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Pagina principale 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

Scritto da ACM
martes, 23 enero 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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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
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CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

tomllinson

Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

hancock

"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

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PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

vries

Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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