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Home arrow newsitems arrow Forthcoming CoE President, Greek Minister Varvitsiotis to EF: After Hardships, Strengthen CoE Voice

Forthcoming CoE President, Greek Minister Varvitsiotis to EF: After Hardships, Strengthen CoE Voice

Written by ACM
Thursday, 12 December 2019



*Brussels/EU Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- During a Press Briefing on the Sidelines of EU's Heads of State/Government's Summit this December 2019 in Brussels, "Eurofora" asked the Competent Greek Minister, Miltiades Varvitsiotis, in charge of European Affairs, about his Plans for the CoE, the 47 Member States-strong PanEuropean Organisation (including Russia, etc) for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, that Greece will Chair Next Year.

The Young but Experienced Minister reacted mainly by expressing the wish to Help Strengthen CoE's Voice Now, after several Difficult Years, as he said, (probably meaning the UnPrecedented Division of the PanEuropean Organisation of Strasbourg, since the Ukranian Crisis, as far as Russia etc. is concerned, to which were added even more, growing Problems with Turkey recently).  


 - "Eurofora" pointed at the Forthcoming Greek Presidency of the CoE, during 2020, and Asked Varvitsiotes, in Substance, how he evaluated the Potential Importance of CoE's main Competences for Key Topical Issues Nowadays.


 - "We (Greece) take over on May" 2020, Replied, at first, with precision in a "matter of Fact" attitude, Miltiades Varvitsiotes, referring to the Rotating Chairmanship of CoE's Highest Political body, that of its Committee of Ministers, from May to November 2020, mostly included.

- "We know the Issues", and "have a good Experience in CoE's Parliamentary Assembly", pointed out Varvitsiotes, who had been Recently Elected, by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, as a New vice-President of the Biggest Political Group of MEPs : that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, (Comp., f.ex., his Statements to "Eurofora" then, at: ..., etc) : I.e., by a Timely Coincidence, the Same as that of CoE's New Secetary General, Marija Pejčinović-Burić, former vice-Prime Minister of Croatia, in charge of Foreign and European policy, who has just Started her 2019-2024 Mandate last October 2019, (See, f.ex., her Reply to an "Eurofora" Quesstion when she was Brillantly Elected on June, at : ..., etc).

The currently New Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs in charge of European Issues, was, indeed, previously in charge of Migration and Refugee policy at the Main Opposition Party in Greece, "New Democracy", (currently in the Government), and entrusted with the duty to Prepare the 1st National Congress of "New Democracy" Party, which was organized by its new President, Kyriakos Mitsotakes, the New Prime Minister of Greece, (with the Moto : "Oxygen", for Freedom of Ideas, Democracy, Productivity, Creativity, etc), after having Served, earlier, also as former Minister of Maritime Transports (where, traditionaly, Greece holds a notoriously Key Role at a Global Level) and of Aegean Sea, as well as F. President of the Greek Parliament's Foreign Policy Committee. He has Studied Law in Greece (Athens University), Political Science and International Relations at Harvard University (Boston, USA), before being Elected Many Times in a Row as MP, from 2004 up to Nowadays, Regularly Accredited to - and Attending - CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg.

+ Moreover, "I Like, and Respect the Institution" of the CoE, added the Young, mainstream Politician, who is Son of former Long-Time vice-President of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party in Europe, former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Defense, Justice, Education and Trade, as well as, more Recently, Top MEP in EU Parliament, Dr. John Varvitsiotes, (that "Eurofora" had the Chance to contact several times in Strasbourg), a close ally of Historic Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis, exiled in Paris during the Colonels' regime (1967-1974), in a Family of mainstream Politicians who used to serve the modern Greek State since its creation almost from the Beginning of the 19th Century.

=> - So that "We (Greece) Aim at a (2020) Presidency that will Help Strengthen the Voice of the CoE !", Clearly Stressed Miltiades Varvitsiotes in the Main Core of his Reply to the above-mentioned "Eurofora"s Question, (Comp. Supra). His Official Duties as Minister, Nowadays, concern EU Affairs (including EU Parliament), the PanEuropean CoE, relevant issues of Migration and Refugees, etc, where he represents Greece, whenever necessary together with Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias, (a former JHA, Defense, and Development Minister, F. Collegue at CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg, where he was appointed several times as Rapporteur, Elected President of Migration and Refugees' Committee, etc).

- Considering, particularly, that it (the CoE) "has Suffered a lot during the Latest Years", regretted Varvitsiotis, probably speaking of the 2014-2019+ Division of the PanEuropean Space of the 47 Member States-Wide CoE, After the Ukranian Issue was Provoked, Affecting mainly Relations to Russia, but Also interrelated Financial, GeoPolitical, and Other Problems, Added to Turkey-related Developments,  - f.ex. on clashes in Kurdish Villages since 2015, around the alleged Army "Coup" of 2016, Followed by many Tens of Thousands of Dismissed and/or Persecuted Journalists, Civil Servants, as Teachers a.o., even Judges, Policemen, Army Staff, etc, as well as the Military Invasions/Occupations of Syrian Kurdish Afrin (2018) and North-Eastern Regions (2019), along the Turkish Borders, etc.

Last, but not least, "Eurofora" was Positively Surprized, Previously in Strasbourg, when we Witnessed the UnExpected Fact that even a Young Politician from the Establishment, as Miltiades, could be Original, Aware, and Conscious enough in order to Judge, f.ex., that, during a CoE Assembly's Plenary Session with Dozens of Matters for Debate and/or Vote, those which concern Crucial "Bio-Ethical" Issues, would be "the Most Important', and should be given a Priority... A very Useful Stance, Nowadays, when the PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, i.e. the CoE, would have, inter alia, f.ex., also to Deal with Heritable Genetic Manipulations, Affecting even Future Generations, which may Challenge the Future of Humanity, (See, f.ex., : ... + ..., etc).








