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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE new Chairman, Minister Samuelsen - Danish Presidency to EF+ on big moves on Human Rights in 2018

CoE new Chairman, Minister Samuelsen - Danish Presidency to EF+ on big moves on Human Rights in 2018

Written by ACM
Mittwoch, 15 November 2017

 coe_presidentinoffice_danish_mfa__agg_eurofora_400

*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Saluting with a Smile "Eurofora" and other participants to various CoE's Meetings Today, just after Taking over Officially the Presidency of the 47 Member States strong, PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, during the period of November 2017 - May 2018 included, Danish Foreign Minister Anders Samuelsen, (at the Same Time Radian, as all the Danish Presidency's Diplomatic Team, here in Strasbourg, also because of the Coincidence with an UnExpected, landmark Win, 5 to 1, of the Danish National Team of Football, even while playing inside Ireland, Guaranteeing the Qualification for the "Mundial's" Finals, Later this Year, in Russia), has just Wowed to Fight for Fundamental Human Rights, while also Ambitionning to Re-Launch a Far-Reaching New Reform of the ECHR, at the Eve of a forthcoming CoE's New Summit on 2019, (See Infra).


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           - Samuelsen "Ensure(d) that we (Danish 2017-2018 Presidency) will do our Best to Assist the CoE in Serving its Founding Values, and to Preserve and Protect the Fundamental Values on which the CoE is Build".


    - Informed by "Eurofora" about EU Parliament President, Antonio Tajani's, Readiness to Cooperate also with the CoE, as he told us Yesterday, for a European/International Monitoring of the necessary Investigation in order to Find and Punish the Killers and Instigators of Investigative Web Journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia, who was recently Brutally Murdered by the Explosion of a Bomb in her Car at Malta, Triggering a Growing Series of EU/CoE's  Leaders' vibrant Condemnations, after also a Hot MEP's Debate, (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentpresidentoncoeandjournalistmurder.htm l +
http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/wejournalistmurder.html ), Samuelsen Heard Carefully, appeared to Start Considering that, Thoughtfull, and asked to give More Concrete Details on this affair also to the Diplomats of the Permanent Danish Delegation to the CoE in Strasbourg, as it was done.


     - "Freedom of Expression" (which includes Press Freedom), is cited as Number 1 among several "Fundamental Freedoms", of which, Danish feel to be "strong and committed defenders", according to the New CoE Presidency's Program for the Period of 11/2017-5/2018, that Samuelsen presented, Earlier Today, to CoE's Committee of Ministers.      

   

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    + On this occasion, the incoming Danish Presidency of the CoE, apparently Intends also to Re-Launch on 2018, as well as Add to the process of ECHR's Reform, which had Previously Started, initially from 2010 at a Miisterial Conference on ECHR at Interlaken (Switzerland : See "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot, among others, also, f.ex.: ..., + ..., etc), followed by Izmir (Turkey) on 2011, Brighton (UK) on 2012, up to Brussels (Belgium) on 2015.


    Indeed, already Interlaken had Adopted an overall Timetable Plan, according to which, CoE should Examine and Decide, Before 2019, (which coincides with a French Presidency of the CoE), whether the achieved ECHR's Reforms were Satisfactory and Sufficient, or if it might Need to Advance even Further, Towards New, Additional Targets to reach.


    Considering also the Fact that a New, PanEuropean COE's Summit of 47 Heads of States/Governments, is currently Expected for about 2019, (as the Incoming Danish ensured Today "Eurofora", saying that they consider such a Summit, now,very Probable), then, it's Natural to have Formed a Clear Understanding on the State of Play of the Overall Situation of the ECHR's actual functioning at least on 2018, (i.e. , just 1 Year Earlier)...

 

    => Thus, a Key Importance is attributed to a Top Legal CoE "Experts Conference", organized Next Week at Kokkedal (a City Near Copenhagen : distant only 20 minutes), on 22-24 November 2017, Symbolically entitled "2019 and Beyond : Taking Stock, and Moving Forward, from the Interlaken process" :


    >>> Indeed, as the Danish Presidency of the CoE told "Eurofora", "according to the Results" of that, Inter-Governemental Legal Experts' Conference, CoE is due to Decide whether, and how, an eventual "Political Declaration" on Reforming, may be even Further, the PanEuropean Mechanism for the Protection of Human Rights, will, or not, be Taken during a Subsequent, "Ministerial" Meeting, scheduled in Denmark for April 2018, (i.e., Near the Eve of the 2019 CoE Summit : Comp. Supra).


