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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE New Chief Buric to EF on BioEthics Treaty Interpretation by ECHR: Trust, but Sensitive=>careful

CoE New Chief Buric to EF on BioEthics Treaty Interpretation by ECHR: Trust, but Sensitive=>careful

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 11 February 2020

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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying Today to an "Eurofora" Question, CoE New Secretary General, Marija Buric (2019-2024), reacted to ECHR President's anouncement, in EU Parliament Yesterday, about EuroJudges starting to be Consulted for Interpreting CoE's BioEthical Rules, "for the 1st Time in History", by Expressing her "Trust" to Strasbourg's PanEuropean Court, in general, even when it notoriously adapts its methods of interpretation to the needs of nowadays Society (Comp. Infra), But, also Warning that there are "Sensitive" Issues in this particular area, inviting to be Careful.

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 - "Eurofora" pointed to the Fact that Buric had Concluded her Speech by a Call to "Defend CoE's Rules" and Values, and we observed that BioEthics come Nowadays at the Forefront of Topical and "Hot" Contradictions. while ECHR's President had just announced, Yesterday in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, that, "for the 1st Time in History", EuroJudges Start to be Consulted on the interpretation of CoE's 1997/8 "Oviedo" Convention on Human Dignity and Bioethics, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coesgburiconechrbioethicsinterpretation.html), Knowing that ECHR uses, generaly, since 1970, to Adapt somehow the Interpreted Texts to the Living Society of our Times. Even if this might be, in general, Interesting, (particularly for Long-living Texts, as that of ECHR, which Date More than 70 Years), nevertheless, given also the Fact that BioEthics raise certain particularly "Sensitive" Issues for Humankind, (while CoE's Rules there Date "Only" around 20 Years-Time: Since 1998), wouldn't we all, Better be "Carefull" on the way they might be Interpretered ?

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 -  " I CanNot Commend on what ECHR's President said", the New CoE's SG observed from the outset, Carefuly.

-  "But  it's true that the Court tries to Adapt itself on the Needs of the Society" in general, "in order to go forward, and ameliorate certain things".

 - "As far as I'm personally concerned, I am inclined to Trust the Court, because it did always well, and made advance certain issues".

- However, "as You said, this (BioEthics) is a very Sensitive matter", she Warned.

- "But also a too Complex one, for me to say more" now, she modestly concluded Carefully, (Comp. Supra).

coe_sg_buric_replying_to_questions__agg_at_mesa_event_eurofora_400 

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ECHR has been Already Consulted on BioEthics also, f.ex;, by French Supreme Courts on "End of Life" Cases ("Lambert", etc), "Surrogate Mothers"' cases, etc., But Only in order to interpret the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights' classic general text, (particularly Article 2 = end or beginning of "Life", and Article 8 = "Private life/Family").

+ "Very Recently", CoE's Committee on BioEthics asked ECHR to give a Consultative Interpretation about Article 7 of CoE's "Oviedo" Treaty, on "Human Rights and Dignity of the Human Person in Medicine and Biology" (1997-1998), concerning Measures on Persons suffering from "Mental Disorders", revealed Yesterday at EU Parliament ECHR's President Alexandros Sicilianos.

Any Member-State can also do so, in Addition to that Committtee itself, but it's "the 1st Time in History", until now, that ECHR would Interpret anOther, Different Text from that of the 70 Years Old PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, and, meanwhile, it's Competent Committee just Started to Adopt the required New Rules of Procedure, for this new era, he revealed; (See : ..., etc). "Hot" Topical BioEthical Issues, such as a Global Ban on "Human Cloning" (since 1998), Heritable Human Genome Editing, etc., are included among the Many and Various "Oviedo" Convention BioEthic matters.

+ By the way, President Alexander Sicilianos' Birthplace : Greece, which is due to take over CoE's rotating Chairmanship during the Period of May - November 2020, has notoriously proposed the ECHR for this same year's (which coincides with CoE's 70th Anniversary) prestigious "Nobel" Peace Prize.

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 CoE SG Catherine Lalumière's (with whom, "Eurofora"s co-Founder had Started to work at the CoE) Bureau and of the Congres of Local and Regional Authorities of Europe (CLRAE), as well as Denis Huber, President of CoE's Staff Association, and former Director of CoE's "North-South" Center (Lisbon).


Other Questions concerned well-known Issues, (such as "BREXIT", Ukraine, Russia, Turkey, OSCE, Budget, etc), and the Replies were mostly Familiar to those who had followed Buric's recent interventions at CoE's Assembly, etc.

 

 

(../..)

