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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE/EU Top Officers to EF: Social Rights +New EU Health Commissioner Kyriakides =New Pillar Synergy?

CoE/EU Top Officers to EF: Social Rights +New EU Health Commissioner Kyriakides =New Pillar Synergy?

Written by ACM
Thursday, 19 September 2019

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*Strasbourg/CoE+EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/- The 1st Official Visit to EU Parliament by New EU Health Commissioner designate, Stella Kyriakides, by a Timely Coincidence, this Same Week in Strasbourg that CoE hold here a Seminar to Boost Social Charter's Rights, an area where she has notoriously worked as an Expert for Decades in the Past, and includes important Health Issues, naturally Triggered many Interesting reactions by several Top CoE or EU Officers in charge of such activities, that some consider as a Key part of Human Rights, while Also being a very Topical matter in the Fight against Poverty and Discrimination/UnEquality, as well as for EU's much Needed Cohesion, as "Eurofora" found in the spontaneous Replies that they kindly gave to our relevant Questions, (See Infra).

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Both Events had been placed, from the outset, at the Highest Level, since it's in order to Meet with the New President of EU Parliament, David Sassoli from Italy, that Kyriakides had come to Strasbourg, (a former President of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly herself, after Chairing its Social/Health affairs Committee, as MEP from Cyprus: Comp. f.ex. her Replies to "Eurofora" Questions in her quality as PACE President at http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentkyriakidestoeurofora.html, etc), while the above-mentioned PanEuropean Seminar on CoE's Social Charter's boost was Organised by the French Presidency of the CoE (May - November 2019), and was opened by the experienced CoE's Deputy Secretary General Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni, also from Italy, together with the Chairman-in-office of CoE's Ministerial Committee (its Highest Political body), the French Ambassador/Permanent Representative Jean-Baptiste Mattei.

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 Stella Kyriakides had arrived to Strasbourg, at EU Parliament, with her Team already since Monday Evening, and met Sassoli on Tuesday, i.e., just 1,5 Day Before COE's Seminar on Social Rights starts on Thursday Morning.

- Speaking to "Eurofora" shortly afterwards, CoE's Chairman Mattei mainly pointed to the Fact that European Countries as France and Portugal, who are reportedly among the First to have Ratified All CoE's Social Rights' Charter's legal istruments, (including the New procedure of Monitoring also by Collective Applications, f.ex. of relevant International NGOs, etc.), should be Joined also by Other Countries ASAP, while Boosting CoE's "Torino Strategy", decided a few Years ago, and refurbished at the Latest, May 2019, CoE's Ministerial Summit in Helsinki, Finland, in Addition to Developing, in parallel, Nowadays, CoE-EU Cooperation.

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+ From CoE's point of view, in this Seminar (prepared Together with Strasbourg University's "Carré de Malberg" Center of Research on Public Law, but also with the Participation of several relevant International NGOs, in addition to other independent Experts and Government Representatives), as Main Reasons to Act More Vigorously Now for elementary Social Rights, were given, in the Debates, particularly the recent Problem of an allegedly Growing "Poverty" and/or "InEquality", aggravated by a Socio-Political Exploitation from so-called "Populist" Movements (sometimes Hostile to EU Integration) Nowadays.

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++ From EU's point of view, it was Added, particularly, a wish to Develop Europe's "Social Pillar" (particularly since 2017, i.e., in the Middle of Juncker's EU Commission, a Great Political Figure of Center-Right's ChristianDemocrats/EPP, notorious also for his relevant Appeal :  - "Don't Abandon Social Policy to Socialists !"), as the recent Economic Crisis had Aggravated pockets of Poverty and/or Rising InEquality, But, even More in order to Face a Growing Need for EU's "Cohesion" and Fight against some Gaping "Divergences" Between EU Member States.

- F.ex., speaking to "Eurofora", International Movement ATD-"Fourth World"'s (Father Joseph Wresinski's notorious creation) representative, Helene Rozet, who has reportedly Worked Both at Haiti and Egypt, But Also at Paris' Suburbs, etc., stressed that Poverty cases are, indeed, recently found inside Europe too, and Not Only around Some Migrants, but Even among several Authentic French People, of Long French Origin, (particularly Visible through some Severe "Housing" Problems, etc).

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=> Thus, incoming New EU Health Commissioner Elsa Kyriakides, "could certainly Help" elementary Social Rights of the People, f.ex., "by Speaking about the Europen Social Charter" (of the CoE), that she knows well, "and Urging Member States to fulfill their Commitments", soberly but substantially Replied to an "Eurofora" Question the President of CoE's PanEuropean Committee of Social Rights, (the Highest Body in this field), Giuseppe Palmisano.

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+ As for EU Commission's deputy Director for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion, Rudi Delarue, from the Netherlands, speaking later to "Eurofora", he Stressed the "Fundamental" Importance that "Health" has inside EU's "Social Pillar", (f.ex. via Projects to support "Handicaped" People, the Plan against Cancer, "Access" to Social Protection", etc), while also reminding tha the incoming New EU Commission's President-elect, Ursula von der Leyen, has "Studied Medicine", (in Addition to her Husband's involvement in Bio-Medical Research), as well as the Fact that it was "partly Inspired by CoE's Social Charter", whose extensive Experience, by Stella Kyriakides (Comp. Supra) could certainly Help a very useful "Synergy".

