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Home arrow newsitems arrow EUCommissioners Mogherini+Bulc Debate in EUParliament China Strategy + Personal Data flows : "G-3" ?

EUCommissioners Mogherini+Bulc Debate in EUParliament China Strategy + Personal Data flows : "G-3" ?

Автор ACM
Четверг, 07 Июль 2016
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Speaking in EU Parliament in Strasbourg at the Eve of the Annual 2016 EU - China Summit, Next Week at Beijing (12-13 July), EU Commissioners Federica Mogherini, (EU's High Representative for External Action) and Violeta Bulc (in charge of Transports), designed a rare, Brief but Interesting, Overall Picture of EU's unfolding, multifacet "Strategy" vis a vis the Country with the Biggest Population and one of the Most Ancient surviving Civilisations in the World, as well as with a lot of Growing, Modern Geo-Political and Economic Potential in a Multi-Polar World, but also facing Common a.o. Challenges nowadays, followed by a subsequent Debate with MEPs on the Topical, High-Tech, Human Rights and Security Issue of Personal Data Protection, of interest both to Big Business Corporations and Civil Society, Citizens, etc, (See Infra).


On Both cases, a "G-3" eventual approach (Europe - China - USA) was, in fact, evoked several times, Together with a Multi-Polar, Wider International Horizon.


 Chinese President Xi Jiping is due to participate, for the 1st time, in such an EU - China Summit, also via a scheduled meeting with EU Council and EU Commission Presidents, Donald Tusk and Jean-Claude Juncker, since his 1st Visit to Europe, back on Spring 2013, took place Before the Changes of May 2014 EU Election, while in the Latest, 2015 such Summit in Brussels, China was represented by Prime Minister Li Keqiang, who shall be also present now, (See "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot then, f.ex.. ..... + ....).


Mogherini, (who is now also a vice-President of EU Commission, and had served as former Foreign Minister of Italy, with an Educational background in Political Science), has just Published, during the Latest EU Heads of State/Governments' Summit, last week in Brussels, (Comp. "Eurofora"s various NewsReports from the spot, f.ex., inter alia, also : ..... + ....), a Communication on "Global Strategy for the EU's Foreign and Security Policy", which stresses EU's will to "Engage China", mainly by "Maximising the Potential of EU - China Connectivity", (also via ASEM and/or ASEAN), as well as by "Deepening Trade and Investment", while "Seeking a Level-Playing Field", "Intelelctual Property Rights" and "Greated Cooperation in High-End Technology", Together with "Dialogue" on "Economic Reform", "Human Rights" and "Climate", in parallel with a Multilateral, "more Politically-founded approach to Asia", in general,  for "a Greater practical Contribution to .. Security", but including also various "International Law" Issues, as she wrote.


 - EU's High Representative for External Action, speaking to MEPs in Strasbourg Yesterday Evening (Wednesday), after an important, Wider Debate, precisely, on that Overall, "Global" EU's CFSPolicy, (Comp. Supra), Focused, in Conclusion, for the First Time, on "EU's Strategy on China", by Stressing from the outset that, "10 Years" After the Previous EU Commission's Report on China, "the World has Changed .. very Rapidly", and EU "Needs to Update" its "Vision" and "Paths for Action", particularly in such "a Crucial Issue for (Europe's) Future" and even "Present", involving "one of the World's Greates Powers", since "a Number of Important China-Related Matters will Need to be Adressed in the Comming Weeks and Months".


- In particular, Pointing at "3 Main Areas" (Highlighted in a Communication Published Last June in Brussels for the Next Five Years of EU - China Relations) : (a) Economy, (b) Foreign Policy and (c) "Global Governance in a Multilateral context", Mogherini underlined that "the Core Principle of our (EU's) Strategy" is "to Step Up ...Engagement with China", "from Trade to Human Rights", etc., in a "principled, practical and pragmatic" way, since China has Become, during the Latest Decade, "much More of a Global Player", and "is More Confident, ...Outer-Looking and .. Assertive", despite "Some Frictions", while, even if the Wider "Asia's Security Environment Today looks more UnStable", nevertheless, "China has also sought Stronger Cooperation, with Other World Powers, including the EU", on various such "Global Issues". Nowadays, "We (EU) are their (China's) Biggest Trading Partner, and ... an important Security Provider in Asia, from Afghanistan to the Philippines", so that "We have an Interest in an Open, Stable and Cooperative China", as also "China .. has a .. Huge Interest in Good Relations with Europe", in "a Lot" of Issues "on which we Can and Should Work Together".


