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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Historic Votes for New Senior Officials seeking PanEuropean Visibility to 850 Millions People+

CoE Historic Votes for New Senior Officials seeking PanEuropean Visibility to 850 Millions People+

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 26 January 2021
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- An Historic Record High of MEPs' Votes were given Today to New Candidate Leaders, Both Vowing to Enhance "Visibility" and "Impact" of the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law : the CoE, HeadQuartered in Strasbourg,  throughout all the 850 Millions Citizens of the Oldest International Body in Europe, with 47 Member Countries, (Russia Included, in Addition to Closer Links with Neighbouring Southern and Eastern States, as well as "Special" Status to USA, Canada, Mexico and Japan), Moreover Often Ambitioning to Reach Even ...a "Global" Area of Influence at Certain "Key" Domains in Modern Societies, (such as, f.ex., the Fight against Cyber-Crime, Terrorism and/or Human Trafficking, Protection of Personal Data, Bio-Ethics and/or Children, etc.), through Legal Treaties Open for Signature to Any Country in the World.

+ At the Same Time, the Votes casted by CoE's MEPs Today Also Completed a Geopolitical Equilibrium among its main Leaders, Following a New Secretary General from a former "Central-Eastern" EU Country : Marija Buric-Pejčinović from Croatia, elected on 2019, Now with a Non-EU Norwegian new Deputy Secretary General : Bjorn Berge, Together with a Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) new Secretary General  from a Traditional "Western"-oriented EU Country as Greece : Despina Chatzevassiliou-Tsovilis, Both elected this January 2021, (who are Added to an ECHR President from Non-EU Iceland, Robert Spano, and PACE's President, Rik Daems, from anOther Traditional Western EU Country as Belgium, Both Elected, Meanwhile, on 2020). =>                                                                                rmer "Central-Eastern" EU, but on the Top of All...

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+ On the Methods, Both declared Willing to "Increase and Improve Contacts and Relations between the (CoE's) Committee of Ministers, its Parliamentary Assembly, the Office of Deputy SG, and the Office of the SG", all Together, as Berge stressed, soon echoed by Despina too, on that Common Point, who spoke about "Working Together",  "in Close Co-Operation", between those Key Actors.

=> The New CoE Assembly's SG also said to Feel the Need to "Enhance the Impact" of its work ", "within our 47 member-States and Beyond", (Comp. Supra).

>>> So that CoE would be "Able to Send Strong Messages, and take Concrete Action, in Defense of Human Rights, the Rule of Law, and Democracy, throughout the Continent of Europe", as Berge stressed.

- For that purpose, "It's Vital" to have "a CoE More Visible than Today", Because, "Unfortunately, the Visibility of the CoE is Astonishingly Low in Europe, amongst Our Citizens, and through All our 47 Member States", he Rightfuly Denounced. Nevertheless, "I Believe that We Can Find a Sustainable Way of Vastly Improving the Visibility, and Respect for the OutStanding Work that Our Institution does".                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                      

 - "That's  Certainly True : CoE Needs a much Better Communication. That's for Sure !", Despina also stressed, Speaking Afterwards to "Eurofora". Particularly since "I'm immensely Grateful for the Trust that MEPs Gave us with their Votes , Because there was an Historic Participation of 97%", she added, Concious of the "Big Responsibility that gave us".

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>>> Indeed, among the 300 MEPs' Votes Casted Today, while there were, f.ex., 24 and 22 "Spoilt or Blank Ballots" for the Selection of 1 out of 3 Candidates New ECHR Judges for Greece and Switzerland, (Ioannis Ktistakis and Andreas Zünd, with 145 and 167 votes respectively),

on the Contrary, for Berge's Election as CoE's New DSG, there were Only ...3 "Spoit or Blank Ballots", so that he Won with a Super-Majority of 185 Votes, against Only 112 for his Turkish Competitor, Ms Leyla Kayasik, (i.e.with a Big Distance of +73 Votes More)...

+ In Addition, Berge's Candidacy as New CoE's Deputy Secretary General, was one of 2, Earlier Selected by CoE's Committee of Ministers,  among ...Eight (8) Member States' Initial Candidates, from Italy, Austria, Finland, the Netherlands, Turkey, Norway, Germany and the UK, i.e. Winning among Harsh Competition !

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++ Even Greater Surprize for Despina Chatzivassiliou-Tsovilis' Win as New CoE Assembly's Secretary General : Among 300 Votes Casted, ...Not even One (i.e. Zero = 0) wasn't a "Spoilt or Blanc Ballot"....

=> Moreover, Despina Won with an Incredibly Big Amount of ... 240 Votes casted in her Favor, Against Only ...60 to Wojciech Sawicki, the Out-Going Long-Time PACE-SG, (an Experienced Polish diplomat, who was, Apparently, Not Expecting such an Exceptionaly Strong Push now)...

It's not yet clear what might have been the real cause of a so Big Change. Despina herself told Afterwards "Eurofora" that she had some "Indications" Before the Vote, But withOut going yet as far as to Foresee what exactly happened... At the Usual "Press Briefing" with Strasbourg's European Journalists, Before this Session, where "Eurofora" had been Invited and participated by Video-Conference (See, f.ex.  ), Sawicki had appeared a little-bit more Nervous than usual, with Less Staff around him, and this might, Perhaps, had been perceived by some External Observers as Controversial. But Nothing really Surfaced then.

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At any case, the 2 New CoE's Senior Officials are due to take over their Duties from March 2021, for the Next 5 Years, up to 2026.     

