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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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    - "Europe must be liberated from this undermining "wooden talk" of a "unique thought" which hampers democratic debates", stressed incoming EU Chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking to Journalists after his official meeting with EU Commission's President, Jose Barroso, at Elysee Palace in Paris

    - "It's precisely because there are not enough Debates, that EU hasn't managed yet to make it clear to European citizens what is really at stake", he added, in an obvious reference to the latest Irish "No" in 2008, after a long series of similar, unprecedented events, from the 1st Majority Abstention to EU Parliament's Elections in 1999, repeated in 2004, to the Dutch and French "No" in 2005, etc.

          In fact, "there is no time to lose for Europe, and that's why we decided to start the French EU Presidency right away, from the first day", he explained, on France's exceptional choice to schedule the usual meeting with EU Commission from the 1st day of the 1st month, instead of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or even 10th or 11th, as it had been done by others in the Past..    

    - "This is not an easy period, but we shall act with determination, while also listening to Citizens' views", he promised.

    Sarkozy's move came shortly before his opening Speech, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, for the first Public Debate on the Priorities of the French EU Presidency (July - December 2008), and that's one of the reasons for which he significantly opened his EU Council's Chairmanship by welcoming at Elysee palace EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert Poettering at first..

    The incoming EU Chairman was replying to Press Questions about rumours that controversial British EU Commissioner on Trade, Mandelson, was alone to drop an invitation to have a working Diner at Elysee palace, together with all other EU Commissioners and the French Government, only because he would have been upset for some critical points made earlier by President Sarkozy in defense of European Agriculture vis-a-vis its Foreign competitors.

    But, as smiling Sarkozy played down Mandelson's reported refusal to debate, saying that he had to visit Marseille for a Ministerial meeting on Trade the next morning, and that "all our British friends are always welcome to taste a nice diner" in France, perhaps at another occasion..

    - "It's urgent to win anew the trust of the People" : Lately, "the European ideal lost its momentum. Since several years, whenever Citizens are questioned on Europe, they react with reserves : They even have .. a tendency to reply "NO".. After this 3rd "No" of a People in some years, there is an Urgency to convince", added French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, after a meeting earlier the same day of all Ministers with EU Commissioners, followed by an interview with Barroso

    "According to recent Polls, only 30% of French people believe that the European construction is a source of hope. It's only a poll, but we all now quite well, that, since 2005, it's dangerous to neglect these alarming signals, as it would be dangerous to treat with contempt the Irish "No", Fillon warned.

    "We all have a common duty to prove to the European Citizens who have doubts, that EU is more useful, more necessary, than ever" : And "that EU can take decisions needed in order to respond to European or Global challenges", the Prime Minister concluded.

    - "We believe, together with President Sarkozy, that EU should open debates on all issues of direct, concrete interest to Citizens", confirmed later to EuroFora the Head of France's governing party (UMP), Patrick Devedjan, after his speech to the European People's party (EPP) Study Days in Paris (2 - 4 July 2008).

    He didn't deny that one of them is Turkey : - "Public Opinion in France is very much unfavorable to Turkey's EU bid, and President Sarkozy has said that several times", he told EuroFora.

    From European Central Bank's controversial policies on Euro's value, to EU Enlargement Strategy, etc., issues of obvious importance to EU Citizens will be plenty, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, before President Sarkozy launches the debates on EU 2008 French chairmanship's priorities on Thursday.


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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