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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU+CoE after Turkey Refusal to Cooperate on ECHR:"Unacceptable"(Austrian Amb to EF),Funds,Judges,MPs

EU+CoE after Turkey Refusal to Cooperate on ECHR:"Unacceptable"(Austrian Amb to EF),Funds,Judges,MPs

Written by ACM
Friday, 05 October 2018





*Strasbourg/EU Parliament+CoE/Thursday+Friday/Angelo Marcopolo/- After Turkey's unprecedented Refusal to Cooperate for the Implementation of ECHR's Judgements on manifold Human Rights Violations in Cyprus, (See : ...), a move that CoE's Highest Political Body : its Committee of Ministers, "Deplored", and that EU President Austria's Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Gerhard Jandl, speaking to "Eurofora", also strongly Criticized as "UnAcceptable", (See Infra), EU Parliament's Plenary decided to definitively "Cancel" a Part of Funds initially earmarked for Ankara, while the competent CoE's body Rejected a List of Turkish Judges Candidates for the ECHR, and CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly (PACE) is due to Check, Next Week in Strasbourg, the Credentials of Turkish MEPs, regarding Conditions which are defined widely enough in order to eventually put Sanctions also in such cases, as PACE's Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, told "Eurofora", inter alia, possibly Start-Kicking a Growing SnowBall of various Repercussions, that might Evolve much further in the foreseable Future.


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- EU Parliament expresed "Concern" for a "Continuing Deterioration", "and for "Turkey's Further Drifting Away from European Values", nowadays, particularly concerning "Fundamental Rights and Freedoms", as well as "the Rule of Law", as it was stressed in a Resolution Adopted by a Big Majority of 544 MEPs, against Only 28, Earlier this week in Strasbourg's Plenary Session.


=> As a 1st Step, MEPs Definitively, "Fully Cancelled" Now 105 Millions € from Turkey's "Pre-Accession Aid", which had been initially "Frozen", in the execution of EU's Budget for 2018. Instead, EU Parliament prefered to Transfert such Funds mainly towards Africa, but also Syria, etc., in order to Help Face more Serious Needs, (f.ex. "along the Central Mediterranean Migratory Route", etc), according to a Resolution on an "Amending Budget", Drafted by ChristianDemocrat/EPP's mainstream MEP Siegfried Mureşan from Romania.


EU Council and Parliament had previously Agreed that the initially Frozen Amounts ("put in a Reserve"), would have been only Released IF Turkey made "Measurable sufficient Improvements in the Fields of Rule of Law, Democracy, Human Rights and Press Freedom". But, already, EU Commission's Annual Report on Turkey, from April 2018, confirmed Unequivocally a Backsliding of the rule of law, democracy and human rights", clearly revealing that "the Conditions" had "Not been met" for that, on the Contrary... (Comp. Supra).


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+ While it remains, still, to be seen what exactly will happen, on this point, with EU's New Budget for the Year of 2019, (whose Draft will be Soon Debated and Voted in Strasboug, starting from Later this Month : End of October 2018+),


 it's, However, true, that the main Bulk of EU Money for Turkey now comes from a much Bigger Amount of + 3 Billions € in full Grants per Year, that Ankara had Obtained since 2015 after a notorious Blackmail exerted on the EU via that 2015-2016 UnPrecedented Big "Tsunami" of more than 1,5 Millions of Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants, which was Suddenly thrown into the EU, through Turkey's Borders to EU Member Greece.


Even if consistent UNHCR and IMO Data clearly prove that, in fact, that "Tsunami" started to be Stoped by the Closure of Borders at Victor Orban's Hungary, which rapidly incited also Other European Countries accross the Western Balkans Route, to Close also their own Borders, in order not to be Trapped in the Middle of such Huge Population Movements, (See : ..., etc), nevertheless, EU continues to Pay Turkey, Despite the Fact that it does Not really meet its Commitments in full, not even there, since, Nowadays, even more Mass Irregular Migration towards EU Member Greece continues, and Returns are Not Really working well.

 

Moreover, an Interesting Amendment tabled by MEPs who asked for "a proper (EU) Monitoring mechanism" to be Established on Turkey "in order "to Identify the correct Allocation of Funds", just slightly missed, now, a Majority for only 13 out of 656 MEPs (sic !), Dividing EU Parliament in 2 almost Equal Parts... Already, EU's Court of Auditors and EU Parliament's Budget Control Comittee (COCOBU) had Earlier Criticized the Lack of Clarity and Transparency in the way that Turkish Officials were handling EU Funds in the Past.


As for Turkey's current Financial Needs, they apparently seem Growing recently, inter alia, given also the Latest Sharp Fall of the Turkish Lira, added to a High Inflation, several Downgradings of Ankara's Debt credit by International Rating Companies, and IMF's apparent Reluctance to continue Funding Turkey, (something that its Economy Minister has already Excluded since August), etc.