 

("Draft-News")

 

(NDLR: Original = in French. => Fast Translation in English)

 

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Facing a 70% Abstention threat in 2009 Election, EU endorses EuroFora's idea for Citizens' debates on crucial EU decisions !

- Different views on "Europe's Future", should be debated among Citizens at June 2009 EU Elections, thanks to political Parties' "Manifestos", says EU Parliament's Report


                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               
A main idea, initiated and promoted by EuroFora's founders since 1997: the vital need to develop European Citizens' democratic right to actively participate in multilingual debates on EU decisions, is formally endorsed by the EU from 2009 !

The move is a key attempt to overcome "catastrophic" Polls which warn that only ...30% of Citizens are ready to vote in the forthcoming June 2009 EU Election !  This was revealed by EU Commission's vice-president, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, during a "hot" meeting of EU Parliament's Committee on Culture and Education, during the December 2008 Strasbourg session.

Wallstrom faced criticism, but also suggestions from various MEPs, naturally worried by Abstention threats which herself found even "worse" than in 1999 or 2004...

A Report on "Active Dialogue with Citizens",examined at the same time, presented some useful practical tips, on "facilitating Interviews"; etc., but also a  potentialy important call to "incorporate the conclusions of ...debates...into (EU) policies, and take into consideration the expectations that Citizens have of the EU when deciding". An amendment even implies that Citizens' participation in debates on EU decisions is a democratic "Right".

More importantly, it finds that  a Debate "on the Future of Europe", (as French President Nicolas Sarkozy has asked since 2007), would be a good idea " for the 2009 European parliamentary Elections", because "clarifying the political differences between the EU political parties would help citizens to identify themselves with, and choose between various concepts", for which "all parties (should) present their Manifesto".

A "Joint political declaration on Communicating Europe in Partnership", co-signed by "the European Parliament, Council and ... Commission", confirms that they "attach the utmost importance to improving communication on EU issues", by "enabling European citizens to exercise their right to participate in the democratic life of the Union, in which decisions are taken as openly as possible and as closely as possible to the citizens, observing the principles of pluralism, participation, openness and transparency".

This should "enable Citizens to exercise their right to express their views and to participate actively in the public Debate on European Union issues", while also "promoting the respect of multilingualism". In this regard, EU confirms its "wish to develop synergies with national, regional and local authorities as well as with representatives of Civil Society".

    It's since 1997 that a group of EuroFora's founders have officially presented a pioneer Project (then called "EIW", for "Europe in the World"), which aimed to develop Strasbourg's "Polyphonic music", by providing "Interactive information", on "main issues ... during the Decision-making process of European Organizations which engage in Transparent and Public Democratic Debates"

    This should be done, inter alia, by "exploring the potential of New Communication Tools (mainly Internet)", as well as classic-form debates, the 1997 EIW pioneer project's anounced in its "Synopsis". It was formally "accepted for evaluation" by EU Commission in Brussels in order to be examined for a grant in the framework of the "Research/Technology/Development (RTD) Programme in the field of Information Technologies", then called "ESPRIT", as a "Best Practice Pilot Project".

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        But the vital, urgent Political need for EU to search new, efficient ways to reach the People and interact with European Citizens, was really felt in Brussels and elsewhere only after the unprecedented in History 1999 and 2004 Majority Abstention in EU Elections, followed by 3 "NO" in Referenda in France, the Netherlands and Ireland, on 2005 and 2008...
    In this New Political Landscape, we prepared a new, actualised and more developed version of our initial idea, in a simplified and more efficient form, thanks also to a large Experience accumulated during many years of EU/CoE/UNO Press work and Multi-lingual debates, with the New project "EuroFora" :

    On 2006 we presented in Public its main lines during Questions/Replies that we raised at two Press Conferences by EU Commission President, Jose Baroso, and mainly EU Commission's vice-President, in charge of Communication policy, Margot Wallstrom, together with EU Parliament's vice-president, Alejo Vidal-Quadras, in Strasbourg, (Videos available), and we reminded it at various brief contacts with Commissioner Wallstrom in 2007 and 2008.

    Meanwhile, a new Text was also presented for "EuroFora" Project mainly to certain Political and other personalities, at European, National or Regional/Local level, mainly in 2007, but also in 2008..

    Now, after the unexpected 2008 Irish "NO", and before the 2009 EU Elections, which are due to be of exceptionally crucial importance for Europe's Future, the moment has obviously come to launch that project, progressively, but in real practice.

    Whoever really cares for Europe and its Citizens is welcome to join, in one way or another. Only anti-European, anti-democratic, obscure or ignorant groups might oppose or attempt to "steal" and deviate the main idea.

    But European Citizens, incited by enlightened political leaders, are those who will finally write the real History.

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