 

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++ Apparently Converging towards a Similar Direction, the incoming New EU Commissioner-designate announced, while she was Visiting EU Parliament to meet with its New President Sassoli, Earlier this Week in Strasbourg, that "Mainstreaming Health across All EU Policy Areas (i.e. including for the Fight Against Poverty and/or Discrimination, but for Cohesion, etc) will be a shared Priority for the next 5 years" (2019-2024). once the New Commission is confirmed" by MEPs' forthcoming Votes.

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>>> Thus, in Consequence, the New Director of CoE's Social Charter, Jian Malinowski from Spain, (an experienced former Head of Medias section), speaking  later to "Eurofora", appeared quite Enthousiast when he Learned that a former Long-Time CoE's Expert on these Issues, like Kyriakides (Comp. Supra), was becoming New EU's Commissioner on Health, a Key Pillar of Social Rights, and Vowed to strive to Develop the Best possible EU-CoE Cooperation, on this occasion.

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However, one of the Current Problems, which Surfaced during this Seminar's Debates, was a kind of "Tension" between at least certain Member States' Governments (sometimes, even those among the More Advanced in Social Rights' Legal recognition)  and the way that CoE's Social Charter is Recently working in real Practice, as, among otherq, also Melanie Schmitt, a Strasbourg University Lecturer on Social Rights, particularly evoked, pleading for a Better overall Respect of Principles in this Sensitive area.

Already, Eliane Chemla, General Rapporteur of the PanEuropean Committee on Social Rights, (CoE's Watchdog for the Implementatio of its Social Charter), speaking at the Beginning of this seminar, had Advised recalcitrant States to Better see "Sanctions" (for alleged Violation of certain Social Rights), as a kind of "Preventive" Measures, serving to Alert in order to Avoid Risks of undue Human Sufferings, possible Social Upeavals and/or Political Expoitation of them, which could be a Real "Trouble"...

But, among others, particulary Stefan Clauwaert, Senior Legal and Human Rights' Advisor, at the European Trade Union ConFederation, in Brussels, unveiled Both a Jurist's Technical Knowledge and a kind of Fighting Spirit, which apparently moved some among the audience...

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Nevertheless, Joseph Faber, from Luxembourg, the President of CoE's Governemental Committee for the Social Charter and Social Security Code, speaking to "Eurofora", (after staying, apparently, Calm during that Controversy, withOut participating explicitly Now to that Public Debate), told us that, in his View, those Problems indeed felt recently by several Governments, are not so much due to CoE's Social Charter itself, (Neither to the New Monitoring Procedure via Collective Applications as such : Comp. Supra), But rather to the Concrete Use that the Current Committee on Social Rights is allegedly Making out of those Rules and/or Principles...

A Point which, Obviously, if it's sufficiently Confirmed, inter alia, might also Leave to the EU a quite Large Margin of Manoeuvre, in the Concrete Way that it could Make Good Use of CoE's Social Charter itself.

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+ Moreover, HighLighting the Conclusions of this CoE's Seminar, the experienced Professor Luis Jimena Qesada, from Spain, former President of CoE's Social Rights' Committee (and, perhaps, also Future), added a Series of Wider Action possibiiities :

 
- First of all, even some National Governments, sometimes ...Ask for an eventual "Condemnation" by CoE's Social Charter's Watchdog, in order to Find a Legitimate Pretext to Make some Legislative Reforms for which they didn't yet have a clear Majority in their Parliament, he observed. And CoE's Social Charter Experts, Can also Contribute Efficiently into National Law-Making by Member States, f.ex. through adequate Meetings with COE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly in Strasbourg, since its MEPs are, at the Same Time, Important National MPs, he pointed out. To all this Could be also added a kind of useful "Pedagogy", vis a vis Universities, National Parliaments, Judges, Lawyers, NGOs, etc., he went on to advise for the foreseable Future.

 

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Meanwhile, relevant Political Controversies, particularly around Poor or Impoverished People, but also Middle-Class Citizens' Access to Healh Care, have been, Recently, Sky-Rocketing in Public Debates, not only in Europe, (f.ex. in France, mainly in relation to irregular Foreign Migrants, etc), but even More in the USA, (Both during the Latest Presidential Elections, and even Since the Primaries, also Inside the Democratic Party, Nowadays). The Main thrust concerning Conditions and Modalities of Access, But anOther, Related Issue, being the recently Fast-Growing Costs, (USA having the Most Expensive Health System in the World), sometimes vaguely attributed to some unnamed "Technological Innovations", (which, Curiously, instead of Simplifying and making Health Care more Efficient, on the Contrary, Complicate and OverBurden it, sometimes uselessly, and/or in order to "Test" New Equipments), but apparently as a result of a Shady, Bureaucratic Mecanism controlled by - and feeding- Technocrats, (which, mutatis-mutandis, has been also Criticized in France, even by Mainstream, Experienced Politicians).

 

(../..)

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