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Home arrow newsitems arrow French President Hollande PressCom Head Ripert-Landler to EF: Berlin Summit =Step 1 after Bratislava

French President Hollande PressCom Head Ripert-Landler to EF: Berlin Summit =Step 1 after Bratislava

Pisac ACM
27. 09. 2016.

 elysee_eu_press_counselor_claudine_ripertlandler


*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- Tomorrow, Wednesday 28 September 2016's exceptional Berlin Summit, hosted by German Chancelor Angie Merkel, with French President Francois Hollande and EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, together with European Industry representatives, is a 1st Step on the Road-Map decided by the recent, landmark EU-27 Heads of State/Government Summit at Bratislava, (Slovakia : current EU Council rotating Chair : See "Eurofora"s NewsReports from that crucial EU Bratislava Summit, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/bratislavasummitoutcome.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/victororbanoneuropeanandnationalreferenda.html +http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/euparliamentpresidentoncitizensandbratislavasummit.html , etc.), stressed to "Eurofora" the Experienced Head of Press relations EU policy at "Elysée" French Presidential Palace in Paris, Claudine Ripert-Landler, who accompagnies President Hollande as Press Spokesperson in European and various other Franco-German-EU Summits (f.ex. in Brussels, Strasbourg, Berlin, etc).

 

20160629_001615_400
(French President Hollande, speaking with Journalists, including "Eurofora",
at the latest EU Summit in Brussels, 6.2016)

---


On another, key "Hot" Issue of the EU-27 Bratislava Summit's official Conclusions, that of the recent 2015-2016 Crisis of Mass Migrants/Asylum Seekers, Unprecedented, more than 1,5 Million tresspassings in the EU through Turkey, a previous Summit of several EU Heads of State/Government has, meanwhile, already taken place, just a few Days earlier, at Wien (Austria).


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


    The French Presidency's Spokeswoman confirmed to "Eurofora" that the main expected Focus of that Berlin's Summit with EU's 2 Biggest Economies, plus EU Commission's economicaly and financialy Experienced new Head, is due to turn mostly around "Digital" New Technologies. (See also Infra, and relevant NewsReport on Europe's Digital Potential, from a recent Question/Reply interaction between "Eurofora" and Experienced, former CEO of mainstream Newspapers + "France-Televisions" Big AV conglomerate, Rémy Pflimlin, nephew of Historic former Prime Minister, and f. President of EU Parliament + CoE's Assembly, Pierre Pflmlin, long-time Mayor of Strasbourg, in a Press-lunch organized by Strasbourg-Europe Press Club, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/pflimlinonwebnewsdebatesandeudigitalpotentiall.html ).

 

ripertlandler_with_president_hollande_earlier_at_an_eu_brx_summit_eurofora_photo_400
 
Ripert-Landler with President Hollande, earlier at an EU BRX Summit ("Eurofora" Photo)
___


      - This "Berlin" Top Franco-German Meeting, takes place "in a European Framework", she Stressed, including "a Cooperation with Industrialists, which has been going-on for years" now, so that "it has Become almost Usual".


      - I.e., "it includes Exchanges with a Group of 20 European Business Leaders, who are Familiar with such kind of (Economic-Political) Meetings, since they have been regularly organized, Each Year, during a Recent Period, together with the (German) Chancellor" Angie Merkel, French President Hollande's competent Spokeswoman reminded.


    - "Indeed, this Year (2016), it includes Topical Issues such as the Digitalisation of Enterprises, etc", Ripert-Landler clearly reiterated.


     >>> - However, Now, "it's, Absolutely, in Line with the Priorities that the EU" of 27 Heads of State/Government, meeting Recently "at Bratislava", (for a 1st Summit without the UK, shortly After the June 2016 "BREXIT" Vote in Great Britain),s "have just Fixed for themselves", including also <<a Deepening of the European Integration, thanks, particularly, to its Franco-German core>>, as "Elysée"'s Spokeswoman agreed, on this Last, Key point, with "Eurofora".


    - Among "the Issues that are due to be Discussed Tomorrow" in Berlin, "can also be EU's Energy Independency, as well as the Energy Swift, on which we are Working for Years", she Added.


    - "But it is expected to be rather More Focused on New, Modern Technologies, and Not so much on the Transport Routes of Oil/Gas", neither on relevant with that  last point, 3rd Countries, Neighbouring the EU, since "it's a Really Intra-European" event, she Clarified.


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

cyprus_president_anastassiades_with_new_uk_prime_minister_theresa_may_september_27_2016_400
(Cyprus President Nicos Anastassiades with New UK Prime Minister Theresa May, earlier Today in London
- Photo communicated by Cyprus' Spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides)

---


+ This was said by "Elysée"s main Spokesperson to "Eurofora" on the occasion of a previous, brief but Topical meeting between French President Hollande and Cyprus' President Nicos Anastassiades, (who has just concluded a Longer official visit to the New UK Prime Minister Theresa May in London, 26-27 September 2016, on his way Back from the UN General Assembly in New York : Comp. relevant Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Nicos Christodoulides' Statements to "Eurofora", at the Bratislava Castle, on the sidelines of the latest EU Summit there : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/cypruspresidentforcitizenssaybeforechairingcoe.html), that Same Day, at Noon, in Paris, which, according to more recent, well informed, sources from the Cypriot Presidency, in addition to main Political Issues, is also due to Include certain Currently Unfolding Developments around an Important, forthcoming Tripartite Greece-Cyprus-Egypt Summit, between Prime Minister  Tsipras and Presidents Anastassiades and Al-Sisi, at Cairo, on October 11-12, where Both "Security" Regional matters and, particularly, some Strategic, Energy policy Options on Oil/Gas Transport Routes to the rest of Europe.

