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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Director+Ministers' Chair to EF for a Common Legal Space on Mediterranean States:Areas+Exchanges

CoE Director+Ministers' Chair to EF for a Common Legal Space on Mediterranean States:Areas+Exchanges

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 18 September 2018

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Both the EU and CoE's PanEuropean Organisation marked a joint wish to deal with South Mediterranean Countries by sending 2 Political Heavy-Weights in Today's Conference at Strasbourg for the Launch of a 3rd Phase, for the Period of 2018-2020, of their Programme for sustainable Democratic Governance and Human Rights in Southern Mediterranean, (known as "South III". For the Previous Phase II, See "Eurofora"s NewsReport http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucoesouthmediterraneanprogram2.html) :

 

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- Experienced CoE's deputy Secretary General, Gabriella Battaini-Dragoni from Italy, (as CoE's SG Thornbjorn Jagland was Visiting Greece, another Mediterranean Country, which prepares to soon Host on October 2018 a "North/South Center" event, destinated to an even Larger Circle of 3rd Countries Neighbouring Europe), Focused, from the outset, on the Strategic Aim to Help "Build a Common Legal Space".


- Well known former EU Commissioner, f. vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Bulgaria (recently EU Chair for the 1st Half of 2018), Meglena Kuneva, revealed that this was her "1st Event" in her New role as EU (28 Member States' strong) Ambassador to the PanEuropean CoE (47 Member States strong, including Russia, etc), Confirmed EU's Will to "Continue" to "Support", in a "Sustainable" way, such "Cooperations" as a (Regional) "Bridge" towards a Better "Global Governance".


EU provides up to 90% of the Funding, (the rest 10% comming from the CoE), while CoE "Welcomes" the interested Southern Mediterranean Coutries to its extensive and manifold set of "Legal Conventions" in various fields, where, as CoE's Director for Information Society and Action against Crime, Jan Kleijssen from Austria (current EU Chair for the Period of July - December 2018) noted, in Addition to about 12 CoE's Legal Conventions already Signed by such Countries, anOther 12 Conventions are Open and Ready for Signature in the foreseable Future.

 

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It's a Fact that even CoE's and EU's Historic Enlargment towards Central-Eastern European Countries, (including Russia for the CoE, towards the End of the 20th Century, Followed by an Extension of the EU to 28 Member States from the Beginning of the 21st Century), had been notoriously Prepared through a Previous Signature, Ratification and Participation of those Countries to CoE's "Cultural" Convention, initially.


Such Moves allow to "Anchor" Better Relations/Cooperation, Now Heading mainly towards a more "Multilateral Cooperation", stressed Battaini-Dragoni, while also Inviting Representatives of Southern Meiterranean Countries to Express their own "Views for Future Cooperation", Ensuring them of an Open "Dialogue".

 

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(ECHR in Arab Language)


Thus, among others, f.ex., even if some really wished, inside CoE, to promote this time particularly a CoE's Convention known as "Istanbul" Treaty, against Violence on Women and inside Homes, (Hotly Supported by Out-Going former Turkish MEP Gülsün Bilgehan), nevertheless, other Participants observed also that more than 17 CoE's Member States have Not yet Ratified that particular Text, in Addition to the Fact that "Noone among the 3rd, Non-European Countries, hasn't even SIgned that".


Summing-up, in Conclusion, the Number 1 CoE's Senior Official in charge of these matters too, Verena Taylor, the PanEuropean Organisation's Director General of Programmes, pointed at a Will of "Flexibility" during "Sud III" (i.e. between 2018-2020), aiming mainly to "Reply to Calls" from the Willing Countries, preferably in a "Regional" Context.

 
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+ And, Speaking afterwards with "Eurofora", Verena Taylor Confirmed, as CoE's Programmes' competent Director, that, eve if there is, currently as wish to propose that Istanbul Convention, nevertheless, Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation would be Ready to Use Also a Great Variety of Manifold Other Key Legal Conventions, open to 3rd Countries, during the Period to come, (Comp. Supra). She didn't go as far as to explicitly suggest that they might also be "Tailor-made", but her Smile have an Impression that it might not be so far away from such an eventually "Flexible" approach, (Comp. Supra).


