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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow French Ambassador Mattei to EF on CoE AudioVisual body 2018 Presidency: Culture = Key for Cohesion+

French Ambassador Mattei to EF on CoE AudioVisual body 2018 Presidency: Culture = Key for Cohesion+

Geschrieben von ACM
Thursday, 11 January 2018

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- French Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Jean-Baptiste Mattei, speaking to "Eurofora" on the occasion of the take-over of the PanEuropean (47 Member States-strong, Russia included) Organisation's AudioVisual Experts' Presidency by France for the Year 2018, agreed that, in addition to the fact that "the Human Right for Freedom of Expression includes the Access to Culture", as he stressed, "Culture" offers also that "Common Base of our Imaginary", with which "each one must be able to identify himself", for the "Cohesion" of those "fellow European Citizens" to whom French President Macron recently Appealed in order to "design a Great Project" and "ReVive a European Ambition", for a more Sovereign, more Democratic, and Better Europe for our People, as he said in his New Year Address, practically Joining German Chancellor Angie Merkel's parallel call for "Us, Europeans", to "Hold Together as a Community", that she named as "the Crucial Issue of the coming years", (Comp. : ....).

 

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- In this regard too, European AudioVisual Observatory's (EAVO) capacity to offer "Reliable and Trustworthy Experts"' insight, to Economy, Political Decision-makers, and the Public at large, is particularly Useful, Ambassador Mattei noted earlier.

+ But, in order to Help Build such an "Imaginary", obviously, a Stronger "European Production" of original "AudioVisual" Works is needed, admitted the New Director on Economy in CoE's AudioVisual Observatory, Gilles Fontaine, speaking afterwards to "Eurofora", on the occasion of that same event Today in Strasbourg.

 

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- However, while it's expected that the current Worldwide Trend towards Distribution of AudioVisual Works mainly by Internet Service Providers, through Modern Digital Technologies, would Accentuate Further on 2018, it's also a Fact that, until now, Most of them are USA Companies, and it remains a Question Mark whether they will Invest in European Audiovisual Production, and/or if New European Internet Service Providers will Emerge, or not, in sufficient number, strength and quality, as Fontaine observed.

 

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>>> Meanwhile, the incoming 2018 French Presidency of the EAVO has Decided to Focus, this Year, mainly on the Topical Issue of "Internet Platforms providing Videos", as announced officially Today the Competent Representative of France in that CoE's Body's Executive Council, Elizabeth Le Hot, deputy Director on Cultural Economy's development at the Ministry of Culture. Inter alia, a relevant International Colloquy will be organized in Paris, on June 2018, at the prestigious Museum of Quai Branly/"Jacques Chirac", she added, (reminding the Historic, Long-Time former French Prime Minister and President of the Republic, with whom "Eurofora"s co-Founder has cooperated during many Years in the Past, both at Elysée Palace, and in EU Summits in Brussels, as well as in Berlin, Germany, etc, then via "TCWeekly"+).


++ Nevertheless, independently of all that, and in Addition, the Year 2018 is also due to be impacted, even in the European AudioVisual sector, by "BREXIT" Negotiations in view of UK's planned Departure from the EU after March 2019, Because "the UK is very Deeply Involved in Europe's Audio-Visual realities", as EAVO's Executive Director, Susanne Nikoltchev from Germany, told "Eurofora".

 

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- Nikoltchev, (who holds also a important Experience as former Head of EAVO's Legal section in Strasbourg), made clear that this is Not Limited only to the, already Important, Fact that Many EU Radio-TV Companies use to have Established Offices in the UK also in order to Transmit AudioVisual products to several Other EU Member Countries, (as Fontaine had observed earlier). Indeed, BREXIT's possible Effects to the European AudioVisual sector can be much More Wider than that, and concern also Manifold Other AV-related Issues, CEO Nikoltchev stressed, believing that EU's Chief BREXIT Negotiator, Michel Barnier's staff should, normally, be Aware of that, for the needs of the 2nd Phase Talks about UK's Future Relations with the EU.

