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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow CoE Assembly SG Sawicki to EF: Russia Deal legally possible during 1st Half of 2019+

CoE Assembly SG Sawicki to EF: Russia Deal legally possible during 1st Half of 2019+

Geschrieben von ACM
Freitag, 18 Januar 2019
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Despite current Claims that Latest Developments would inevitably Exclude Russian MEPs from CoE's PanEuropean Assembly (PACE), on pretext of the Ukranian éConflict, also during All the Year 2019, (See Infra), on the contrary, PACE's Experienced Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, replying to "Eurofora"s questions, confirmed that it is still Legally Possible to strike a Deal during 2019, and particularly at its 1st Half.


This clearly results from what he told us Today, during a CoE's Press Briefing with Strasbourg's European Journalists on the forthcoming Winter Plenary Session of the PACE Next Week in Strasbourg, (21-25 January 2019), as well as on Earlier occasions, but also from relevant Expectations of other interested sources, concerning probable Political Developmens inside Ukraine itself, which is notoriously preparing National Presidential and Parliamentary Elections on March and Autumn 2019, respectively, (See Infra).


A Last-Minute Top Meeting, at nearby Geneva, last Monday, between PACE's new President, Swiss  MEP Liliane Maury Pasquier, and Russian Duma's deputy Speaker,
Pyotr Tolstoi, and Council's Foreign Affairs Committees' President, Constantin Kosachev (Comp.:..., etc), following the Limits of a Controversial Procedure and Draft Report by Belgian MEP Petra de Sutter on making Relevant Changes to PACE's Rules, (Comp.: ...., etc), did Not manage to mark yet any real Breakthrough, agreeing, nevertheless, to keep going at least a Dialogue also in the foreseable Future.


An UnPrecedented 3,5 Years total Absense of any Russian MEP inside the Paneuropean PACE (2/2014-1/2019), provoked by a Controversial, Last Minute Amendment, Tabled and voted by a Minority of MEPs who smashed a Deal prepared by PACE's Political and Monitoring Committees' Presidents then, was Followed by Moscow's subsequent Decision to Freeze, (initially a Part, and Afterwards the whole), of its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, so that Now, the PanEuropean Organisation is reportedly preparing to Cut its Budget and Staff for - 11%, while Measures as Suspension, etc., are expected vis a vis Russia from June 2019, unless a Solution is found beforehand.


Meanwhile, already, Moscow's recent Decisions, reportedly anounced just Yesterday (Thursday), to Continue to withhold its MEPs from coming to Strasbourg on Monday, at the Beginning of PACE's 1st Plenary Session for 2019, as long as PACE has Not yet Guaranteed the inviolability of all MEPs' Democratic Rights to Vote, Speak and Participate, etc., (even from Other CoE's Member Countries, as a matter of General Principle, applicable to all), apparently Risk to have far-reaching consequences.


Indeed, given the established Fact that, until now, the Ratification of MEPs' Credenials is routinely done at the Beginning of the Session of January, for the entire Year to come, almost all commentators concluded  that, if the Russian MEPs really don't come to Strasbourg on Monday, then, they would be practically Excluded from PACE for the whole Year of 2019... And as that conditions Moscow's Payment, or not, of its Annual Contribution (Comp. Supra), then, a probable Non-Payment until June, would give to CoE's Committee of Ministers an opportunity to "Suspend" Russia's Membership to the CoE. In that case, the Foreign Minister Lavrov and others have already said that Russia would definitively Withdraw from the CoE...


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


But, is Now, this "Catastrophe" Scenario really so Inevitable and Fatal, as most Medias and Observers claim ?


- "Eurofora" raised Today anew the Question of eventually possible Alternative Solutions to PACE's Experienced Secretary General, and he Confirmed that, at least in Theory, it is still Legally Feasible, "if a Political Will exists", as he underlined:


>>> To put it in a nutshell, an Important Possibility corresponds to a practical Suggestion initially done by "Eurofora", already more than a Year ago, that Sawicki has already Acknowledged to be Possible : I.e., instead of Examining the Credentials of National Delegations Only Once per Year, (on January), the PACE should become able to do so at the beginning of Any Plenary Session, i.e. at least 4 Times per Year : January, April, June and October, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coereformtoeaserussiasolution.html , etc).


