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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Vote : Strasbourg's Daul wins 3 landslides, guiding EPP in larger than expected European victory

EU Vote : Strasbourg's Daul wins 3 landslides, guiding EPP in larger than expected European victory

Written by ACM
Sunday, 07 June 2009

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Guiding the largest Group of MEPs to a bigger than expected pan-European victory over exhausted or fragmented competitors, overcoming even the results of a scheduled split, and winning brillant scores at his home town : Strasbourg, region : Alsace, and country : France, Joseph Daul, the President of the European People's Party EPP/ChristianDemocrats, succeeded also to be both present in Brussels and Strasbourg at the same time, thanks to a duplex connexion...

Daul's EPP list got some 28%, clearly distancing PS' 23% in Strasbourg, despite a recently elected Socialist Mayor. More than 29%, compared to PS' less than 17%, in his Constituency : East. Some 33%, (i.e. almost double than "Greens"' 17% who follow), in his Region, Alsace. And his National Party : UMP clearly won in France with 28%, the PS following with only 16%, (equal to "Greens")..

More important, Daul's EPP Group inside EU Parliament, with some 265 MEPs kept a solid 1st place, much Higher than all other Groups, and even augmented its lead over Socialists, who lose many MEPs, falling down to some 160 MEPs only. Thus, he managed to succesfully overcome a scheduled split by British Conservatives and a few others who were added to various Independents at his right : About 90 MEPS searching an attachment. Most of them have already said that they would often vote together, according to selective agreements with the EPP Group.

In fact, it's Daul Group's Solidity, added to EPP candidate MEPs' gains in several EU Countries, which makes of the EPP a kind of "Center of Gravity" in the new EU Parliament (2009-2014), around which, various, more or less close circles of much smaller Groups can float, according to punctual or structural deals.

Many variations become, thus, possible : After losing more than 100 MEPs EU-wide, Socialists, with only 160 MEPs, cannot rely on a tiny (+6) augmentation of the small "Green" group (with only some 51 MEPs), nor on the diminished, 30 MEPs EuroLeft group, to challenge EU Parliament's powers wihout the EPP. But Liberals, despite losing some -20 MEPs, could, theoretically, add their remaining 80 MEPs to EPP's 265 MEPs or so, to get an absolute Majority. Unless EPP's 265-MEPs strong Group succeeds to attract at least some 70 MEPs from Small Groups as UEN, Ind/Dem and various others or Independents, which total more than 145 MEPs in all, to form another Majority, at the center-right..

Wisely, Daul has resisted to Journalists' questions in Strasbourg on who will be the next EU Parliament's President, (while also avoiding questions on EU Commission before June 7), arguying that "we must first see what the final outcome of the (June 2009) Elections will be".

Speculations focused on a choice between an agreement with Socialist Group's leader, Martin Schultz of Germany for a rotating presidency, as previously, or with Liberal Group's leader, Graham Watson from the UK. But other last-minute possibilities cannot be excluded.

If Cameron, the British Conservative party's leader, hadn't been pushed by some to try to make a small split Group out of the EPP (as in a remote Past), then, his MEPs would be Members of a most influential Group in EU Parliament, close to an Absolute Majority (EPP having, in this case, some 360 MEPs out of a total of 736)..

Schultz's confirmation, earlier to "EuroFora", that the PS would like to keep a "technical agreement" of the past with the EPP, (on a rotating chairmanship), wasn't a surprise. EU sources indicated that for the first 2,5 years, among EPP candidates might be vice-presidents Mario Mauro (Italy) or Poland's Buzek, etc., followed by PS' turn.

Watson is focusing on Political aspects :  Contrary to usual talk, now, (particurly if Lisbon Treaty enters soon into force), "it's not so much who will be the President of EU Commission, (i.e. Baroso or someone else) which matters. Because EU needs Political leadership from EU Council (i.e. National Governments) and/or EU Parliament", he told "EuroFora". 

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(See related Newstories on EU Elections at "EuroFora.net")

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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.


+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).


 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?

adali_gongadze


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.

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      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas


- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.


(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).
-------------------------------

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :


    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
--------------------
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    
    

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