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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Scientific Research Council Chief Burguignon to Eurofora on relations with USA, Russia, China +

EU Scientific Research Council Chief Burguignon to Eurofora on relations with USA, Russia, China +

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 15 March 2017
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*Strasbourg/SupraMolecular RST Institute/Angelo Marcopolo/- The President of EU's Scientific Research Council, (ERC), Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, a Top Mathematician from France, speaking to "Eurofora", Highlighted Europe' Highest Science body's current Policy on International Relations, and particularly vis a vis Russia, USA, and China, as well as various other Countries in the World.

 
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He was in Strasbourg, Together with EU Commissioner responsible for Science and Technology, Carlos Moeda, (Comp. f.ex. Moeda's Replies to "Eurofora" Questions, also at : ...), for several Events organized on the occasion of the 10th Anniversary since the Creation of ECR (2007-2017), as well as for various relevant Meetings with European Politicians at EU Parliament, during its Plenary Session this week here.

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ECR's 10th Anniversary's Events were Hosted at the University of Strasbourg, in the presence of its New President, Professor Michel Deneken,  and Welcomed also by the French Minister of Higher Education and Research, Thierry Mandon, but realized in close Cooperation with famous NOBEL Prize in Chemistry, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, CEO of the Supra-Molecular Institute for Research and Engineering, where he has recently Succeeded to Gather also anOther 2 NOBEL Prizes : First Martin Karplus and recently also Jean-Pierre Sauvage, creating, together with several Younger Researchers, a kind of scientific "Lehn Galaxy"...


(See Both Deneken's, Mandon's and Lehn's Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions, at Other, Specific NewsReports).

 

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ECR has a Multi-Billions € Pluri-Annual Budget in order to Select and Fund various Research Projects on the sole Criterium of their "Scientific Quality", which are due to be prepared in Europe and/or at an ECR-Associated Country, (Comp. Supra).This includes also Projects about Teaching and/or Diffusing, i.e. Popularizing Science, as 2 recent examples show, President Bourguignon revealed to "Eurofora".

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On International relations, to put it in a Nutshell, ECR's President would Like to Develop Stronger Links with Russian Scientists, given their traditional Importance, naturaly finds relations with the USA of primordial interest, while also wishing to find out asap the New Science Policies of the Trump Administration, and is Glad that Cooperation whith China has entered recently into a very Good Direction, making him Multiply his Visits to that "Huge" Country, as he Told us, (See Infra).


Added to an Area Closer to the EU, (which is destinated for "Association" Agreements), in fact, the Biggest Players in the World, (such as USA, Rusia, China, etc), are expected to conclude "Cooperation" Agreements with the ECR, he explained, in substance, inter alia.  


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On Russia, and Other Countries
-----------------------------------------------------


     - "The Scientific Tradition of Russia is of Exceptional Value. So that, certainly, for EU Scientists it's Important to Develop Good Relations with the Russian Scientists", ECR's President told "Eurofora" from the outset.


     - However, "in the specific situation of the Russian Federation, we (ECR) do not yet have a Special Agreement with Russia", he regretted, for the Time being.


     - While, nevertheless, "During the last Decade (2007-2017), we have concluded Special Agreements with 9 Countries out of the EU.


     -  But Russia is not yet part of that", while, f.ex., "USA - the First -, China, Japan, South Korea, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, etc", already do.


      + "And we are currently in the process of Negotiating with India, Australia, etc.", he added.


    + In Addition, there is also the "Different situation of <<Associated>> Countries, which have concluded a real Agreement with EU Commission, including Long-Term Commitments".


    - "This concerns, typically, Countries like Norway, Switzerland, Israel, etc., but also, Recently Ukraine, Tunisia, FYROM, etc"., (i.e. Countries very Close to the EU, located at its vicinity, "in an EU Area", as he observed).


------------------------------
USA Changes
------------------------------


    - "Concerning the USA", nowdays, "Nobody Knows yet how things will Evolve, since", inter alia, "there is also a quite Radical Change of Administration", ECR's President observed, for the Time being.


     - In particular, "the New American Administration is going to Design a New Policy to Support Science, that hasn't yet been determined".


    - "So, Nobody knows Today, how it will be done".


    - "The only known point is that, f.ex. the US Environment Agency had its Funding considerably affected, particularly after the nomination of a Director", that some find "controversial", as he noted.


