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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 ?

Parašė ACM
Monday, October 30, 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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    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
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    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

----------------------------------

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

-----------------------------------   

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

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     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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