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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Experts to EF on Social Charter compared to Other Tools v. Poverty (Basic Income, US MedicAid +)

CoE Experts to EF on Social Charter compared to Other Tools v. Poverty (Basic Income, US MedicAid +)

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 24 January 2018

 coe_social_charter_rapporteur_chemlas_reply_to_agg_question_eurofora_400


*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Some First, but Interesting Comparisons between CoE's PanEuropean Social Charter and Other Tools to Fight against Poverty Today, (as Basic Income, USA's MedicAid, etc), started to be made during the Annual Press Conference for the Year 2017, thanks to the Replies given to relevant "Eurofora"'s Questions by the President of the European Committee of Social Rights, Giuseppe Palmisano, and its General Rapporteur, Eliane Chemla.

 

coes_annual_press_conference_on_social_rights_eurofora_400


The main Focus of this January 2018 CoE's Press Conference on Social throughout more than 33 European Countries,, was about Medical Assistance, and Protection against Poverty/Social Exclusion, together with Social Welfare, Social Protection of Elderly People, etc.

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aggs_questions_to_coes_press_conference_on_social_rights_eurofora_screenshot_em_400 


- Initially, "Eurofora" asked President Palmisano's view about the Topical Issue of "Basic Citizens Income", on which CoE's Parliamentary Assembly had just Debated and Voted a new Report, Yesterday in Strasbourg, after several quite "Hot" Exchanges, and in the middle of a Strong Controversy.

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coe_social_rights_ctee_president_palmisanos_reply_eurofora_screenshot_400


- Palmisano's first reaction was quite Positive, welcoming, in substance, a tool like the Basic Citizens' Income that CoE's Assembly had just Adopted, as another tool which could Respond to several Needs covered by the Social Charter, and provide some Satisfactory Answers in real Practice.

coe_socoam_charter_president_palmisano_reply_to_agg_question_1_eurofora_400


- But, at the same time, he carefully added that, in fact, such a move wasn't always absolutely Necessary, since CoE's Social Charter was, in his view, able to Meet many among those Needs also by Different Mechanisms, according to its own prescriptions.

 

__________________________


+ More Complex appeared, a priori, anOther Topical comparative Question raised by "Eurofora", (this time to the General Rapporteur, Eliane Chemla), about the European Social Charter's "Right to Medical Assistance", etc., and the well-known current "Hot" Debate in the USA on "MedicAid", in the Wider Context of Attempts to Reform the American "MediCare" System in general, (similar to Europe's "Social Security" and/or "Right to Protecion of Health", etc:

 

coe_social_charter_rapporteur_chemlas_reply_to_agg_question_eurofora_400_01


- Initially, Chemla focused on a rather Classical Distinction between a very Different European Model of Social Security, and an American one, much more related to Private schemas, estimating that the respective situations would be beyond any comparison, on those key points.


>>> But, interestingly, when she Discussed with "Eurofora", Later-on, in more concrete details, a Comparison between USA's "MedicAid" and CoE's "Socio-Medical Assistance", including "Social Protection" for the "Elderly" (a very Topical Issue Nowadays even in Germany, it seems, but Similar to what exists in the USA since the Late 1960ies), and/or USA's "Food-Stumps" compared to CoE's wider "Protection against Poverty", etc., Chemla appeared more Thoughtfull :


- Indeed, her subsequent estimation was, in substance, that what exists in Europe, but not yet in the USA, was an Elementary Right to Social Security in general, which helped also prevent risks of extreme poverty in this regard. But, in Fact, when it really came to cases of real Extreme Poverty and/or Social Exclusion risks, the situation did Not necessarily seem to be so Radically Different between CoE's and USA's relevant tools, as some hasty comparisons used to claim...


=> In Conclusion, CoE's Social Rights' General Rapporteur agreed with "Eurofora" that, Nowadays, a Serious and concrete Comparative Analysis between various Different Approaches of the common but MultiFacet Fight against Poverty, had become Necessary and useful, in order to Better Clarify the real Situations, Choose the more Efficient Solutions, in full Knowledge of the main Facts.

