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Home arrow newsitems arrow PACE Talks on Russian MEPs and CoE's Future Started + Continue on March 2018 in Paris

PACE Talks on Russian MEPs and CoE's Future Started + Continue on March 2018 in Paris

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 23 January 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Will Spring 2018 bring a Thaw in the Controversy on CoE Assembly and Russian MEPs, "Frozen" since 2014, when a Minority droped an Initial Deal and put Heavier Sanctions on pretext of the Conflict provoked in Ukraine, pushing all Moscow's Elected Parliamentarians to quit the PanEuropean body, for the 1st Time in CoE's Post-Cold War History, until Moscow Government anounced on 2017 its intention to Suspend all its Annual Financial Contribution from February 2018, unless all MEPs' Equal Rights are Guaranteed ?

Not Sure at all, But Something has Started in Dialogue : That seems to be the Wider Impression left to various Participants in an Exceptional Meeting of a brand New "Ad Hoc" Committee on the Mission of COE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) and its Future, which was just Created by PACE's Bureau on December 2017, and brought Together, in a 1st Session, all National Delegations' Heads, Presidents of Political Groups of MEPs, and Chairmen of Commissions, with the participation of Russian Delegates as Duma's new vice-President Pyotr Tolstoy, experienced Senate's Foreign Affairs' Committee President Kostantin Kosacev, etc, after an Exceptionally Long Absence from Strasbourg, (where, on the Contrary, the Inter-Governemental cooperation continues, with the Russian Ambassador/Permanent Representative, Ivan Soltanovsky in CoE's Committee of Ministers and various other Sectorial bodies).
 
 
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Held behind Closed Doors, at CoE's "Room 9", at the Eve of the Year 2019 during which the PanEuropean Organisation notoriously Hopes to Organize a New Summit of Heads of State/Government bringing Together All its 47 Member Countries, to Mark the "Unity" of all Europe and its role for "Democratic Security", this Exceptional Meeting of CoE' Assembly's "Role and Mission" New Committee (Comp. Supra), concluded this Evening withOut any official Public Anouncement.
 

- However, "Eurofora" learned, after briefly meeting Ambassador Ivan Soltanovsky with Duma's new vice-President Pyotr Tolstoy and other Diplomats on their way out of CoE's main Building, that, at least, a 2nd, Follow-up Meeting of that brand New "Ad Hoc", High-Level PACE Committee was due "on March 2018, in Paris".

+ This was Confirmed, shortly Afterwards, also by the New President of PACE's Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Cezar Florin Preda, from Romania :
 
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 - Indeed, "We (PACE) Need some Time, in order to seriously Exemine the overall Situation, instead of Taking any Hasty Decisions on such a Serious matter". And "I spoke about that with the New President of the PACE, Michele Nicoletti", Preda told "Eurofora".

 - From an Ukranian source, "Eurofora" heard that the Chair of the Country's National Delegation, President of PACE's Committee on Culture, Volodymyr Ariev, "made a Statement" during Today's Meeting, as well as "2 or 3 Presidents of Political Groups", and they agreed to Postpone their work for Later-on.

- Another Experienced Collegue Journalist, from a 3rd European Country, told "Eurofora" that he met Briefly, by chance, with the President of the Russian Senate's Foreign Affairs Committee, Konstantin Kosacev, who would have qualified the Meeting as "Constructive", and "a Beginning", but without revealing now any concrete point.

- Previously, a CoE's Experienced Officer had confirmed to "Eurofora" that, in Practical Terms, the most Crucial Time Deadline for an eventual Deal which might, perhaps, incite Russia to pay, as usual, its full Annual Financial Contribution to CoE's Budget, (recenly "Freezed" because of the +3 Years-Long provoked Non-Participation of Russian MEPs in CoE's Parliamentarry Assembly, would be "towards the End of February" 2018.

=> I.e., very Close to the March 2018 Date, reportedly Chose for the Next Meeting of PACE's "Role and Mission", High-Level "Ad Hoc" Committee (Comp. Supra), which stands Also almost at the Eve of the Next Plenary Session for the Spring 2018, scheduled on April...

>>> Obviously, this Fact might, eventually, also Facilitate a possible Agreement for an adequate Change in PACE's Rules of Procedure, (as Russia notoriously asks, and EPP's Chairman, Preda, Confirmed Today : Comp. Supra), perhaps at the Next PACE's Plenary Session, (almost as "Eurofora had recently suggested... Comp.: + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coereformtoeaserussiasolution.html).

+ Meanwhile, the New President of CoE's Assembly, Italian MEP Michele Nicoletti, in his Official Inauguration Speech, Yesterday (Monday, January 22, 2018), Symbolically stressed that the CoE "Must Not Cease openly Denouncing any Violation of Human Rights, committed in Any Part of our Continent". "However, this Defense of Human Rights will be even Stronger if we (CoE) are able to Combine it with an ever Increasing Unity, between our Peoples : .. No Wall has been Able to Divide European Humanism, which canNot Thrive withOut All its .. Different Strands", he concluded, right after citting Both "Dante", "Shakespeare", "Beethoven", and "Dostoyevsky" as well as "Tolstoy".
 
 
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 imag0972_400


    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)...
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    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".

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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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