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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE: Raise Awareness at Top Political level for Need of a Solution to key Political Crisis on Russia

CoE: Raise Awareness at Top Political level for Need of a Solution to key Political Crisis on Russia

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 07 November 2018

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- PanEuropean, 47 Member Countries-strong, CoE's Highest Political body: its Committee of Ministers, replying, through its President-in-office, the Croatian vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Marija Pejcinovic-Buric, (comp. other Buric's + Croatian Prime Minister Ploenkovic's Statements to "Eurofora" f.ex. at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminoritiesprotection20yearsafter.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/primeministerplenkoviconeucoecoop.html, etc), to Questions raised by 2 MEPs at CLRAE's Plenary Session (6-8 November 2018), earlier Today in Strasbourg, stressed that the current Problem concerning Russian Delegation's prolonged Absence from CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, following Sanctions it took (paradoxically with a Minority of MEPs !) after the controversial Ukranian Conflict of 2014, (See, among many others, also, f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminorityamendmentpushesrussianmepsout.html, etc), which resulted also in a recent Suspension of Moscow's annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, that might soon be exploited by those who seek to Push Russia Out of Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation, (Comp., among others, also : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeandrussiaukrainerow.html, etc),

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=> stressed that this is an "Important Political Crisis", which "requires for a Political Solution", and Urged to "Raise Awareness at the Highest Political Level", during the Short period of Time currently available, (particularly before a Key meeting of CoE Assembly's Committee on Rules, scheduled for December 10, 2018, due to Finalise a relevant Report),

as she said, practically at the Eve of an exceptional International Summit in Paris, with about +80 Heads of  State/Government, next Sunday, at the Initiative of President Emmanuel Macron of France, (which takes soon CoE's Preidency, from May 2019), on the occasion of the Centenary Anniversary of the 1st World War's Armistice (1918 - 2018), placed under the overall Aim to create (in the presence of UNO's Secretary General, Antonio Guterres),  a Paris' "Forum pour la Paix".

 
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- The vice-President of CLRAE's biggest Political Group : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, Alexander Drozdenko, from Russia, noted that "a Legal Opinion", recently prepared "at the Initiative of (CoE's) Secretary General (Thornbjorn Jagland, a former Prime Minister of Norway), and the  Chairmanship (of COE's Committee of Ministers by Croatia), found that the "the Deprivation of Powers" of any MEPs, including the Russians, (f.ex. to Vote, Speak, Participate, etc), "Contradict CoE's Statute", the European Convention for Human Rights, and International Law in general".

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- But, in the Meantime, an "Institutional Crisis is Mounting within the COE" in this regard, he reminded, Denouncing, inter alia, also the Fact that Other COE's Bodies (including, f.ex., also the CLRAE, etc), have practically become "Hostage" of this Problem, which "Affects their Budgetary, Program and Staffing issues", while they remain as "Unique and efficient Platforms for Cooperation ... from 47 Member States at the COE", (including Russia, but also Ukraine, Turkey, etc, while USA a.o. have a Special Oberver Status).


=> Therefore, in a Question Tabled to the CoE's Highest Political body : its Committee of Ministers, (which is always in the Agenda of CLRAE's Plenary Sessions), he Asked "What further Measures" is taking "the Croatian Chairmanship", "before the end of its term", (May-November 2018), "in order to Overcome the Crisis ?"

 

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+ In Addition, Brittish MEP Andrew Boff, (vice-President of the Conservative Group in CLRAE), reminded that the Latest CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's Plenary, on October 2018, "did Not produce any Solutions", in that Crisis, and, pointing at what he called "Contradicting Statements of Leading Russian Politicians, concerning the Role of their Country in the CoE", Asked whether it has "any Signals ...about Whether Russia Wants to Stay in the Organisation, ...or ...Wants to Leave ?"

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- In the 1st Case, Boff urged Russia "to honour its Commitments, in Time, (including the Financial ones)", and invited the COE's Committee of Ministers to take "Measures" "in order to Find a Way Out of this Major Political and Institutional Crisis".


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- Before these Topical Questions, raised in Public Today Afternoon, Marija Pejcinovic-Buric had Simply mentioned, (by Reading the General, collective Report on behalf of CoE's Committee of Ministers), that among the various "Political Difficulties" that CoE currently Faces, are "also Russia"'s issues.


- "One of them is the decision by Russia to Suspend its Financial Contribution to the Budget" of the CoE, that we "Regret", But "Continue to Hope", particularly that Moscow "will Revise that Decision", finding a solution.


  - This is "Not Only in order to Safeguard all its (Russia's) Role inside the CoE, and for the Organisation to be able to function normaly". +"But also, and mainly, in order to enable Many Millions of (Russian a.o.) People to still be Protected", particularly by the ECHR (and other Rights provided by CoE's Legal Conventions : F.ex. against Torture, Corruption, Terrorism, and for Justice's Efficiency, Minorities' Protection, Cultural Heritage, etc).


