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Home 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+

Parašė ACM
Thursday, January 11, 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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    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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