++ Furthermore, this Key point of overall Strategy was also Supported, and even Concretely ReInforced, with several Particular Mentions of Various Real Examples, by the President of CoE's Ministers' "EX" Group, in charge of External Relations, Ambassador Katrin Kivi, from Estonia, speaking, later-on, with "Eurofora" :

 

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- Among others, f.ex., it's also on Helping to Fight against "Cyber-Crime", on Protecting "Personal Data", (where CoE intends to Launch a ReNovated Legal Convention, in Agreement with the EU, during its Parliamentary Assembly's Plenary Session of October 2018 in Strasbourg), as well as in Preventing "Radicalisation", Fighting against Terrorism, but also Elections, Constitutions, Anti-Corruption Measures, Reform of the Judiciary, etc, Added also Ambassador Kivi to "Eurofora", in a purely Indicative, but suggesting way.

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* Concerning the Prestigious "Venice Commission", CoE's Top Legal Experts' body for Democracy and Human Rights through mainly Constitutional Law, its Experienced Director, Thomas Markert from Germany, speaking to "Eurofora", observed, f.ex., the Interesting Fact that, particularly with Tunisia, Morocco and Jordany, but also Other South Mediterranean Countries, CoE has Efficiently Cooperated, inter alia, also in the Creation of several "Independent Authorities" in various Key Sectors, probably because, inter alia, they did not wish for an Instable Parliament to eventually Dominate all Social Life in their Countries, but Preferred to have a More Resilient Civil Society build around Stable Values and elementary Democratic Pluralism, Markert practically highlighted.

 

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Moreover, a Young Morocco Expert on Audio-Visual affairs, Amine Elbouazzaoui Haca, told "Eurofora" that Rabat was already Participating inside Strasbourg-based CoE's PanEuropean Audio-Visual Observatory, (a "Hit" nowadays particularly for V.O.D. in its Annual Press Conference at Cannes' International Festival). Indeed, how could it be Otherwise for the Country of World-Famous "Casablanca" Hollywood Film, starring the Historic legends of Humphrey Bogart with Lawren Bacall ?...


But Verena Taylor's "Dialogue" (Comp. Supra) went sometimes "Spicy", particularly when a Tunisian Expert Imed Hazgui, President of the (Independent) Authority for Access to Information, launched a Friendly Challenge to the Experienced President of CoE's "Venice Commission" (Comp. Supra), Gianni Buquicchio, by Claiming that the Tunisian Constitution of 2014 and subsequent Legislation would have Developed "Better Legal Standards" Citizens' "Access to Information" and/or "Participation" to Public Authorities Decisions-Making !


Surprizingly, President Buquicchio did Not Deny that, and, on the Contrary, spoke, as a matter of General Principle, in favor of "Sharing" the Best Legal Standards accross North and South Mediterranean Countries...

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"Eurofora" subsequently Spoke with President Hazgui on that Key Point for Citizens nowadays, and we reminded him, inter alia, also the Fact that, when that New Tunisian Constitution of 2014 was still being Prepared on 2012, We had raised a relevant Question, in a Press Conference at the CoE in Strasbourg, to the Head of Tunisia's Constituent Assembly, Ben Jafaar, precisely about eventual Innovations concerning Citizens' Participation to the Decision-Making process by Pubic Authorities, and Jafaar had, indeed, Replied Carefuly but Positively, at least in principle, without Excluding that "the Genius of the (Tunisian) Revolution might", perhaps, succeed to Deal also with that, (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tunisianrevolutionideasondemocracy.html).


Indeed, the Article of the 2014 Tunisian Constition which enshrines a Citizens' Right to Acces to Information, Transparency, etc, makes it clear that this aims to Help Develop Citizens' Participation to the Decision-making process, more Widely observed President Hazgui, among others, replying to "Eurofora" on that point. [NDLR : The Rest is a Legal Analysis' Comparison Study].  


- "Knowledge Transfert" between the Northern and Southern Mediterranean Countries "is Not Uni-Directional", indeed, pointed, in this and various other similar regards, the Head and an Expert of EU Commission's DG NEAR, Ingrid Schwaiger and Anne Tuna, (both from Austria, the current EU President for 7-12/2018), as a matter of General Principle.


Amin Haca (Comp. Supra) told "Eurofora" that a Web Network of various Legal "Regulations" accross the Mediterranean Sea Countries contains, in principle, various such Legal Standards used at the North and/or South, (as one of the remnants, probably, of the 2008 Attempt to create a "Mediterranean Union", on the occasion of the French Presidency of the EU, then : Comp. relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReports from the relevant Heads of State/Summit, then, in Paris' "Grand Palais", f.ex., at: .., etc).  