PACE's Secretary General clearly Confirmed Today, in Reply to a fresh Question by "Eurofora" that this was, indeed, Possible, if CoE's Assembly and Committee of Ministers agreed to UpDate the Rules of Procedure (for the 1st) and CoE's Statute (for the 2nd) on a Key-Point of PACE's Plenary Sessions, in the Same way, and Fast enouph, in Parallel, (See for concrete Details : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/russiaandpacecrisismayberesolved.html , http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coereformtoeaserussiasolution.html , etc).


- This is "Easy" to do "Fast" enough, if PACE and CM Agree on the precise Text that they want, since, in that case, there is No Need for Ratification Procedures inside Each one among CoE's 47 Member Countries, and all can be done here, in Strasbourg, he clearly reiterated.


- But this naturally implies the existence of a clear "Political Will", among COE's Member States, Sawicki underlined anew :


=> Something that Now, Obviously points mainly at an Important, forthcoming Presidential Election in Ukraine, at the End of March 2019, where former Prime Minister Julia Timoshenko (Comp. several Timoshenko statements to "Eurofora", as well as or her Daughter and Lawyer [currently MEP] during ECHR's proceedings against her Imprisonment, f.ex. at: ..., ...., ..., ..., etc) and/or various Other Candidates bypass or match the Out-going President Pedro Poroshenko's ratings in many Polls, in a way which apparently indicates that Ukranian People mighty have had enough of the still on-going, Deadly and Destructive Division of the Country up to War since 2014, Corruption and Economic Slowdown, etc., so that a Positive Change might have, hopefully, become Possible, closer towards Peace in the forseable Future.

- But, when "Eurofora" asked further Sawicki "Until When" does PACE have the Time to eventually Decide to do as advised (Comp. Supra), his Reply was that it must be done, at the latest, "on April" 2019, i.e. at the Next Plenary, of Spring 2019 : Something which practically Excludes the 2nd and Final Round of those Ukranian Presidential Elections, since next PACE it's scheduled towards the Beginning of April, while that Election's 2nd and Decisive Round is scheduled for Later-on, towards the End of April... This leaves Only the June 2019 PACE Plenary for all those required actions : F.ex., Decision to make a Peace Deal, Changes of CoE Statute and PACE's Rules of Procedure, Effective and Adequate Use of such New Possibilities, etc.


Certainly, as Sawicki also observed, CoE's current Rules do Not Oblige its Committee of Ministers to effectively "Suspend" a Member Country's participation, if it doesn't pay its Annual Financial Contribution during 2 Years until next June, but it Simply says that it "MAY" do so, whenever it believes fit, after that point, (i.e., f.ex. on July, September, October, etc).


Nevertheless, the Fact that on June 2019 PACE notoriously has also to Elect the New CoE's Secretary General, for the Next 5 Years (2020-2024), etc., (while Both a CoE Committee of Ministers' Legal Expertise, and PACE's Committee on Rules of Procedure have recently found that All CoE's Member States must Participate and Vote in a so Important Choice), pleads for a Deal preferably brokered Earlier : F.ex. on May.


=> Could it be done, perhaps at the May 2019 "Standing" Committee (may be in Paris) ?


Or, rather, by ...Adding anOther, 5th, "Exceptional" PACE's Plenary Session, precisely on May 2019, giving even anOther such Possibility to Gain precious Time : Indeed, as Sawicki has told us previously it could have one More Opportunity to Deal with the Issue of Russian MEPs' Credentials, and/or Change its own Rules, in this regard.

- Such a Move is Legally Possible, since, currently, PACE's Rules of Procedure provide for "up to 30 Days" for PACE's Full Meetings during Each Year, while, until now, "we don't use but only 20 such Days, Yearly", (i.e. 4 regular Plenaries X 5 Days each = 20, leaving +10 More Days, theoretically Free to be used whenever PACE might like to do so), as he had told us earlier, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/russiaandpacecrisismayberesolved.html ).


In such case, Ukranian Presidential Elections would have also completely finished, (Comp. Supra), and, probably, a New Political Context created by the Ukranian Voters, Hopefully more Favorable to Peace-making.


