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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Media + Internet - Information Society Heads Grundmann +Gylfadottir to EF on Journalists +Terror

CoE Media + Internet - Information Society Heads Grundmann +Gylfadottir to EF on Journalists +Terror

Written by ACM
Monday, 19 June 2017

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Just after Leading Topical PanEuropean Debates particularly on Digital Media Internet Actors' Rights and Responsibilities, as well as Regulation or Self-Regulation issues, concerningon Medias' role when facing Terrorism, CoE's Media and Internet Director, Silvia Grundmann from Germany, as well as the President of CoE's, 47 Member States-strong, Committee on Media and Information Society, Elfa Gylfadottir, from Iceland, speaking to "Eurofora", Highlighted some of the Key Principles to observe during nowadays Fast-Developing relevant Events :




- First of all, "Press' Freedom was, and still is, always Under Attack !", stressed from the outset Grundmann, with a smile...

Inter alia, she was pointing, obviously, also to CoE's latest relevant Publication : an Official TextBook, prefaced by the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, (former Prime Minister of Norway, and Nobel Peace Prize Committee Head), which Warned about recent Findings Alerting on Journalists' growing "Self-Censorship"...

The main Cause was, according to that, most Recent CoE's Book, published just on March 2017, in Strasbourg, an evolving, multifacet "Pressure" on "Journalists", who, according to CoE's most recent "Definition", (updated by a select Committee of competent and experienced Experts, including also the new Secretary General of the "European Federation of Journalists" - "EFJ", HeadQuartered in Brussels,
Ricardo Gutierrez: Comp. Interview to "Eurofora" at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/iachrcoebookandefjsgonjournalismdefinition.html), are "Persons who are Regularly Engaged in the Collection and Disseminaion of Informations, destinated to the Public, for "Journalistic" (i.e. Public Service) purpose".

 A Definition, already Faithfull to ECHR's well-established Case-Law on the only relevant Article on Human Rights: Number 10, as well as on a CoE's Highest Political body : that of its Committee of Ministers, Legal Recommendation, taken already as early as since 2000, as the 2017 CoE Book's Authors remind Nowadays. But, also well corresponding to a Pioneer Decision, explicitly taken by the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, since...more than 32 Years: from November 1985 ! (See: ....).

- However, CoE's Media and Internet Director, Today expessed her Optimist and Voluntarist Belief, in Reply to an "Eurofora" Question, that "a Right Balance", between Press Freedom (indispensable for any Democratic Society), and Security, in Nowadays' Context, could and should prevail:

- In this regard, it's Interesting to See, f.ex., what will exactly happen with a forthcoming Draft Law, due to be Debated and Adopted "during this Summer" 2017, by Germany's Bundestag, she observed, (while it's also well known that new President Macron's French Government, also currently prepares a relevant Legislation, almost at the Same Time).



+ Meanwile, however, what has the Highest Ambition to become, perhaps, the World's Best Legal Status for On-Line Publishers, particularly from the point of view of Freedom of Expression, sensitive Data Protection, Defense against Cyber-Crime and/or abuse, is Still Developing in Iceland, as native Elfa Gylfadottir, President of CoE's PanEuropean Committee on Media and Information Society,  told "Eurofora" :

- Gylfadottir, (who has also served as the competent Head of Iceland's relevant "Steering" Commission for years), explained to "Eurofora", that, in fact, it's not only 1 or 2, but, on the contrary, a lot of Many and Various, related Legal Changes, Modifications, Adaptments, etc, which have to be considered and adequately decided, from several points of view, before good Final Decisions.

- Expected "possibly during Next Year" (2018), such Legal Modifications, on that Highly Topical, but also Sensitive issue, inevitably have also various Political impacts, and, at least partly depend from the overall Governmental policies.

At any case, one thing goes for sure :

- We want to Help f.ex. Human Rights' NGOs, "Whistle-Blowers", Investigative Journalists, really Independent Medias keeping a Critical Eye on Power, etc, but Not at all ...Porn Editors, shady Commercials, Tax-Evading outlets, or Terrorist cover-ups, etc., she pointed out.

=> For such purposes, we all need some Good and Crystal-clear Justifications and Definitions, CoE's Experienced, "Media and Information Society" PanEuropean Committee's Head, told "Eurofora", (Comp. f.ex.Supra).




("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).

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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.

    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".

    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".

EU "Solidarity" ?

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.


Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.

    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.



2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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