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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow Eco-Fin. Minister Sapin (France) to Eurofora : Hopes for €uroArea Treaty Boost ?!

Eco-Fin. Minister Sapin (France) to Eurofora : Hopes for €uroArea Treaty Boost ?!

Έχει γραφτεί από ACM
Friday, 21 October 2016
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*Strasbourg/Congres + Exhibition Centre PMC/Angelo Marcopolo/- While uncertainties due to BREXIT would, hopefuly, become lesser, after Today's EU Summit in Brussels with new British Prime Minister Theresa May reportedly expected to Highlight her intentions on how to proceed and towards which Horizon for an After-BREXIT era, but through a Longer than initialy expected process (f.ex. 2017-2020, etc), on the Contrary, the Speedy EU core Integration Advances made Possible by the latest €roArea Treaty (already since 2011-2012+) don't seem to let indifferent the embattled French super-Minister of Economy and Finance, Michel Sapin, as it results from his Replies to a relevant "Eurofora" Question this Afternoon :

 

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-  After Carefully asking to clarify the precise meaning of our Query, Sapin reacted spontaneously in a clearly Positive way, by explicitly Confirming his Wish, - "If it's that, Yes, Certainly" strive to "Develop Further the €uro-Area Treaty's Potential" for a core European Integration, (naturaly Spearheaded mainly by its Franco-German core, as well as several other EU +€uro Countries, willing and able to join such moves, sooner or later).            


- In particular, when "Eurofora" explicitly mentioned, for that purpose, a Key Article in that €uroArea Treaty, which, in substance, provides a Strategic Opportunity for the 18 €uroArea Member Countries' Heads of State/Government to discuss also, at their specific Summits, (due to become More Frequent than those of the Wider EU 28 or 27 Member States), almost Any Issue which may Concern their Countries, the French Minister went as far as to immediately react by stressing that : - "Oh, I really Hope so !", with a Smile.


+ "Now, we must examine well the concrete Facts", the key Eco-Fin. Minister added, shortly Afterwards.      


- Today, key French Eco-Fin. Minister Sapin was, indeed, in the Right general Mood of someone who Focuses, precisely, on several "Ideas for the Future", pointing at certain Possible Moves which "canNot be Excluded", and Calling for People to be "Inventive" and even "Ambitious", (See also Infra).


Initialy conveived and Drafted by the Franco-German couple of German Chancelor Angie Merkel, with former French President Nicolas Sarkozy, as they had Anounced in an Exceptional Summit in Paris' "Elysée Palace" as Early as, already since August 16, 2011, (See relevant "Eurofora"s NewsReport from that "Elysée" event then, at : ....), Afterwards Collectively Endorsed, in its Final Legal Format, by all the concerned EU Member States' Heads of State/Government on December 2011 in Brussels, and Signed at the occasion of a subsequent EU/€uroZone Summit in Brussels at the Beginning of 2012, (Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReports from Both these EU BRX Summits, at : ... + ...), that 1st in History "€uroArea Treaty" was, Later-on, Finaly Endorsed also by the Next French President, Francois Hollande, (who had initialy Stressed that the "Changes" that he Wished to make Focused mainly into "Bringing in some reference to Economic Growth", as Hollande had Replied to a relevant "Eurofora" Question, at a Press point in Strasbourg on 2012, shortly Before his subsequent Election : Comp., inter alia, f.ex. aussi another "Eurofora"s NewsReport from that encounter, Published then at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/hollandeoneuturkey.html), Despite some Previous Hesitations particularly from the Director of his Electoral Campain, Pierre Moscovici, former EU affairs Minister and EU Parliament's vice-President, who had initialy Strongly Critcized that "€uroArea Treaty", asking f.ex. in Strasbourg its Abolition, (Comp. relevant Moscovici Statements also to "Eurofora", f.e. at : ...), before, Finaly, Accepting its Existence, particularly since he was appointed as New EU Commissioner in chage of Economic and Financial Issues. Indeed, a June 2012 EU Summit in Brussels, gave an Opportunity for Hollande to Claim that he would have Agreed with Merkel a kind of Economic Growth stimulus, as he had wished and promissed, f.ex. in terms of EIB Loans, etc. (While, in fact, the Principle of that Idea about EIB Loans had been, already, Highlighted and even Scheduled for June 2012, at the Previous EU Summits, as Early as already from the Beginning of 2012, leaving just its actual and final Shape to be hammered out and Legaly Decided in view of June that year).


Thus, even if he had Rightfully underlined, Together with his German counterpart, the Experienced Federal Minister of Finances, Wolfgang Schaüble, (Comp. various Schauble's Statements to "Eurofora", f.ex. at : ... + ... +..., etc), in a jointly written Booklet on Europe nowadays, (whose local presentation was scandalously Sabotaged by a few incompetent, ignorant, oppressive and irresponsible local intermediaries, more relevant to Medieval Tibuktu or Uagadugu, than Modern -or even less : Future - Europe...), last week-end in Strasbourg, the well-known currently Moto that EU should nowadays be Built more from a Grassroots, EU Citizen-Friendly level and relevant Issues of concern for the People, instead from the "Top" of EU Institutions, it's obvious that, in real Practice, Nothing Important could be Created or Move in Europe nowadays, withOut at least a Frank and Deep Debate, followed by Strategic Decisions, by the Directly and Democraticaly Elected Heads of State/Government of EU Countries, represented at the EU and €uroArea Summits, who are now the only ones to have enough Power and Legitimity to do so.

