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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
coe_historic_votes_for_leaders_vowing_visibility_bjorn_berge_despina_chatzetsovilis_eurofora_patchwork_400

*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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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

smerkem_400

- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

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