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    Before the end of 2009, France and Germany will take strong initiatives to open "new Horizons" needed by Europe and the World, going well beyond the current Crisis' management, anounced French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel, reassuring that both a judgement on Lisbon Treaty by nearby Karlsruhe German Federal Court, and the forthcoming National Elections in Germany would confirm their capacity to act.    

They were replying to Press questions in Berlin, after key-regional elections on Sunday, where Merkel's ChristianDemocratic party kept everywhere a strong 1st and won the possibility to forge a New Majority with Liberals at the largest of 3 Landers : Saxony (4 millions inhabitants), while its main competitor, the Socialdemocrat party fell to unprecedented lows : Tackled by the small "Linke" (left) party in Saarland (1 million inhabitants), it became even smaller than it in Saxony and Thuringen (3 million inhabitants), where SPD arrived only third. While its usual partners, the "Greens" also fell down, contrary to CDU's new partners, the FDP Liberals, who go up.


    - "At any case, at the end of the year (2009), if things go as scheduled, we shall take strong initiatives, showing that Europe needs a Franco-German axis, as well as the World, even if it never excludes other" countries to join, replied Sarkozy to a question if France and Germany will revive the "European dream", by "relauncing the EU motor" for the Future, with actions going further than the mere management of the global crisis, (as it was done fex. in the Past with the creation of the "Euro" Monetary zone, etc).

    - "I am convinced that the Franco-German friendship must be constantly nourished by New Projects", he added."There are many areas of cooperation where we intend to take, very soon, some Franco-German initiatives, which will allow to open more Horizons" to the EU, Sarkozy stressed.

    But if "we don't speak about that now, it's only in order to avoid interfering in important elections coming in Germany", he observed. However, "we have already started to consider the Future with the (German) Chancellor, and what we can do in order to honour our predecessors". "We are already speaking about that, and we are preparing things". "I am working very well together with Mrs Merkel, and I wish that it goes on", Sarkozy concluded.


    - "It's important for EU's credibility that France and Germany advance forward together", stressed Merkel from the outset. "Don't worry about Germany's capacity to undertake initiatives" with France, she added. "France and Germany will be perfectly able to make proposals" for the EU.

    -  "After-crisis" plans must be prepared, meanwhile, with measures "advancing progressively", Merkel anounced. And, for the short term, we must deal also with EU Citizens' dismay since they feel that it's a Scandal for some in the Financial Markets to be paid with excessive "Bonuses", etc, she agreed with Sarkozy.

    - "Abuses in financial markets must stop", stressed also Sarkozy. Backing Merkel's announcement that France and Germany call for an EU meeting to forge "a crystal-clear European position" in view of the G-14 Summit at Pittsburg, he warned that "everyone will have to undertake his responsibilities, in front of World's Public Opinion. particularly those who don't want to make the same effort of regulation as France and Germany".

    Moreover, "Global Trade cannot be correctly dealt, without taking into account also Environmental and Social rules", Sarkozy added, referring to recently expressed positions against Unfair Competition via Environmental and/or Social Dumping, (See earlier "EuroFora"'s publications).

    Such moves are obviously linked to the need to ensure at least an elementary respect for Human Rights by Third Countries, (f.ex. exploitation of Children's work, etc) in order to avoid, precisely, any such Social Dumping.

    - "EU has Values, protecting Human Rights and Human Dignity", and "it cannot close its eyes" in front of grave violations, particularly "Torture and/or killings", added, indeed, Sarkozy.

    Thus, "the time comes, where decisions must be taken". But, in case of "Sanctions", "all International opinion should be convinced of the need to take action", he observed.

    Expressed on the occasion of recent developments in Iran, the same principles should logically apply also to other similar cases, including fex. that of Hundreds of ECHR judgements' condemning f;ex. Turkey for grave crimes, (as Torture, brutal Killings, Enforced "Disappearances", Destruction of Family Homes, harassments and oppressive violations of Freedom of Speech, etc).

    Meanwhile, questioned on (EU Commission's chair)  Barroso's bid to succeed himself for a second mandate, they both expressed a "wish" or a "feeling" that "EU Parliament"'s various political Groups might fix a date for decisions "during September". However, is he is endorsed before the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, it will be legally necessary to re-vote anew for a full term of office afterwards, according to EU Legal Experts, revealed recently in Strasbourg the experienced former President of EU Parliament's Constitutional Committee, German Socialist MEP Jo Leinen. And Germany will not vote for Lisbon Treaty's ratification but only "on September 8 and 18", revealed Merkel, ( i.e. after EU Parliament's plenary session in Strasbourg).

    - Therefore, "for EU Commissioners' appointment, it's too early yet, because we must wait for the ratification of Lisbon Treaty" by all 27 EU Member countries, including naturally Ireland's Referendum on early October, said to "EuroFora" the influential President of EU Parliament's largest group of MEPs, Joseph Daul, expressing, however, the hope that a controversial deal with the head of the Socialist Group of MEPs, Martin Schultz of Germany, might hold for Barroso alone, at a forthcoming vote due to fix the Strasbourg plenary's Agenda.

    But MEPs reportedly just "postponed" for 1 week all their previously scheduled group meetings (See : http://www.euractiv.com/en/future-eu/barroso-unveil-summer-homework-week/article-184825 );

    However, while the choice of a new EU Commission's President by EU Parliament is supposed, according to many MEPs' wish, take place according to EU policy issues, paradoxically, this would mean that Barroso's bid would pass before even the anouncement of France and Germany's "initiatives" for EU's "new Horizons"...


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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