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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Legal+Human Rights Director Giakoumopoulos to EF: Europe may go Global on Data Protection

CoE Legal+Human Rights Director Giakoumopoulos to EF: Europe may go Global on Data Protection

Written by ACM
Thursday, 21 June 2018
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*Strasbourg/COE/Angelo Marcopolo/- The New CoE's Director General for Legal and Human Rights Affairs, Christos Giakoumopoulos from Greece, speaking to "Eurofora" after an International Conference, with key participants from all Continents of the World, on the Perspectives of the New EU and CoE Legal Tools for Personal Data Protection in the foreseable Future, that he Opened with an official speech at the PanEuropean COE's Headquarters in Strasbourg, pointed, in substance, to the Fact that Europe may, Nowadays, - thanks to EU-CoE close Cooperation, particularly in that area, and CoE's original Convention System,- develop also a much Wider, Global Impact in this Key Issue on Digital Technologies :


- EU and CoE have closely followed each other's recent efforts to Modernise their relevant Legal Tools, with EU's recent New Directive in that matter, which has just entered into force on May 2018, and CoE's New Version, adopted Earlier on 2018, of its Pioneer, Historic Convention "for the Protection of Individuals with regard to the Processing of Personal Data", with Experts striving to Coordinate their moves.


 - But EU's Legal System is, in principle, Focused mainly on its 28 Member States, (27 if the UK's BREXIT is soon realized), while the PanEuropean CoE, in Addition to its 47 Member States, (including Russia, etc), has also a Particular Characteristic in many among its Legal Conventions : They can (and Often are, as in the Presenrt Case) "Also Open to Any Other, 3rd Country, even Non-Member of this Organisation, and even Beyond Europe, from All over the World, Giakoumopoulos observed.


+ AnOther such relevant Case is, f.ex., also CoE's "Budapest" Convention for the Fight against "Cyber-Crime", where f.ex., in addition to Russia, it's also, often, several Key participants from the USA who take place in its widely attended Annual Conferences in Strasbourg, a Next one being, currently, Scheduled for July 2018.


=> Thus, f.ex., CoE's relevant Convention for Personal Data Protection has Already as many as 52 Member States, in its Classic Version. And, Today, during the above-mentioned Conference, several Key Participants, also from Other Continents of the World, confirmed the current Perspectives for many Important New Accessions to Both, Old and New, "Modernized" Version(s) of that landmark Legal Treaty, including, f.ex., Representatives from Mexico, Argentina, Morocco, Ghana, New Zealand, etc., (while Others, as Tunisia and Capo Verde, etc, have Already become recently Members), to which are also Added Nowadays probable Estimations even for South Korea, Japan, Chile, etc.


- Experienced CoE's Deputy Secretary General, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, from Italy, who gave a Concluding Speech at the Closing Session of Today's International Conference, significantly went as Far as to even, Characteristically  ...Play with Words and Express her Wish for COE's New, "Modernized" Version of its Landmark, Pioneer PanEuropean Convention for the protection of Individuals whenever their Personal Data are Processed, to Be Soon Named : "Global" Convention !...

 

- Nowadays, about "126 Countries", accross the World, already have some kind of "Data Protection Laws", more or less well developed, observed, meanwhile, Professor Graham Greenleaf, from Australia, before going down to more concrete Details about his Estimations on their most probable stance vis a vis Cooperation with Europe on this Topical Issue.

 

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- In fact, "what Counts most for the CoE, is that this Convention has Human Rights at its core, which currently, Face notorious Challenges in a "Connected" Environment of various Digital Communication Technologies, Giakoumopoulos went on to stress, as a matter of Principle.


+ Indeed, other Participants in this Conference, pointed also to the Fact that even the Modernized, New Version of the above-mentioned CoE's Convention makes an Explicit Reference to the Core Value of "Human Dignity".


CoE had, in fact, Already Drafted its main Text quite a Long Time Ago, but it had, Meanwhile, to Solve at least 2 Serious Problems : Find a workable Compromise mainly with Russia, (as far as it concerns Trans-Border Flow of Data and USA's role, as well as Security Issues, etc), and Discuss, moreover, how to Coordinate Efficiently with EU's parallel work on its Recent Directive, (Comp. Supra).


The Next Step for that CoE's "Convention 108", as it's Traditionaly nick-named, (Nowadays' New Version Adding a "Plus" after its Name, i.e. resulting in "Convention 108+"), is currently Scheduled for the forthcoming Autumn of 2018, when Dozens of Countries are Expected to Sign the "Modernized" Legal Document, whose Entry into Force has been Fixed by CoE's Highest Political Body, that of its Committee of Ministers, at the Threshhold of at least 37 Countries, a Number reportedly due to be reached in the next few years, if not even earlier.


The main point is that, Now, a Key Movement has Started, with a Political Will to Help it Spread World-wide, at the Greater possible Extend, in this particularly Global Issue.

 


(../..)


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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"s Subscribers/Donors, Earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).

 

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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

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    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
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"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
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    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

(../..)

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