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Home arrow newsitems arrow ERC Head Bourguignon to EF on Scientific Research Impact to Society, key of EU Funds Future Strategy

ERC Head Bourguignon to EF on Scientific Research Impact to Society, key of EU Funds Future Strategy

Автор ACM
Saturday, 25 November 2017
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*Strasbourg/European RDV 2017/Angelo Marcopolo/
- While EU Political Leaders nowadays Prepare a New Multi-Annual Program for EU Funds to Scientific/Technological Research in the Post-2020 Future of Europe, the President of the European Research Council (ERC), Professor Jean-Pierre  Bourguignon, Replying to "Eurofora"s Questions, (for Other Replies of ERC's Head to our Quesiions at a Previous Press-point, See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/ecrheadoninternationalrelations.html) acknowledged the Growing Importance of the competing projects' "Impact" on Society, where Public Debates with EU Citizens' involvement, Before crucial Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society at large, are a Must, according to EU Council's current Strategy, (which Surprisingly approaches "Eurofora"s Wider Project, in a Key area).    

Indeed, EU Council is due to decide, Next Week in Brussels, on an "Interim Evaluation of (EU Research Funding pre-existing Program) Horizon 2020", and the New, "9th Framework Programne", starting from 2021. And, already on May 2015, the EU Council has urged, to "Assess" the Funded Projects, by putting "Emphasis" also "on their ... Impact".

-------------------------- -

 

"Eurofora" refered to mentions made on the "Impact" of Scientific Research, as well as to the European "Synergy" Program (See Infra) with PluriDisciplinary Cooperation among Human/Social and Natural Sciences, in order to raise a Classic, but also Topical and Political Question  :


- "Why some (even among the Best Researchers) might eventualy look a bit Reluctant vis a vis the Clarification and Valorisation of the Social Issues at Stake in Scientific Research ?".


- However,  "their Interest for the Society, which could, sometimes, even make People Dream with Science, and Strengthen it Politically, while being also a Responsibility, given that Public Funds are spend for it, but often even a Pleasure and an Opportunity, for real Intellectuals, to develop a Profound Thinking on the real Meaning that has for the Society what they are doing, and the Choices that they are making", we observed, in this regard.


 => "Instead of some Reluctances, on the Contrary, don't you think that it would be Useful to Develop Further the Clarification of what is really at Stake in Scientific Projects, in the Choices made by Scientific/Technological Research, their Potential Interest on what we could Hope to Achieve, presenting an Horizon, interesting also for the Future of Europe, which another Topical Question", Eurofora wondered.


-----------------------

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 - "I'd prefer to speak about the issue of the "Impact" of Scientific/Technological Research, "because I am concerned, also since I'm Often Incited to Address that "Hot" Issue, several Times, including in Public, even by State Secretaries, Ministers, etc., so that" it cannot be ignored at all, started to Reply to "Eurofora"s Question ERC's President, Professor Jean-Pierre Bourguignon.


 - "The main Reply" to this Question, basically "is always the same : Certainly the Impact (of Science/Technology) is Interesting for us", he clearly Confirmed.


 - "But, that does not mean that it should also be a determinant factor, a necessary Criterium for the Choices due to be made between various (Scientific/Technologic Research) Projects" to Fund, or not, he went on to add, (obviously defending the Autonomy and Freedom of Science, at least in Principle).


 - "So that, for us (ERC), for example, "it's Out of Question to Choose (among various Projects) Exclusively on the Unique Basis of the Impact, particularly the Economic (Financial) Impact only", he Warned Carefully, (while also making things Clear on which Concrete points, some among the main Objections are Focusing, among the Scientific Community).


 - However, "we Must, certainly, Develop further the Visibility of what is the Outcome of the Projects", the Experienced ERC's President stressed, as far as the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question was concerned.


 - "And that's one of the Reasons for which I find that ECR's Administrative Budget, used in order to Make an Analysis of the Impact of Projects, Needs to be Enlarged", he advised, given the growing Importance of that aspect, (See Infra).


