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Home arrow newsitems arrow New CoE Chair, MFA Soini to EF on 1st Test of Finland's Presidency: ECHR Judgements' Execution+

New CoE Chair, MFA Soini to EF on 1st Test of Finland's Presidency: ECHR Judgements' Execution+

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 21 November 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- What has just become the "First Test" of CoE's Committee of Ministers' new Presidency by Finland was evoked, Today, in a short but Topical Question/Reply exchange between the incoming Chairman of the PanEuropean Organisation's Highest Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, Finnish Foreign Minister Timo Soini and "Eurofora", during the Ceremonies for the Official Hand-over of Power from Croatian deputy Prime Minister
Marija Pejčinović Burić, (Comp. Buric's Replies to "Eurofora" Questions at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminoritiesprotection20yearsafter.html), in the Palace of Europe, followed by a relevant Flag Change Event in Strasbourg :

 

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 - New CoE's President-in-office, Minister Soini, clearly confirmed, indeed, in his reply to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question, that, Yes, Finland's Presidency intends to pay due Attention in the Implementation of ECHR's Judgements, during its Short in Time but Crucial 6 Months-Long term : the key period of November 2018 - May 2019.

 

new_coe_president_finland_fm_soisi_declarations_eurofora_400
 

+ We are aware of the Fact that Finland's CoE Presidency takes over in the middle of Huge "Challenges", and amidst a particularly High "Pressure", but we really intend to Focus on CoE's "Essentials" nowaday, i.e. "Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", he confirmed earlier.


Indeed, a "particular" rank is held by "the respect for the European Court’s judgments", also inside Finland's CoE Presidency's Programme, that Soini presented Officially Today at the PanEuropean Organisation's Top body, its Committee of Ministers' mid-2018 special meeting.

 

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 This is only the 2nd Time that Finland chairs the CoE, 20 Years after the 1st he reminded, evoking the Chairmanship by Finnish f. Foreign Minister Tarja Halonen during the 1990ies, before that also of the EU on 1999, that "Eurofora"s co-Founder had Interviewed then (Both Published at "TCWeekly"), as well as also, later-on, after she was Elected Finland's President, including at UNO's Climat Summit at Copenhagen, Denmark, on 2009 (f.ex.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/irish/halonen.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/copenhagen1.html, http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/2010extremeweathereventscausereply.html, + 2012 for the UN: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/halonenunoreport.html, etc).

++ On this occasion, Soini also Replied Positively to another "Eurofora"s Question about the particularly "Important" Nowadays, (among various Other "Issues raised by Digital Technologies vis a vis Human Rights"), area of "Artificial Intelligence", which is part and parcel of another Finnish Priority.

 

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+++ Ambassador Satu Mattila-Budich added to "Eurofora" that this choice was agreed with the CoE also because of a wish to prepare a relevant Recommendation asap.


Interestingly, Finland takes over afterwards also EU's rotating Presidency soon, and this would stimulate useful InterActions between the PanEuropean, 47 Member States strong CoE and the 28 EU Countries' more Economic and Political, powerful Group.


=> In this Context, a Crucial "1st Test" has just Started to Emerge in Strasbourg for the incoming Finland's CoE Presidency, which will have to Face, First of all, Turkey's Openly Declared Claim to Refuse to Comply with its Commitment to execute several ECHR's Judgements which have pronounced Clear Condamnations for serious Human Rights' Violations :


- Already since September 2018, Turkey has Started to put into Real Practice its explicit Threat of June 2018 to .. Bycott CoE's Committee of Ministers' Human Rights sessions dedicated to its Duty to Supervise the Execution of ECHR's Judgements, according to the relevant PanEuropean Legal Convention, unless if CoE Yields to Ankara's Blackmail to entirely Stop even Examining the situation regarding the Implementation of a Series of ECHR's Decisions which have already Condemned Turkey for manifold Violations in cases of Greek Cypriot Refugees/Displaced persons, (illegaly Hindered to Return Back and/or to have Access to their Family Homes, Ancestral Land and other Private Properties in their Ancestral Land, Occupied by the Turkish Foreign Army since its 1974 Military Invasion at the Northern Part of Cyprus, See, f.ex. : ..., etc).