- F.ex., in "Economy", EU is interested to "a Greater Opening-up of the Chinese Market to European Business", for "Trading and Investing", with "Internal and External" Links, by seizing current "Opportunities" such as an "Agreement on Investment", "a Chinese Contribution to the (Juncker) Investment Plan for Europé", "Joint Research and Innovation", (a Key-point at the Latest, 2015 EU - China Summit in Brussels : See relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReport from the spot, at ......), as well as "new Connections inside .. EurAsia", ("Both Physical and Digital"), in order to "make Trade, Investment, and People-to-People Contacts, Faster and Easier", as she said.


+ But, speaking also about some percieved "Risks", "in a Delicate Moment of our Trade relations", where" China .. has (also) Obligations, and not simply Benefits", Mogherini pointed out that EU "must ... Shield (its) Industry from (so-called) Unfair Trade" in some alleged cases, while "China must make ... Cuts in .. OverCapacity", f.ex. "in .. Steel", but also "on Aluminium, Ceramics and Wood", while its own Economy "would benefit from Economic Reform, including the Elimination of State-induced Distorsions" of Market, according to a current official EU stance, (at least Part of which, has already been apparently Accepted by China, which has recently engaged in several such Reforms, even if it has also Rejected Some Accusations about "OverCapacity", and Asked from the EU more Fair "Anti-Dumping probe Criteria", as well as to Agree on "Granting China a Market Economy Status", as it has, in principle, been Scheduled by WTO Rules towards the End of 2016, while also wishing an EU-China "Free Trade" Deal at the Horizon of "2020").  


    But, at the Same Time, EU "has to Strengthen (its) Trade Defence Instruments" in General, (i.e. vis a vis All its Trade Partners : See, f.ex., .......), "Swiftly" enough, while, also, it "canNot Afford to be ..Conservative", having, rather, to "Try" to "Drive the Change", with "Better Rules" and "Reforms, through .. Engagement with the Wider World", as she acknowledged.


    ++ Moreover, on "the 2nd and 3rd Pillars" of EU's Strategy for China, (i.e. Foreign Policy and Global Governance : Comp. Supra), desirable "Reforms include ...Human Rights, ...Rule of Law, and ...Civil Society", through "Dialogue" and via the "EU-China Legal affairs" Cooperation "to Support and Accompagny China's Legal Reforms", which has just been "Launched" on June 2016 in Brussels, (according to an Agreement concluded at the Latest EU - China Summit on 2015 in Brussels : Comp. f.ex. "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the spot, then), reportedly Starting, particularly, with "e - Commerce" and "Consumer Protection", etc.


    - Even more Important, it's also on the Need to Face "InSecurity and Instability in East Asia", which "can only Spread to the rest of our Fragile World", including by Ensuring, f.ex., "Safety of Maritime Routes", and "Respect of International Norms", which "Concern the whole International Community" (i.e. USA included, etc), while EU "is Not Taking Sides on ... Territorial Claims in the South China Sea", but "Expects, in the Days ahead", a "full Compliance with International Norms, especially the .. UNCLOS, and a Peaceful Solution to any Disputes", that Mogherini pointed in addition.


    - At any case, "China is also an Essential Player in Other Issues", such as, f.ex., "Iran's Nuclear Programme", "Climate Change", (where EU's High Representative on External Action Welcomed Beijing's "Responsible Engagement" and "Role", including on the 2015 "Paris' Conference" of the UNCCC, "compared with their Attitude just a few Years Ago", (Back on 2009 in Copenhagen's International UNCCC Summit of Heads of State/Government, infamous for a so-called "G2" alleged Deal with US President Barack Hussein Obama, In-coming then, but Out-Going Now, Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReports from that Copenhagen UNO Summit, f.ex. at : .....).  And Beijing has "an Essential Role to Play in Afghanistan", on which "We (EU) will Work Together" to prepare a "Conference .. in Brussels on October" 2016, as she Announced, while being also "a Relevant Actor in Africa and the Middle East", (f.ex. "in the International Support Group for Syria, and in the UN", where "Cooperation is Strong"), as well as "on Migration, ...Development Aid", etc.


    - Last, but not least,  as "None of our (EU's 28) Member States has the Size, nor the Power ... to engage ... with China", it's obviously "as a True Union, as European Union" that "We Can surely Do it", "as Part of the Global <<G 3>>" (Europe - China - USA), Mogherini concluded, speaking at a Moment when the recent UK Referendum for "BREXIT" re-launched various Calls to Boost Plans for Closer EU - Russia links, (existing since De Gaule's "Greater Europe, from the Atlantic to the Urals", and revisited on 2003 during the Controversial Invasion of Iraq, Strongly Criticized Yesterday even by the Famous British "Chilcot" Report Published on Wednesday in London about the UnPopular Dealings of former PM Blair), in order to Forge a Negotiating Block of about 700 - 800 Millions People, more able to Deal with China's more than a Billion.


