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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.

 

 

(../..)


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(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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    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".

buzek_close_a_400 

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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