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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Parliament's Spokesman Duch to EuroFora: All EU Citizens' Initiatives due to be heard by MEPs ?!

EU Parliament's Spokesman Duch to EuroFora: All EU Citizens' Initiatives due to be heard by MEPs ?!

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
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It's next week that is due to be decided whether one of the Historic Innovations of EU's Lisbon Treaty : EU Citizens' Initiative proposing New Measures to become EU Law, which has legally entered into force since the beginning of April 2012, but remains still rather foggy from several practical points of vie  until it's clarified and hammered out in real practice, will never be, at any case, totally blocked and silenced, even if EU Commission's agents might, eventually, decide (rightfuly or irregularly) not to give it any Legislative follow-up and satisfaction in substance, despite the fulfilment of all currently imposed formalities.


This seems to result in substance from the replies of the experienced EU Parliament's Spokesman and Director of Press/AV Service, Jaume Duch, to questions raised by "EuroFora" at the Press Briefing for this week's Plenary session in Strasbourg, which appear to prolonge further the ideas earlier suggested and discussed by "EuroFora" with EU Parliament's initial Rapporteurs Lamassoure, Gurmai and Haefner, as well as the competent EU Commission's vice-President Sefcovic (See relevant previous "EuroFora" NewsReports, f.ex. http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/debatesincitizensinitiatives.html ) :

 

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- "Concerning the EU Citizens' Initiative, which has just entered (Legally) into force, (since April 1st), has EU Parliament scheduled to prepare a kind of Mechanism, as it was normaly foreseen by EU Commission's and EU Parliament's Draft ?", "EuroFora" started to ask EU Parliament's Spokesman from the outset.   

 

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+ "And,  at your knowledge, does EU Parliament agree with the view recently attributed to EU Commissioner Cefcovic, that, even if a Popular Initiative might fullfil all the Conditions set up both by EU Treaty and EU Commission's Rules, nevertheless, EU Commission could, eventually decide not to bring that issue before EU Parliament, or do you think that this point is Open to Debate ?", (f.ex., if need be, also before the European Court of Justice, etc), we went on to add on the main issue at stake. --------------------


- " EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee (AFCO) is normally due to vote, next week (in Brussels) the Internal Rules, according to which the EU Citizens Legislative Initiative is going to be dealt with by the EU Parliament. This is going to be voted, at first, on Committee level, and afterwards by the Plenary", started to reply to "EuroFora"s Questions Duch.

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=> - "What is important for EU Parliament, is that, even if EU Commission is going to eventually say "No" to some (Popular Legislative) Initiatives (which might fulfil all legal criteria), this would be done only after and Explanation with  a crystal-clear Motivation", stressed on the main point at issue, the experienced EU Parliament's Spokesman.     


    -  "Such an Explanation cannot take place but before EU Parliament. So that EU Commission should explain its position in front of EU Parliament, and, moreover, the Parliament will always have the possibility to organize a Hearing with those who organized the Initiative, in order to be better informed", Jaume Duch explained in particular, apparently based on an EU Parliament's Draft.

    - "But, the concrete details are due to be adopted from Next Week", he underlined in conclusion cautiously, for the time being...


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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
-------------------------

CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

tomllinson

Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

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"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

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PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

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Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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