-----------------------


    => That "G-3" Vision, was also Highlighted at Mogherini's main Reply to various MEPs' observations, at the Conclusion of EU Parliament's relevant Debate, later-on, where she Pointed at the Fact that "Europeans ..., the Chinese, and the Americans" have almost "the Same Level in terms of Size, But ...very Different Standards", and "This is the (main) Issue we Have to Work on", (particularly in a Multi-Polar World vision, Dear to De Gaule and several Other European, but also Chinese Politicians, including President Xi).


    Meanwhile, EU Commission's vice-President ensured MEPs that she "Heard" their "Comments on the Challenges we are Facing", "particularly" on Industrial

"OverCapacity", "Human Rights", "Market Access", or "Market Economy Status" (MES), etc., to which she "add(ed)" also "Security in Asia", that "Few .. if None" among them "pointed out", even if "it Affects, ..somehow, Global Stability and .. our (EU's) own Security", as she Criticized in turn, noting even "the South Chine Sea issue".


    But for Mogherini, "MES" "is Not the Main Issue, Nor the Issue of the Strategy we Discuss Tonight". Moreover, on the Contrary, EU's China "Strategy aims at 2 things" : Not only at "Being ...Honest and Crystal-clear on the Challenges and Difficulties", (about "Security, Trade, ..Market, OverCapacity and Human Rights"), "But also to Create a Commong Ground ... on a Positive and Forward-Looking basis ... on the Opportunities, that We (EU) Can and Must Seize ...with China", as she Stressed, Concluding by a Call to EU Parliament to "Help" "Impement this (EU) Strategy" by "Tackling the Challenges in the most Useful Way for ..European Citizens and Businesses", while "also .. Getting the Benefits of a Relationship that is Strategic"

.
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    A somewhat Similar, mutatis-mutandis, EU Interest in a Recently Growing Potential to Develop much Further EU - China relations, including on High-Tech Sectors, while also Feeling a Need to Address asap certain Concerns by Taking adequate Measures, was obviously Ambiant even at a subsequent EU Parliament's Debate Today Afternoon (Thursday) on the "Transfert of Personal Data to China", i.e. in a Key Digital Economy and Society Modern Issue :


    - EU Commissioner for Transports, Violeta Bulc, (a former Minister of Development, Integration and Cohesion, from Slovenia, with a Background in Digital Technology and Innovation), observed from the outset that China "has Not Yet any Legislation on Personal Data Protection", Neither is it engaged into Bilateral Talks with the EU about a relevant Legal Reform until now, even if the EU currently has Discussions with APEC, where China is Member, to which is added also the Fact of  "Binding Corporate Rules", as she pointed out.


    - But, Meanwhile, Data Movements between EU Countries and China have already Started to Grow de facto, Despite the European Principle that Legal "Safety" of Personal Data is "Necessary" in order to "Enable their Transfert" regularly from one Country to anOther. Indeed, "Transfert of Data (from the EU) to Countries who don't have a Personal Data Legislation is Only Possible If there are Other equivalent Safeguards", which, "Include", f.ex., "Standard Contractual Clauses, or Binding Corporate Rules", etc,  as Bulc reminded.


    (That Latest Possibility, concerning mainly Big Multinational Companies, "is particularly relevant to <<Cloud>> Computing", i.e. a New Technique used more and more Often recently, as "Global Businesses Need to Trasfert and Store Data in Differend Locations").


    - Because, for the EU, "Personal Data Protection is a Fundamental Right", and, (in Addition to a Pre-Existing PanEuropean CoE's relevat Convention on PDP : Comp. f.ex. .....), an EU's New Directive on that area "Will Enter into Force on 2018", she observed. Meanwhile, Implementation and Enforcement of relevant Laws is entrusted "to National Data Protection Authorities and Courts", which have the Power to Order, f.ex. "the Blocking, Erasure or Destruction of Data, or to Ban Processing" them, definitively or provisionaly, (etc). "Without adequate Safeguards", Trasferts of Data "risk to create Trade Barriers" and/or "to Violate WTO Commitments", she Warned.


    - Therefore, EU is "Concerned", f.ex., about "Access of Public Security Authorities to Personal Data Transfered from the EU to China", concerning their "Localisation", etc, while it Hopes that "China's Security concerns will be Addressed in a Proportional way", according to EU Commissioner Bulc.


     - That Latest Observation (Comp. Supra) is related to "Cyber-Security" and "National Security" Issues, on which "China Adopted and/or Proposed several Laws during the Last 18 Months", she observed, however.


    - In this respect, EU also "Welcomed an Opportunity to be Consulted", and "China's engagement in Transparency on the Legislative Process" in that matter, Bulc nevertheless noted Positively.


