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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Assembly SG Sawicki to EF: Russian MEPs can Participate+Vote, even if some asked Sanctions Later

CoE Assembly SG Sawicki to EF: Russian MEPs can Participate+Vote, even if some asked Sanctions Later

Written by ACM
Friday, 06 October 2017
20171006_094734_400


*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/-  Russian MEPs' eventual Return at the CoE on Monday, starting with full Rights, is not only Possible, but might even have Saved, perhaps, outgoing PACE President Agramunt from Resigning, after a controversial Threat to be Dismissed by Critics Next Week, as it apparently results from the Replies that Experienced CoE Assembly's Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, gave to an "Eurofora" Question (See Infra):

 

Indeed, Russian MEPs Nowadays Can, in real practice, freely Participate to CoE Assembly's Meetings, and Vote, without any precondition, for at least "2 or 3 Days", regardless of any eventual sanctions that some might, perhaps, attempt to impose again to them, Later-on, with uncertain results this time, he practically said.

 

Because some Old Sanctions, (f.ex. No Represantation in Top Organs of the Assembly, + No Right to Vote, etc), which had been imposed in the Past Years of 2014 and 2015, (on pretext of the Ukranian Conflict) do Not Exist Legally anymore, for the Years 2016 and 2017, etc., when  it's Russia itself who prefered Not to Send here its MEPS, unless it's Guaranteed that they woN't be Threatened, no more, to face such Restrictions, he observed, in substance.

To a subsquent Question raised by a Collegue from "Reuters", about those Previous PACE Resolutions, which had asked Sanctions as long as Russia did Not Change its stance on some key issues around Eastern Ukraine and Crimea peninsula, Sawicki simply replied that these are, obviously, "Political" matters, which "May Change", in one way or another, and, at any case, they doN't Exist, nowadays, as a Legal reality, no more.

He didn't need to go now as far as to remind, also the Fact, that, Meanwhile, it's also the Aftermath of the Minsk Peace Agreements (after 3/2015), as well as the Recent Need for PanEuropean and International Unity against a growing Series of Deadly Islamist Terrorism Attacks throughout Europe, USA, and elsewhere in the World, the Need to Find a Peaceful Solution in Syria, (added also, even to an obvious Economic/Technological Waste by those Divisions of the Past, etc), which may motivate Political Leaders to take some New Decisions.


Concerning "Eurofora"s Question (Comp. Supra), Sawicki explained that, even if some might, perhaps,  attempt to Challenge again the Credentials of Russian MEPs, then, PACE has to Follow a Legal Procedure, (f.ex.: initial Vote in Plenary, Referal to a Committee, Nomination of a Rapporteur, Hearings, Drafting a Report, initial Vote in Committee, Debate in Plenary, Final Vote, implementation by the Executive Organs, etc), which would durate 2 or 3 Days, may be more. And, Meanwhile, all the Russian MEPs, at any case, could Benefit from, and fully Use, all their Participation, Speech and Voting Rights, at least on a "provisory" basis, Until Final Decisions by the PACE.


On this Basis, one may logically Speculate that, IF something similar had happened until now, then, given also the Big Number of Russian MEPs, as well as the Fact that it does Not seem obvious at all, whether those who seek to Dismiss PACE's President Agramunt might, eventually, find, or not, a Sufficient Number of Critical  MEPs to Vote for Impeachment. A fortiori, when they Need a Reinforced Majority of 2/3, as well as a "Quorum" of Participants, etc...


Therefore, embattled Agramunt might have decided Not to Resign, (as he felt obliged to do, and really did Later-on, Today), but to seize such a Chance for, eventually, defeating that controversial threat to be dismissed by critics.


It's true that PACE's Rules, normally require for the concerned National Parliament to send to the CoE the List of its MPs, asking for their Accreditation, at least "1 Week" Earlier, according to the Rules. But this goes Only "IF Possible", i.e. it's Not an absolute Obligation.


Moreover, that UnPrecedented, initial Harassment that Faced Agramunt as PACE's President, former Chairman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, since the Spring 2017, after Visiting Syria, (Together with the Chairman of the Liberal Group, the Head of PACE's Legal/Human Rights Committee;, and Other Top MEPs from various Countries), to Meet there the Syrian President Assad, transported by a Russian AirPlane thanks to his Russian Collegues, MEPs from the Duma and Long-Time former PACE Members, (even if he Later presented his Excuses, for not having previously Warned the Assembly), seemed Less and Less Controversial, as things Evolved Recently :

F.ex., New French President Macron, has notoriously declared, last June in Brussels, that an eventual Peace  Deal with Assad, could be an Option, since "Nobody said yet Who might be his Successor", as he put it, (obviouly pointing at the Fact that he had Started to Win that War against Islamist Terrorist armed gangs)...


And the recent Death of Historic German former Long-Time Chancellor Helmut Kohl, spectacularly Honored by Many Europêan and International Leaders, etc, last July 2017 at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, (See "Eurofora"s NewsReport from the spot, at:...), Reminded the Fact that he had, notoriously Criticized some controversial attempts to Isolate Russia, (f.ex. its Exclusion from the "G8" Summits, modified into "G7" Summits, etc), as Contrary to Europe's best interests, already Since the Publication on 2015 of his Book "Out of Concern for Europe", (presented together with EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker).

