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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Spokesman Holtgen to EF on French President Macron Talks with SG Jagland: Russia + ECHR Issues ?

CoE Spokesman Holtgen to EF on French President Macron Talks with SG Jagland: Russia + ECHR Issues ?

Written by ACM
Monday, 30 October 2017

 

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/-  Among the most Topical Questions that the PanEuropean Organisation's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, former Prime Minister of Norway and NOBEL Peace Prize Oslo Committee's Chair, and New French President, Emmanuel Macron, (who is due to Chair the CoE on 2019) are due to Discuss, Tomorrow, about Noon, at CoE's "European Palace", in Strasbourg, for about 2O or 30 Minutes, might also be the Russian Issue, confirmed to "Eurofora", CoE's Communications' Director, and Press Spokesman, David Holtgen.   

   
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    - "I Think (that) it's quite Possible, because they Spoke about Russia also the Last Time, in Paris, at the End of August" 2017, where it was "Part of the Discussion", he reminded, in Reply to our relevant Question.


    Controversial moves in CoE's Assembly had striped Russian MEPs from their Voting and key Participation Rights, back on 2014 and 2015, on Pretext of the Conflict between a Kiev's new Government and pro-Autonomy Donetsk/Luhansk Regions, as well as Crimea's ReUnification with mainland Russia, following a Violent Change of Regime, partly Provoked by some Strange Deadly "Snipers" curiously Killing Both Demonstrators and Policemen, (as former Estonian Foreign Minister, and currently MEP, Paet had noted), so that a written Agreement between former President Yanukovich and the Dissidents, brokered with the Help of French, German and Polish Foreign Ministers, for Amnesty, a National Unity Government, and New Elections before the End of the Year, was Droped, Dividing the Country.


    Moscow reacted to PACE's Sanctions by Withdrawing its MEPs, and Recently Started to Stop Paying its Financial Contribution to CoE's Budget (+10% of the Total), until respect for its MEPs' Rights would be Guaranteed. For Next Year, the Last Opportunity to find a Compromise is on January 2018.


    + Meanwhile, CoE is just Starting to Prepare an Exceptional New Summit of Heads of State/Government from All its 47 Member States (including Russia), and that Divisive Issue was Recently Discussed Both by its Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly, as a Problem to Solve asap.


    - So, "I think, yes, I'd Expect that they Will Speak (also) about Russia Tomorrow", Holtgen clearly reiterated.


    - Meanwhile, as far as it concerns Jagland's recent Visit to Moscow, CoE's Spokesman has already observed that "he had Constructive Meetings, with 3 or 4 Partners there", including "the Foreign Minister Mr (Sergei) Lavrov, with the President of the Federation Councli, (Valentina) Matvienko, with the (New) Speaker of the Duma, (Vyacheslav) Volontin, and with the Human Rights' (New) OmbudsWoman", (Tatiana Moskalkova), as he reminded.


    - "All Together, it was a Constructive Visit, and, Yes, We (CoE) Hope that a Solution can be found", the Press Spokesman concluded, apparently implying that much needs yet to be done.


     - So, "I think that this will be Also a Topic when Jagland meets Macron, Tomorrow", Holtgen confirmed.


     - In Fact, it is Expected that "this would be more about the (PanEuropean) Convention (on Human Rights), the Council of Europe (itself, which notoriously eyes a New Heads of State/Government Summit to prepare for 2019, while France is due to undertake its Rotating Chairmanship), and the (Russian) Membership to the Council", he Highlighted.


     - "I will be there, at that Meeting", between COE's Secretary General and the new French President, "But we shall Wait (before saying anything in Public), at least "until the conclusion of his Speech" at the ECHR, he warned.


    - Because, Tomorrow, "All Eyes will be on Macron !", who is "Expected", inter alia, f.ex., "to Announce", eventually, "the End of the State of Emergency" in France, after having been Hardly hit by Deadly Islamist Terrorism, nowadays in The course of being Defeated in Syria and Iraq, (as Macron had previously Estimated), "and put that against the Background of the (PanEuropean) Court", he speculated.