+ A priori, it's not excluded that it might even include a Fair Trial and/or Liberation from Prison for the Famous former Popular Ukranian Heroine, Nadiya Savchenko : The World-known Army Airplane Pilot, who served at Iraq and volunteered in Donbas (Eastern Ukraine), before being Jailed for 2 Years in Russia, (accused of Complicity to Murders), struggling in jail with Hunger Strikes, etc., but afterwards Freed (by Russian President Vladimir Putin's "pardon" and an exchange with 2 Russian Prisoners jailed in Ukraine), after an International Campain for her release, and triomphally returned back to Kiev, Welcomed by President Poroshenko, Julia Tymoshenko, and many People, Elected new MP at the 1st rank of her Party's List, appointed at the Ukranian Delegation to CoE's Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, (etc).


Curiously, Savchenko, after being personaly engaged in efforts to Liberate Prisoners and find "Missing" People from Both Sides at Eastern Ukraine, while also Criticizing Government Corruption, focused on Seeking to Help Peace and Stop that Bloody War, (which has already Killed about 10.000 People, mostly innocent Civilians), became a Critic of Out-going President Poroshenko, accused him and otherts to have Betrayed Maidan's Popular Movement's Values, and Called for Direct Peace Talks between the 2 Sides of Ukranians : Kiev Government and Donetsk-Luhansk pro-Autonomy Regions, (considering the Crimea peninsula a comparatively secondary matter). This made her Opponents from the current Establishment slander her, and Exclude her from the Ukranian Delegation at the CoE in Strasbourg, and even Strip her from her Elected MP Status.


At that juncture, when she reacted also by Accusing a High-Standing Kiev Politician, (engaged at a Key role at Maidan's muscled uprising, then as Top Security Counselor to the 1st acting President of the Kiev regime issued from Bloody Street Clashes on 2014 : Turchynov, including in Kiev's Deadly Military Attacks on the Russian-speaking, pro-Autonomous Historic City of Slavyansk, etc), to have personaly and directly Backed severtak of those Armed "Snipers" who notoriously Targetted and Killed, at Maidan Square, Both Demonstrators and Policemen, provoking Massive Bloody Violent Clashes which Topped the 1st Peace Agreement on Ukraine, that had been Signed Both by the elected but controversial, mainly pro-Russian President Yanukovich, and All the Leaders of the Maidan Demonstrators, under the Auspices of the EU, represented at Kiev on February 2014 by 3 Foreign Ministers of France, Germany and Poland : Fabius, Steinmeier and Sikorski, as well as Ratified by the Ukranian Parliament by 35 v. 2, providing for General Amnesty, Government of National Unity, Presidential Elections that same Year, etc, that was afterwards Rejected by those same Demonstrators' Leaders),

Suddenly, Nadiya Savchenko was immediately Accused, by Kiev's Prosecutor, to plan a ...Bloody Putsch against the current Regime, including Bombing of the Parliament and Murdering President Poroshenko, etc, through Weapons smuggled from the pro-Autonomy Regions, etc., and Shortly afterwards Arrested and Jailed, on February 2018 !


Since then, (i.e. during almost 1 Year now), the former Top Heroine of Maidan's Ukraine, has been Continuously Kept Closed in Prison, (with several "Extensions" of her Detention, despite many Hunger Strikes, and Initial Courts' Judgements asking to let her Free and refusing to block her properties, soon overun), at least until the End of December 2018 included, (with astonishingly Few Informations published on her current short in English, to the point that it's Not easy to clearly find what happens to her Nowadays)...


According to Recent available Press News, she would have been Operated in a Prison's Hospital, and her Health would have reportedly Suffered  from her Latest Hunger Strike, to the point to Exceptionally Hinder her even to be Present at a Court's Hearing, while doing desperate efforts to access her personal Bank Account in order to be officialy Registered among the numerous Candidates to the forthcoming, Mars 2019 Presidential Election, (Comp. Supra).


Indeed, Nadiya Savshenko was among the First to Positively reply to Press Questions about her wish to run for next President in Ukraine, exposing her Political Views for a Peaceful Solution of the Conflict, as Early as already since 2016, and, Afterwards, she reportedly Confirmed that even more clearly, during 2017-2018.