 - "Because, it's absolutely Legitimate (but often, not so Simple) to Explain what could be the Real Results of the Projects", President Bourguignon pointed out.


 + By the way, "concerning Human and Social Sciences", (i.e., which can, precisely, be used also in order to examine the Socio-Economic a.o. Impact of Projects, even of Natural Sciences, as "Eurofora" had highlighted: Comp. Supra), "the Rules applied by the ECR are very Simple : There is Strictly an Autonomy:  We let Receive what the Researchers present to us".


 - "And, from this point of view, the Budget spend during the Last Year for Human and Social Sciences is quite considerable : It's about 400 Millions €, i.e. a very Significant Amount of Money", he observed.


 -  "It concerns almost All the Domains of Human/Social Sciences, and, particularly, something which is not generally well known, is that, in fact, the Researhers are very Keen into chosing Important and Topical Issues", (i.e. avec a Serious Potential Impact in Nowadays Society) :


 - "F.ex., when we (ECR) examined the series of Projects concerning Migration, during the last years, we saw that there was a absolutely Remarkable Augmentation of the Number of Projects", in this area, "and simply at the Initiative of Researchers themselves", he pointed out.


 - Indeed, "they found that this was an Issue on which it was Necessary, Nowadays, to dedicate More Research, Serious and Rock-Solid Studies".

 

  - "This goes almost for All Issues of Topical Importance, as, f.ex., also on Energy, where the ECR has, now, in its Files, almost 300 Projects on Energy, and about 600 Millions € spending on Energy Issues", he revealed.


  - "So that, when we spoke, recently, about that, with the EU Commission's vice-President responsible for Energy, Mario Sefcovic, he was Astonished to find out that there is So Much Research on Energy"...


  - "Simply, the Researchers are spontaneously Interested, by themselves, on what is More Important", nowadays, "so that there is No Need to push them for that", he found.


 - "It doesn't mean that there might not be, in addition, a Need for some More Focused Programs", ECR's Head admitted.


  -  "But I think that (European) Researchers are doing so, in Their own Way, and with Their Agenda", he Concluded on this point, optimistically.


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EU's EVOLVING PRINCIPLES :
----------------------------------------------------


    On this regard, more Recently, a July 2017 relevant Opinion of the ERAC, "requires that the (Science and Technology Research Programmes, "Should Contribute to Other (EU) Sectoral Policies, and Promote Better and Continued Dialogue with European Citizens".


    And a subsequent, "Tallin Call for Action", on the Results of a Conference organized by the Estonian EU Presidency, on October 2017, launched a Call to "Increase the Impact of Research and Innovation Investments, and Buid Trust between Research and Society" (See also Infra).


    Comming also After EU27 Heads of States/Governments' Summit's "Rome Declaration", last March 2017, in Italy, (which Marks a Change in overall EU Policies, for a Future of Europe closer to EU Citizens, (See Relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReports from Rome, f.ex.: .... + ...), a Draft Decision on EU Research Programs, due to be Examined and Endorsed Next Week in Brussels, Significantly Adds to "Economic Growth" and "Industrial Competitiveness", also "Social Inclusion and Addressing Major Societal Challenges", i.e. "Wider Societal Issues". 

 

eu_presidency_by_estonia_tallin_call_for_action_in_science_funding_october_2017_400 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     More Important: The above-mentioned Estonian EU Presidency's Official "Statement" on "Research and Innovation matter for the Future of Europe", made on October 2017 in Tallin, (Comp. Supra), also Known as "Tallin Call for Action", "presented to Stakeholder Representatives at a High-Level Conference on "European Research Excellence : Impact and Value for Society", which came Timely during the Preparations of the Forchcoming EU Heads of State/Government Summit in Brussels, 14-15 December 2017, "has been Drawn up in Close Cooperation with EU Stakeholdrs, via On-Line (Web) Consultation and RoundTable Discussions", in the wider Context of "the current Debate on the Future of Europe".


     - "The overall Impact and Value of Research and Innovation is much Wider" (than its mere Economic Benefit), "Bringing Long-Term and Transformative Benefits to Society, most notably through Educated and Competent People, and Improvementrs to our Everyday Life". It "Gives us a real Chance to Build  Better Future", and "we Need Research to Deepen our Understanding of our Changing Societies", it Observes.


