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Home arrow newsitems arrow PACE Vote to Build AntiEpidemic System after Hearing WHO+CoEMinisters Heads Ghebreyesus+Varvitsiotis

PACE Vote to Build AntiEpidemic System after Hearing WHO+CoEMinisters Heads Ghebreyesus+Varvitsiotis

Pisac ACM
26. 06. 2020.

 

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- PanEuropean, 47 Member States-strong (including EU, UK, Russia, etc) CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, after Debating with WHO's Chief, Dr. Tedros Ghebreyesus, and CoE's Committee of Ministers' Chairman, Miltiades Varvitsiotis Today, quasi-Unanimously Voted to "Build a Regional System" for "Effective Pandemic Preparedness and Reaction", "capable of Supporting the responsible International and EU Institutions" in that Task.

 

- Mainly Because of "the initial Inaction, subsequent Slow Response, overHasty Measures, and PreMature re-Openings", in several States, (against which "Eurofora" has often Warned, since January + February 2020),"which may well be paid in (Human) Lives lost", and/or "in ...Damage to our Political, Democratic, Social, Financial and Economic systems, and in the Non-Respect of several of the Rights guaranteed by the ECHR, ...UNO,...Rights of Persons with Disabilities" (etc), MEPs Criticized, shortly After the Publication of Polls showing that a Majority of European People are Upset by the way EU and/or some States Dealt with the Deadly Virus...

- "Lessons Learnt" from this Crisis, and relevant "Ideas for the Future", are, indeed, a main Direction in which CoE currently Prepares the Next Summit of his Top Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, scheduled for November 4, in Athens, as CoE's Secretary General, Marija Buric, recently underlined, while introducing, Together with Varvitsiotis, a Video-Conference with the Senior Officers of Strasbourg's Organisation earlier.

- Indeed, inter alia, there was also "a Lack of Equipment to Protect Human Health in Europe, so that we had to Buy it from China and elsewhere", Reminded, inter alia, Today, in Reply to MEPs' Questions at the PACE, the representative of the current, Greek Presidency of the CoE, Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiades Vavitsiotis, former Long-Time MEP and vice-President of the Biggest Political Group at the PACE, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP.

- Varvitsiotis also announced that, in the Context of Europe's Will to Promote a New Vision, Both Efficient and Respectful of Human Rights/Democracy, the Greek Presidency (May-November 2020) had just Launched a Series of Video-"Discussions with Philosophers, Academics, a.o." on relevant topical issues. Among Others, f.ex. "we canNot Accept to have only some who can Afford Access to Health Care, while Others are Excluded", he stressed, (in an indirect but topical reference also to CoE's Social Charter, etc).

 - Indeed, "Public Health control Measures ... Must be Based on relevant Standards and on Public Trust, to be Effective", as well as, to be "Applied Fairly", warns PACE's Resolution, drafted by German EuroLeft MEP Andrej Hunko.

+ Concerning the "Timing" of Action against the Virus, it's true that it attracts most Criticisms, Acknowlegded WHO's Director General, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, later-on.  But WHO Declared a "Public Health Emergency, of International Concern", on 30 January 2020, and "on Mid-February we said that this Virus was the "Public Ennemy Number 1", (something that some found then "Exagerated"), before declaring a "Pandemic on 11 March", (and Naming Europe as its current "EpiCenter" some Days Afterwards). Earlier, we had, once, "Only 98 Cases Out of China", and these affected mainly "Countries Neighbouring China", he complained.

"Eurofora" Remembers, however, Already a Critical Publication at our "Forum" on January 26 to 27 (http://www.eurofora.net/forum/index.php/topic,936.0.html), Followed by a clear Alert for Europe on "News" of February 22 to 23 (http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/deadlyvirusheadstoeucore.html), a Deception for the Lack of EU and/or Other Measures on February 24 (http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/virusriskbutnoeuprotection.html), and a Criticism for, apparently, "Too Late" EU+ Measures, on March 17 (http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/delaytoprotecteupeoplefromvirus.html), etc.

- At any case, already a First "OverSight" by Independent Experts on the WHO was Published on April 2020, and an Important "Independent Evaluation" is due to "Start ASAP", observed the Head of the International Organisation.

=> By the way, this Fothcoming "Evaluation" would Also offer an Occasion for any eventual Criticism of WHO's recent Action, (including, f.ex., by President Trump's USA), to be Presented, Examined, and may be, more or less, Taken into Account for due Changes, added Dr. Ghebreyesus.

- Indeed, Even if Trump has notoriously Announced his Intention to Withdraw from the WHO, Nevertheless, he hasN't yet send any Official Letter for that purpose, so that the USA for the Time being, Continue to be Still Considered as a Member of the Organisation, and, f.ex. we Cooperate with North American Experts, etc., he observed.

- In fact, the current "Division of the World", between USA and China, is Dangerous", Because, in order to Win the Fight Against the Virus, the World Needs to be United, versus such an Ennemy of the Humanity", WHO's Chief stressed.

-  As for "Europe", Nowadays, "the Risk Number 1 is Complacency !", Dr. Ghebreyesus Warned Against Hasty DeConfinements...

+ He Left to WHO's Top Experts on "Emergencies" and on "COVID-19" the Task to Develop Further Advise for Europeans :

The First focused on "EU's Problem that Measures are a matter of National Sovereignity", as he said, and gave a central Importance to People's "Trust".  

The Second stressed that "Lock-Down canNot be a Long-Time Solution", (mainly for Economic-Social reasons), and she Urged for "Extreme BALANCE" in Carefully planed DeConfinement Steps.

>>> Last, but not least, PACE's new President, Belgian Liberal Senator Rik Daems, eyed mainly towards how to Develop "Cooperation" with the WHO, in the foreseable Future, and this was Welcomed also by WHO's Chief, in a Global Framework.

- If necessary, We could even "Use Bikes" between Strasbourg and Geneva, which is Not so Far away, Jokingly but Practically observed Daems in fine...

In Addition to being Timely and Healthy, Bikes, indeed, are quite Easy to use Accross Rhine and Rhone Rivers' Bicycle PathWays, added to Rail, as "Eurofora" has Often Witnessed.

+ Meanwhile, as more Serious Practical Steps in order to "Build" Efficiently the Above-Mentioned "Regional System", "Capable of Supporting ...Pandemic Preparednss and ReAction" (Comp. Supra), MEPs also Voted to "Urgently" ask  CoE's Committee of Ministers (currently Chaired by Varvitsiotis) to "establish a Pan-European) Inter-Governemental steering Committee on Public Health", as well as to adequately "Associate" CoE's "European Directorate for the Quality of Medicine and HealthCare (EDQM)", Based in Strasbourg.

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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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".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

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.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

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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