 - "However, we (CoE), Must be Prepared for Any Eventual Outcome", she had Warned, then.


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+  Afterwards, Buric went Further Ahead, in her Replies to the above-mentioned MEPs' Questions, where the President in office of CoE's Committee of Ministers started by observing the Fact that "COE is very much Affected by that Political and Financial Crisis".


- But, even if it really has also "Important Financial implications", (since Russia was led to Suspend its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, after Years of Obstacles for its MEPs to participate in CoE's Parliamentary Assembly without too Hard Sanctions, (Comp. Supra), in fact, "it's First and foremost a Political problem, which Requires a Political Solution !", she stressed.


- However, despite several and various relevant Meetings, (with COE's Secretary General, its Parliamentary Assembly, its Committee of Ministers, etc), during which, the Croatian Presidency of he CoE, "Tried to Find a Way out of the current Impasse", and which had, Recently, created some positive "Expectations", as Buric reminded,
nevertheless, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, last Month (October 2018), "Send the (relevant) Report Back to Committee", declining to adopt it now, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeandrussiaukrainerow.html, etc). Therefore, "the Process is Still On-Going".


>>> So that "Now, we have to see What it will Lead to", (particularly at a Key Next Meeting of CoE Assembly's Committee on Rules, scheduled for December 10, 2018 : I.e. just Before the Next CoE Assembly's Plenary : on January 2019, which will be Decisive for the Annual Participation of Russian MEPs during 2019, under the current rules, almost Immediately Followed by possible Threats against Russia in general, as long as it's pushed to maintain its decision to Suspend its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE : Comp., f.ex. : ..., etc).


=> In the Present context, "from a Political point of view, I believe that it's Important to have a Greater Awareness of the current Crisis, ... at the Highest Political Level, also in the Capitals !", urged Today in Conclusion CoE's President-in-office.


+ At any case, as far as Russia's own Wish is concerned, nonobstant some previous "Contradictory" claims by one or another Politician, (as Brittish MEP Boff had pointed out, Comp. Supra),


-  "I Recently saw a Report from a Telephone conversation between CoE's Secretary General (Thornbjorn Jagland, from Norway) and the Russian Foreign Minister" (Sergei Lavrov), vice-Prime Minister Marija Buric revealed Today, on behalf of the Croatian Presidency of the COE.


>>> There "he (Lavrov) is reported as telling Jagland that Russia Wants to Stay in the CoE !", she stressed. I.e. Supporting also a Similar Information, earlier cited by Alexander Drozdenko, in his Oral presentation of his above-mentioned Question, (Comp. Supra), that Lavrov would have clearly "Confirmed that Russia Wants to Stay in the CoE", (also in Statements made during a Visit to Spain, yesterday).

 

As if in order to Mark that even better, Russian Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Ivan Soltanovsky, has just Signed CoE's reNovated Convention for the Protection of Personal Data, of big importance in Modern Digital Technologies, (see: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coenewdataprotectionhasglobalaim.html), and is due to sign also, this week, CoE's Convention for the protection of the European Cultural Heritage, (Partly UPDATED)...


+ Thus, Russia "would Only Leave (from the CoE) IF Other Countries make a Move to Expell it", Buric added.


=> In consequence, "so, the CoE is (currently) Looking for a Solution to the Crisis", she concluded, Underlying the Fact that, Now, this is done "at the Highest Political Level", (Comp. Supra).


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Indeed, in this regard, it's Interesting to note also the Fact that, already, at the Beginning of this Week, the Future CoE's President for May - November 2019, French President Emmanuel Macron, during his Recent Visit to Strasbourg, together with the German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier, Last Sunday, 4 November 2018, (See f.ex., "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eupeacemoveatstakeinuselection.html + ..., etc), had an occasion to Meet and Exchange here also with COE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, (former Norway Prime Minister, and Top Member of Oslo Committee for NOBEL "Peace" Prize), as well as with the New President of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, Mrs Liliane Maury-Pasquier, a mainstream Swiss MEP former Head of the Socialist Group, (Comp. Pasquier's Replies to various "Eurofora"'s Questions, f.ex., at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentpasquier.html + ..., etc), as well as Other CoE's Top Officials, including ECHR's President, Guido Raimondi, from Italy, particularly during an Evening Reception at Rohan's Castle.   