- Sometimes, there might be certain Unexpected "Surprises", at First Sight, as, f.ex., the Fact that a so  Important European Country as Germany, has Not yet Ratified CoE's "Collective Complaints" Procedure, for the Protection of Social Rights, while, on the Contrary, several Less Rich and Powerfull European Countries have already done so, as President Palmisano critically observed, in Reply to anOther Question by a German Collegue Journalist, during that same Annual 2018 Press Conference in Strasbourg...

 

(../..)


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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"s Subscribers/Donors, Earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


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    The incoming Swedish EU Presidency (July-December 2009) may still remain in favour of Turkey's controversial EU bid, despite June 2009 EU Elections' results, but it has "very strong demands on Turkey"'s obligation to respect EU Rules, said the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, to "EuroFora", reacting to critical Press reports.

    - "I know (that) the link is often made also to Sweden's position on Turkey"'s controversial EU bid. Indeed, "we (Swedish EU Presidency) are very much engaged in the future membership of Turkey, but not without fullfiling all the Criteria".

    - "It's very clear that we (Swedish EU Presidecny) have very Strong Demands on Turkey, in a sort of concept for Future membership of the Union, ...which will be a Long Process...", she stressed.

    This means, in particular, "the Copenhagen Criteria (on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law), and also the adaptation to the Acquis of the European Union".

     - "If you listen to what Mr. Bildt (the Swedish Foreign Minister) says on Turkey at different occasions, it's very clear : We want Turkey to become part of the Union, in the Future. But we want it to fullfil all the Criteria : The Acquis of the European Union. That's very clear", she concluded.

    The Senior Official of the Swedish Foreign Ministry was reacting to critical Press Reports, from Brussels' Journalists invited by EU Commission's secretariat to Stockholm, who claimed that Bildt was abusing of a ..."Whip" (sic !) against Cyprus, by "threatening" the presence of UNO's Peace-keeping force at the "Green line" which separates the island's Government-controlled areas from the territories occupied by Ankara's army, if Nicosia didn't accept any political solution, regardless of Turkey's demands, before the end of 2009.

        Governing AKEL Party's new Secretary General, Andros Kyprianou, reacted by declaring that no-one can threat the People of Cyprus : -"We shall decide for our Future, and nobody else",  he reportedly said, asking to "keep calm". "In order to find a Solution soon, certain basic Principles must be respected", he stressed, calling those who feel an urgency to use their influence on Turkey. Other Political Parties were more critical.

    This was a reference to recently reported statements by Turkish Minister Bagis, Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan and Turkey's National Security Council (a Military-Political body), accused to push towards a partitionist "2 States" solution, contrary to UNO SC Resolutions for Cyprus' reunification.

    December 2009 is a crucial moment for EU's appraisal of Turkey's controversial EU bid, because EU Council has decided to review then Ankara's compliance with the European position on the recognition of Cyprus' Government, which was clearly set out by an EU reply of 21 September 2005 to Turkish Prime Minister Tayip Erdogan's claims, refusing to recognize even the existence of EU Member Cyprus, in controversial statements he made to London (former EU chair) on July 29, 2005.

    EU Parliament's latest Resolution on Turkey, adopted on March 2009 in Strasbourg, warned Ankara that "the non-fulfillment of Turkey's commitments... by December 2009, may further seriously affect the process of Negotiations" with the EU.

    In practice, the issue boils down to Ankara's "embargo" against Ships and Airplanes using Cyprus' seaports or airports at the strategic EU island, which traditionaly hosts one of the World's biggest Shipping flags. EU has already "freezed" 6 relevant Chapters in EU - Turkey Negotiations since December 2006, after Ankara refused to fullfil a commitment it had undertaken when EU had decided to open controversial "accession" negotiations with Turkey, back on December 2005.

    - "As far as EU - Turkey relations are concerned, it's clear that Turkey needs to fullfil its obligation of full, non-discriminatory implementation of the additional Protocol (to "EC-Turkey Association Agreement"),  This is an important issue....and should be addresseed as soon as possible as it clearly affects the pace of the accession negotiations.Issues covered by the Declaration of September 2005 will continue to be followed up, and progress is urgently awaited", warned earlier in Strasbourg the out-going Czech EU Presidency (former vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra).

    But the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, Cecilia Julin, dismissed "interpretations" by "some" that Foreign Minister Carl Bildt was reportedly "threatening" Cyprus with consequences on the UNFICYP, if it doesn't accept any solution until December 2009, while Turkey is reportedly delaying in an attempt to impose a partitionist "2 States" solution.

