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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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3 EU Parliament votes to boost EuroGroup !

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After EuroZone Paris Summit's succes, Sarkozy calls to "think anew how to re-construct Europe !

"EuroZone and EU Institutional debates pave the way to 2009 discussions on EU Future, including Enlargment, Turkey etc. ?


23 October 2008

After EU Parliament strongly suppported in 3 successive Votes this week in Strasbourg French EU Chairmanship's move to boost Euro-Group at EU's core, while ideas on EU Institutional problems are awaited on December, "it's an open Question now" if this may lead to a debate on EU's Future, or not, told us French President, Nicolas Sarkozy''s Spokesman, Pierre-Jerome Henin.

MEPs voted on Thursday fresh Funds to support EuroGroup, after adopting on Wednesday a Resolution asking a "further Evolution" to "the 1st ever meeting of Heads of State and of Government of the Euro-Zone, taking decisions in that capacity", while earlier this week a Report asked "a stronger Institutional setting" for "EuroGroup", extended from "competitiveness/industry" to "environment, employment and education", with "increased powers for Political decision-making", according to a text drafted by French MEP Francoise Beres and German MEP Werner Langen, "10 Years after the creation of Euro" (1999 - 2009).

- Brussels' subsequent "EU Council ..(simply)..ratified the measures decided by EuroGroup on October 12" in Paris, which "were necessary to contain the current Financial Crisis", Resolution observes, expressing also support to the new process succesfully initiated by Sarkozy and due to be completed by agreements with USA and other countries at a Global level.

From now on, it's between two differend but parallel moves : EU's delay, and EuroZone's acceleration, that Enlargement and particularly Turkey's controversial EU bid, will have to search its way :

Indeed, EU's 27 expect a "Roadmap on how to deal with the Irish problem" on Lisbon Treaty ratification after December, risking to pass even 2009 Elections and next Commission with the old Nice Treaty of 2000, out-dated and unfit even for 2004's Enlargement...

On the contrary, EU's core launches a real "Economic Governance for EuroZone at the highest level of Heads of State/Government" of the 15, which started in Paris on October 12 and was strongly supported this week in Strasbourg by Sarkozy and EU Parliament.
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- "It's a good idea, to launch such a debate ("on EU's Future") in EU Parliament in view of 2009 Euro-Election : Perhaps some MEPs will seize an opportunity", told us mainstream French MEP Alain Lamassoure, former EU Minister and EU Spokesman for France's governing party UMP.

- "All MEPs' debates on such EU Councils are also part of the larger debate on Europe's future : Now with EuroZone, and even more when, on December, Irish Prime Minister is due to table proposals in Strasbourg on how to deal with EU Treaty's ratification", replied earlier to our question EU Parliament's Press Director and Spokesman, Jaume Duch.
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Sarkozy has formally anounced his intention to open EU Debates on Economy, Identity/Enlargement (i.e. mainly Turkey), etc. both linked to a popular Political view of Europe, since his Historic speeches on EU in Strasbourg, on February and July 2007, when he stressed that "Europe needs a New Renaissance". At the beginning of the French EU Presidency, on July 2008, replying to a MEP, he suggested that EU Parliament takes an active part in Debates on EU's Future.

- Now, in 2008, "Crisis are an opportunity to re-think how to re-construct Europe", Sarkozy stressed. At any case, the Historic 1st EuroZone Summit of Heads of State/Government, which started replying to the Financial crisis,"is a Turning Point : After that, Europe cannot be governed as before, but differently" : People "like a Europe with Strong Will".

- "We must make the System move !", "Europe needs Innovation" and free political debates. EU "Elections are in a few Months", Sarkozy warned.

He invited EU Parliament to fully play its role as "the Democratic Heart of the Europe we want : United, Independent and Voluntarist, because the World needs Europe's voice".

- "It's no more possible for Euro-Zone to continue without an Economic Government" at the Highest Level of Heads of State/Government, who provide "Democratic Legitimity" and can take important decisions, he announced, strongly supported by EU Parliament's Economic Committee which just voted to boost the "Institutional" aspects of "EuroGroup".

Plasticity offered by the current absence of a special Treaty on EuroZone's Institutions "made it easy to adapt the organization of the 1st Summit with imagination, to efficiently meet urgent needs", he observed, on the occasion of Brittish Prime Minister's exceptionnal presence at the greatest part of EuroGroup's Paris Summit.

- "In EuroZone we have the same Bank, the same Money, and, thus, a same duty for Unity" : "By bringing together EuroGroup's 15 members States we suceeded to find a solution and prepare a Giant Plan of 1.800 Billion euros", Sarkozy reminded of Paris' 1st Historic EuroZone's Summit.

Afterwards, Brussels' EU Council followed the move, and USA's Paulson II Plan was inspired from that. "Europe must promote the idea of Global Economy's Refoundation", he stressed.

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- "I was frankly astonished when I found, at the EU, a rigid system, where any New Idea was seen from the outset as a sacrilege, while, on the contrary, Europe needs Innovation !", he described.

F.ex. ,"'When we first spoke about the "Union for the Mediterranean", it was misunderstood as something extraordinary.. When later we had the Russia -Georgia crisis, it seemed against EU's custom to act "in the middle of August", instead of staying a passive spectator ! And when, in front of the Financial ciris, we gathered the 1st EuroZone Summit of the "15", some thought of it as a lese-majesté", he denounced.
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On Geo-Political Principles :
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- But, by moving resolutely, "EU obtained the ...withdrawal of Occupation Troops in 2 Months !", reminded Sarkozy, observing that Russia "fulfilled its commitments", in the Georgian crisis, where a "disroportionate reaction" from Moscow followed a "totally inappropriate action" from Tbilisi's troops. "It would be crazy to reply by military means : EU should not become accomplice of another Cold War, imposed by lack of cool heads".. as he said.

