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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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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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