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Home arrow newsitems arrow EU Commission v.President Reding to EuroFora: EU Prosecutor + States'Agents' Training=> Coordination

EU Commission v.President Reding to EuroFora: EU Prosecutor + States'Agents' Training=> Coordination

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 23 October 2013

 

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*Strasbourg/EU Parliament/Angelo Marcopolo/-  Foreseen by EU Lisbon Treaty and backed now also by EU Parliament, the planned EU Public Prosecutor's Office is due to be a "Light" but Efficient Structure, mainly based on Coordination of simultaneous actions  by EU Member States' National Officials,  and this makes even more important the Training currently provided to National Officials from 27 EU Member States, as f.ex. that which starts this Month at the Strasbourg University's Faculty of Law, etc., EU Commission'' vice-President Viviane Reding, an experienced also former MEP from Luxembourg, pointed out in substance, speaking to "EuroFora" at EU Parliament, whose Plenary has just adopted Today an exceptionaly important Report on the Fight against Fraud, Corruption and Organized Crime, (See Infra).


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Considering that  by Protecting EU Budget, this practicaly means also protecting EU Citizens' Money, from Fraud, Corruption and/or other serious Crimes, EU Lisbon Treaty has provided for an "Enhanced Cooperation" between several willing EU Member States, and open to all others, should automatically start, if Unanimity lacks inside EU Council, at least as far as the creation of such a Public Prosecutor Office against Financial Crimes is concerned, Reding observed earlier.

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- But, "with what means ?" Are there already sufficient possibilities for the planned EU Prosecutor to be really efficient, or do we need much more to come ?", EuroFora had asked the  EU Commission's vice President, pointing as a concrete Example to Projects such as the new  Stasbourg's University "European College" CEFIAC,  strongly supported by EU Commission, due to organize EU Member States' Officials' training for "Financial Investigations and Analysis of Crimes" (Comp. Infra).
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- "Just to be very Clear about this : The EU Public Prosecutor's Office will be a very Small Office, which Coordinates the Work", Reding stresssd in her Reply to "EuroFora"s question.


- I.e., "which says, f.ex., : - "There is a Problem here, in 3 or 4 (EU Member) Countries, and we have to Act in order to catch the Criminals".


+ "And then, the "Delegated" Public Prosecutors, which are National Prosecutors, will, then, Act, on the scene, in these 4 or 5 (EU) Member States", each.


- "They will do that, with the National Police (of the concerned EU Member Countries), with the National Courts, and under the National Rules", (f.ex. on the protection of Citizens' elementary Rights, etc).


 - "But, they will do it in the Same Time", and in a "Coordinated" way, "so that there is No more Hidding for the Criminals, (f.ex.) to go to a Country where Nothing will happen to them : No !", the competent EU Commission's vice-President pointed out.


 - Because, thanks to that EU Public Prosecutor's role, "there will be the Same  Action, in all (these EU Member) Countries,  where Criminals are operating", she clarified.


 - "The Coordination will be done by the European Prosecutor. But that will be a Small, Efficient Office : It will Not be a Big Institution, because the Real Work will be done on the level of (EU) Member States, Coordinated by the European Prosecutor".


=> I.e., practically, by triggering a Mechanism which reminds, in substance, mutatis-mutandis, at another EU interest area : that of Economy, the way in which €uroZone's 17 Member Countries, for the 1st time in History, acting remarkably Fast, decided, in an Exceptional 1st Summit of €uroZone's Heads of State/Government, back on Sunday, October 10, 2008, at Paris' Elysee Palace, under the Chairmanship of then French President Sarkozy, together with €uroGroup's Head then Luxembourg's Prime Minister Juncker, to launch a series of unprecedented, Parallel and Coordinated Actions in order to Boost and Stimulate the European  Economy which faced then Recessionist pressures from the Global Economic Crisis which had just started in the USA : Next Monday, all the 17 concerned Capitals, plus the exceptionaly associated UK, (whose Prime Minister Gordon Brawn, had participated at the Beginning of that €uroZone's 1st Summit) had started to act, from next Monday Morning,


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+ Meanwhile, the EU Commission's v. President, practically agreed with "EuroFora", that relevant Small (EU) Programs, as f.ex. that of Training of Police Officers on finding Financial Information against Organized Crime,  in al EU Member States, would be Helpful for the protection of EU Funds, because the EU Public Prosecutor, before starting to do something, he must have been, previously, well and Timely Informed about that.


 - "That is something that we (EU Commission) are doing at any rate, because we are doing a lot of Trans-Border Training, be it for Law Enforcement, but be it also for National Prosecutors, National Judges and National Lawyers", Reding replied to an "EuroFora"s subsequent Question.


EU Lisbon Treaty provides for "Automatic" Enhanced Cooperation mechanisms, whenever Unanimity between the 27 EU Member States might lack, just in cases concering the protection of EU's Budget, as things stand now, Reding also explained. So that, all other cases, f.ex. Non-Financial aspects of Organzed Crime, etc., this also has to come, but as a 2nd step, she indicated previously.


- This Fits well, as a 1st step on EU Budget, f.ex. with the brand new "CEIFAC" EU program, (which stands for "European College of Financial Investigations and Analysis on Crime", in French)... that University Professor Chantal Cutajar, has just inaugurated last week in Strasbourg, in order to Train Officials from all over the 27 EU Member Countries, with the support mainly of EU Commission, (completed by Strasbourg's Region Alsace and the City, as well as French Gendarmerie), in cooperation also with various Experts' bodies from EuroPol, Switzerland, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Luxembourg; Bulgaria, etc.

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-Professor Cutajar, an experienced and motivated in the Fight against Crime Universitarian, speaking earlier to "EuroFora", noted the fact that, with the Completion of the 1st round of this kind of centralized EU Member States' Officials' Training on Financial Investigations and Analysis on Crime, scheduled in about 2 Years (2013-2015), the move comes just on Time in order to be ready to facilitate a fast and efficient functioning of a possible EU Prosecutor's office, initially focused on EU Budget-related frauds and other Financial Crimes, which is expected to be a very important and intereting development for Europe in the forseable Future, as she told us.

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- Replying to another among "EuroFora"s Questions in a Press Conference organized for the EU "CEIFAC" program at Strasbourg's University earlier, together with EuroMP Catherine Trautman, the Commander of Alsace Region's Gedarmerie,  Colonel Thierry Thomas, the President of Strasbourg's Region, Alsace's, Economic and Innovation Committee, former Minister, Francois Loos, and other Officials, Cutajar also pointed at the fact that, even if  CEIFAC' main domain of action certainly is focused on Financial Investigations and Analysis, nevertheless, it can naturally Help, ipso facto, also in ord to Fight against Corruption as well as other various forms of Organized Crime,  by dealing with the Financial aspects of any Organized Crime.
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+ These moves came shortly before EU Parliament's Plenary adopts, Today, in Strasbourg, an exceptionaly crucial Resolution on "Organised Crime, Corruption and Money Laundering", containing a set of concrete "recommendations on action and initiatives to be taken", which is the "Final Report" of a "Special Committee" on these issues, drafted by Italian MEP Salvatore Iacolino, who stressed, at a Press Conference given on Tuesday here,  that "this will also be the International Day for the Memory of organized Crime's Victims".


"Green" and other MEPs, while supporting the main thrust of this Report, expressed, however, certain Minority Reserves, calling not to "ovesimplify" some "Threars" concerning "Surveillance", f.ex. inside EU "Systems" for "Passenger Name Records" and "Finance Tracking", even if it's due to focus on "Terrorist" activities, as they said.


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    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
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EU "Solidarity" ?
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Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

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Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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