    >>> - That's why, "there is a Need to Act Urgently ... to ensure Broad Political Commitment for Increasing Research and Innovation Funding, Impact of these Investments, and Public Trust", it stresses from the outset. For that Purpose, "Stronger efforts are needed to Make the Benefits of R&I Visible and Understandable by all, and to achieve Wide Citizen Involvement, ...as well as Engaging People" (i.e. "Both with Stakeholders and the Public"), not only "to Explain our Needs", but also "in Shaping our Common Future".


    >>> Indeed, "Increase the IMPACT of R&I Investments", and "Build TRUST between Research and Society", are set as 2 out of 3 "Priorities", (another one concerning the "Investments" themselves).


    - This implies to "Recognize a Broad Notion of Impact", including "the Societal Value of Research", and a "Dynamic Approach to Impact Assessment", through a "Necessary Cultural Change", EU Presidency urged :


    => In particular, the relevant "Decision-Making" must become "More Transparent", "Consider Potential Applications and Societal Impact" of Research, "Clarify and facilitate Understanding of the Issues", and "Communicate the Impact and Results of (R&I) Work", by "Inform(ing) Public Debate" and "Develop(ing) Dialogues with the Public", (i.e., a Move Strikingly Near "Eurofora"s wider project !)...


    +Naturally it also Includes, eventually, a "Constructive Criticism", and possible "Limitations of Scientific Research", EU Presidency's Text adds.


    >>> The Main point being, for all Scientific/Technological "Researchers, Research Organisations, Research Funders", to "Engage the Public", and particularly "the People", at "All Levels of Government", "with Research that Affects them", "in the Co-Creation of the Future", looking for "Possibilities to Co-Design and Co-Implement Solutions to Societal Changes, based on Science and Innovation", while Also "Explaining the Work you do", and "Following ... the Principles of Integrity and Good Research practices".


(I.e. strikingly Similar to the "Good Administration" Legal Principle, for Public Authorities' Decisions affecting EU Citizens, according to EU's Lisbon Treaty, which has notoriously Entered in Force since 2010 already)...


------------------------------------------------------------------------------
STRASBOURG's EUROPEAN RDV's DEBATES ON EU FUNDS FOR SCIENCE :
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------


    + Meanwhile, when ECR's President Bourguignon, spoke with "Eurofora", it was just After a Debate on EU Funding of Science and Technology, organized by the European Rendez-vous of Strasbourg, in Cooperation with the CoE and the EU, thanks to the University's Pole of Public Law, headed by Professsor and former Dean, as well as f. EU Commission's Legal Services' Director in Brussels, Jean-Paul Jacqué.


    ----------------------


    - "Each Pluri-Annual EU Framework Program for Science/Technology has a Duration of about 7 Years" : "Today, We are in the Middle of EU Program "Horizon 2020", and "already in the process of Thinking about the Next one, which will Start from 2021", ECR's President reminded Earlier.


    - "Last Time, we passed from the Previous, "7th Program", to "Horizon", with almost No big Change : Something that is Good for Scientists, who are fond of Stability".


    - "Horizon" is Composed of 3 Pillars : The 1st is about "Excellence in Science" (ECResearch, Marie-Curie on Education, Big Infrastructures, "Future Emerging Technologies"), the 2nd is named: "Industrial Leadership" (Airspace, Pharma, etc), and the 3rd : "Social Challenges".(such as Food, Cyber-Security, Health, Climate, etc).     


     - "ERC represents a signiificant part of that Program : about 17 %, which has, this Year, almost 1,2 Billions €, Divided for 1/3 to each one of its 3 Pillars" (Comp. Supra).


     - Until Now, Less than 10% of the Total of Funds spend in Europe (by the Public and Private Sectors) for Scientific/Technological Research are Decided at EU Level (precisely more than 8%+), compared to almost 60% for the Federal Level in the USA, he Regretted. And, even on that Total, Only ...Finland has just Reached the Target of 3% of the GDP, heading for 4%, while Germany has just Bypassed the 3% (as Few among EU's Member States), but France is Following with 2,22%, and most Other EU Countries are in a Worse situation currently, (some having even Regressed), ERC's Head criticized.    