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But, while EU's main Attention on Mass Irregular Migration is curently moving towards Africa, Turkey's recent Behavior at the CoE (Comp. Supra) has just Opened a New Front of UnPrecedented Problems for Europe :

 

- Thus, given also the Obvious Dangers for the PanEuropean Mechanism of Human Rights' Protection, if Other Countries started to more or less imitate Turkey in its Recent Blunt Refusal to Cooperate with CoE's Highest Political Body (its Committee of Ministers) for the Implementation of ECHR's Judgments on the numerous landmark cases of Human Rights massive and continuing Violations in Cyprus' Occupied Teritories by Ankara's Foreign Military Troops, the current Austrian Presidency of the EU (July - December 2018) Started to react :


- "This is UnAcceptable, of course !", clearly Denounced the EU Austrian Presidency's representative inside the CoE, (and, therefore, Head of the Majority Group of 28 EU Member Countries amonga Total of 47 Member States'  of the CoE), new Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Gerhard Jandl, speaking to "Eurofora" Yesterday in EU Parliament, on the occasion of another Collective Meeting there.


- In fact, the Turkish Delegation had even ...Deserted its Desk, during CoE's Ministers recent Debate on Human Rights Violations in Cyprus by Turkey, condemned in several ECHR's Judgements, Refusing to Speak to anyone, Neither to Reply to Questions raised by CoE's Top Body...


- Exerting an obvious, blunt Blackmail, Ankara's Government, in fact, Refused to Cooperate with the CoE for the Implementation of ECHR's Judgements which have notoriously Condemned Turkey for Massive and Continuing Violations of Human Rights of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons and "Missing" People, since the 1974 Military Invasion/Occupation of the Northern Territries of the Island, ...Demanding from the CoE to Definitively ...STOP its Efforts to Implement ECHR's Rulings on landmark Cases of Individual Applications by the Victims, (such as the World-Famous "Loizidou" case of a Woman Refugee/IDP, but even in Many Other Recent Individual Cases of ECHR's Judgements, such as "Xenides-Aresti", etc), even if ECHR's case-law has Not yet been fully respected in real practice !


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- Already, ECHR's President, Italian Judge Guido Raimondi, speaking Earlier to "Eurofora", regretted that, "indeed", all these Cyprus' Refugees/Displaced persons Cases "seem to be Blocked", as he had already Warned, while Turkey's explicit Threats had started to circulate in Strasboug after the Summer.
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=> It's in such an UnPrecedented Context, that, inter alia, Recently, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE's) competent Commission Asked to Reject all 3 Turkish Candidates for a Job inside the ECHR in Strasbourg, in an Official Proposal due to be Debated and Voted by PACE's Plenary Session Next Week in Strasbourg.


+ Most Important : CoE's Assembly is due to Examine and Decide on the Ratification, or Not, of the Credentials of All the National Delegation of Turkish MEPs, here Next Week, following the recent Parliamentary Elections in Turkey, PACE's Officials told Strasbourg Journalists, including "Eurofora", Today, Friday, during a CoE's Press-Briefing.


=> Replying to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question evoking Turkey, the Experienced CoE Assembly's Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, clearly stressed that PACE's Rules of Procedure use a sufficiently "Wide Wording", concerning the Conditions for which a Delegation's Credentials may be contested, including, inter alia, also, f.ex., a CoE's Member State's Commitment to Cooperate with the PACE's "Monitoring" Committee, and/or its Legal/Human Rights and Political Committees, on the Verification of its main Obligations, (etc).


+ In such a Context, it's not really a Surprize  PACE's Legal and Human Rights' Committee's forthcoming Hearing (Next Tuesday in Strasbourg) of a Top CoE's Legal Expert on the Key Issue of "the Implementation of ECHR's Judgements" Nowadays, in view of the Preparation of an Official CoE Report on that matter by former Long-Time Greek Foreign Minister and vice Prime Minister, Evangelos Venizelos, will be finally held ...Behind Closed Doors ("in camera"), i.e. withOut any presence of Independent Press, (as "Eurofora" was told....

+++ Meanwhile, PACE's SG, Sawicki, speaking afterwards to "Eurofora", with an Interogative mood, told us that, "Personaly, I have Not yet Heard something of that kind on Turkey", (i.e. on its MEPs' Credentials' contestation).


But it wasn't excluded that something relevant might occur, either Now (i.e. during Next Monday's PACE Plenary), or on January 2019...

+ Otherwise, in the Meantime, Turkey, paradoxicaly intends to keep All the Augmented MEPs' Posts in the PACE, which had been awarded by the CoE to Ankara when it had Promised to Pay a Higher Annual Financial Contribution to CoE's Annual Budget  equal to those of "Big Payers" (such as Germany, Russia, France, Italy, etc), Regardless of the Fact that, soon Afterwards, suddenly, the Turkish Government had anounced its decision to Stop Short of Paying such a Contribution, and Return Back to a Lower, Less Expensive version...