    - But, "We don't know yet what will happen for other Agencies, which have an Essential Importance for us (EU)".


    - "F.ex. the NSF (National Science Foundation), whose Director is a nice Lady, Mrs France Cordova, (an AstroPhysicist), that we know quite well, and, normally,  is not part of what Americans call "the Political Pools", i.e., those who Change with each (New Presidential) Administration".


    - However "it still remains to Know", f.ex., "what Budget it (NSF) might have, in which Context, etc", Bourguignon carefuly added.


--------------------------
China (and Shanghai)+
------------------------------------


     - "In the case of China, We (ECR) have recently Signed a Cooperation Agreement with what is called <<the Chinese NSF>>, and that Deal "is now Evolving very Well", f.ex., "I make several Visits to China", and "the Commitment of the Chinese Minister (of Science and Technology), Mr. Wan Gang, a Good Friend of Europe, is very Strong", ECR's President appreciated.


    + "Eurofora" reminded the Fact that, at one of the Latest EU - China Summits in Brussels, Back on July 2015, (Comp., f.ex., "Eurofora"s NewsReports from that event, at : ... + ..., etc), a Key point was Beijing's offer to practicaly Advance Beyond simple Trade, and start Considering Co-Productions, based mainly on Cooperation in Science-Research and Technological Development, in order to Export also Joint Products to various Other Countries in the World


     - "These (above mentioned) Cooperation Agreements with China had been somewhat Affected, Back on 2014, when China moved from the status of a Developing Country, to that of another (Higher) Status, where, if it participated in European Projects, then, it should Fund that by itself" too, he reminded.


    - But, "finaly, an Agreement was Found, Negotiated between EU Commissioner Moedas and the Chinese Minister of Science (and Technology), Mr Wan Gang, so that the 2 Parties, EU and China, Decided what Amounts of Funds they would make Available".


      - "This might represent some Tens of Millions €, even Hundreds of Millions € for Certain Projects, but it does not affect directly the ECR" itself, Bourguignon explained.


     - Because, "we, as ERC, have directly Negotiated with the Agency often called "the Chinese NSF" (i.e. National Science Foundation-like), which Funds f.ex. Visits of Chinese Chientists inside ERC's (European) Teams".


    " This is Independent from the Political level Agreement which has bee Concluded (almost in Parallel) between EU Commission and the (Chinese) Minister" of Science/Technology, he Distinguished, showing their Additional and the quite Differend, specialized character of each.


    - "We (ECR) have Signed" that (2nd) Agreement Last Year" (2016), "and, therefore, it practicaly Started to Operate from This Year (2017)".


    - "So that, we have Already Chinese Scientists, supported, for their Travel Expenses, by that Chinese Agency, who arrive in Europe, and go visit European (Research) Teams".


    - As for that, above-mentioned, quasi-Parallel Agreement with EU Commission, (Comp. Supra), "it was Also, almost at the Same Time, during Last Year", (2016), he reminded.


     - For the rest, "China is a Huge Country, insie which there are a Lot of Scientific Activities, in Many Cities and Regions" : It's not only Pekin and/or Shanghai, but "it's almost Everywhere" f.ex. Cheng Doo, Kong Jo, Shanghai, Shiang, etc : "Science is Present at a Great Number of Areas in China", he found.


    ¨- Thus, Personaly, ECR's President has "made almost 40 Visits in China !", he told "Eurofora". "To be more precise : My Next one will be the 39th", he smiled.


    - Last, but not least :

On the occasion of his visit, Today, in Strasbourg,  ECR's President, to whom we had just said that "Eurofora"s Scientific Advisor, Dr. Constantin Marcopoulos, from Strasbourg University, whose PhD Research area is quite Near to that of New, 2016 NOBEL Prize Winner, J-P. Sauvage, present Today in ECR's Events here, but works now in China's Shanghai city, (Similar to New York, Geneva, Saint Petersburg, Sudney and Strasbourg), suddenly reacted by telling us, with a Smile, that, by an astonishing Coincidence :


    - "Next week I will be in Shanghai !"...

 

erc_anniversary_cake_eurofora_400 

(ECR's 10th Anniversary Cake, with Candles' Fire, among 2 NOBEL Prizes, 1 Minister, European ECR + French CNRS Research bodies' Chiefs, etc).

 

(../..)
 
 


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


***
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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
-------------------------
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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