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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Assembly decides Debate + Vote on Aleppo at its November Session in Cyprus

CoE Assembly decides Debate + Vote on Aleppo at its November Session in Cyprus

Written by ACM
Friday, 14 October 2016
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- The PanEuropean, 47-Member Countries strong CoE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) has just Decided, this Friday Morning/Noon in Strasbourg, to Hold a Topical public Debate on the currently very "Hot" issueof the "the situation in Aleppo" (Syria),  (nowadays discussed at UNO's HQ in New York, and between Paris - Moscow - Berlin, etc, as well as Tomorrow, Saturday, at nearby Lausanne, in Switzerland, etc),at its immediately forthcoming Session, on November 25, exceptionaly hosted in Cyprus, i.e. Near Syria's SeaCoasts.


EU and CoE Member Cyprus is the Incoming New President in office of the CoE's Highest Political body, that of its Committee of Ministers, for the period of November 2016 - May 2017. (The previous rotating CoE Chairmanship by Cyprus had taken place a long time ago, between 1994 and 1995, (Comp. relevant "Eurofora" co-Founders' NewsReports etc., already from the preparation of that event, published then at PIO, CNA, etc).


According to well informed Sources from the incoming Cyprus' CoE Presidency, at least the Initial Intention for that November 2O16 PACE event, was to Focus, in general, on "International Law and Human Rights".


Given that the Next full Plenary Session of the PACE concenes No Earlier than on January 2017 in Strasbourg, it will be its "Standing Committee" which is due to hold that public Debate and Vote on Aleppo at its much Earlier Meeting on November 2016 in Cyprus.


PACE's Standing Committee has, in Legal terms, Similar Powers as also PACE's full Plenary Sessions, and all its Leadership takes part, in principle, (even if the Number of participating simple MEPs is not necessarily the same).


But its Political Importance, in real Practice, can get a more or less Big Potential, according to the overall Context and relevant Developments, as well as Last Minute Decisions :


- F.ex., already, Back on 1999, Strasbourg's Journalists regularly covering the CoE (including "Eurofora"s co-Founder) had been Invited to a landmark PACE Standing Committee Session in Rome (Italy), initialy for a main Issue officialy pointing, then, at Ocalan's controversial kidnaping at Nairobi, in Africa, by a Turkish commando, and subsequent Detention Conditions at Imranli, in Turkey. But, just After arriving in Rome, suddenly, a radical Change appeared on PACE Standing Committee's Main Issue, which Now Focused, on the Contrary, to nearby Ex-Yugoslavia and the Kosovo crisis, resulting in an Exceptionaly "Hot" Debate and a very Disputed Vote of a Resolution which became, (after that matter had been practicaly Droped or comparatively Downplayed, earlier, both at the UNO and at EU Parliament, etc), the Only Official Document on which some Claimed to have Found some kind of (even if indirect)Legitimacy in order to Start Launching one of the Waves of Military Strikes in what became known as 1 among the 2 successive Ex-Yugoslavia Wars, (Comp. relevant "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReport from that Historic, even if Controversial, Event, Published then at MPA Press Agency, etc).


Today's Decision on Aleppo (Syria) was Exceptionaly taken "by the Bureau" of PACE, i.e. its Highest Political Body after the Plenary itself, (whose Meetings are held "In Camera" and, in principle, Confidential), and Not on the Public Initiative of a Group of MEPs presenting a Draft Motion for Resolution, (i.e. Contrary to the Usual Procedure, which is used much More Often, for Most of Other Issues, including Many other "Hot" and Urgent matters).


It was officialy  Refered to PACE's Political affairs Committee "for Report", and this, practicaly, means that, normaly, a Written Text (such as a Resolution/Recommendation, etc) is due to officialy Emerge on that Issue at the CoE, sooner or later, for Final public Debate and Vote at that November 2016 PACE Standing Committee's meeting on November 25 - 26 in Cyprus, (Comp. Supra), and Not Only a mere "Urgent" Oral Debate, Contrary, f.ex., to what has just occured, this week in Strasbourg, where PACE's full Plenary Session didn't Discuss the notorious Mass Waves of Oppression against Tens of Thousands of various Dissident People, on pretext of a Strange, 6 Hours-long, "Coup" Attempt last July 2016, (See, f.ex. : ...), but Only Oraly, withOut any Written Text (f.ex. Draft Resolution, etc) to Vote.