 

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EAVO's CEO Nikoltchev + Strasbourg D.Mayor for Europe/World Rafik-Elmrini (Eurofora)
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After Poland, which has just passed over its 2017 EAVO's Presidency to France for 2018, it is Italy which is due to take over Next Year, on 2019 : A series of Three Countries with a Traditionally Strong Role on European Production of AudioVisual works, which might Help give a much needed Boost to this, both "Classic", but also Fully ReNovated and Modernized Sector of Economy, (which is in the process of being more and more Spectacularly Transformed by Digital Web-related Technologies) with manifold big Socio-Political Stakes, (Comp., f.ex.: ...).

 

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  imag0573_400

    An "Eugenic" loophole Amendment, which might expose to Dangers reminiscent of "3rd Reich's" notorious Genetic Abuses, hidden at the last minute inside an otherwise Good, larger Health policy Package scheduled to be voted on Thursday, was strongly denounced by a coalition of MEPs from various Political Groups and Countries, in a Press Conference held this afternoon at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    Mainly calling to "Select Human Embryos", via "Genetic Counselling" and "pre-implantation" Techniques including "Genetic Tests", in order to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", it might open ways to Dangerous Practices in Future, they denounced in substance.

    But they also made it clear that a much larger Report inside which this Controversial Amendment "No 15" was added in dubious circumstances, officialy destinated to struggle against "Rare Diseases", and drafted by Professor Antonios Trakatellis, was otherwise "an Excellent Report", aiming at a "completely Uncontroversial target" of Health policy on which "all MEPs and Experts are united, believing that Europe should act" to protect People's Health (See "EuroFora"'s earlier News).

    The controversy came at a particularly delicate moment for the EU in relation to Citizens, at the eve of June 2009 EU Elections, and shortly before Ireland re-votes for "Lisbon Treaty"..    

- Denouncing risks of "an Eugenic demand, very similar to what we had during the 3rd Reich in Germany, but now coming from some Scientisists themselves", German ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Dr. Peter Liese stressed that critical MEPs were against "Eugenic" engineering with "Selection of Human Embryos", and anything which might ultimately lead up to to a "Selection of Human Race". It doesn't help to "eradicate" Human Lives, he added.


    Several Experts and NGOs expressed "Deep Concern", as f;ex. DR M.C. Cornel of the "European Society of Human Genetics", which stressed, on this occasion, that "the importance of Non-Directiveness in Reproductive issues is a Central characteristic of Human Genetics, after the Atrocities committed in the name of Genetics in the first half or the 20th Century".

     - "This is completely Unacceptable", stressed Italian Liberal MEP Vittorio Prodi, on the Controversial Amendment, also because pushes to "eliminate early Human Life", as he noted.

     - "This opens a Dangerous Road, rather a Motorway", denounced Danish MEP Mrs Margrette Auken, from the "Greens", observing that various similar attempts were made in the Past "not only in Germany, but also in several other Countries, "even at the 1970ies", "f.ex. on forced Sterilisation of Roma" People, and other criticisable situations f.ex. in the UK, in Sweden, etc. as she said.

    + Other NGOs, as f.ex. "LebenHilfe" from Berlin, added that, among various other Risks, could also be that, by exploiting the pre-implantation Genetic Diagnostics and the Selection of "healthy" Embryos, some may "propagate" several "Eugenic" aims, starting f.ex. by pushing to eradicate Human Livies which might "Cost too much" to preserve, ultimately exposing to dangers reminiscent of the "3rd Reich"'s atrocious abuses.

    In consequence, ChristianDemocrats/EPP and "Green" MEPs "decided by Majority to vote against" this Controversial Amendment, anounced to Journalists the 5 MEPs who participated in the Press Conference, representing a wide spectrum, from Liberals to "Greens" and ChristianDemocrats, and from Hungary, Italy, Germany and Danemark up to Ireland (Gay Mitchell), etc.
----------------------------------
    Hungarian ChristianDemocrat MEP Laszlo Surjan said "that it was "Suddenly, at the End of the Procedure" in Committee, that "appeared this (Controversial) Amendment, which has nothing to do" with the main purpose of the Report, on which all agreed.