 Moreover, such a Move as that which was suggested by "Eurofora", after having been Made Legaly Possible by that "€uroArea" Treaty, (Comp. Supra), would also offer the rare Advantage to Need Not any cumbersome New Institutional Reform at all, but just pure, resolute Political Will (Comp. Supra)... 

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- But, as far as the also Necessary Interaction with various "Grassroots - level" Economic-Social Realities are concerned, Sapin, f.ex., speaking, Earlier this Afternoon, at the Conclusion of the 2016 Quadri-Annual Congress of Cooperative Societies' Movement, at Strasbourg's brand New Congress and Exhibition Centre, part of the Recently completely ReNovated "Palace for Music and Congresses", at the "Pierre Pflimlin" Mega-Building, (named after the Historic former EU Parliament and CoE Assembly's President, as well as Long-Time Mayor of Strasbourg, and former Prime Minister of France, notoriously succeeded by De Gaulle's new Presidential regime of the current "5th Republic" in France : 1969-2016+), he Urged, inter alia, to resolutely Advance much Further-on, in order to decisively Augment a recent "Progression" in the Total Number of Businesses adopting a "Coop" Legal Format, particularly able to hopefuly Boost Employment, (See Infra).

 

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Indeed, withOut Limiting itself only to some Old Industries or just some Tiny SMEs, this has already Begun to include also Companies having between 2 to several Thousands of Workers, and, particularly,  in a Growing portion of "High-Tech" and "Innovative" sector of activities, where it could even eye towards the "Creation of Start-Up" Businesses in a format of "Cooperative Companies", where "Economy and Humanistic Values" could meet each other, "Proud" of making possible some "Projects which couldn't even Exist withOut a Legal Format of a Cooperative Society", where "Independence and Wage Earners" play a Primordial role, as Sapin stressed, Widely Applauded particularly at that last, key point, by a lot of Convinced participants of the so-called larger "Social Economy" movement, kicking and alive also in several Other European Countries, including nearby Germany and/or Schwizerland, but even the ...UK, both in History and Nowadays.


(F.ex., British Pre-Tony Blair former Leader of the Socialist Group of MEPs in EU Parliament, then the Biggest one, afterwards succeeded by that of the ChristianDemocrats/EPP, until Today, Mrs Pauline Green, who personaly came from UK's Cooperative Movement, was, Later-on, elected President of the World-wide International Coop. Movement, Headquartered at Nearby Geneva).

 
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Thus, inter alia, the New Elected President of the French movement for Coop. Businesses, (currently strong of 2.700 Companies, with 2 up to Many Thousands of Workers Each, employing a Total of More than 51.000 Workers, and Growing at an average of +250 more New Societies Created each Year), has just declared his Intention to largely Strengthen and "Develop" the Figures it represents in the Economy, before its Next Quadri-Annual Congress scheduled for 2019, ("perhaps at Nantes", i.e. the Historic City of World-Famous Inventor and popular Science Fiction Writer Jules Verne !), "not just in terms of the Number of Companies, but mainly in the Number of Employed People", as it was Clearly indicated Today to "Eurofora".


Having already "impressed" several participants "by the Number of Companies" that it represents Today, as they told us, Nevertheless, it's Obiously by Developing Now its Potential in terms of the Total Number of Employed People, that the Recently ReNovated, by several New Legal Reforms (including a New Possibility for Public Sector's Entities to enter in Cooperatives' Capital), "Coop" Movement could Play an Important Role, not only in History, but also in the forseable Future, given also the particular Importance that its Legal Formats give to Wage Earning Workers, (f.ex. among Associates, in the Status of its CEO, in the Distribution of Benefits, etc).

 

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Among Various Other Concrete Examples in Nowadays real Practice, one Exhibited Now at the entrance of the Palace of Music and Congresses was that of "Citiz" : A 15 Years old SME which Innovated radicaly at the Management of Private Cars in Cities like Strasbourg and/or Brussels, etc., where all Users become "Associates" of an Entity which Monitors, thanks to an Original "Web-App" and a Series of other, relevant "High-Tech" Innovations, a Big Number of Modern Cars, equiped with a Geo-Localisation and Digital Security system, offered (in Various Formats and Types of Car Makers' products) Free to Use by several potential Customers, whenever and wherever they Like to Drive them for a Short or Long Period of Time, Easily Accessible thanks to a Map consultable and constantly UpDated at the Internet, at Various Locations throughout the City, (almost as Others have already done f.ex. with Bicycles, etc, particularly in some German Cities a.o.), as one of the Co-Founders of that Innovative "Coop" Company described to "Eurofora".

 

(../..)

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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)..
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    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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