    On the contrary, Julin, stressed that "Sweden has strong demands on Turkey'"s respect of "Copenhagen Criteria and EU Acquis".

    Meanwhile, Sweden  is "concerned" about the risk of "Stalemate" in Cyprus' Talks, but is well aware that "the main responsibilities lie with the two leaders and the UNO", Europe playing only a role of "facilitator".

    After carefully verifying, the Head of Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service, stressed to "EuroFora" that Bildt's reference to UNFICYP "was not linked to a Threat", and dismissed those who "interpreted" it so.

    On the contrary, the Swedish EU Presidency acknowledged the fact that Peace Talks are mainly for the UN and the leaders of the Cypriot communities, EU's role being limited into that of a "facilitator".

    As for Turkey's reported attempts to impose a "2 States' solution", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service sharply replied by stressing that Turkey must respect the "EU Acquis" rules.

    In particular :

    - "Basically he (Bildt) underlined that it's the leaders of the two communities in Cyprus and the UN that have the main responsibilities for solving the problem", started to say the Swedish Senior Official to "EuroFora", referring to the above-mentioned "briefing".

    - "But the EU had a role in sort of pointing out the benefits and facilitating a little bit the outcome for the settlement of the whole Cyprus' issue", she added.

    - "And he did state the Fact, that the rest of the World (i.e. USA, etc) will, of course, look at the differend issues which are at the table, and the future of the UN Peace keeping force is part of what is at the table", she admitted.

    - "I understand that some have interpreted that as a Threat, by the Swedish Minister" "But", in reality, "it's a statement of a Fact, that, when we'll look at the differend issues, one of the issues on which we shall have to take a stand on, is the future of the UN Peace keeping force in Cyprus".

    Indeed, one of the questions usually raised for a Solution of Cyprus' issue is what International and/or European or other Guarantees, by a Peace-keeping force, might be needed afterwards, eventually for a transitory period.

    Questioned anew by "EuroFora" whether (according to critical Press Reports) this could be taken as a veiled warning that, if Cyprus didn't accept any Turkish demand for any solution whatever, it might be left alone to face Ankara's Military Invasion/Occupation, she denied :

    - "He (Bildt) didn't say it in that way"... "It was not linked to a threat, or anything like that", the Head of the Swedish Foreign Ministry's Press Service stressed.

    On the contrary, "he (Bildt) underlined that the main responsibility lies with the parties concerned on the island". "The EU can try to facilitate and show the benefits of reaching a settlement. But also, when the EU and the rest of the World (i.e. USA) will have to look at it, they will look at all the Facts on the table, and the presence of the UN Peace-keeping force is one".

    And "he (Bildt) didn't speak about that at all", she replied to "EuroFora" question on Turkey's reported attemps to impose, in one way of another, a partitionist "2 States solution".

    Asked whether Bildt's aim was to incite both parties to move forward efficiently, she agreed :

    - In fact, "the EU is really very concerned with the Stalemate in the situation. Yes !", the Head of Sweden's Foreign Ministry's Press Service anounced. That's why Bildt "was hoping for the two parties (i.e. for Turkey's also) to engage and break, a little-bit, the present stalemate, come to a solution of the issue" of Cyprus.

    But, replying  to a "EuroFora"s question on the risk, denounced by several politicians in case of strict Time Deadlines, for Turkey to provoke a stalemate and wait for the time to come to impose a partitionist "2 States' solution", she reacted by pointing at Turkey's obligation to respect "EU Acquis" :

    - "Turkey must fullfil the EU Acquis : That's clear !", the Swedish Senior Official stressed.

    More details are expected when Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt will debate his Programme with new MEPs at EU Parliament's plenary mid-July in Strasbourg, that he has visited already in 2008.

    Foreign Minister Carl Bildt became familiar with Strasbourg's CoE last year, when Sweden chaired the PanEuropean organization of Human Rights. As EU chairman-in-office, he will also chair the 27-member States strong EU Group inside the 47-member States strong CoE.

    Minister for EU affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom is well known at EU Parliament, where she has been an active MEP of the Liberal Group for many years, following also Press Freedom issues.

    Both have already made various statements at "EuroFora", on differend topical matters.

    ***

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