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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
Wednesday, 10 October 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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    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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