 -----------------------------


    - "It's True that, in Europe (Contrary to the USA : Comp. Supra), Most Funds for Research are at the National level of Member States, but EU Funds play an Important Role, and, f.ex., the "Horizon" Program helped create Networks of Scientists across Europe", observed the Experienced, former President of Strasbourg's University, and currently Director of Research at the French Ministry for Universities and Research, Alain Beretz.

 

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    - Thus, it's important for the European Countries to create a Coherent Policy in Strategic, key areas, between them, he stressed, inter alia.


----------------------------------------------------------


    + Advancing "Beyond the Amounts of Funds, and Beyond Politics", from the pure point of view of Scientists, World-Famous NOBEL Prize Winner for Chemistry, Professor Jean-Marie Lehn, Director of Strasbourg's Institute on MacroMolecular structures, praised ECR's role particularly for his Support to a "Science withOut Borders", by Helping  "Not Structures or Organisations" (which are also necessary), "but Individual Persons, who have certain Ideas", and need "Time" to Work on them, as well as the "Autonomy" that ECR's Funding gives them, as he characteristicaly said : F.ex., 3 or 4 Millions € during 5 Years is OK for such a "Culture of Projects", allowing them to be Developed, as never before, he observed.


-----------------------------------------------------


    ++ However, regrets were expressed, by the European Science Foundation's new Secretary General, Jean-Claude Worms, for the Interruption of the initial "Synergy" Programs, where EU Countries cooperated for the Funding of Trans-Border Networks of Scientists, on ambitious Pluri-Disciplinary Projects : Something which had worked, Back on 2012-2013, but does Not Exist Today, no more in Europe, (except, perhaps, of the COS Program in Brussels, etc).


    - Nevertheless, ECR's President, Jean-Pierre Bourguignon, Announced, in Reply, that, after a Careful collective Evaluation of those "Synergy" Programs, which Concluded with quasi-Unanimous Positive apraisals, even, by those who previously were rather Critical, it has just been Decided that New European "Sunergy" projects will be Launched for 2018 and 2019, with 250 and 400 Millions €, respectively.


    - A Challenge to face will be (in Addition to the Financial Amounts required) to succeed to Find really "Strong" Projects, Maximising the "Cocktail" of Competences contained in a Network of Scientists across Borders, and a fruitful Inter-Disciplinary approach (f.ex. between Human/Social Sciences, Life and Natural Sciences, etc), so that they can seriously Justify a considerable Funding which may be something about 6 to 16 Millions € during more than 6 Years, without Excessive Administrative Costs, (f.ex. +3%; as the Initial "Synergy" Networks had provoked in the Past : Comp. Supra), so that Accounts don't deprive Science from necessary Funds, as he Warned.


----------------------------------------------------------------------

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    - An at least partially Similar Example, has already started at Strasbourg's University, with a Collective Project, which created a Trans-European Network, bringing Together Specialists in Law, Finance, Security, etc., in order to Fight Against International Organized Crime, mainly through a New Investigation System, which was set up, between 2009-2017, by Strasbourg Universiity's Professor Chantal Cutajar, (also the City's Deputy Mayor responsible for Citizens' Participation), with the Help of 90% European Funds, added to 10% Grants from Local/Regional Authorities, resulting also to PanEuropean Conferences, several Doctoral Thesis, etc, that she described, previously, Introducing a series of 5 Concrete Science/Research Projects realized here thanks to European Funding.

professor_cutajar_at_ervs_2017_eurofora_400


    + With an ERC Grant of 1,5 Million € during 5 Years (2012-2017), the Young German Scientist Wiebke Drenkhan, a Physicist, Researcher in Strasbourg's Bio-Tech. Institute "Sadron", who managed, on the Contrary, to Travel for Studies and Research, from Germany to France, the UK, Japan, New Zeland and USA, said that she Focused on "Cellular Materials" Shaped like "Foam", which, inter alia, might help in a Wide Area of Various eventual Applications, including, f.ex., to create "Walls which Capture Traffic Noise, but let Hear Birds Sing", as she symbolically joked.

erdvs_2017_drenckhan_erc_funding_eurofora_400


    ++ Professor at Strasbourg University's Labo for Optical and Digital Engineers, Sylvain Gioux, also used European Funding in order to Invent a New Tool Helping  Surgeons to get a Better and Clear View of all the Area of a Patient's Body and Organs where they have to Operate.


