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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament ECR Group vicePresident Zahradil to EuroFora: For Ukraine's EU Accession if Kiev wants

EU Parliament ECR Group vicePresident Zahradil to EuroFora: For Ukraine's EU Accession if Kiev wants

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 09 February 2010




Ukraine could find support if it wishes to enter the EU, or to have closer relations, including, perhaps, on Military Transport Airplane cooperation with Antonov, but all this depends on the sovereign decision of the Ukranian People, replied the vice-President of EU Parliament's EuroConservative/Reformist Group, MEP Jan Zahradil, Head of the Czech delegation to an "EuroFora"s topical question after last Sunday's Ukranian Presidential Elections.


Both ECR's vice-Presidents, British Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope, and Czech MEP Jan Zahradil, were asked by "EuroFora" about their "feelings after the recent Elections on Ukraine's eventual wish to approach the EU, in one way or another", at the same moment that EU Parliament plans to debate on EU Enlargement to the Western Balkans and on Turkey's controversial EU bid.


This could include "also, maybe Antonov Airplanes, where cooperation might be useful (to EU Countries), because there are some problems today with the A400M", "EuroFora" observed.

    - "On Ukraine, and in general on the whole Enlargment agenda, we respect results of Democratic Elections, and we think that who is elected as President, is a completely Sovereign decision of the Ukranian People, as well as to decide what course this country wants to take towards the EU", replied vice-President Zahradil to "EuroFora".


    - "We are ready to support any efforts of the Ukranian Government and of the new Administration to get closer to the EU, to cooperate as much as possible, and even to become a Member of the EU, if Ukraine wishes to do so", he stressed.

    - "But this is a Sovereign decision of the State, which has yet to be made", he concluded carefully.

    EU Parliament is due to debate developments since last Sunday's Presidential Elections in Ukraine tomorrow, Wednesday in a Plenary discussion in Strasbourg.
The apparent winner of these elections, Viktor Yanukovich, who could become the new President of the  country, is traditionally known for close links to Russia, while also having recently expressed a will for closer economic relations with the EU.  His competitor, Prime Minister Yulia Timoshenko, who has presented herself as favorable to close links to the EU, depends from the Parliament, which is independent from the Presidency, competent, however, for Foreign policy issues.

Ukraine was officially recognized as an "European Country" with legitime EU aspirations during the French EU 2008 Presidency  :  - "It's enough to simply walk accross Kiev's streets in order to realize that you are in a European country", had stressed French President Sarkozy at a Press Conference given together with EU Commission's President Barrioso in Elysee palace, attended by "EuroFora", as early as since September 2008.

Ukraine's Antonov airplane constructor has often been cited as a possible help for the EU to jointly build a new Military Transport airplane (perhaps in cooperation with Airbus/EADS) more efficient and less costly than the controversial A400M.

Meanwhile, at the latest Franco-German Summit, last week in Paris, both German Chancelor Merkel, and French President Sarkozy, stressed their will to avance towards a positive Strategic Partnership with Russia, on the base of Russian President Medvedev's recent proposals. Something which might faciltate also Ukraine's closer rapprochement to the EU, since Kiev is a natural GeoPolitical link between Moscow and the rest of Europe, including on Gas transit.




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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :


     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   


This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       


It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..


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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