 Ankara's Representatives, indeed, Refused to Participate in the Latest CoE Committee of Ministers' Human Rights Session on the execution of ECHR Judgements Condemning Turkey for continuing Violations of the Rights of Both Refugees/IDPs, and even "Missing" Persons and their Families, (9/2018), insisting to Press COE to "Close" all those Pending Files.


Reacting, CoE's Highest Political Body, its Committee of Ministers, issued a 1st Official Decision, to "Deplore" Turkey's Refusal "to Cooperate" in that field, since September 2018, and Warned Ankara that such moves go Against CoE Member States' Commitments,  (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/turkeuyrefusescooperationwithcoe.html (etc).


- And that Turkey's attempt to Blackmail the CoE in order to "Close" several such Pending Cases concerning Cyprus (Comp. Supra), was also Denounced as being "of course, UnAcceptable", as it was said to "Eufora" by Austrian Ambassador to the CoE, Gerhard Jandl, who currently Chairs the EU Member States' Group inside the PanEuropean CoE, (See, f.ex., http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/eucoereactonturkeyrefusaltocooperate.html, etc).

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The incoming Finland's Presidency of the CoE is expected to Face that UnPrecedented Turkish Obstruction just in a Few Days : Soon after the Beginning of December 2018, during the Next CoE's Committee of Ministers' Human Rights Session, (from 8/12/2018), when Ankara seeks to Impose, through the above mentioned Blackmail, its Demand to definitively "Close" those Files on Refugees/IDPs and even Missing persons in Cyprus, even if the relevant ECHR's Judgements have Not Yet been fully implemented.


=> But, what Turkey demands with such a Blackmail on the CoE, simply "is Impossible !", sharply Reacted afterwards CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE)new Rapporteur on the Execution of ECHR's Judgements, Evangelos Venizelos, an Experienced former Many Times Minister (of Foreign, Economy and Defense, etc), and Deputy Prime Minister from Greece, in Reply to a relevant Question by "Eurofora", earlier in Strasbourg, (See : ...). Venizelos is PACE's Rapporteur on such Key Issues for the Next 2 Years.

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


+ As for the New President of PACE, Swiss MEP Liliane Maury Pasquier, (Comp. various earlier Pasquier's Statements to "Eurofora", f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/newpacepresidentpasquier.html, etc), after regretting, earlier, for not having been oficially "Informed" yet on that CoE's Committee of Ministers' latest Decision on Turket (Comp. Supra), Reserved her official Reaction for later-on, (See : ...).

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+ Meanwhile, Turkey's relevant Behavior popped up also at anOther ECHR Affair, earlier this week in Strasbourg, when the PanEuropean Court just Decided, Yesterday (Tuesday, 19 November 2018), to Ask Ankara for the Immediate Release friom Prison of the Leader of an Alternative Leftist Party, Demirtas, who has been Jailed for Too Long, even without any Court's Ruling yet :


 - Indeed, the Turkish President, Tayip Erdogan, reportedly declared now Ankara Government's blunt Refusal to Liberate MEP Demirtas, slamming ECHR's relevant Judgement, that he will Not implement, as he said, (See, f.ex.: ..., etc)...


=> But CoE's Head Spokesman, Daniel Holtgen from Germany, clearly Reminded to Turkey the Fact that, according to the ECHR and CoE's basic Treaties, All Member States of the PanEuropean Organisation have undertaken the Basic Commitment to Implement all CoE's Judgements, as reported just Yesterday "AFP" Agency, from France, (the Next CoE's Chair, from May to November 2019).



(../..)
 

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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send, Earlier, to "Eurofora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).


***


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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.


    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.


- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.


 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).


     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.

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Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.


-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.


    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.

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