- The New CoE's Deputy Secretary General, Bjorn Berge, from Norway, is a Long-Time Diplomat, who has served also at the OSCE in Wien, and had Helped former Prime Minister Thornbjorn Jagland to be twice Elected as CoE's Chief (SG), before Serving himself as Director of his Private Office, as well as Head of CoE's Committee of Ministers' Secretariat.

He was a Graduate of "John Hopkins" University at Washington DC, Fulbright Scholar on International Relations, as well as of the Science and Technology University at SeChouan, (Mythic Location of Bertol Brecht's "the Good Sowl of Sechouan" Famous Novel on Intellectuals...), for Chinese Language and Culture, (China remaining the Only UN SC Permanent Member withOut Any Status at the CoE yet, since France, UK, and Rusia are Full Members, and USA Observer, as also Japan, etc, while President Xi has repeatedly Claimed to progressively Introduce various "Rule of Law"-like Mechanisms in China Nowadays, and French Gaullist former CoE Parliamentary Assembly's President, Jean-Claude Mignon, has Officialy proposed to give to Beijing a "Special Status" for Cooperation withIN Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation).

 - The New CoE Parliamentary Assembly's Secretary General, Despina Chatzivassiliou - Tsovilis, from Greece, Married, with 2 Kids, is a Graduate of "Scuola Italia", Major in promotion at the Faculty of Law in Athens, former Lawyer, Research Assistant at Florence University, a PhD. Holder in Law from there, and Writer of Articles on CoE's Enlargement to Central-Eastern European Countries and Russia, as well as on ECHR Judgements Efficacy, etc.

    Having started a Long Career at the CoE from the prestigious former European Commission on Human Rights, (precursor of the unique Court, established after 1998), she accumulated a rich Experience of work in Various Key Departments of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, including, inter alia, f.ex., its "Monitoring" Committee on Member States' Commitments, and in its Political affairs and Democracy Committee, whose Secretariat she Headed until now. During that time, she undertook Various kinds of Collective Initiatives, including on ReOrganisation and International Relations, f.ex. with the OSCE and particularly the EU, etc.

But, a Different Fact, that Nobody noticed yet, is that Despina had also had an Experience of ...Music Professor of Classical Guitar at the "Apollonion" School, while even Bjorn Berger has a perfectly Homonymous Compatriot (and almost of a Similar Age), as a Famous Rock Guitar Singer from Norway, Popular even in France, etc., so that, Added to our New ECHR President, Robert Spano from Iceland, a Notorious ...award-winning Singer (sic !), taken All Together, (and, Perhaps, may be also with some Other Music-lovers inside the CoE : f.ex., its Austere Committee of Ministers used to have some Good Elements at its Secretariat, in the Past), they might, who knows, may be form a kind of "Trio" able to add some Extra Dimension to CoE's manifold Visibiity (Comp. Supra), and/or Popularity...

 

(../..)


("Draft-News")


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F.ex., -"Hush !" Song, by (the Other) "Bjorn Berge" : Enjoy !


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Pierre Pflimlin's visionary line : Honouring the Memory of the man who wanted to build Europe on the Mountains, based on Spirit !

 

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One of EuroFora's best inspirators is naturally Pierre Pflimlin :

We had a chance to personally meet the dynamic and experienced former President of both EU Parliament and CoE's Assembly, France's Prime Minister and Strasbourg's Mayor, only at his 90th anniversary, during an Historic speech at the Council of Europe, exceptionally full of people.

But his energetic figure looked more like a youngster of 19 years old, eager to win the Olympic games !..

Visionary, 2P was, from many points of view :

His daughter, Antoinette, Artist-decorator, and Senator Jung, President of a group of friends, confirmed us an Historian's revelation, that Pflimlin had initially the idea to build all European institutions (EU Parliament, Council of Europe, European Court of Human Rights, etc) at the spectacular heights of Oberhausbergen hills, with an eye-catching view of both French Vosges and German Black Forest Mountains, in the midst of a Forest : A real vision to create a brand New European Headquarters with a big ambition !

But, it seems, that "someone in Brussels" found that picture, precisely, too big for his taste, and threw a spanner on the works...

Pflimlin stroke back a Decade ago, at his Historic 1997 farewell speech :

He urged Europeans to find another, more substantial way, to lift Europe to more important Heights in Future :

- "On which basis can we imagine the birth of a great Europe ?", he asked.

"Certainly an Economic basis ! A solid market economy, meeting also the needs of social justice. A Political basis : Europe must become a strong Political Power, able to influence World's changes, naturally for Peace."

"But I believe that the essential foundation of a greater Europe should be of Spiritual nature : .... The great pacific Revolutions were Spiritual Victories" : They expressed "People's main motivation to live in a society with our Values of Liberty, Democracy, respect for Human Dignity".

"Then, the roadmap is ready : Yes, the foundation of the unity for a large Europe is the spiritual heritage, inspired by Christian Humanism and the Humanism of Renaissance, of Enlightenment, from which emerged a Civilisation focused on the Human person".

"Here is the task to be accomplished. It's very difficult".

"The Time approaches when I'll have to pass over the torchlight. God willing, this torch should enlighten the path of those who are going to build, tomorrow, the great Europe, marked by this Spirit".

 

(Extract from the Book "Pierre Pfilmin : Alsacian and European", 2007. Texts by Senator Louis Jung, by the long-time f. Director of Strasbourg's Newspaper DNA, Alain Howiller, and by f. EU Parliament's Press Director, Paul Collowald : See dedications, hand-written by the authors, the day the book for Pflimlin's 100th Aniversary was launched at Strasbourg's Press Club and European Parliamentary Association's headquarters, 13 April 2007).

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