    + In Fact, a main Intention of the incoming Danish CoE Presidency, (which had taken, Previously, the Precaution to Prepare its Draft Proposals on ECHR's reforms, already from the Beginning of 2016, and with several Visits and Contacts in Countries such as the UK, but also Germany etc), appears Twofold :


- Not Only "Take Stock" of the Progress achieved, concerning the Objectives which had been Fixed at     Interlaken (2010 : Comp. Supra);


+ but Also, to Consider eventual "Further Reforms" of the ECHR, related to "Chalenges" of "the Future", and/or the "Vision of an ECHR" Focused on "Serious and Widespread Violations, Systemic and Structural Problems, and on Important Issues concerning the Interpretation and Application" (by the ECHR) of the PanEuropean "Convention" on Human Rights. (In that case, due Attention should be taken to sufficiently Saveguard also the Individual Right for Application to ECHR against Violations of Human Rights, as many NGO's have already observed in the Past). As well as to "ensure Support" for it, while "Populations and Decision-Makers are Increasingly Questioning the Authority of the Convention System", (as the Danish Presidency notes in its Draft Program).

 

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    - Indeed, as the Outgoing, former CoE's rotating Chairman, Czech Foreign Minister Lubomír Zaorálek, (Comp., among his Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions also : ...., etc), in his Concluding Speech in Strasbourg, Earlier Today, stressed, inter alia, also the Fact that Recent Islamist "Terrorist Attacks and (UnPrecedented, sudden) Mass Migration", (particularly of that kind that was notoriously Selected and Smuggled into Europe by Turkish a.o. Traffickers since 2015-2016), have "Seriously Affected and Divided the European People" nowadays, as he Warned.


    Indeed, in such an Exceptional Context, it's obviously Easy to Guess, that, at least some, among ECHR's case-law Recent Extensive applications, might, eventually, appear as more or less excessive, Controversial, or even, perhaps, unjustified, at least to some People and/or Politicians in Europe nowdays, to the point that it might even provoke Sceptisicm, Negative reactions and/or loss of Trust, which could enDanger Core Human Rights, (particularly if such Problems might be Exploited by some Oppressive Groups and/or States) : As, f.ex., matters of Life or Death, Freedom or Slavery, Torture and Inhuman/Degrading Treatment (a "Classic" Priority of Danish CoE Presidencies, both in 2017/2018, as also more than 20 Years Ago, in the Past), Freedom of Expression, Family Life, Fair Trial, Private Property, Right to participate in Democratic Elections, and even some Elementary, Basic Social Rights of Vital Importance for People in real Need, etc.


    Even if this might Not concern particularly the current Danish CoE's Presidency, nevertheless, f.ex., Many Perople find very Controversial the Fact that some inside the ECHR have notoriously "Interpreted" recently the PanEuropean Convention's Article 12, on the "Right to Marry", in a so Extensive way, that, Instead of Focusing on Natural Couples of "Men and Women", as that Convention's Text Reads, (i.e. on Natural Marriage, generally able to give Natural Births), on the Contrary, they have Totally Ignored the Explicit Text of the Convention, (i.e. Silently Abrogated it !), and Allowed to Extend its application also Betwen Gays or Lesbians, including Submission of Children to the Power of Homosexual Couples under Pretext of "Adoption", and even went on as far as to Endorse Prosecutions, Threats, and Oppression of Liberties (including Financial a.o. Sanctions, Dismissals, Jailings/Imprisonments, etc) against Civil Servants a.o. who mightt try to express their Opposed Social and/or Religious Beliefs, trampled underfeet, (See, f.ex., several Cases in France, the USA, etc).


    => Therefore,  "Dialogue", particularly between COE's Commitee of Ministers (eventualy, even Civil Society, etx) and ECHR, about some "Interpretations" that EuroJudges use to give to the Original Text of the PanEuropean Convention for Human Rights, through the Developments of their Case-Law, is at the Forefront of this 2017-2018 Danish Presidency's priorities.


    - But, at the same time, the "Independence" of ECHR must be Saveguarded, the Dabish Presidency's paper admits.       


+ Last, but not least, "Third Party Interventions" in Cases pending at the ECHR, also by various Other Countries which might be Affected, in one way or another, by a Solution which could be given at an affair, may also come at the forefront of eventual ECHR Reforms, going Beyond the Interlaken process, Danish CoE Presidency sources told "Eurofora".


In the Past, Scandinavian Countries, including Denmark, had taken such an  Active Role in front of the ECHR mainly in order to Denounce some Exceptionaly Serious Violations of Human Rights, in cases such as Turkey, or the 7 Years period of the Colonels in Greece, etc.