    He denounced an "Unhonest" move, and called to "avoid this kind of unacceptable situations". Nobody should "Select People", Surjan stressed.

    - "We (MEPs) had No Chance to Discuss" this last-minute Amendment earlier added at a Committee's level, said German MEP Peter Liese

    Speaking to "EuroFora", Dr. Liese, the Spokesman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group in EU Parliament, said that MEPs didn't oppose other references of the Report f.ex. on "Genetic Tests", because they were "no proposals" to impose them, while, on the contrary, there was "a Problem" if anyone attempted to "impose" f.ex. this or that Genetic Technique and "Genetic Counselling", etc. to the People on human reproduction.
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The precise Text :
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    Controversial parts of Amendment No 15 ask mainly "to lead finally to the Eradication" of "Hereditary" "rare diseases", "through Genetic Counselling .., and ..pre-Implantation Selection of healthy Embryos".

    But  EU Rapporteur Professor Trakatellis, said to "EuroFora" that fears should be alleviated by Guarantees that all this should be done only "where appropriate", when it's "not contrary to existing National Law", and "always on a Voluntary basis", according to other Parts of the Amendment.

    He stressed that the main aim was to allow "a free and informed choice of persons involved", without imposing them anything :  - "It's not an obligatory, but advisary" text, he said.

    To make that point clear, he was ready, in agreement with many MEPs, to eventually drop at least that part of the controversial Amendment which initially called for "efforts to ..lead finally to the Eradication of those rare diseases" "which are Hereditary".

    But, until late Wednesday evening, reportedly together with many other MEPs, he stood by all the rest of the controversial Amendment, (fex. on the "Genetic Counselling" and the "pre-implantation Selection of healthy Embryos"), so that critical MEPs, going from ChristianDemocrats as Dr. Liese, to "Greens" or "Ind/Dem", observed to "EuroFora" that "this was not enough" to close the dangerous loophole.

    Particularly since, as Professor Trakatellis noted himself, "this is already allowed to the U.K.", and "other National Legislations would probably follow, sooner or later" in a similar direction. As for a general call to "Eradicate Hereditary rare Diseases", this "should happen, at any case, in practice, de facto", to protect public Health.

    On the contrary, "our goal should be to help patients suffering from rare diseases, not to eradicate the patients. In case of genetic disease risk, the decision should not be guided by scenarios" made by politicians. "Perents who may decide to accept a child, even if handicapped or with genetic disease, must be respected and supported with solidarity", critical MEPs stated.

    - "Any Pressure" to "a patient or couple (who "should be able to make an informed choice consistent with their own values"),"from health Professionals, Public Health Policies or Governemental Institutions, or Society at large, should be avoided", stresses the "European Society for Human Genetics".

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

Each MEP's vote will be registered !

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

The Socialist Group requested a "Split vote" on the Amendment 15, first without, and afterwards with the words "lead finally to the Eradication" etc.


    But the first "split vote" leaves intact all the other parts of the Controversial Amendment, (i.e. "Genetic Counselling", "Selection of healthy Embryos", etc).

    That's why, 3 Groups of MEPs : ChristianDemocrats/EPP, "Greens/EFA", and "Ind/Dem", have asked for "Roll Call Votes", on everything regarding the Controversial Amendment No 15, and on the final outcome of the resulting Report as amended, which will register all the individual positions to be taken by each MEP.   

Something which will obviously make each MEP think twice before voting for one or another choice, to be sure that he/she will make the right choice in front of EU Citizens, particularly at these pre-Election times...


    Crucial Votes were scheduled between 12 Noon and 1 p.m. local Strasbourg time, in the middle of a long series of various other Reports, and after a long Public Debate on the larger Health policy package, from 9 to 11.50 am.

    The specific Report inside which was hidden the controversial Amendment is due to be debated between 11 and 12 am.

    So that more last-minute Surprises may not be excluded a priori...

    Particularly at the present Historic moment, when even the Institutional Future of the EU depends on the result of a second Referendum on "Lisbon Treaty", later this year, in ...Ireland, a mainly Catholic country, where People are particularly sensitive in such kind of socio-cultural and values issues...
 

      ***     
 
     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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