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Home arrow newsitems arrow French Constitutional Court President Debré to EuroFora: German BVG is our model on EU/ECHR cases

French Constitutional Court President Debré to EuroFora: German BVG is our model on EU/ECHR cases

Written by ACM
Monday, 15 October 2012
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*Strasbourg/ECAM/Angelo Marcopolo/- After a key-note speech at the inauguration of a brand new, pioneer University for Tri-Lingual (French-German-English) High-Tech Engineers "ECAM-Strasbourg-Europe", focused on the development of Europe-World activities, the experienced President of the Constitutional Court of France, former Parliament's President, Jean-Luis Debré (2007-2016), speaking to "EuroFora", revealed that the Highest and recently strengthened Court, (able to check Laws now not only at 60 MPs' demand, but even whenever any Citizen raises a serious issue of Constitutional Law, including of the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, if higher civil or administrative Courts refer it to the CC's judges, who include all former Presidents of the Republic, i.e. Giscard d'Estaing, Chirac and Sarkozy), considers the nearby Karlsruhe'based German BundesVerfassungsGericht (Federal Constitutional Court) as "a Model" from which it can inspire itself, particularly on European Law cases.

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Timely, the move came just after the German Constitutional Court dealt on September 2012 with some High-profile cases concerning the new €uroArea Treaty and the European Stability Mechanism, urgently needed as key tools in current efforts to tackle the Financial and Economic Global Crisis, as well as certain crucial BioEthics' affairs, including on controversial Pre-Natal Genetic Testing, (after EU's own Court of Justice, at nearby Luxembourg has recently outlawed Patents on Human Embryo Genetic Manipulations, as incompatible with the "Human Dignity" value protected by EU's Lisbon Treaty and its Charter of Fundamental Freedoms, etc),

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but also while the New French Government of President Hollande (Socialist) notoriously plans to draft Laws on such controversial issues (quite unpopular both in France and in several other European Countries, even in the USA, etc), as Same Sex "Marriages" including Adoption of Children and even In Vitro Fertilisation (Artificial Births), Genetic "Testing" on Human Embryos, Non-EU residents' right not only to vote but also to be elected in not only Municipal but even Regional Elections -which choose the politicians who can participate also at the procedure of selection of Senators, key for any Constitutional Reform, and even of any new President of the Republic in France, etc.


- In particular, replying to an "EuroFora"s question whether he expects any important cases related to European issues to be referred at the French Constitutional Court, and what he thinks, in this regard, about the nearby Karlsruhe-based German Federal Constitutional Court's strong involvement in various such controversial issues, CC's President Jean-Luis Debré stressed that "we consider the German Constitutional Court as a Model, from which we can be inspired"...

 

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 Both EU-related and ECHR main legal principles have already become, in practice, integral part of the norms applied by the Constitutional Court while checking draft and even adopted Laws' at the demand of 60 MPs/Senators or on a question raised in ordinary Courts and referred to it, according to recent legal developments in France.

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+ French Highest Court's President went on to add, earlier, that, in general, "France's special relation to Germany is of fundamental importance", so that, whatever might happen, at any case, "Europe's Future implies" that France and Germany are closely linked together, since EU's and €uroArea's development is based on the Franco-German friendship.

Debré has already invited CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly in Paris, when he served as President of France's National Assembly, which invited him to speak at a Strasbourg's Plenary session, but it was the 1st time that he expressed so clearly his appreciation for a key institution of Germany.


These obviously Timely points are particularly welcome, "a fortiori", when it comes from a personality such as Debré's, (who is also son of De Gaulle's favorite former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Economy, Justice and Defense, as well as Prime Minister, and an active participant in the elaboration of the French Constitution : Michel Debré), whose "Family had been obliged to leave (Strasbourg's Region) Alsace at the end of the 19th Century in order to remain French", as he reminded.

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After pointing at the fact that he is "independent" from any political pressure, as Head of France's Highest, Constitutional Court, where his Presidential mandate has "4 more Years" to run (up to 2016), J-L. Debré, also observed that, today, it's in the General Interest of the Country and of all the EU to find efficient ways to overcome the Global Crisis, and advised all involved to positively examine, for that purpose, any really useful ideas, projects, contributions or suggestions aiming at the general good of the society, without negative political discriminations.


Criticizing those who are sometimes pessimistic over the World Economy and particularly EU's chances to succesfully overcome the current Global Financial Crisis, President Debré's earlier speech at ECAM fustigated "inaction", stressed that we must not "wait" for something to happen, just out of the blue, nor loose precious Time in Pessimism and Nostalgy, but, on the contrary, activate adequate measures, "be Ambitious", even when facing strong Competition, with an open and fighting spirit, developing Competences and Critical/Innovative ways of thinking, with a feeling of Responsibilities inspired by optimistic Voluntarism for Europeans.

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Significantly, a simple but Concrete example was the place and the time where Debré was invited to speak, just after the inauguration of an innovative Higher Education "ECAM-Strasbourg-Europe" brand new establishment at Strasbourg's European Business Area, where Students not only from the surrounding border region Alsace, but also from all-over France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzeland or Germany and Switzerland, (particularly nearby Baden-Wurtemberg and Bale, which are integral parts of the "OberRhein" - "Superior Rhine" EU Tri-National Trans-Border Region, legally established on 2010 : Comp. "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the Franco-Germano-Swiss gathering at nearby Offenburg), even from elsewhere in Europe or in the World, are due to be trained in order to become Engineers for a Wide Spectrum of High Tech Professional careers in Private and/or Public Businesses spreading from Air-Space, Naval and Rail Transports up to Electric Cars' Industry, Information Technologies and Consulting, but also Electronics and Materials, Telecoms, Energy and Buildings, Bio-Medical, Environmental and/or Food industries,  etc.,  (See relevant Graphics), pointed out to "EuroFora" ECAM's Director Sonia Wanner. 

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 Wanner, after welcoming Président Debré, explained to "EuroFora" that ECAM-Strasbourg-Europe's Professors already have, principle, a useful Experience in how work is organized in various productive Enterprises, (herself comming from an organisation active in Environmental issues and Sustainable Development), while ECAM's Students, (educated here up to a Masters' degree), are destinated to work mainly destinated mainly in Real Economy, on innovative Production, (see relevant Graphics), open towards Europe and the whole World.

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+ In a particularly useful addition, Inter-Cultural working relations, European History and Tri-Lingual (French-German-English) courses are systematically taught at all Students of the pioneer new Higher Education School for Engineers, said to "EuroFora" the Head of ECAM-Strasbourg-Europe's International department, Mrs Celine Poloce - Winter.

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Willingly adopting with a smile a suggestion made by "EuroFora"s co-Founder since a long-time ago to various key interlocutors, she found indeed "interesting" to eventually "give a try" to test developin a kind of "Meta-Language", overall simplification in the systematic learning of Thousands of Words in each one among these 3 EU Languages, by organizing a systematic comparison, in a joint Vocabulary which would group Words according to the main idea that, in fact, the English Vocabulary stems, both Historically and Linguistically, partly from the French and partly from the German Languages, thus facilitating their joint learning in trio, (independently of Grammar and Pronunciation aspects, as well as, perhaps, of a few Scandinavian inputs).

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(NDLR : "Draftnews", as already sent, earlier, to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version may be published asap).


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    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...
 

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     (Draft due to be updated).
 
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