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    Vice-President of EU Parliament's Committee on Legal Affairs, German MEP Axel Voss, from the Governing ChristianDemocrat Party, speaking on behalf of the Biggest Group of MEPs (that of EPP), observed the Fact that, "already, Personal Data Transfert to China is a Reality, f.ex. by Cloud Computing, (particularly for Big, Multinational Companies, etc), or by using (Shanghai Headquartered) "Alibaba" e-Trade Platform, etc, and he expressed the wish for "an Adequate Level of Protection", Not very "far away" from what "we (EU) are Negotiating currently with the USA", as he said, (making Today another, indirect Hint to that "G-3" already refered to, Yesterday, by EU Commissioner Federica Mogherini : Comp. Supra).


    - But, "I learn from Collegues (MEPs) who are Activists on these matters", that there are some "Shortfalls", in this regard, and, "therefore, I Ask the (EU) Commission, How it can Guarantee", particularly "the Privacy Standards" of Europe, "for the Transfert of Data to China", "Better than what has been done so far", "Because I believe that it's, So Far, Too Little", Voss Criticized.


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    + Replying to this and various similar Observations also by several Other MEPs, EU Commissioner Bulc reiterated that Protection of Personal Data is inscribed both in EU's "Charter" of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms (which entered into force on 2010), as well as in EU secondary "Laws" (Comp. Supra), while also "Underlying" that "Transfert of Data" is Not Legal "in the Absence of Adequate Safeguards", as a matter of General Principle.


    >>> Such Safeguards "Can, f.ex. be also included in Contractual Clauses", imposing "Obligations on Security and Protection of Personal Data, against Loss, Alteration, and/or Anauthorized Access", etc., she Suggested.


    + Moreover, "Multinational Companies" often include relevant Safeguards "in Binding Corporate Rules", (Comp. Supra), that even "Individuals" can invoke "as Third Parties", Bulc added.


    - In Legal Practice, the main Point is for "Rules", f.ex. on "Compensation in case of Breach", etc., to exist, as well as "a Possibility to make a complaint before an Authority for Data Protection and/or a Court", she explained.


    => Therefore, "EU Commission Will continue to Promote our (European) Principles" on "Data Flows" and Protection of Personal Data", both Directly with China, and via APEC or Other Regional/Internatiional Organizations, the EU Commissioner Concluded, speaking in Strasbourg just a Week before the forthcoming Annual EU - Chna Summit in Beijing, (Comp. Supra), and a few Months before PanEuropean CoE's 2 Important International Conferences here on "Freedom of Expression at the Internet", September 2016, and on "Cyber-Crime", November 2016, before UNO's Annual "GDF" in Mexico, December 2016.


     Until Now, CoE's classic International "Convention on Personal Data Protection", which exists since 1981, and is Open to Signature and Ratification by Any Country, is the Only Legaly Binding Treaty on that matter in the World. Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organization (which Includes Russia among its 47 Member States), has also a "Cyber-Crime Convention", opened to SIgnature at Budapest, with a similar Global Potential. USA and Other Non-European Countries from various Continents accross the World participated in the Preparation of Both these 2 Parallel Legal Instruments on the Modern Digital Society, and, even if Washington has not yet become an Official Member, nevertheless, several Other Countries from America, Australia, Africa or Asia have started to Join those CoE's Moves, while its Committee of Minister Started, Recently, to strongly Support the Perspective of a World-wide Expansion of Membership in these Legal Tools, that its Current, Estonian Presidency (May - November 2016) intends to Boost further, (See, f.ex.: ... + ...).


    It's alsoo True, However, that some CoE Member Countries, such as, particularly Russia, etc, have already expressed certain Reserves, mainly vis a vis a 2011 "Additional Protocol" to the above-mentioned CoE's Data Protection Cnvention, as well as to its Forthcoming "Review", scheduled for the End of 2016, but also on the PanEuropean Organization's "Cyber-Crime" Convention, particularly as far as it concerns "Trans-Border Data flows" and/or Data processed by National Govzernments for "Security" purposes. Various Technical and/or Legal Possibilities for Controversial Access to such Sensitive Data by Foreign Countries as f.ex. USA, etc., has , reportedly, played a Notable Role in this Issue, (as "Eurofora" has Witnessed at Various concrete Occasions in several International Conferences in Strasbourg, during these Post-9/11 Years, and mainly during Out-going USPresident Obama's terms of Office in 2008-2016, who has apparently taken a Growing Keen Interest on such matters).  


    However, such Issues as "Personal Data Protection", and/or "CyberCrime", etc., could, eventualy, become integral Parts of the above-mentioned, Wider "EU - China Dialogue on Legal affairs", which was Agreed on 2015 and has just Started since June 2016, with its Next Meetings Scheduled in Brussels for the Beginning of 2017, (Comp. Supra).


    At any case, Exceptionaly, EU Parliament did Not prepare, this time, any relevant written Resolutions for Vote, probably because sufficient Time lacked before the forrthcoming Annual EU - China Summit in Bejing Next Week, (Comp. Supra).

 

 

(../..)

 

 

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("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"s 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.

Polls

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 ?

Результаты

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