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Inicio arrow newsitems arrow CoE Head Varvitsiotis+Stanford Prof Ober on Democracy Post-Virus: Future near EF Project on Dialogue

CoE Head Varvitsiotis+Stanford Prof Ober on Democracy Post-Virus: Future near EF Project on Dialogue

Escrito por ACM
16.09.20

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Nowadays, not only "the COVID Crisis is Not Over Yet", But, on the Contrary, "a 2nd Wave has Hit Europe, and Everybody feels Distressed about How to Deal with this Virus Pandemics, and How the Democratic Institutions are going to Respond at this, Longer than Predicted, Standing Challenge", stressed from the outset CoE's Chairman-in-office, Greek Minister for European Affairs, Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, (an Experienced former Long-Time CoE Assembly's Top MEP, Elected vice-President of its Biggest Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Introducing an Interview of Stanford University Professor Josiah Ober, about the Historic InSights that can Bring a Timely Comparison Between the Plague which Killed Many People during the Ancient Greek Democracy of Athens, 2,5 Thousand Years Ago, and the Contemporary, 2020 Deadly Virus' Crisis.

In this regard, the current CoE's Greek Presidency (5-11/2020) plans to Culminate, on November 2020, with an Official Declaration of the PanEuropean, 47 Member Countries-strong Organisation of Strasbourg, on the situation of Human Rights and Democracy in Times of Pandemics, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newgreekagendaforcoechair2020.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/greekcoepresidency2020.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeleadersonhumanrightsandvirus.html, etc).  

I.e. an Obviously, more and more Topical Issue, of Growing Importance, as, it appears, inter alia, Also by Various Relevant Protest Popular Movements and/or Demonstrations, Including, f.ex., those in Germany, from Berlin to Munich, etc., (Even with the Active Participation of RF. Kennedy, Son of Murdered USA Justice Secretary and Pesidential Candidate Robert Kennedy, and Nephew of also Murdered US President John Kennedy : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/kennedyjrinberlinonvirusandweb.html, etc), which, in Fact, Extended much Further than Controversies on Virus' Policy alone, Raising, More Widely, various Interesting Issues on Democracy and Human Rights Nowadays and in the foreseable Future.

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Going well Beyond Erzats (and Potentialy Anti-Democratic, Oppressive) Banalities Against so-called "Populism" or "Conspirationism", and so on, Vaguely "Copied and Pasted" by an Establishment Medias' youngster cosy employee, it's the Main Conclusions of Josiah Ober which seem to be really Interesting, Surprizingly appearing to Back "Eurofora" co-Founder's long-time Project and Legal Research on Dialogue with Citizens during Public Decision-Making.  

Among others, 3 Main Points :

(A) Despite some Hard Apperances, in Fact, [then Direct] Democracy is more Resilient than it seems : F.ex., it Continued to Function in Athens, Even during the Plague, and the Peloponesian War, against Sparta. (Plague killed 1 out of 4 Athenian People, even Popular Leader Pericles Died at its 2nd Year, But a Decline came Only 25 Years Later, i.e. Long After that Plague, so, it could be, probably, due also to Other Factors). Meanwhile, inter alia, Moreover, Socrates' Philosophy (NDLR : with his Famous "Dialogues", etc), Followed by Platon, etc., was being Developed...

(B) "Collective Self-Government by the People" is Not Automatically, Neither Fully Identical to "Liberal Democracy"'s conception Based on "Rights and Justice". => In Consequence, a (ReNegotiable) Bargain is Needed. (I.e., something apparently, Near "Eurofora" CoFounder's Legal Research about Law being, in Substance, the "Crystalisation of a Provisional Compromise, Based on a Balance Between Different Socio-Political Forces").

(C) In Future : "Hope" for "Inventing" a "New Form", Based, Mainly, on "Humanity"'s Unique Capacity to Reasonably Communicate (= "Talk to each-other", i.e. almost as "Eurofora" Co-Founder's Project and Legal Research on "Dialogue with Citizens in Public Decision-Making", as Socrates' famous "Dialectics") ?

-----

+ Almost TEXTO (the Main Concluding Point, of Josiah Ober) :


 - "The Next Generation Needs to Think about How to ReFormulate the Civic Bargain", (Comp. "Eurofora" Co-Founder's : "Crystalisation of a Provisional Compromise Based on a Balance of Forces"). i.e. the Bargain that Citizens make among them, Deciding How Much Self Goverment, How Much Social Justice,) How much the Rich or the Non-Rich might Receive, etc. It "Needs to be Stable enough", But "Can be ReNegociated OverTime". With "Stability and Flexibility". At the Heart of such a "Democracy" lies = "Making an Agreement, Basicaly a Bargain. Not to Get Everything, but Each gets More than he had. Not All or Nothing". (Comp. Supra).

=> Journalist's Question : - "What gives you Optimism for the Future ?"


>>> Ober's Final Reply : "Humans are Cooperative Creatures ! Compared to Other Primates (f.ex. Chimpajies, Gorillas, etc), it's Amazing how Able We are for Cooperation, at Large Scale, and Over Time". (NDLR : However, Only that, Obviously does Not Go much Further than ... the Ants, which are also very Good in Collective Cooperation, as anyone who has Observed their amazing Activities can Find).

+ "We (Humans) are, Also, Capable of REASON, ... and we have this Remarcable Capacity for COMMUNICATION. ... We Can SPEAK TO EACH-OTHER !" (NDLR : i.e. Hold a Dialogue).

=> "And, With Sociability (i.e. Cooperation), With Capacity to Reason, with this Remarkable Capacity to Communicate, We (Humans) Can do absolutely Amazing things".

>>> "...That's, Basically, ARISTOTES' Conception of Politics... I think Aristotes' was Right !".

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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