The Last such Danish move was related to Torture cases inside Turkey, and, by a coincidence, had been close to the Previous Danish Presidency of the CoE from Strasbourg, Back more than 20 Years ago.


Nowadays, however, Samuelsen has, Recently, strongly Denounced as "UnAcceptable" the setting-up of a Systematic Spying Mechanism over European Citizens inside Europe itself, (through Turkish Consulates, and/or some "Imams" in Mosques controlled by the Turkish Government, special Phone Numbers for Delation, etc, as the relevant Scandals revealed in 2017 at Nearby Germany), in order to Inform a Foreign Government as Turkey, about Political Critics and Dissidents Opposed to Ankara's Controversial and notoriously Oppressive Policies. And he had Warned that, such an eventual activity would be considered as a Criminal Offense.


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    + On the Contrary, just after being Welcomed, meanwhile, Together with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, by the Head of Strasbourg City's European/International affairs service, the young Rafik Elmrini-Nawel, Samuelsen praised "Strasbourg" for being "not only a European City, but also a City of Europeans, Open and Inclusive, with Hospitality, which makes it a Perfect Home for both the CoE and EU Parliament", where "I was a Regular Guest, in my time as (former) MEP", until just a Few Years ago, and "it made a Big Impression on me. It's Hard to Imagine a Better basis for the task to Protect Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", he stressed.

 

 

(../..)

 

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 sarko_merkel_mieux

The official presentation of a "Program" respecting People's choices voted in the June 7, 2009 EU Elections, to be debated in EU Council and EU Parliament during its 1st Session on July in Strasbourg, is the No 1 Priority, according to Democratic principles, for the Franco-German axis, said the main winners at the ballot box, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel.

They stressed  that the New EU Commission's President must have a "Program" in favor of an EU which "protects" its Citizens, regulates financial markets and aims at a "Political" Europe" : a wording they have used as incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

They also declared ready for a "political" endorsment of "Mr. Barroso's candidacy" in June's EU Council, considering that an official decision would have to be made after EU Parliament's debates and votes, possibly from next month (July), with the legally necessary final acceptance shortly after Lisbon Treaty's entry into force, hoped for September or October.


- "A Program, and Mr. Barroso" : This resumes, in substance, the anouncements made by Sarkozy and Merkel, on the question of current EU Commission's President, Barroso's declared wish to succeed to himself for a second mandate, to be extended during the following 5 years.

 In their 1st meeting after EU Elections, they observed that "the Franco-German axis counted in European Elections' campaign... But, we both keep a realistic view : We saw the number of those who abstained, and we must absolutely give them an answer. We also see the disilusionment of an important number of Europeans vis a vis Europe, and we are aware of the responsibilities we have".

sarko

 - The "Duty" of the new EU Commission's President, after June 7, 2009 EU Elections' result, "is to act for a Europe which protects the Europeans, to commit himself into working for a better Regulation of Financial transactions, ... and to have a Political will for Europe", underlined Sarkozy.

Therefore, "we have asked M. Barroso... to clarify, to officialy present the intentions he has", he anounced.

- "We want to speak also about the Programme", explained Merkel.

- "It's important that for the next EU Parliament's mandate (2009-2014) we take the right Decisions for Europe.  Obviously on Persons, but mainly Decisions on Issues", she stressed.

- "It's not simply a question of a Person, it's also a question of a Programme". We are "really asking Mr. Barroso to commit himself on a Program, and on Principles, on Values", Sarkozy added.

EU President-in-office, Czech Prime Minister Jan Fischer, accepted the Franco-German stance :

- "Barroso must present his Programme. The Czech Presidency agrees with that", Fischer reportedly said later, after meeting Sarkozy.

But Press reports from Brussels claimed that Barroso had preferred to be officially appointed by EU Council since June, (i.e. next week), "because this was implied by the current Treaty of Nice, according to him", and considered any delay until the possible ratification of the new, Lisbon Treaty on September/October, as "undemocratic".

- "At any case, independently of what Germany and France ask, it's also EU Parliament's wish". "We shall propose Mr Barroso's candidacy... But even in the framework of Nice Treaty, EU Parliament has to be associated in this Decision", the French President observed.

If this is correctly done, then "we support Mr. Barroso's candidature", and "if the (EU) Parliament agrees, we might ratify this decision since July", (i.e. next month), they both said.

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- "France and Germany support Baroso's candidacy, But we want to speak also on the Program. We believe that this Program should be established in close cooperation with EU Parliament, and that's why we have followed an appropriate way", said Merkel.  - If EU Parliament wants, this election can take place on July,  but this must be done in full agreement.