Julia Tymoshenko, while having Dissociated herself from most Savshenko's controversial attempts for Direct Contacts and Talks between Kiev and the pro-Autonomy Regions, etc., (Comp. Supra), and having accepted also her late expulsion from her Party, nevertheless, has Not yet denounced Nadiya Savshenko's personaly, and would have said that she does Not Regret to have selected her in order to run at the 1st Place of her Party's List, back in the Latest 2014 Parliamentary Elections.


>>> Meanwhile, CoE's High Level Panel on Ukraine, set up by Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland, and composed by former ECHR President Sir Nicolas Bratza from the UK, as well as by 2 Ukranian Senior Officials, in order to Supervise Investigations on the Bloody "Maidan" Events of February 2014, (Comp. Supra), and afterwards also on the Tragic Deaths of Civilians, critical to the subsequent Government, most Burned Alive during other Violent Clashes at Odessa on May 2014, has notoriously Concluded that Kiev regime's Authorities blatantly Failed on their Duty to Investigate that Key Issue of those Mysterious Deadly "Snipers" who reportedly pushed to Drop a 1st Peace Agreement and provoked Bloody Clashes (Comp. Supra).


So that it would obviously be Interesting to know what Nadiya Sevchenko may really have to say on those Mysterious Kiev's "Snipers", if and when, the forthcoming Political Developments inside Ukraine, might, eventually, allow her also to find anew at least her Freedom of Speech.


(../..)
 

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


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 imag0972_400


    Scientific innovation joined to Faith for Human Rights, Eastern Partnership and fight against the Crisis, but above all, the need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" from EU Citizens, are the main priorities for new EU Parliament's President, Polish Jerzy Buzek, that a 555-votes-strong majority of MEPs on July 14,  Strasbourg made a living symbol of the fact that, 20 years after the fall of Berlin Wall (1989 - 2009) there is no more an Eastern or Western Europe, but only one Europe, as the head of the largest group of MEPs, ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Joseph Daul, stressed after the event.

    Speaking later to a group of Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", the new EU Parliament's President clarified his stance on concrete topical issues, as f.ex. that of Turkey's controversial EU bid, which was one of the main issues of the June 2009 Electoral campain, clearly won by his party of ChristianDemocrats/EPP :  - "At present, Turkey does not fullfil none of EU conditions", he stressed, (See infra).

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    Buzek is well known in Strasbourg and to "EuroFora" as EU Rapporteur for the Framework Program of Scientific Research and Development of Technologies. A Natural Science Professor from the Historic and Religious landmark Polish City of Częstochowa, active in the famous Solidarnosk grass-roots social movement, he served 4 years as Prime Minister (1997-2001), before being elected as MEP in 2004 and 2009, after he brillantly won the latest EU Election at the head of his party (EPP) almost doubling the number of its MEPs from 15 to 28 !

    - "Innovation" and "Energy safety", as well as fight against the "Cimat change", but also "Eastern Partnership", the "Mediterranean", "Strategic partnerships" with Russia, the USA, etc, and the search for "solutions to the Economic Crisis" that EU Citizens "expect" from us, will be his "priorities", announced from the outset the new EU Parliament's President, reminding also that the quest for "Human and Civic Rights" played an important role in his experience with the Solidarnosc grass-roots social movement in Poland's History

    But, the most important of all, is the urgent need to overcome the "Crisis of Trust" between EU Institutions and the People he stressed : - EU "Citizens often don't understand us", denounced Buzek, launcing a call to "do anything for EU Citizens to understand our work" in EU Parliament : "We (MEPs) need to make EU Citizens involved" in "what we are doing every week, in Strasbourg and Brussels", he proposed. Pointing f.ex. to the hot "Debates" with "strong arguments" exchanged between MEPs during the preparation of their Legislative Decisions, in Committees, delivering often hard struggles between initially opposed points of view, long before forging a majority at the final vote, sometimes more than a year..

    Therefore, EU Parliament will be "open to your criticism, for discussion and exchange of views", he promissed to Journalists in Strasbourg.

    In this way, Buzek, in fact, highlighted "EuroFora"s main idea, that we strongly advocate since 1997-2007, to systematicaly and actively involve EU Citizens in public debates during the decision-making process of important EU measures, which affect their lives and the society in which they live, (and not only just a few weeks each 4 or 5 Years at the eve of EU Elections)...
--------------------
    This is related also to the symbolic gift that Buzek chose to give to the out-going former EU Parliament's President, Hans Gert Poettering, (2007-2009), his collegue in the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, who brillantly won 2009 EU Elections in Germany : A genuine statute of sainte Barbara crafted in Silesia's black Coal by Polish Miners : Those simple but strong people who fought for social change against some technocrats and bureaucrats disguissed into so-called "real-socialists" of old times. (PHOTO).

