraine issue, who added a Time Deadline until next Friday 10 a.m., (i.e. right in the middle of the forthcoming EU Brussels' Summit, and just 1 Day after his venue to CoE's PanEuropean Assembly, expected on Thursday, 26 June), by a strange coincidence, it's also during these almost Same Days that the ECHR has just started and/or is due to start examining and/or deciding on various "Hot" Bio-Ethical issues' related affairs, mainly linked to Dangerous for all Humankind risks of Technocratic Interferences vis a vis Natural Births of Human beings,  going from Genetic Manipulations of Human Embryo and/or pre-Natal "Screening", up to "Surrogate Mothers", etc...

Already, late Pope John-Paul II, recently sanctified on April 2014, had been invited to visit in Strasbourg both EU Parliament and CoE's Assembly, as he had done in the Past only on  1988, during what tragically become his last year of life, when he had been engaged in a Hard Fight for BioEthical Values and mainly for the Need to Protect the Human Embryo and the Human Being in general,n not only from simple "Cloning", but also from the so-called "Therapeutic Cloning", etc., back on 2004-2005, just before he Suddenly Died. His long-time close collaborator, and successor, current Pope Emeritus Benedict, had also been repeatedly invited to Strasbourg, including by former CoE Assembly's President Jean-Claude Mignon from France, but didn't find the time and/or the opportunity to do so, (except from his own Press Spokesman, farther Frederico Lombardi, on the occasion of a PanEuropean Ecumenical meeting at the CoE), particularly between his 2008 visit to France, during former President Sarkozy's EU Chairmanship, as well as officially in Germany, back on 2011, to which had been added also the 2005 World Youth Days at Koeln, (initially scheduled by John-Paul II), his 2010 trip to Cyprus, focused on Middle-Eastern Christians, particularly in need of protection recently, but also in the UK, etc. But for New Pope Francis, after his 2013 World Youth Days' overseas trip to Rio (Brazil), and his recent visit to Israel/Middle East, closely followed also by a related special, interconfessional Peace event, Arab and Israeli representatives both included,  back at Rome earlier this June 2014, in the Vatican, (etc), which followed his May/June 2013 events/statements on BioEthics, as well as several 2013-2014 calls for Peace in Syria, Ukraine, etc., CoE Assembly successive Presidents' Mignon and Brasseur's renewed Invitations to visit and speak in Strasbourg's PanEuropean Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law Organisation might offer a good and timely occasion in the forseable Future, particularly given the exceptionaly Big Challenges ahead, both on War/Peace and BioEthical issues, probably just after an imminent renewal of CoE's and EU's political leadership during the next Weeks/Months, for the next 5 Years (2015-2019).


-  Significantly, it's already at the beginning of June 2014, that Pope Francis reportedly "Prayed for the Victims... in some Regions of Ukraine", "with a very Sad Heart".

=> In consequence, Pope Francis called for "Dialogue" and "Reconciliation", among "All Parties involved", by "overcoming MisUnderstandings", as he reportedly stressed already since June 2, i.e. in the middle of some  very Tragic Days particularly for the Civilian Population at the Dissident regions of Eastern Ukraine, (comp., f.ex. : ......).
This latest move by the New Pope came after several earlier calls for "Peace" in Ukraine, Syria and the Middle-East, and, if extended also into the latest relevant developments (Comp. Supra), it might hopefuly helpto avoid a Dangerous Division and Conflict  in Europe, after almost 70 Years of Peace, which could even have a Negative impact even elsewhere in the World (through USA - Russia tension, f.ex.), as, f.ex.. it had, mutatis-mutandis, been previously attempted succesfully, back on August 2008, also by his predecessor, current Pope emeritus Benedict, via a call launched during an "Angelus" from a small Italian village near the Alpes mountains (cllose to German Chancelor Merkel's Summer Holiday resorrt) : Brixen-Bressanone, in order to Urgently Stop a risky Russian troops advance towards the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, as a retaliation of former Georgian President Shaklasvili's controversial Military Attack against Secessionist Regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia, (another off-spring of the notoriously doubtful concrete conditions in which had been suddenly imposed the "implosion" of the former USSR, since the 1990ies), which had found a real Echo at former French President Sarkozy, then Chairman of the EU, who immediately flew to Moscow and Tbilisi to personaly meet with both the Russian and the Georgian leaders and broker a Peace Deal which, even if imperfect, at least succeeded to Stop Bloodshed and Destructions, while also still standing until Today, 7 Years later (2008-2014 : practically coinciding even with "EuroFora"s own life-time, since our ERFRA NewsReports practicaly Started with that, exceptionaly Moving and Crucial August 2008 Appeal to urgently prevent War in Europe, and give Peace a Chance).