In future, "the creation of a common European Economic Area with EU and Russia, would also obtain a raprochment on our Human Rights and Democratic Values", added Sarkozy, in a statement which should logically be applied, a fortiori, to controversial EU "candidate" Turkey..

Particularly when, the same week that EU Parliament voted 2009 EU Funds for Turkey's controversial EU bid, ECHR took a series of judgements condemning Turkey for grave Violations of Human Rights, such as : Torture, death of a political prisoner in unclear circumstances followed by failure to conduct a proper Investigation, "enforced Disappearance" of a youngster aged 17, Killing of a sepherd with Tank Shells, persecuting Journalists for articles on "Missing" People, even a former President of Human Rights' Association, (etc)

- "We (EU) can defend our ideas on respect of Sovereignity and territorial Integrity, on Human Rights and other differences ... without confrontation", Sarkozy stressed, on the occasion of Russian/Georgian conflict, reminding that : "we were only 2 steps from catastroph", when a Peace agreement brokered in Moscow prevented, at the last minute, Russian troops' advance towards Tbilisi.

An EU Parliament Resolution adopted Wednesday in Strasbourg on the occasion of Russia - Georgia conflict, outlines a set of Principle which apply elsewhere too, (particularly when EU Rapporteur for Russia and Turkey is one and same person ; Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijtanen !)

Clearly rejecting any "military solution to the conflicts", MEPs "condemn ..all those who resorted to force and violence". They denounce a "disproportionate military action", "as well as (an) unilateral decision to recognise the independence" of brekaway regions, "calling.. to respect the sovereignty and territorial integrity" of the concerned country, "and the inviolability of its borders recognised by all EU Member States". They warn that "EU must review its policy towards" a 3rd Country, "should .(it)...not comply with its commitments", and "stress that the withdrawal of.... troops from the areas ....is an essential additional step".

EU Parliament "calls for the safe and quick return of refugees, (accepted by Russian President Medvedev) accompanied by the deployment of EU observers on the ground", and "regrets ...that ..EU Monitoring Mission (EUMM) is not allowed to enter the ...breakaway regions". Moreover, "It's important to ensure that persons and NGOs ..engaged in defending human and civil rights can operate". "Until ...all remaining issues (are) resolved..., and notably the continuing ...Military presence", "relations with the EU ..cannot be fully normalised", MEPS warned.

As nobody likes to be accused to practice "Double Standards", this should be regarded as "Principles" applicable to any Third Country at EU's Neighborhood.. No ?

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On Economy :

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- "When Financial crisis shook US and EU's Banks, without result from the 1st (American) Paulsen plan, it was the common reply of the 1st EuroZone's Summit, involving some 1800 Billion euros, which started a positive move in the markets, soon strengthened by the follow-up of the US Paulson 2 Plan, noted Sarkozy.

- "Europe should not be only on the defensive, but, if necessary, know also how to take an offensive", he said, brushing away hesitationsto act on Economy: - "I'm for a refondation of Capitaliism, but against Speculators, who betray its values" : "Lack of Rules was profitable to speculators, Not to businessmen !" We must make sure to prevent any such crisis in future". "We, the rest of the World, cannot continue to bear the deficits of the 1st World power without saying anything !", the French President said, applauded by EU Parliament. All this needs "a New Global Governance", on which EU Parliament must debate. That's why "we proposed together with USA, several Summits from mid-November", to which G-8, enlarged to China, India a.o. countries, should participate. UNO's SG; Ban Ki Moon, the IMF, etc.

Financial crisis lowered shares' prices even for healthy companies, sometimes to 1/3 of their initial price, so that strangers might buy EU industries for only a portion of their real value, and Europeans may wake up one day with their main industries sold out to foreigners !

That's one of the reasons for which EU should debate about creating "Golden Shares" for States to jointly take Strategic participations to help European Industries until the end of the Crisis, particularly against distording competition, he suggested, pointing at USA's 35 billion $ plan for American Car Industry."We shall struggle for Europe to be able to build Airplanes, Ships, Trains, Cars, because we need a strong Industry", he concluded.

"F.ex. as we did back in 2004, when as Finance Minister, we bought Alsthom's shares for 800.000 euros, and, after restructuring, we sold them for 2 Millions : Help a company and make money is not so bad"...

As for the UK, "when Ireland announced that it would guarantee only Irish Banks, London City emptied from liquidities in 24 hours : It's the EU which helped to restore the situation, Not the UK alone !", reminded Sarkozy to nationalist British MEP Nigel Farage.

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On the contrary, in a last-minute attempt for the EU to catch-up with its Institutional delay "before the European Elections" of June 2009, MEPs simply voted a call for a "set of proposals" to be made for the "Irish public opinion" at the end of the year...

- "As long as Lisbon Treaty is not ratified by all 27 EU Member States, there is an unanimous decision to stop Enlargement, reminded Wednesday in Strasbourg the French Minister for EU affairs, Jean-Pierre Jouyet..

Added to an indirect but clear warning that, without Lisbon Treaty, all 27 EU Member Countries may not have a Commissioner in the 2009 resuffle, MEPS in the Constitutional/Foreign affairs Committees applauded hoping that this might motivate their Irish friends..

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