    It's enough to have seen a popular open air mass, at Warsaw's center, with many thousands of people, old and young, simple workers and intellectuals mixed together, with references to Poland's history and struggles for survival and liberty, through various ages, (as fex. that organized at the eve of CoE's 2005 panEuropean Heads of State and Government for the beatification of late Pope John-Paul II), in order to understand what such symbols mean..

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    But, overcoming the "Crisis of Trust" with EU Citizens obviously implies also to rectify any errors done in the past, fex. on Turkey's controversial EU bid, with controversial decisions taken in 1999 and 2004 to give a "candidate" status and to start EU negotiations, provoking an unprecedented series of 3 "No" to EuroReferenda and 3 Majoriy Abstentions in EU Parliament Elections : 1999, 2005 and 2009, (even if the latest one succeeded to decelerate and almost stop the drop of participation rates, opening hopes for vote's revival after an electoral campaign clearly critical to Turkey's claims in several mainstream EU countries)
    
    Therefore, Buzek was faced with manifold critical Questions on EU Enlargement, most of them citting concrete examples of certain political problems  :  But his replies were almost always given as a matter of general principle :

    F.ex. Questioned on the suspension of EU - Croatia talks because of a Border conflict with EU Member Slovenia, Buzek prefered to speak about principles :

- "We know that during Enlargement, the process can be blocked by failure to resolve this kind of issues",  This concerns also other enlargments' cases", and "these rules are always in force" he warned.


But Buzek avoided to directly reply to a queston on "French and German EPP' calls to define the Borders of Europe", as a German journalist asked him by making a reference to French President Nicolas Sarkozy, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel's, critical statements on Turkey at the June 2009 Electoral campain.    

- "Concerning Enlargement, there's always the same rules : There have to be Criteria, which have to be respected if a Country wants to join the EU", he started to simply reply.

- "For my country (Poland) it took us 15 Years to fullfil these Criteria", Buzek reminded, indicating, if proportions are kept, that Turkey, fex. would have to spend some 25 years before eventually joining the EU..

- "Countries wishing to join the EU need to Change their Systems", as we (Poland and other former Eastern European Countries) did, he stressed.

- "'For me, meeting the condition of Human Rights is one of the Key conditions for membership in the EU", preferring again to speak from the point of view of General Principles, on the occasion of an untimely question on Serbia (which is not even a candidate yet)...

- "Turkey" has, "first of all", to fullfil (EU) Copenhagen criteria". Bevause, currently, none of them is fullfiled by Turkey", New EU Parliament's President, denounced, speaking later to a group of Journalists, including "EuroFora".

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In particular, on Human Rights :  - "We (EU) can never forget Human Rights", because "this is at the very Foundations of the EU", Buzek added.

On the contrary, when he referred to EU Enlargment for the  "Western Balkans Countries ", Buzek appeared upbeat, finding "promising situations", despite "difficulties" in the Past, since "Countries are queuing to become EU members", and this "generated changes", as he said.

As for Russia, Buzek observed that it was a "very important" country, located "in the same Continent", Europe,  "close to our borders", and "we need eachother". "But Russia' has 'differend poblems : "They claim that their system is Democratic, but rules are differend", and we must be "aware of such differencies", fex. "on Human Rights", that we can't ignore, as he said;

Concerning China, where a journalist observed that the recipient of EU Parliament's latest "Sakharov prize" for freedom of thought is "still in prison", Buzek found that since the 1999 events in Tien Amin square, "we see differencies on Human Rights still today", and expressed his "support" for those who try to ameliorate the situation.

On the contrary, speaking recently to "EuroFora" he strongly supported the idea for an EU - Ukraine cooperation, fex. between Airbus and Antonov, in order to build a  less costly but more performant than the old and problematic A400M, new Military Transport Airplane : - "They (Ukranian Antonov Company) can certainly do it. I'm sure they can. It's a good Idea, and I'd be glad if it was done", he told us. (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/airbusantonov.html )


(../..)

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