    +++ Last, but not least, Professor Anne-Sophie Korganow, also a Practicing Medical Doctor, organized, thanks to EU Funds, an original Data-Base with Genetic and Other Health Data from Patients located in the Franco-Germano-Swiss Euro-Region of Superior Rhine (OberRhine), concerning mainly Rare illnesses, named "RARE-NET". In Parallel, "Eurofora" was Glad to learn that she had also Succesfully Operated f.ex. a person that we know, Healing her from a thorny Health Problem in the Past, as she told us, with Gratitude.

 

erdvs_2017_eu_rst_funds_korganow_eurofora_400


     A fact which reminds that, sometimes, supporting Science, might Help to Find UnExpected Solutions also to very Differend Issues, Affecting People's Lives....


    After all, didn't Medical Dr. Pasteur, notoriously, do something partly similar, when he UnExpectedly invented the Vaccines, in the Past ? And what about Physicist Newton and his Apple Tree ? Or Philosopher Eratosthenes and his Shadow under a Hot Sun, compared to the Earth ? Not to mention Inventor Archimedes and his Bath-Water...

 

(../..)


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People in Europe and the World expect from CoE to make a succes of its "Monitoring" for Human Rights and Democracy, despite difficulties, said Finland's President Tarja Halonen to "EuroFora" at a crucial moment for the mecanism built 15 years ago by the paneuropean organization which celebrates its 60th Anniversary in 2009.

Halonen, known as "Mother" of CoE's "Monitoring" mecanism, a long-time MEP and former Foreign Minister before becoming Finland's President, holds a long experience in the mattter, after also serving twice as CoE and EU Chairwoman in the past. That's why she is well placed to judge how CoE's "monitoring" should deal today with some crucial issues of importance both to CoE and to the EU.

The move came just a Month before a crucial, last visit to Turkey, scheduled for June, by the President of CoE''s "Monitoring" Committee, Ukranian MEP Serge Holovaty, to finalize his Report on Ankara, the CoE Member State with the longest Monitoring procedure. From its results depends its overall credibility.

This is a Test-case, because, in fact, it's in order to avoid Sanctions threatened against Turkey by a CoE's Assembly's April 1995 Resolution for grave Human Rights violations, Democracy gaps, the continuing Military Occupation in Cyprus, the unresolved Kurdish problem, Aegean differend with Greece, etc., that MEPs decided to create, for the 1st time on April 1996, a "Monitoring" proces, allegedly destinated to check, without excluding Countries who did not fulfill all CoE's standards.

In the Past, the obliged withdrawal of Greece's Military regime and of its "Civil" cover-up out of the CoE had helped bring back Democracy in 1974. But, on the contrary, since April 1996, the idea was to "monitor" Human Rights' respect while keeping most concerned Countries inside the CoE. After Turkey's oldest example, this was extended also to several former "Eastern" European Countries, even if CoE's Assembly has imposed to some of them (fex. Ukraine, Russia, etc., after Belarus, Serbia, etc) various "Sanctions", that Ankara always avoided. Curiously more succesful even than .. USA itself, (a CoE "Observer" since 1995), which has been at least threatened with sanctions some years ago..

EU-effects of CoE's Monitoring process became obvious between 2001-2008, since the "closure" of this procedure, when CoE felt that a Country had met most of its Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law obligations, (i.e. the "Copenhagen Criteria" for the EU), helped trigger Negotiations with the EU for "Accession" or other closer relations : This occured already before the 2004 and 2007 EU Enlargements to former "Eastern" European Countries, as well as for the commencement of "accession" negotiations with Croatia, and of "open-ended" negotiations with Turkey in 2005.