+ Moreover, before the End of this Week, next Saturday and Sunday around Paris (10 + 11 November 28), several Top Key Protagonists of this COE's Affair between Moscow and Strasbourg, are due to Meet during the forthcoming Summit for the 100th Anniversary since the End of the 1st World War and a New "Paris Forum for Peace", organized by French President Emmanuel Macron, including, f.ex. among others also the Russian President Vladimir Putin, USA's President Don Trump, German Chancellor Angie Merkel, Ukranian President Pedro Poroshenko, and much more, (f.ex. from EU's point of view). Will be added, at least Next Monday, November 12, also CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, invited to Speak also at an International Forum on the Web, (while the "Forum for Peace" would Continue, in parallel, during 2 more Days), etc.


So that, even if the Main USA - Russia Top Meeting, between Trump and Putin, may take place particularly, Later-on, during the forthcoming "G20" Summi in Argentina, on November 30 - December 1st, nevertheless, almost All the Other potentially influential Top Meetings around the CoE- Russia Issue, could, at least in Theory, start already Nowadays in Paris.


I.e. in Time for the Key CoE Assembly's (PACE) Rules Committee meeting of December 10, (due to Review a Crucial Report, affecting also Russian MEP's Future Participation), which is one of the Last collective relevant PanEuropean Gatherings (besides PACE's Standing Committee's meeting at Helsinki, on November 23, under Finland's rotating Chairmnship of the CoE, for 11/2018 - 5/2019), before a Decisive Yearly Rendez-vous at PACE's next Plenary in Strasbourg, on January 2019, (Comp.: ..., etc).


After that, in Fact, "Time becomes too Short", as various Experienced CoE's observers have recently noted, in this PanEuropean affair..., (Even if, "Nothing is Impossible", as some Others, mysteriously claimed, howeever always Adding a big "IF" !).


+ Meanwhile, it's also Imporant to note also the Fact that such Developments around Russia, Obviously of Crucial Importance for the Present and Future of CoE's "PanEuropean" GeoPolitical and Legal role, unfold almost at the Same Period that the Latest COE's Top Foreign Ministerial Summit, of last May 2018 in Denmark, decided to Launch a Series of Reforms, aiming also to reach a Joint Vision of CoE's Future, and Reflect on its main Mission and the "Essentials" of its "New Horizon", (concerning Policies, Governance, Relations to Other Intenational Organisations, f.ex. EU, etc), as Buric has just Highlighted in her Report to the CLRAE, (Comp. Supra)


So that it may not just be a simple "Coincidence", for the PanEuropean dimension of Strasbourg's Organisation, the fact that the above-mentioned, latest Annual CoE's Foreign Ministerial Summit, symbolically took place at the World Famous "Elsinor" Castle, where Shakespeare's Hamlet notoriously pronounced this Key Dillema : - "To be, or Not to be : That's the Question !"...

 

(../..)

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It's important to create a synergy between "mutually stimulating" EU Countries' moves in order to overcome an "Unjust" Crisis "imported from USA", stressed new French Minister for Economic Revival, Patrick Devedjian, in Strasbourg, warning also that, while hoping for a vigorous Obama US Plan, nevertheless, "Time" is of essence for Europe...

In fact, it's EU's own interest to act Fast, before June 2009 EU Election, since, with Lisbon Treaty not ratified yet, it cannot face again the risk of a Majority Abstention, as back in 1999 and 2004, nor another "anti-EU" mood among Citizens, as in the 2005 French and Dutch "No", followed by the 2008 Irish "No", without endangering rare Historic opportunities, currently open for the EU, whose future is at stake.

From Social issues up to High-Tech Scientific Research, concrete action for Economic revival started from Strasbourg and its European dimension, for the new super-Minister Patrick Devedjian, who visited a Popular Social Housing and Infrastructure project at nearby Hagenau village, before meeting new leaders of Strasbourg's unified mega-University in a Scientific Labo at the Campus, close to EU Parliament and CoE headquarters.

Devedjian, who met also with all the spectrum of Local Political  deciders of Alsace region, close to FrancoGerman borders, wants for deeds to meet the words, in real practice, whenever politicians speak about Strasbourg and Europe's development.

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Devedjan to "EuroFora" : "European coordination can act as a multiplicator by mutual stimulations"
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Devedjian was questioned by "Euro-Fora" on his expectations for reciprocal effects of coordinated European plans :

- "We are living in a (European and Global) system where borders are transparent : When we take measures in France, they produce effects also in Germany, in Belgium, Italy, Spain, or other EU countries, and vice-versa. "So, we can have mutually stimulating effects between national revival Plans, if they are somehow coordinated", ..."They can augment each other's effects, acting as multiplicators and levers". "As a State stimulates Local authorities and Private business, similarly, each EU country's economic revival plan may multiply the effects of other EU countries' actions", he told us.