    - On the Contrary, Despite recent Developments on Syria/Iraq, "I don't expect that to be an issue here" in Strasbourg, Now, Holtgen, perhaps too quickly droped a relevant "Eurofora"s question, Despite the Fact that Famous Yazidi Lady, Nadia Murad, former Prisoner of ISIS' Terrorists, who was Awarded Both CoE's prestigious "Vaklav Havel" Prize and EU Parliament's "Zacharov" Prize, has Notoriously Denounced the Scandalous Impunity of RingLeaders and Instigators of Horrible Crimes which have systematically Targetted innocent Civilian People. And she Met with French Foreign Minister Drian in Paris just before his Venue in Strasbourg last September 2017, where CoE's Parliamentary Assembly has, more Recently, Earlier this October 2017, debated and Adopted a Resolution Asking for Justice to be done and all those Responsible for Genocide attempts and Other such Heavy and Sadic Crimes to be Found, Judged and Punished, according to ECHR's case-law.


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    + Meanwhile, the recently Elected, New President of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, Head of Cyprus' Delegation, Stella Kuyriakides, a ChristianDemocat/EPP MEP, former Chairwoman of PACE's Social, Health and Sustainable Development Committee, (See, f.ex., her Replies to "Eurofora" Questions on her Forthcoming Agenda, during the Short but Crucial for CoE - Russia relations, Period of October 2017 - 22 January 2018, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentkyriakidestoeurofora.html +Other Relevant NewsReports at ..., etc), might usefully Help on that pending and "Hot" matter, Holtgen estimated :


 - "I would say that, the New President of PACE, definitively Plays a Key Role in a possible Solution" of the Russian issue, CoE's Press Spokesman stressed positively.


   Kyriakides, who is also Expected to eventually Visit herself Moscow asap, recently Thanked Russia for the Liberation of 2 Turkish Tatar Dissidents in Crimea, (whose predominantly and Historically Russian-Speaking large Majority of Population, had Largely Voted a Referendum for the Peninsula's Return Back into the Russian Federation, in conditions which, however, were Not Recognized by Most Foreign Countries yet.


 - Even, "quite apart from the SG, (i.e. independently from an eventual "Coordination" between Jagland and Kyriakides, as "Eurofora" suggested), and regardless of the fact that, in the meantime, "there was (an) Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) meeting that she was not able to attend", "However, she said, on her policy towards Moscow, that she Hoped that there will be Possibilities to have a Dialogue with the Russian (MEPs') Delegation (to CoE's Assembly), at a Later Stage".


 - "I reckon and assume that it Will Happen, what she said. And that it will happen in a Timely manner", indeed, Holtgen commented, (while the Moment for Decisions on CoE's Annual Budget for 2018 approaches, with the imminent venue of November 2017, during which CoE's Committee of Ministers has to be Fixed on his overall Financial possibilities for the Year Ahead).


 - That's why, "I definitively think that she (PACE's New President) has a Key Role to Play, also", the PanEuropean Organisation's Press Spokesman concluded in his reply to "Eurofora".

 

+ Recently in Brussels, in a Parallel Move, EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, speaking to Journalists, including "Eurofora", in the Middle of EU Heads of State/Governments' exchanges for the 1st of the 2 Days-Long Summit there (19-20 October 2017), expressed his Regret for the Fact that it has Not Yet been Possible to give him an Official Mandate in order to Negotiate with Russia about the forerseeable Future and Partial or Total, progressive or fast, eventual Lift of Economic Sanctions, (which notoriously Affect also EU Coutries' Economy by Dividing the European Continent, as OECD's experienced Head, Angel Guria, has already Warned "Eurofora", previously at the CoE in Strasbourg: See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/oecdheadaskssolutionforukraine.html, etc).


- It's mainly a current "Lack of Unanimity" (and Not of Majority) inside EU's Council, according to what he said, which extended such an Obstacle further. But Juncker apparently believes that EU Commission should get such a Mandate on Time, in view of possible such EU - Russia Talks, by a Timely Coincidence, also around the Beginning of 2018, (See  "Eurofora"s relevant NewsReport from Brussels at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/junckerforeurussia.html).  


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+ Meanwhile, it's also Cyprus' President, Nicos Anastassiades himself, who has just Visited Moscow and met Both with Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev, and with President Vladimir Putin, that is due to eventually meet also with the French President Emmanuel Macron, possibly Next Week in Paris, (as Cyprus' Government Press Spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides, recently warned "Eurofora" during the latest EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Brussels: Comp. f.ex., also: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/merkeloneusummitandturkey.html, etc, from the spot).


Both Russia and France are also Permanent Members of UNO's Security Council, where Paris is currently holding the rotating Chairmanship.

 

(../..)


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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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