    But a stricking new development are Holovaty's recent findings that on core Human Rights issues as Torture and Freedom of Expression, Turkey, even "5 Years after" CoE closed its "Monitoring", back in 2004, inciting EU to start accession Negotiations in 2005, still presents grave problems.

    His findings are of crucial importance after a 2008 CoE Resolution called, "if need be", to "seriously consider the possibility of Re-Opening the Monitoring procedure for Turkey" : A move which might affect Ankara's controversial EU bid, since EU Accession Negotiations are based on the Hypothesis that the Candidate fullfils the "Copenhagen Criteria" (See above)..
-------------------------
    Holovaty expressed his will to check  "Matters still Outstanding" and  those that he "didn't have an opportunity to discuss" at an earlier visit this year, "in order to discuss the more complex issues in greater depth", at his forthcoming New Visit to Ankara, before the December 2009 EU Summit.  This is all based on the 2004 CoE Resolution which stresses that, CoE "will continue.. post-monitoring Dialogue with the Turkish authorities,...in addition to a 12-points list,..and on any Other Matter that might arise in connection with Turkey’s Obligations as a CoE member state".

    CoE's Resolution also asks  from Turkey "to secure the proper Implementation of Judgements, particularly in the Cyprus v. Turkey InterState case", of 2001, which concerns also the plight of many Hundreds of MISSING People. It adds Turkey's obligations to "execute" ECHR's Judgements in the Loizidou case,..and in particular adopt General Measures to avoid repetition or continuation of Violations found by the Court" to the detriment of Refugees.

    Nevertheless, Holovaty said to "EuroFora" that "MISSING" persons,"might be included" and cannot be excluded, but he has yet to examine the situation "to find out  which issues will be raised" to the Turkish Government.

    Therefore, "EuroFora" asked Halonen, as the Historic "Mother" of CoE's Monitoring mecanism, if she thought that, "whenever there are grave Human Rights Violations, as fex. "MISSING" persons, attested even by ECHR's judgements, they should be always checked by a Monitoring process. Or could they be forgotten ?"
    
     - "We (CoE) must be, at the same time, Fair, Realistic, but not in the mind that "now we have Forgotten", etc., replied to "EuroFora"'s question Halonen, speaking as a matter of general principle.

    - "When we think of those People that are suffering from the lack of Democracy, of Human Rights, and of the Rule of Law", "we should find a base on how to deal with the (Monitoring) system more rapidly"', she stressed.

    - "Sometimes it's very difficult to combine Transparency and Effectivenes together, particularly in this specific case", she went on to say. But, "I have not found a (CoE Member) Country who could be insensitive in this sens", Halonen answered concerning grave Human Rights violations attested by the ECHR.

    - "I have no ready-made answer. I have the expectations that you, in the CoE, will, step by step, find the different types of the monitoring systems."

    Also "because this is a part of the UN's Post-Conflict system, (fex. when it comes to Cyprus' MISSING persons), and it's a more Global system". So that, "If we make a succes in Europe, the others will follow", throughout the World.  "But they expect that we (Europe) are this opportunity, this Opportunity to make a Succes", Halonen concluded.

    In addition, she advised to extend CoE's Monitoring to all its 47 Member States, "because, as long as we hear that, all these monitoring systems are "OK for the neighbor, but not for me", "it's very difficult" to understand. Something which could make easier to Compare...

    Finnish MEP Jaako Laakso, former CoE Rapporteur on the Occupied Territories of Cyprus and one of the 5 Signatories of the Historic CoE's call to create the "MONITORING" mecanism since 1996, was more specific :  - "We (CoE Assembly) have to find a way for the issue of Cyprus' MISSING People to be better followed", he stressed, anouncing his intention to "speak to Mr. Holovaty" about that. "There might be also other ways", added Laakso.

    - The 2008 "Year had been a very Bad one for Turkey with regard to Human Rights in general, and Freedom of Expression in particular", denounced, meanwhile, Holovaty's preliminary Post-Monitoringh Draft Report by Holovaty, published by the CoE on April 2009.

