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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow EUParliament President Schulz to EF: OK to Citizens say before Decision, No National Referenda But..

EUParliament President Schulz to EF: OK to Citizens say before Decision, No National Referenda But..

Geschrieben von ACM
Friday, 16 September 2016

*Bratislava EU27 Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament President, Martin Schulz, (an Experienced German Socialist MEP), Replying to an "Eurofora" Question, during his Press Conference at the First in History, Post-BREXIT Summit of 27 EU Heads of State/Government at Bratislave, (Slovakia, the current EU Council Chair for the Pseriod of July - December 2016), accepted EU Citizens' closer involvement in EU Decision-Making process, but Rejected isolated National Referenda which "might Block" EU moves, as he said, after Meeting with the Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban, as well as EU Council's President, Donald Tusk, when he reacted to rumours about a so-called "Cultural Counter-Revolutio" inside the EU, leaving, nevertheless, Room for eventual Compromise Solutions by Various Views.


- "Eurofora" raised "an Old Question, but in New Circumstances", speaking to Martin Schulz, who has "one of the Longest Experiences of EU Parliament", as we noted : 

 - Indeed, it's "a Simple Question, that you know very well, but with a New Meaning Now, at this Special Historic Moment" of Bratiskava EU Summit, "as you said". After which, "Whatever happens, whether there might be an Agreement, or not, at any case, the EU Parliament, which speaks on behalf of EU Citizens, will have an Important role to Play, in the foreseable Future".




 >>> In this perspective, - "Do you think that, New, or even Old, but Efficient ways at any case, in order to Associate, in one way or another, with all Imaginative Possibilities, the EU Citizens Before the Decisions will be taken, and/or During the Debates, would be something Good and Fruitful, in order to really come Closer to the Citizens ?", we asked.  - It's "Not just" about "that Slogan, that we've All being saying", also in the Past, "But in order to Really Try to Do it Now", "Eurofora stressed.


    Martin Schulz, replying, at first, from the pure point of view of General Principles, Agreed that,  - "As much as possible (EU) Citizens can influence directly Political Decision-Making,  as (Better) it is" already now, he Started.

    - Indeed, f.ex., "My Experience, (also) as former Mayor of a Small German City, is that as Nearer the Decision Makinng (process) is to the (EU) Citizens, as High is the Acceptance". On the Contrary, - "As Farer it is, as Lower the Understading, the Support", he regretted.


=> "Therefore, to integrate as much as possible (EU) Citizens in the Process of (EU) Decision Making, as (the) Better it is", EU Parliament's President supported "Eurofora"s main point.

 - "But EU is Not a Federal State, in which a Binding Referendum could Lead to a Kind of Common Decision", he also observed.

 - On the Contrary, "We are a Union of Sovereign States, and If a Referendum in 1 State Blocks Everything in all the Other (EU) Countries, this is, for sure, No Meaningful", Schulz Criticized.        


    => -  "Therefore, I'm of the Opinion that we (EU) have to Include, as much as possible (EU) Citizens" to the EU Decision Making process, EU Parliament's President replied Positively, in principle, to "Eurofora"s main Question, (Comp. Supra)

    - "But if your Question goes in that Direction, (i.e.) for more (National, Isolated) Referendums, (then) I'm very Reluctant", he clarified, as far as his particular remark, made previously, was concerned.


    That wasn't, certainly, Not at All "Eurofora"s initial Intention, (which, given our General Principles, was naturaly Focused mainly on EU Citizens' consultation during EU Decision Making, as a whole).

    But, after all, then : - "Why not Popular Referendum(s) Europe-wide ?", (given what Schulz had just said against only "1 Country Blocking All Others", as, f.ex., France and Netherlands did back on 2005 ), we Wondered.

    And, in fact, didn't Schulz acknowledge, at the Beginning of his Press Conference, that, at any case,  "I felt that, even with Victor Orban, the Will to Comme to Conclusions is there", as he had characteristicaly said ?


=> Thus, later-on, the Press Spokesman of the Prime Minister Beata Szydło of Poland, Biggest member of the"Visegrad" Group of EU MemberCountries, speaking also to "Eurofora" after that, did not exclude EU-wide Referendum(s) on the currently most "Hot" Issues.



President Schulz (and the Polish Government Spokesman) gave those Replies to the above mentioned "Eurofora" Questions at the Aftermath of the International Day for Democracy, (Yesterday, Thursday, September 15).



The EU Parliament's Chief was accompagnied at the crucial Bratislava 1st EU-27 Summit, by his New Press Spokesman, Goacomo Fascino, a Young Italian, for the 1st Time. 






("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Verion, might be published asap).





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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.

+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).

 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas

- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.

(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :

    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    


2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?


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