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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 ?

Pisac ACM
30. 10. 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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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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