    "Amnesty International believes that freedom of expression is not guaranteed given the various articles of the Criminal Code that restrict it. .. "For example, 1,300 Websites are said to have been closed down by the (Turkish) authorities in 2008" ! While "the new Turkish Criminal Code was used to bring a total of 1,072 proceedings between June 2005 and April 2008, and led to the conviction of 192 people", for expressing views. "Representatives of the Özgür Gündem newspaper, which specialises in Kurdish affairs, ..complained about Numerous Attacks on their Freedom of Expression ...as was everyone who advocated a settlement to the question by means other than the intervention of the army" "According to their figures, 19 Newspapers had been suspended 43 times between 4 August 2006 and 4 November 2008" !...

    Moreover, on 2008,  CoE's "Ministers adopted its 4rth Resolution on the execution of the judgments of the ECHR, ...and outstanding issues regarding 175 Judgements and decisions relating to Turkey delivered between 1996 and 2008...  concerning Deaths resulting from the excessive use of force by members of the Security forces, the failure to protect the right to life, the DIisappearance and/or death of individuals, Ill-Treatment and the Destruction of property". CoE's " Ministers urged the Turkish authorities ...to ensure that members of Security forces of all ranks can be prosecuted without administrative
authorisation" for "serious crimes". Holovaty reminded.

"Nonetheless", Holovaty heard anew of "Several cases of Violence committed last year (2008) by the (Turkish) security forces". Amnesty International speaks of Many Cases of ill-treatment and Torture in the prisons and by the police". "Including, fex."'the death of Engin Ceber, a young man of 29 who died on October 2008 as a result of the TORTURE allegedly inflicted on him by police officers, prison staff and members of the gendarmerie. He was part of a group of people arrested on September 2008 during a demonstration and Press Conference in Istanbul'. Proceedings against suspects are "on-going" in this case.

- " I therefore noted an Obvious Contradiction between the Government’s stated “zero tolerance” policy.... of Torture and other forms of ill-treatment, and the different testimonies given", denounced CoE's Rapporteur.  Turkish "authorities must make considerable efforts to guarantee that proper investigations are carried out into allegations of abuses by members of the security forces and that perpetrators are effectively punished" "In this respect, I have requested detailed Statistics on the number of Investigations, acquittals and convictions in cases involving allegations of abuse in order to show the positive impact of the measures taken to date", Holovaty said, repeating a permanently unsatisfied CoE's demand to Turkey since a Decade...

    - "The Political Crisis that shook the country in the spring of 2008 highlighted the Weaknesses of the (Turkish) Constitution", which comes from the Military regime of 1982, "and the Urgent Need of Reforms", stressed from the outset CoE's Rapporteur in 2009. In particular, "the ...Democratic functioning of state institutions, including the independence of the judicial system, are crucial", he observes.

    But, "the Electoral  system and the ways in which it is circumvented do not appear to give those elected complete Legitimacy, and tend to pervert the course of direct universal suffrage", denounces Holovaty, observing that, even 5 Years later, Turkey did not yet change the 10% nationwide Threshold for a party to take any seat, which is "far higher" than the "3%" maximum in Europe and already condemned as contrary to European Standards by the CoE.

    + Moreover, EU Parliament's 2009 Report on Turkey, drafted by Dutch MEP Ria Oomen-Ruijten and adopted in Strasbourg on March, expresses "Concern over the Failure of the (Turkish) Judiciary to prosecute cases of Torture and Ill-treatment, the Number of which is Growing". EU also "is concerned about continuing Hostility and Violence against Minorities" in Turkey. It also "calls on the Turkish Government to launch, as a matter of Priority, a Political Initiatve favouring a lasting Settlement of the Kurdish issue, (while "condemning violence.. and terrorist groups"). EU "regrets that No progress has been made on establishing full, systematic Civilian suprevisory functions over the (Turkish) Military".

    The final results of Holovaty's 2nd and last visit to Turkley will be known later this year, and, at any case, before EU's December 2009 Summit.

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