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Home arrow newsitems arrow PanEuropean CoE kickStarts ReNovated Data Protection Treaty with EU + Russia Support, but Global Aim

PanEuropean CoE kickStarts ReNovated Data Protection Treaty with EU + Russia Support, but Global Aim

Written by ACM
mercredi, 10 octobre 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- It's with Stong Support by Both the Franco-German core of the EU, but also the UK, and Russia, as well as various key Countries from Other Continents, that CoE's PanEuropean Organisation succesfully Launched Today, in its Headquarters in Strasbourg, the collective signature of its ReNovated Treaty on Data Protection, a Domain in which CoE is an Historic Pioneer, already as early as since the 1980ies, but which clearly has, Nowadays an Ambitious Aim to Both UpDate (in Digital, Trans-Border Data Flow, Artificial Intelligence, Genetics, and National Security new Challenges), and particularly Extend its Legal Mechanism towards a Trans-Continental, (open also to Other Regional/International Organisations) and even Global Horizon in the foreseable Future.  

                                                                                                              Carefully Negotiated, previously, Both with the EU, (including a very active UK, despite or most probably because of its imminent BREXIT), and with Russia, as well as Other European and Non-European Countries, CoE's New, ReNovated Convention for the Protection of Persons vis a vis the Automatic Treatment of Personal Data, (known as Treaty "108 +"), now has an largely Similar Content to that of EU's brand New relevant "Directive", which has just Entered into force Earlier this Year, but is Strongly Backed by the EU mainly Because it offers a Unique Possibility to considerably Extend the Area where such Rules are applied, also throughout Other European, Non-EU Countries, as well as accross a much Wider, International Space.

 

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    - This is, indeed, the Main Interest for the EU to Back this Move, and for EU Member Countries to Join it too, stressed in Reply to an "Eurofora"'s Question, the competent CoE's Director for Data Protection, Sophie Kwasny, during a Press Briefing with Journalists earlier in Strasbourg. In Exchange, Non-EU and even Non-European Countries, by Joining that move, become able to claim that they use the Same Rules as all Europe, in such an extensively Trans-Border Issue Nowadays as Personal Data's protection, she added.


    + Thus, it's mainly at the Creation of "a Unique Forum for Cooperation in this field at Global Level", that CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, a former Prime Minister of Norway, pointed during his Speech at the event organized Today for the Opening to Signature of that Convention's New, Amending and UpDating Protocol.


    - Concerning such EU - CoE Cooperations in general, the New EU Ambassador to Strasbourg, former EU Commissioner and Foreign Minister of Bulgaria, Miss Kuneva, recently stressed, indeed, that what is really at Stake is "Global Governance", (See, f.ex.: ..., etc).


    => Thus, among the 21 States' Representatives, who Signed Today this New CoE's Legal Instrument for Data Protection, are Included also the Franco-German "core" of the EU, as well as the UK, Together with Other Both Western (f.ex. Spain, Austria, Sweden, Netherlands, Belgium, Portugal, etc) and Eastern EU Member States, (f.ex. Estonia, Finland, Czech Republic, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, etc), including several Small but particularl Active in Trans-Border Data Flows, Countries, (such as Luxembourg, Ireland, etc), extended also to key Non-EU but European Countries, from Norway to Monaco, and particularly Russia, but even a Non-European Country from Latin America, as Uruguay, (in fact, an Original Country with a Unique Synthesis of various European Origin Populations, and an Economy, as well as a Strategic Location, which is often Compared to a kind of Latino-American Switzerland)...


    + Moreover, well Beyond EU's 27 and CoE's 47 Member States, the Historic CoE's Old Convention on Data Protection, (a Pioneer Legal tool dating from the 1980ies), has Already attracted anOther 6 Non-European Countries, (Both from Africa : Tunisia, Senegal, Cabo Verde, Mauritius, and soon Morocco, Burkina Faso, as well as from Latin America : Mexico, and soon Argentina, etc), Totaling 53 current and 56 Future Members, while there are also Various Other Countries accross the World, which have reportedly used CoE's Convention as a "Model", and participate as "Observers" in its Monitoring Committee, gathering almost 70 Countries, until now.


    Among its various Innovations, this CoE's New Legal Instrument includes also Persons' Rights vis a vis Algorithms f.ex. in Artificial Intelligence, has UpGraded Genetic and BioMetric Data in the Categorie of "Sensitive" Data, and deals even with "National Security" issues, (on the Basis mainly of ECHR's case-law), while the EU's Directive does Not, since the EU prefers to do that through Specific Tools concerning Police Cooperation, etc.


    Another Original character of this New CoE's Tool, is that it provides also for a Accelerated Entry into Force, at least among those Member States which will Ratify it, even BEFORE the accession of All the 53 current Member Countries of CoE's Old Convention on Data Protection, dating from the 1980ies : From the moment that at least 38 Member Countries will have Ratified it.


    => I.e. the New Rules can Enter into Force with Only +17 more Member States, (in Addition to the 21 which have already Signed Today), while CoE itself has 47 Member States. I.e. in a rather Short Foreseable Future, (which will also set Immediately in motion the ReNovated Convention's "Monitoring" Mechanism, already prepared and Ready to Start Working asap).


    Last, but not least : Significant of the Interest that the Incoming, New CoE's rotating Presidency by Finland (November 2018 - May 2019) shows for this ReNovated and Extensible Data Protection, is also the Fact that it send to Strasbourg's event of Collective Signature, its Seretary of State, in the Foreign Ministry, Matti Anttonen, while Lithuania also send its vice-Minister of Justice, Irma Gudziunaite, all the Other Signatory Countries having used their Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives to the CoE, (with the only Exception of Uruguay, which send to Strasbourg's ceremony its Ambassador to France).

 

(../..)

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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

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- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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