The Next Meeting of PACE's Political affairs Committee has been Scheduled for Monday, November 7, in Paris, France, (as it happens quite often, but not necessarily always).


Its current President is Danish Socialist MEP Mogens Jensen, from the original "Christiansborg" Quarter of Copenhagen. But the Rapporteur had Not yet been officialy chosen.


Recently, after the BreakDown of an initial Americano-Russian Deal for a General Cease-Fire in Syria, the Out-going US President Barack Hussein Obama (Socialist/Liberal) notoriously Accused Moscow for Helping the Syrian Government to recuperate that BeSieged Part of Aleppo City which still remains Controlled by Armed Rebel Groups, and mainly Al-Nusra (an Al-Quaida offspring, classified as "Terrorist", ISIL, FSA, etc), and exchanged "Hot" Claims about alleged Blunders, reportedly with "Humanitarian" a.o. undue Casualties, in some Obscure and Controversial Circumstances, both there and elsewhere in Syria. Russian President Vladimir Putin reportedly Replied by Denouncing an alleged Attempt by some of those who are accused to Secretly Arm and/or Fund various Terrorist Gangs in Syria to Hinder a Liberation of Alepo from "Al- Nusra" and other (often also Foreign) Terrorists, by the Government of the Country, under Fallacious Pretexts, letting "Al-Quaida" affiliates to abuse of Civilian People as "Hostages" serving as a "Human Shield".

 

 

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Out-going French President Hollande (Socialist), was suddenly pushed to take a Similar position to that of Obama, tabling an Alternative Motion for Resolution on Aleppo by UNO's Security Council, and Accusing for alleged "War Crimes" Russia, which had already presented a Different Motion for Resolution at the UNSC on a Wider CeaseFire in Syria. This resulted, inter alia, also to an exceptional Postponement of a Visit in Paris that Russian President Putin had initialy planned and agreed for Next Week, on Octobe 19, (See, f.ex.: ...)


But in subsequent Tripartite Encounter by Phone between Hollande, Putin and German Chancelor Angie Merkel, (who Might, eventualy, Host in Berlin a Top Diner, in "Normandy 4" format, together with Hollande, Putin and Poroshenko on the still Pending issue of Ukraine, for the Implementation of the "Minsk"Agreements' Peace process, perhaps, also on October 19, according to some sources), an official Press Communique issued by the German Government in Berlin, (and made immediatly Accessible to registered Journalists, including "Eurofora"), significantly Focuses on ensuring a CeaseFire asap at the Syrian conflict in general.


Concerning particularly Aleppo, Russia said that it Backs a UN Envoy offer for "Al Nusra" a.o. Islamic Armed Gangs (Comp. Supra),  to Leave out of the City, in a special Evacuation operation, placed under a guaranteed CeaseFire for that purpose.

 

But the Obvious Question raised, in relation with Today's PACE Bureau Decision, (Comp. Supra), is whether, and in what measue, the PanEuropean Organisation's Assembly could, or not, Legitimately Debate and Vote on such a "Hot" Topical issue as Aleppo, etc., Despite the Exceptional current Absence of All Russian MEPs, (See,f.ex.:...): A Fact which has already had, in practice, indirectly but naturaly, Dissuaded the CoE to Debate several other  "Hot" Issues on the Dramatic on-going Developments in Syria, a Neighbouring to Europe and strategicaly located Country, until now.

 

OSCE rotating Chairman in office for 2016, German Foreign Minister Steinmeier, had just stressed, Yesterday at the CoE in Strasbourg, that "Channels of Dialogue with Russia" should be maintained, despite Difficulties,in order to search much needed Compromises and/or Solutions for Peace, f.ex. in Ukraine and/or Syria, etc., "including (at a) Parliamentary" level, as he had Topicaly added, (See, f.ex.: ....).

 => Is there any, eventualy "Special Formula" to Find for that Important forthcoming PACE Gathering in Cyprus, on November 2016, (particularly following also a Recent Summit of CoE Member States' National Parliament Speakers, held last September in Strasbourg, with the Participation also of the Russian Senate's Experienced President Valentina Matvienko - a close ally to President Putin :Comp. f;ex. her previous Statements to "Eurofora" at :...), or something else which might, perhaps, serve, in one way or another, the cause of Peace and Human Rights ? 

 

(../..)

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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

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    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

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    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

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