Some claimed (in Reply to Other Journalists' Questions) that this Recent Exceptional Augmentation of the Number of Turkish MEPs in the PACE would have No Relation with Ankara's earlier promise (Now Bellied) to become a "Big Payer" for the CoE. But it's also a Fact that Both Moves had been Initially Announced by the CoE at the Same Time ...

 

(../..)

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Speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", the New EU Parliament's President, former Polish Prime Minister, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Jerzy Busek, welcomed proposals by EuroFora about innovative ways for EU Citizens to attend EU debates before important final decisions which affect people's lives.

- "We (EU Parliament) must be transparent", Buzek stressed from the outset.  "We must have clear answers also for delicate questions. If we don't touch a problem, you must know why, and when shall we decide in the nearest future".. "Because "we (EU) must think about Europeans, first of all : They don't understand well what is going on in the EU. So, it's our duty to inform them, to make discussions here more interesting".

"EuroFora" congratulated President Buzek for the anouncement he made, from the 1st day of his election in Strasbourg (on Tuesday, 14 July 2009), on his intention to make  transparent debates, exchanges of views, etc. before the final adoption of decisions in EU Parliament's Plenary, when issues are evolving inside Committees, (See earlier publication).

And we reminded, in this regard, that "EuroFora" has been advocating a project for EU Citizens' active involvement in pluralist EU debates before important EU decisions, since more than a Decade : 1997-2007+

- "Thank you. We (EU Parliament), indeed, have exciting debates", Buzek replied. But, in practice, "without a possibility for our Citizens to see them, not even by the Press, the Radio or TV, etc., because it is in Committees", he regreted.

- "But, they (i.e. Media, Citizens, etc) might interact with you, with MEPs, etc, May be we can imagine something", "EuroFora" proposed.

- "Yes, (but) it needs, a quite new idea", Buzed observed.

- "Why not through some innovations ?", "EuroFora" suggested.

- "Innovation ? That's it. Fantastic  New Information Technologies !", Buzek realized.

- "Precisely, "EuroFora" has such a project, since more than a Decade (1997-2009), to use new technologies for public debates before major EU decisions are taken", we reminded.

- "If you have such proposals, please come to us, come to us. We must" do something, agreed the new EU Parliamen's President.

buzek_chairing_400 

    This fits with Buzek's main stance, expressed at EU Parliament's plenary earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the European Union must succeed to overcome a "Crisis of Trust" vis a vis EU Citizens. (See previous EuroFora publication).

    For that purpose, obviously information and debates are valuable, but purely instrumental, procedural means which can help focus on, and highlight a substantial content, attractive to EU Citizens, which needs to be determined by other, political, and not mediatic factors.  

    Buzek spoke about the urgent need to overcome the Global Economic Crisis,  the struggle for Human and Civic Rights, Democracy, etc., the Eastern Partnership, links with Russia, strategic partnership with USA and emerging countries, etc.

    But he also used (while speaking both to "EuroFora" and other Media) the expression : "The Europeans", for EU Citizens. This points right towards what several important EU leaders (including French President Sarkozy, German Chancellor Merkel, etc) have started to highlight particularly during the recent years : That there is a vital need, and an historic opportunity, for the development of a European Conscience, to stimulate e renaissance of a European Identity able to attract Popular support, for the EU to become a strong player in a Multopolar World : In other words, the revitalisation of a project for a "Political Europe".

    By a coincidence, this was indirectly but surely reminded, earlier in Strasbourg, by another ... Busek (this time with a "s") : 

busekcoe_400

    Speaking to more than 650 participants from CoE's member countries, at the conclusion of the 2009 Summer University of its Political Schools, Erhard Busek, (with an "s"), former vice-Chancellor of Austria and EU Coordinator for South-Eastern Europe, pointed at the current need to revitalize Europe's "Identity", forged by Greek philosophy and Roman Law, Christian values and Enlightment's ideas, etc. through the ages.     

- "We have almost the same name with Jerzy Buzek (EU Parliament's new President, who is a former Polish Prime Minister), because both our Families come ...from  the same village, located at the Heart of Europe, which was often shared between Poland, Germany and the Czech Republic. But my family emmigrated a long time ago to Austria, while Jerzy Buzek's family remained in Poland", explained f. vice-Chancellor Erhard Busek to "EuroFora".   

 An astonishingly concrete and simple example of European Integration from the grassroots : Starting by EU Citizens, i.e. those "Europeans", that EU Parliament's new President, Jerzy Buzek (this time with a "z"), wants to bring alongside MEP's decision-making proces, (according to "EuroFora"'s main idea : Comp. supra)...

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