F.ex. either through a "Trans-MED" Pipeline from Cyprus+ to Greece, Italy, etc, as Israel has also suggested previously, considering that its recent Oil/Gas Findings are closely interwoven with those of neighbouring Egypt and Cyprus, and/or via High-Tech Liquefied Gas Ship Transports, including through a planned Alexandroupolis Off Shore Platform in Greece, to Bulgaria/Romania and, f.ex.through the Danube River into Strasbourg-crossing Rhine river at the Franco-German Industrial core of the EU, after also a Recent Meeting between Cyprus and Bulgaria Energy Ministers, Lakotrypis and Petkova, Yesterday in Nicosia. In a Parallel Move, Flying Today to Athens, the Cyprus' Energy Ministers is due to meet there his Greek and Israeli counterparts, at anOther Tripartite encounter, Tomorrow, Wednesday, September 28, (i.e. almost at the Same Moment with the Ananstassiades - Hollande meeting in Paris).


Hollande's former Economy Minister, popular Emmanuel Macron, (a current atypical, new kind of Candidate to the fothcoming French Presidential Election of April-Mary 2017), Replying to an "Eurofora" Question during a Press-point in Strasbourg, just before a very Busy Visit to Israel and the Palestinian Authority on September 2015, (where he Added, at the Last Minute, shortly After Speaking on such Topical Issues with us, also an Exceptional Meeting with Israel's Minister of Energy Yuval Steinitz), that a Recent Finding, by Italian Giant "ENI", of even More Gas UnderSea Resources at the Egyptian SeaCoasts, facing Cyprus and Israel, was an Important, Positive Development, for All Involved, (i.e. EU included. See "Eurofora"'s NewsReport at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frencheconomyministermacronegyptisraelcyprusgaspipelinebigchance.html , as well as Other Minister Macron's declarations, more Recently, on 2016, also in Strasbourg, but this time on Digital Networks, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/strasbourgregionpresidentrichertandfrencheconomyministermacrononhighspeedinternet.html ).

 

- "This can, naturaly, be Important for EU's Energy Independency through a Diversification of Oil/Gas Supply Routes", she acknowledged, but in the forthcoming "Berlin Summit, the Focus will rather be much More on EU's Energy Independency mainly through High-Tech Innovation and various Modern Technologies", the French Presidential Palace "Elysée"s Press Spokesperson told "Eurofora".


A Press Statement from President Anastassiades is due around Noon in Paris, but withOut a joint Press Conference with President Hollande this time, other Cypriot and French sources told "Eurofora" Today.


That Bilateral Top Meeting, which is expected to include also the Internationaly Famous, Political "Cyprus' Issue", as, f.ex., Problems reportedly provoked by Turkey's stuborn insistance to Keep a part of its Invasion/Occupation Military Troops in Cyprus' Territories, illegaly Occupied by Ankara's Army, imported from the Anatolia plateau, Back on 1974, more than 42 Years ago, and still remaining at Cyprus' Northern Territories, (from which almost All Lawful Inhabitants have been Obliged to Flee, becoming Refugees or Displaced Persons inside their own Country, whre the Turkish Government seeks to Keep them even much Longer, if not always, in an Endless process, by practicaly Re-Naming them as so-called "Security Guarantees" of an evenual Political Agreemnt for the ReUnification of the Island, while a Timely "Defense Council" Meeting will be taking place at Elysée Palace, Earlier Tomorrow Morning, with French Minister or Defence, Jean-Yves Drian, (Comp. Minister Drian's various Statements to "Eurofora", made Earlier at various Other occasions, f.ex. at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchdefenseministerdrianonisis.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/frenchdefenceministerondualpolicy.html , etc).


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

german_spokesman_seibert_with_chancellor_merkel_at_the_latest_eu_brussels_summit_6.2016__eurofora_400
 
(German Spokesman Seibert with Chancellor Merkel
at the latest EU Brussels' Summit, 6.2016 - Original Photo by "Eurofora")

---

- Meanwhile, the German counterpart of Ripert-Landler, Government Spokesman Steffen Seibert, had, Earlier, last Weekend, officialy anounced, in a written Press Statement communicated to Registered Journalists, including "Eurofora", that "the Main Focus of the Debates (Tomorrow afternoon at Berlin), for this Year (2016), is placed on EU-level Decisions for Innovation and Competitiveness", stressing also, particularly, "the Importance of the Digitalisation of All Sectors of the Economy".


In this regard, the competent EU Commissioner on Digital Economy and Society, Gunther Oettering, a ChristianDemocrat Political Leader from the  Baden-Wurttenberg Region, near Strasbourg, has just made, inter alia, also a relevant Topical Press Conference, Yesterday in Berlin, on "the current Proposals of EU Commission, from (Digital) CopyRight up to Roaming".


Seibert has anounced, for Wednesday Afternon in Berlin, a Joint "Press Statement of the German Chancellor, the French President, the President of EU Commission and the Chairman of the European Round Table of Industrialists, Benoît Potier" (from France), shortly before a series of "Exchanges" between Angie Merkel, Francois Hollande, Jean-Claude Juncker, "as well as 20 Chairmen of the Board of leading European Companies, members of the "European Round Table of Industrialists" (ERTI), "in the framework of a working Diner, at the Federal Chancellery", later-on, Tomorrow, Wednesday Evening.

 

 

(../..)

 

 

***

 

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Verion, might be published asap).

 

****

 

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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)..
-------------------------
    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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2009 EU Elections were won by Parties against Technocracy and Turkey's controversial EU bid, while the 1999-2004 Majority Abstention trend decelerated. What should be done in 2009-2014 ?

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