 
Concerning Today's EU/CoE Programme of "SUD III" for 2018-2020, such a GeoPolitical Area is due to Bring Together around Nine (9) Entities from the "Southern" side, such as : Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Lybia, Egypt, Israel, Palestinian Authority, Lebanon and Jordan, said earlier to "Eurofora" CoE's Head of Programming Department, Pilar Morales Fernandez-Shaw.


In this Wider Framework, it's, f.ex., also the Interesting Experience and "Know-How" of Morocco in the Figght against Radicalisation, which could be Usefull for most Other Participants, she pointed out. And the Interests but also the Ingenuity of various Southern Mediterranean Countries, as well as the "Flexibility" of EU/CoE's "SUD" Programs have f.ex. Created even a "Cyber-SUD" specifique Project, etc., Pilar Morales -Shaw told "Eurofora". 

Meanwhile, inter alia, it was announced that the Foreign Minister of Tunisia will visit CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg at the beginning of October 2018. 

This coincides with the Opening for Signature of CoE's new, Revised Convention for the Protection of Personal Data, (Agreed with the EU), mainly throughout Digital Technologies, (Comp. Supra).

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   

(../..)


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(Opinion).

 In Democracy, the forthcoming choices for EU's Top Jobs, as the New EU Parliament's President, new EU Commission's President (+ probably EU Council's President, EU Foreign Minister, etc) should be made according to EU Citizens' Votes in June 7, 2009 European Elections, and main EU Governments' strategic policies.

At the heart of the biggest EU Countries, in France and Germany, EU Citizens clearly voted for a renovated, non-technocratic but Political Europe based on Values, declared explicitly incompatible with Turkey's controversial EU bid.

This main choice was also supported in several other small or medium EU Countries, such as Austria (cf. promise of a Referendum), Spain (cf. EPP program's reservations vis a vis Enlargment), etc., while EPP Parties won also in Poland, Hungary, Cyprus, etc.

In other Countries, whenever Governing coalitions didn't make these choices or eluded them, continuing to let a Turkish lobby push for its entry into the EU, they paid a high price, and risked to damage Europe, by obliging EU Citizens to massively vote for euro-Sceptics whenever they were the only ones to offer a possibility to promise  real change and oppose Turkey's demand to enter into the EU :

It's for this obvious reason that British UKIP (IndDem) succeeded now (after many statements against Turkey's EU bid) to become Great Britain's 2nd Party, unexpectedly growing bigger even than the Governing Labour Party, as well as the Liberal party  ! Facts prove that it's not an isolated phenomenon : A similar development occured in the Netherlands, where Geert Wilders "Party for Freedom" (PVV) became also the 2nd biggest in the country, (after EPP), boosting the chances of a politician who had withdrawn in 2004 from an older party "because he didn't agree with their position on Turkey". And in several other EU Member Countries, even previously small parties which now focused on a struggle against Turkey's controversial demand to enter in the EU, won much more or even doubled the number of their MEPs (fex. Bulgaria, Hungary, Greece, etc).

On the contrary, whenever Socialist and oher parties were explicitly or implicitly for Turkey's controversial EU bid, they obviously lost Citizens' votes and fell down to an unprecedented low.

In consequence, EU Citizens clearly revealed their main political choices, in one way or another : They voted to change for less Bureaucracy, but more Politics and Values in a Europe really open to EU Citizens, but without Turkey's controversial EU bid.

Recent political developments are obviously different from the old political landscape which existed in the Past of 1999-2004, when Socialists based on Turkish 1% vote governed undisputed not only in Germany, but also in the UK, Greece and elsewhere, France followed old policies decided when it had been divided by "cohabitation", before the 3 "NO" to EU  Referenda since May 2005, before Merkel, before Sarkozy, etc.... before the surprises of 7 June 2009 new EU Elections.

If the current candidates to the Top EU jobs promise and guarantee to respect People's democratic choices, OK.

Otherwise, Europe must find new candidates, really motivated and able to implement these democratic choices of the People.

The beginning of crucial, final Decisions are scheduled for the 1st EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg, in the middle of July, and they could be completed towards the October session, when Lisbon Treaty's fate will have been fixed.


See relevant Facts also at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/2009electionsandturkey.html
http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/daulelections.html
http://www.eurofora.net/brief/brief/euroelectionresult.html

 ***

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