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Inicio 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

Escrito por ACM
15.11.17

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*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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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

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    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
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"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
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    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

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