- "We shall support Mr. Barroso's candidacy, without doubt", said Sarkozy. "But we have asked from Mr. Barroso, as I told him yesterday, to put into detail.. his intentions, at the eve of his 2nd mandate, if the situation avails itself.


    France and Germany "don't want to take an Official Legal Decision by writting" during "the next (EU) Council" (on June 18-19), declared Sarkozy.  Because they prefer, at this stage, only "a Political decision" on June, "so that we (EU Council) can work together with EU Parliament", which starts to meet only Next Month, since July in Srasbourg, "leaving a Legal decision by writting for later".

    - "If the Conditions are fuillfiled in EU Parliament, we (EU Council) are ready to give the agreement and make it offficial", said Merkel

    - "But, now we are working in the base of Nice Treaty. If tommorow we want to work in the spirit of Lisbon Treaty, we have to find a proper way", she added.

    - "Of course it's Legally complicated, because we are going to make a Political proposal to the forthcoming Council, for an EU Commission's President, on the basis of Nice Treaty : So, we (EU Council) will not appoint the Commissioners. Only the President.  If EU Parliament agrees, it could endorse this position on July", explained Sarkozy.

    But, on Autumn, "if Ireland ratifies Lisbon Treaty, there will be, at any case, a 2nd Decision, to appoint the Commission's President, this time on the basis of Lisbon treaty, and then, we, the EU Member States, would have to appoint (also) the EU Commissioners", he added.

    As for the precise Timing :  - "Everything is suspended until the Irish vote... Now, we must all make everything possible to help Ireland to say "Yes"" to Lisbon Treaty... The Irish Referendum, ..will take place either on September or on October. It's a Question which depends on the Irish. And,  then, we shall have the Choice of the Candidates for the permanent Institutions of Europe".

    However, "if Ireland says No, we, French and Germans, have to assume our responsibilities, and we'll do so", he concluded.

    But British and Swedish governments were reportedly eager to have a final EU Council decision on Barroso since this month, on June's European Council. While the other EU Member Countries are divided, several of them preferring to wait until EU Parliament pronounces itself, on July, and/or until Lisbon Treaty might be ratified by Ireland at the beginning of the Autumn. Barroso's current mandate ends on November.

    There are also various, contradictory and/or unpredictable reactions inside EU Parliament vis a vis Barroso's wish to continue a 2nd mandate, because many MEPs are openly or secretly opposed, reluctant, or hesitating.

    In the biggest EU Countries, as France and Germany, EU Citizens voted on June 2009 EU Elections for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe which cares for its Citizens, with an Identity, Values and Borders, declared incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid, by mainstream, pro-European Governing Parties. Similar choices were also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries.

    On the contrary, whenever, in other Countries, Governing and other mainstream Parties didn't make these choices or eluded them, EU Citizens massively voted for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to to promise anti-bureacratic change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU, (f.ex. in the UK, Netherlands, etc).

    It's seems to be an Open Question whether Sarkozy and Merkel's conditions will be really accepted by Barroso, who was appointed on 2004 in a different political context, (with Socialist Prime Ministers in Germany, France, etc), had rejected in the Past the idea of EU becoming "equal to the USA" as "ridiculous", and pushed for Turkey's contoversial EU bid, trying to "soften" or contain the changes desired by the People who voted for Merkel and Sarkozy with another policy vis a vis Turkey on 2005 in Germany and on 2007 in France, as they did all over Europe on 2009.

    In addition to many EPP Governments, it's 3 remaining Socialist Prime Ministers : Gordon Brown in the UK, Zapatero in Spain, and Socrates in Prortugal, who support Barroso, as well as Liberal Swedish Prime Minister Reinfeldt. But their Parties lost the June 2009 EU Elections.

    Questioned whether there was still "Time" for "other" possible "Candidates", Sarkozy and Merkel did not deny, nor made any comment on that, but simply said that "it's not for us to make publicity for any candidates. We anounced our choice ("A Program, and Mr. Barroso"). But we respect any other candidate".

    Among various other names cited are former Belgian Prime Minister Verhofstadt, former UNO's Human Rights Commissioner Mary Robinson of Ireland, Italian former EU Commission's vice-President Monti, etc. Meanwhile, Luxembourg's PM Juncker, (who had been unanimously accepted by EU Council for EU Commission's Presidency on 2004, but refused), announced his intention to resign from "EuroGroup"'s Chair. Thus, he might be available for another Top EU job.

    As "EuroFora"'s "opinion" said (See publication dated 9/6/09) : - "If the current candidates (i.e. Barroso, etc) to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, then, it's OK".

"Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People."

    Because, "in Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs,...should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies".
        

***

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