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Home arrow newsitems arrow PanEuropean Commissioner for Data Protection, Walter to EF: Start by checking our own Organisations

PanEuropean Commissioner for Data Protection, Walter to EF: Start by checking our own Organisations

Written by ACM
Thursday, 21 June 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking to "Eurofora" just after being Elected, earlier Today, as the New PanEuropean Commissioner for Data Protection, Jean-Philippe Walter, an Experienced former Long-Time President of CoE's Experts in that area, and the man who pushed all the way along the Recent "Modernisation" of its Pioneer, Historic Convention, in close "Coordination" with the EU, surprized by Announcing his Intention to : - "First, Examine what is going on, in this regard, Inside the CoE itself !", as he told us for Strasbourg's 47 Member Countries - strong Organisation, which Includes also Russia and various Other Countries.


Walter was Officially Elected Today by CoE's competent "Committee for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data", during its Weekly Plenary Session of 19-21 June 2018.


The Event was announced during an Exceptional International Conference on the current Perspectives for Wider Cooperation in the Field of Data Protection for the foreseable Future, Both between EU and COE, as well as at a more or less Global Level, (Comp. also : ..., etc).


"Eurofora" has Already met with, and Published Walter's various Replies to our Questions on Topical Issues, at several Earlier Occasions in the Past, (as, f.ex., at : ... + ..., etc).


After Graduating with a Master in Law from the University of Fribourg, in Switzerland, Jean-Philippe Walter succesfully presented a Doctoral Thesis on "the Protection of the (Human) Personality during the Processing of Data for Statistical reasons", and Worked as University Assistant, Legal Expert at the Swiss Federal  Administration, Head of Data Protection at the Ministry of Justice, and Deputy Federal Commissioner on Data Protection and Information (from 1993 until Now : 2018), as well as vice-Chairman of the French-Speaking Association of Data Protection Authorities during a Decade (2007-12/2016), while also Regularly making Working Visits at the COE in Strasbourg for about 30 Years, where he Chaired its PanEuropean Committee of Experts on Data Protection, and, Twice, also CoE's Committee on its relevant, Pioneer Convention, (known as "108"), before Dealing, more Recently, with its Modernisation, in Coordination with the EU's relevant Directive on 2018, etc.


Thus, Walter's usual Scope is much Larger than CoE's 47 Member States, (including Russia, etc), since its above-mentioned Convention already has 52 Member Countries, and its New, recently Modernized Version is Aimed to Become progressively Global, (Comp., f.ex., at : ..., etc).


- While Stressing that, First of all, it was very "Important to have a Good European Coordination", between EU and the CoE, in order to Better "Integrate" EU's recent Directive with CoE's Pioneer and recently Modernized landmark Convention on Data Protection, as well as ECHR's "Historic" relevant "Case Law", Walter, also pointed Today at the "Strong Interest" that are showing, in this regard, Various Countries in the World, (Comp. also "Eurofora"s NewsReport : ...).


+ At the same time, Walter also spoke Now in Favor of "Transparency", including "vis a vis Civil Society", as well as in favor of the search of the Largest possible "Consensus", if not "Unanimity", at the end of the process.


- Walter told "Eurofora" that he Expects, for the New, "Modernized" Version of CoE's landmark, Historic Convention on Individuals' Data Protection, - for which he Succeeded to Efficiently Contribute Both for the closest possible Agreement with the EU, and to Find a Deal with Russia on a series of Key points (including on Security and Trans-Border Data Flows in relation with USA's role in recent practice, etc) - to probably get more than 28 or 30 Signatures from European Countries on Autumn 2018, before Reaching the Threshold of 37 Ratifications, in order to Enter into Force during the Next Few Years.


- In Fact, our (CoE's) Initial "Draft" Text, has Not Changed Very Much, and we Could have Arrived at a Conclusion much Earlier, but "Brussels' Agenda" from the EU "Influenced" CoE's course, as well as the Need to Broker an Agreement with Russia, etc. However, it was Worthwhile to strive for the Largest possible EU-CoE "Coordination" and Political "Consensus", he pointed out.


Simple People might probably Like to See CoE's new Commissioner on Data Protection to Dare immediately Check rather such things as our everyday ...SmartPhones, and/or "Twitter"'s recent Controversial Policies, etc., the Soonest possible, after he finishes asap. with his Idea to First "Check inside CoE", as he Told us, (Comp. Supra).


But, if he insists to really practice his "Transparency", prior "Consultation", close "Coordination", and/or the Largest "Consensus"-Seeking Methods (Comp. Supra), also throughout PanEuropean CoE's various Buildings, who have progressively Mushroomed around Strasbourg's European Quarter, then, they might have to ...Wait a bit :


However, Hopefully Not so much as his Team of Experts was obliged to give for that recent "Modernization" of COE's Historic "Convention 108", (now Changed into "Convention 108+"), for the reasons explained above (and that he Regretted) : More than 7 Years (2009-2018) !


That's probably one reason more for which Walter appeared, Today, speaking to "Eurofora", rather Glad to be called, No more "Mr. President" (of a CoE's Committee, as in the Past), but, from Now on, "Mr. Commissioner"...


It might make some things much more Easy.

 

 

(../..)


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


***


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

 

***

 

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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

***

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