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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow Sources: Anti-Corruption Inquiry on CoE Parliamentary Assembly may extend to Other Areas/Bodies

Sources: Anti-Corruption Inquiry on CoE Parliamentary Assembly may extend to Other Areas/Bodies

Escrito por ACM
20.04.18
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- An Independent Experts' Inquiry on Corruption, exceptionally set up top check Allegations of wrongdoing in CoE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), might Extend its Findings and/or Conclusions also to various Other Areas of the 47 Member Countries-wide PanEuropean Organisation, as it results from Converging Sources which spoke to "Eurofora", before a Final Report might soon become Public.


Indeed, a very well informed Source, concerning that Independent External Committee, has Revealed to "Eurofora", already since the Beginning of 2018, that its Investigations had Found that, in fact, Corruption-related Problems go Deeper and would be much More Widely Spread than initially thought, Extending also in several Other among CoE's many Activities and/or Bodies, withOut being Limited Only to certain MEPs.


The initial Time-limit of that Exceptional Independent Investigation, Decided on April 2017 and Set up since June that same year, had been Scheduled for the End of 2017, but, later-on, its Mandate was Prolonged further, also into 2018, resulting nowadays in a Confidential Report that will be Discussed by PACE's Bureau on the forthcoming Sunday, which will Decide on any concrete Measures that might be necessary to be taken.


=> During the regular Press-Briefing of Strasbourg's permanent European Journalists, this Friday Morning, (April 19, 2018), "Eurofora" asked PACE's experienced Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, from Poland, whether, in Theory, as a matter of General Principle, it might be Possible for that Special Independent Committee to eventually Conclude that Anti-Corruption Measures should also Extend to several Other CoE's areas of activities, bodies and/or staff, (f.ex. Inter-Governemental or Independent, Secretariat, Ad Hoc Experts, Local/Regional Authorities' representatives, INGOS, etc).


- Given the Fact that both the Activities of that Independent Anti-Corruption Committee, as well as its Draft Report, are, at least until Sunday Evening, strictly Confidential, Sawicki naturally Replied that he canNot Say Anything Now about the Actual Content of that Report.


- But, from a purely "Theoretical" point of view, "Nothing is Impossible", he Carefully added to the amove-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question. The Members of that "Group of Investigation on Allegations of Corruption" (known as "GIAC") are the former President of ECHR, Sir Nicolas Bratza, from the UK, Top Judge Jean-Luis Bruguiere, formerly in charge of Anti-Terrorist Investigations in France during a Long Time, and Anti-Terrorist Expert for International Organisations, as well as for Other States, and Elisabet Fura, former ECHR's Swedish Euro-Judge and f. Parliamentary Head Ombudsperson in Sweden.


Whatever might, eventually, be the Outcome of GIAC's Report, it obviously seems almost certain that it will be Discussed, in one way or another, during PACE's Plenary Session for Spring 2018, Next Week in Strasbourg (from Monday to Friday, included, April 23-27, 2018).
Already, a "Side Event" on the "Follow-up of the Inquiry on Allegations of Corruption inside the Parliamentary Asszembly", is Organized by MEPs Franck Schwabe from Germany, and Pieter Omtzigt from the Netherlands, (a Socialist and a ChristianDemocrat/EPP, respectively), for Monday Afternoon.


Curiously, it was Scheduled at Exactly the Same Day, and even Hours and Minutes, with anOther "Side Event", on "the Turkish (Military) Invasion of (Syria's Kurdish Canton of) Afrin : an Urgent Humanitarian Crisis", organized by MEPs Tiny Cox and Nikolaj Villumsen, respectively from the Netherlands and Denmark, both from the "EuroLeft" Group, of which the First is its Long-Time President.


Thirty (30) various such "Side Events" are currently Scheduled during 4 Days, between Monday and Thursday (included), as usual, at Different Times, (on Various Hours in the Mornings, Noons, or Early Afternoons, even at the Evening).

 

(../..)


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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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