    As for now, when the most Crucial point Today obviously is to find a way to Start real "Negotiations" and Dialogue among all parties involved in the Deadly and Destructive Ukranian Conflict, it's naturally Interesting to note the fact that, (as CCEE's Press Spokesman Thierry Bonaventura told "EuroFora" Friday at the CoE), during their meeting earlier with CoE's "Venice" Commission's Director, Thomas Markert, the SG's of the PanEuropean Bishops' Conference, (where bothy Ukraine and Russia are full Members), asked for a well-known Ecumenical Group which gathers Together all various Christian Communities' reprfesentatives since the beginning of the "Maidan" demonstrations, back on November 2013, until now, to be included among all those who shall be Consulted before CoE's watchdog on Constittutional Law concludes its Report on the forthcoming Draft Amendments for Ukraine's Constitutional Reform, (Comp. f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/kievpostponesconstitutionreformcoecheckforoctober.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/venicecomissiontocheckukraineconstitutionreformonjune.html). Markert reportedly appeared "open" on such a possibility, which could naturally be a useful Step towards a much-needed, wider and real "Dialogue" between all the main Parties really involved in that Conflict, according also to the April 17, EU-USA-Russia MFA's  Geneva Deal.

>>> It's obvious, furthermore, that, since the most Important point for a Peaceful Solution on the Ukranian Conflict notoriously is a possible Federalisation and/or DeCentralisation Reform, then, if anyone in Kiev might eventually Refuse to Negociate Directly with the South-Eastern Regions' Dissidents, then, at least, CoE's "Venice" Committee might include such a necessary pluralist Debate, between All Parties involved, perhaps through an adequate use of Consultation procedures during the preparation of its Report on the forthcoming Ukraine's Constitutional Reforms...
Meanwhile, last Friday afternoon, "EuroFora" was surprised to briefly meet CCEE's Secretary General, the young Mgr. Duarte da Cuhna, inside CoE's corridors, during an exceptionaly busy day, mainly around the Ukranian Tragic Conflict, shortly before the conclusion of its one Day-long session entirely dedicated into meeting and discussing with several key CoE's Top Officials, in a Room dedicated to Gasperi, where he guided us, before attending also his subsequent speech at a special "Mass for Europe", this Sunday morning, in Strasbourg's Cathedral.

Da Cuhna succeeded since 2008 to Aldo Giordano, an experienced long-time CCEE Secretary General, who has been sent then to Strasbourg as Vatican's Permanent Representative to the CoE, and was recently appointed (at the End of 2013) as ArchiBishop of Paraguay, in Latin America, new Pope Francis' initial continental workplace, by a coincidence there from where has recently arrived the new "Prime Minister" of the Vatican, in Rome. The new CCEE's  SG  was recently re-elected for 5 more Years (2013-2018).

In his Strasbourg Cathedral's speech, Today, Mgr. Da Cuhna, among others, mainly focused at a Timely call, for committed Christians throughout Europe to get actively and fully involved in the contemporary Social and Political Life, and, instead of getting out of this World, on the contrary, to strive to be present right in the middle of it and follow God's example : work for values which "embrace all the World". - "If" this becomes a full reality, then, Europe could become really able to accomplish several very great tasks, he concluded in substance.

Curiously, however, even if the CCEE  had just participated in the latest Christian Catholic - Orthofdox Ecumenical Forumm at Minsk,  welcomed by Belarussian President Lukashenko, on June 2 to 6, when fresh Appeals for Peace in Ukraine were jointly launched, together with CCEE's President, Cardinal Péter Erdő from Hungary, (an experienced, Key-personality also for the currently on-going BioEthical "Hot" issues about Natural Family, that Pope Francis has reportedly scheduled to conclude on 2015), nevertheless, many observers were rather astonished from the unexpected fact that Today, Da Cunha's speech in Strasbourg's Cathedral apparently didn't include any more mention or appeal to definitively Stop Destructive and Deadly Violence at Ukraine, at all...

A lack that was shortly met by Strasbourg's ArchiBishop Jean-Pierre Grallet, also an eminent Member of COMECE: the EU-related Bishops' Committee, who rushed to add also an obviously Topical call for "Unity and Peace" among all Christians in Europe, in his last opportunity to address that issue Timely, before the next Friday's 10 a.m. concluding Ceasefire Deadline...

    Another, different, but maybe not unrelated surprise, was to hear, afterwards, a visible mention of the Strange Fact that, at the same time that CCEE's Secretary General, Mgr. Da Cunha, confirmed in his earlier Speech, the PanEuropean Christian Organisation's declared ambition, to help Europe becom conscious of "its Christian roots", and not forget them, on the contrary, it was anounced that, paradoxicaly, "Turkey was a (full) Member" Today of that "European" Conference of Bishops, even if, (due to its notoriouysly Oppressive regime), the Ankara-controllled Turkish State of this Century notoriously didn't have, anymore, but ...Less than 1% (one per cent) of Christians left among its 99% "Muslim" population, (i.e. even Less than Lebanon, Syria, Egypt, or Iraq !)...

    EU Citizens' massive Votes during both the 2009 and the 2014 EU Parliament's Elections weren't enough in order to remind such crystal-clear Facts ?...






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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.


    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.


    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.



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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