 

The Warm Welcome, by Chancellor Angie Merkel, just a few Days later-on at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, of the 1st and exceptionaly Long, Meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin, and New USA President Don Trump, (See "Eurofora"s NewsReport from the "G20", at: ...), also Helped Open a New Horizon.


As for that too Long recent Series of Deadly Islamist Terrorist Attacks, cowardly Targetting innocent Civilian People, throughout all Europe, Canada, USA, and Other areas in the World, naturally Stimulated the Consciousness of the Need for a Rapprochment to Russia in a Joint Fight to put an End to ISIS a.o.


Even the latest German Elections, at the End of September 2017, by Boosting mainly 2 Parties notoriously Opposed to Cold War-Mongering against Russia and/or attacks against Assad's elected Government in Syria, (the Rightists of "AfD" and the Centrist "Liberals"), obviously Added in that same Direction, (as also the Forthcoming Austrian Elections may do).

For all those reasons (and more, without Time to develop now), it's Not Only PACE's Legal/Human Rights Committee's Criticism against a too Hasty Adoption of an Unpecedented ("a posteriori") Mechanism for Destitution of PACE's Presidents, last June, which makes really feel, that, all that Big Fuss and Harsh Harassment against Spain's Agramunt, looked, more and more, Excessive and, particularly, ... Out-Dated !


+ A Fortiori Today, in the Middle of October 2017, when arrived the Last PACE Plenary Session of Agramut's normal Presidential mission, (who was due, at any case, to pass the hand to a Successor at the Next PACE Plenary Session, on January 2017:


=> What was the use for all that Fuss, until Now, so Late ? What might be the Real Reason for Insisting to Attack so Hard, even withOut cystal-clear, nor Sufficient Justifications, and with Questionable and contested Methods, a veteran European Politician who had argued that he was Trying to Help for concord with Russia and Peace in Syria, (and was scheduled to leave soon, anyway) ?


Even his eventual Successor (as Initially Scheduled : from January 2018), Chairman of the Socialist Group, Italian MEP Michele Nicoletti, both when he spoke earlier to "Eurofora", already since June, (See: ...), and Now, through an Important Report that he will present Next Week at the October 2017 PACE Session, clearly Indicates that Time might have probably come, to Find a way to boost CoE's Unity and Peace by eventually bringing Russian MEPs back in CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly, particularly if they agree so together with CoE's Highest Political body : its Committee of Ministers, (where Moscow still remains fully and actively represented, since 1996).

It's true that, Meanwhile, Russian Authorities had felt obliged, de facto, to ask for a consequent Change of CoE Assembly's Rules of Procedure, able to Guarantee that accredited MEPs from CoE's Member States won't be Threatened anew by so Harsh Threats for too Heavy "Sanctions", such as, f.ex., Exclusion from PACE's Top Governing Bodies, "Freezing" of their Voting Rights, etc. Pending that, they also recently, withheld, for the 1st Time in History, the 2/3 of the Funds that Moscow regularly Paid to the CoE since 1996, as one of its Biggest Payers.


But, according to various converging sources, it seems that one or another Practical Deal, mutually acceptable for a workable Solution, might be Not Excluded a priori Nowadays. Particulary in view of an eventually Forthcoming New CoE's PanEuropean Summit of Heads of State/Government, (the Only one Since its 2005 Summit in Warsaw, under Polish Chairmanship of the CoE : Comp. "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReports, published then at "TCWeekly", from Warsaw), possibly on 2009, i.e. prepared under France's Chairmanship, (as back on 1997's CoE Summit in Strasbourg : Comp. our NewsReports from that event, ibid).


Why, then, some Exceptionally Wasted so much Energy and Time, in Destabilizing the Out-going PACE President, Spanish MEP Pedro Agramunt, former Chairman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, (that some might Attempt to Weaken) ?    

Placed by Facts in front of such an Unprecedented and uselessly Harsh (also for the Human Persons involved) Mystery, all that makes Wonder :


- Was it, perhaps, (at least Partly), because, by another Surprizing "Coincidence",  all that Fuss obviously Risking to Destabilize, these days, Agramunt's ChristianDemocrat/EPP Political Group (the Biggest in PACE), curiously Culminated Exactly around the Same  PACE Plenary Session, Next Week in Strasbourg, during which is also due to be Debated and Voted even a Controversial Report and Resolution on the Most "Hot" Bio-Ethical Issue in Our Times' Society ?


>>> I.e. that of "Genetic" Manipulations on Human Beings, which notoriously raises Serious Concerns for all Humanity...


Indeed, PACE scheduled that for Thursday Afternoon, (i.e. just after an Exceptionally Important Meeting between MEPs' Leaders, and COE's Highest Political body: its Committee of Ministers, due to Deal also with relations of the PanEuropean Organisation with Russia, in the foreseable Future).


It's well known, indeed, that ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEPs used to be, traditionally, among the Stronger Defenders of BioEthical Values, (Together with seveal "Conservatives", but elso Original, Historic "Greens", not so much recently, and Various Other Exceptional Individual Personalities).


As for Many Other MEPs among the Socialists, Liberals, Leftists, etc, (recently appearing often less regarding on such BioEthical matters, rightfully or wrongly), do they really Ignore Today, that certain World-Famous, Historic Writers, such as, f.ex., Aldus Huxley and G.H.Wells, etc, who have notoriously launched some among the Strongest Warnings on BioEthical Issues, in fact, initially, used to be among their Best Forgotten Friends (in Humanity) ?

 


(../..)

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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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