- "F.ex., when I visited Strasbourg University's Scientific labos, they told me that part of the renovation, funded by France, is realized by German companies located only a few Kms away from the border. Thus, the French revival plan benefits also the German economy. And vice-versa : when Germany takes certain measures, they can have beneficial effects also for French companies"

In an era of Globalisation, "nobody can close and isolate himself inside a Fish-Bowl !", he concluded.
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Economy's revival starts from Strasbourg and Europe, for new French Minister Devedjian
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This could be one of the reasons for which the new French Minister for Economic Stimulus chose to make his 1st visit to Strasbourg, the headquarters of European and Paneuropean Institutions, in the Franco-German river borders at the heart of Europe.

- "It was President Sarkozy's idea", he revealed, adding also fresh "support to Strasbourg's European vocation, not only with words, but also with deeds" :F.ex., the completion of a High-Speed Train network, due to stimulate fast links with Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary and other central EU Countries.

- "This Crisis is Unjust for Europe, because it wasn't its fault". The greatest part of the "Crisis was imported from the USA, where problems are deeper than here'', in the EU. The Crisis "wasn't due to a bad managment by Europe", who was affected by problems which emerged elsewhere. That's why Europe must be united and active enough to face this challenge. said Devedjian, who has just won +5% in popularity...

- "I hope that there will be an "Obama-effect" also on Economy, and that the Plan of the New American President will be substantial enough to face this crisis, which is worse in the USA than in our area", Europe, he added.

"Economic Revival overcomes political divisions : F.ex. Strasbourg's Socialist Mayor "Ries agreed that State actions funded by Public Debt are justified during such exceptional circumstances", noted the Center-Right republican Minister.

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"Zeitnot" for 2009 EU Elections ?

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"My problem is Time", stressed Devedjian from the outset, at Strasbourg's University. "I have to engage 75% of funds in 2009, out of a total of 29 Billion euros", he explained later. "Monitoring will be of essence", because we must "avoid bureaucracy or delays. No project should get lost or neglected in complex meanders of adminstrative offices' moving sands", he warned.

- "I must create activities in the middle of the Crisis", he added. Questioned by EuroFora whether he aims to start creating some "hopes before the June 2009 EU Elections", Devedjian, a former leader of the Governing Political Party in France: UMP, did not immediately reply, but revealed, later, that he "hoped to start at least some Projects on May 2009, even if the bulk of Revival Plan's effects are "expected from Autumn 2009".

However, with only 30% of EU Citizens currently aiming to cast a vote at the forthcoming EU Elections on June, (See other NewStory), the  coordinated moves' results are expected to be crucial for Citizens' participation and votes at the forthcoming June 2009 EU Elections throughout all 27 EU Member Countries...Thus, it's vital for all Europe's own Future that coordinated national Economic revival plans start to have concrete results and create hopes for new dynamics before the June 2009 EU Election...

A real challenge, since careful choices are needed : Our aim is to fund projects which "create activities", even "in the middle of the crisis", and have a "lever effect, attracting other investments", Devedjian said. Because the "Stimulus' Plan has 2 aims : A Tactical one : to create New Activities. And a Strategic one : Choose what can become efficient and useful also in the Long-term". 

- "Are you ready ?", he asked Strasbourg University's new President, professor Alain Beretz, with some 700 million euros in his pockets for Education-Research in France. - "We are !", he replied.

- "The Minister's initiative can accelerate funds, and Time is important for us. This concerns the entire renovation of all our buildings", said to "EuroFora" President, Beretz. "I showed some Scientific Research Labos to Mr. Devedjian. But, If we had more time, I could show him also some Education Amphis, whose condition needs to meet Strasbourg's new Mega-University's ambition" to reach the 10 best in the World, as Prime Minister Fillon earlier anounced here.

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(Devedjian kicks off his Economic Revival tour from Strasbourg University, meeting with its new chairman Beretz, at Scientific Institute Le Bel) 

-----

Regional Prefectures should gather and select projects to be presented for decision before the end of January 2009.

A well-known close friend of President Sarkozy, who succeeded as EU Chairman to launch, in agreement with German chancelor Merkel and even British prime minister Brown, vigorous EU actions against the Financial/Economic Crisis, (starting from the 1st Historic Summit of EuroZone's Heads of State/Government, October 12 at Elysee Palace, followed by Washington G20 Global Summit), Devedjan will have a key role in the realisation of National and EU plans recently agreed in Brussels.

President Sarkozy is expected to arrive himself in Strasbourg, on the occasion of the official inauguration of its brand New Mega-Hospital, on the 9th of January 2009, at the eve of EU Parliament's session here, Elysee confirmed shortly after Devedjian's visit.

EU is due to review its economic revival plans at March 2009 EU Council in Prague, before the April 2 London Global Summit.

***

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Multi-facet concrete activities at focus : Stimulus Minister Devedjian at the Political, Social and High-Tech fronts in Strasbourg...

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