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Home arrow newsitems arrow 1948-2018 Hague Congress=70.Human Rights Professor Benoit-Rohmer on EF: Build Europe with the People

1948-2018 Hague Congress=70.Human Rights Professor Benoit-Rohmer on EF: Build Europe with the People

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 16 May 2018
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*Strasbourg/Institute of Political Science/Angelo Marcopolo/- In an event organized at Strasbourg's University by the European Movement for the Anniversary of Hague's Historic Congress of 1948 on Europe, the top Human Rights Professor Florence Benoit-Rohmer, former Dean of the Faculty of Law, who has teached also at Venice University and created a Paneuropean Network on Human Rights, reacting to an observation made by "Eurofora" during the Debate, Concluded by expressing her basic agreement on the Crucial Point that those who really support the Development of a Strong Europe in the foreseeable Future, should better "Wish to Build Europe Together with the People".

 
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- "Eurofora", who had been invited to that special event, organized at the Institute of Political Studies (IEP) by the European Movement, basically observed that the Fact that, still, Nowadays, even the Strategic importance Deepening of €uroArea's Integration, needed, in order to be Succesfull, also to Strengthen considerably the links of the relevant European Institutions with EU Citizens, in order to Stimulate Popular Support, which is of Vital Importance nowadays.


It's mainly in this Direction that can be perceived, f.ex., the recent Calls by new French President Emanuel Macron to ReVitalize the European Democracy, f.ex. by Consulting EU Citizens before Important Strategic Decisions, (Comp.: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronforcitizensdebatesalsoafter2019.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronineuparliamentaskscitizensdebates.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/tajaniandmacrontowardseuroforaprojectonapril2018.html ,
http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/macronatthehistoricsourcesofdemocracy.html, etc), to prepare Trans-National Lists for Candidate MEPs in the Future, eventually even to Create a kind of "EuroArea"s New Parliamentary Expression, etc., which have been, more or less, basically supported also by German Chancelor Angie Merkel, while even the Experienced, former Finance or Interior Minister, and Now President of the Bundestag, Wolfgang Schäuble, had clearly stressed, (f.ex. earlier in Strasbourg, at a joint event with ChristianDemocrat/EPP President Joseph Daul : See ...), that a Desirable "EuroArea"s Deepening should go Hand by Hand, Together with a decisive Strenghering of EU Democracy.


Benoit-Rohmer was Speaking together with German Professors in Modern History, Birte Wassenberg (Germany), and  Sylvain Shirmann (France), Experienced former IEP's Director and current Scientific Director of Schuman Foundation, before a Debate with the European Movement's Invitees on the 70th Anniversary of the Congress of Hague (1948-2018), where most pro-European Top Political Personalities had notoriously gathered, (including Churchill, Schuman, Cundenhove-Callergis, etc), making various Key Proposals for the Creation of a Modern Europe, many among which were, Meanwhile, Realized, or are in the process of doing so, (including, f.ex., the establishment of Council of Europe and ECHR, EU Parliament, €uro-Currency, European University and/or "Erasmus" EU Students' mobility, etc).


- Significantly, (particularly in this Preparartory Period for the Forthcoming EU Elections of May 2019),  Professors Wassenberg and Schiermann, together with Prof. Libera, have recently Published an interesting Original Research on: - "Abstentionism, Euro-Scepticism and Anti-Europeanism, at the European Elections between 1979 and 2014", (i.e. covering all of them, until now), edited by Franz Steiner Verlag, at nearby Stuttgart, as the latter confirmed to "Eurofora".


- In Fact, it seems to exist "a Desire for Europe" among many People still Nowdays. EU Parliament is, naturally, very Important, in this regard, but it's also a Fact that "the People were Absent" at that "Hague's Summit of 1948" (where 2 Tendencies were notoriously present : the "Federalists" and the "Unionists", supporting European Integration or Cooperation, respectively), and the way that EU Citizens are Consulted until now is "Not Enough", because the European "People should play a Greater Role" in the Future, stressed Professor Benoit-Rohmer, who resumed Today's Anniversary event in Conclusion, stressed, particulary after the above-mentioned "Eufora"s observation, (Comp. Supra).


=> Thus, Nowadays, "I wish that Europe is Build Together With the People", concluded Human Rights' Professor Florence Benoit-Rhomer in this regard.


 - Earlier, Benoit-Rohmer had also reminded that, while the 1948 Congress of Hague had inspired the Creation of the CoE and of the ECHR, already as early as since 1949, (i.e. just 1 Year later !), which notoriously Developed (particularly after the 2004 CoE Heads of State/Government's Summit in Warsaw (Poland : Comp. "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReports from the spot, Published, then, at "TCWeekly", f.ex. : ... + ..., etc), along the main lines shaped by "Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", in fact, more Recently, it's also the EU's Reforms which have also Started to "Protect Human Rights", more and more, f.ex. with the relevant Developments in the European Court of Justice's (ECJ) Case-Law, the Lisbon Treaty's "Charter of Fundamental Rights and Freedoms" (which Entered into Force on 2010), etc., and this Trend is, normally, due to unfold Further in the foreseable Future.


+ Meanwhile, History Professor Sylvain Schirmann (Comp. Supra), expresssed the view that it might be Better, and more Efficient in Practice, to Focus on "Building Concrete Elements which Create real Links" between EU Member Countries, (citting, fex., earlier, the possible Example of a ReinForced Cooperation on European Defense, etc). In Fact, as the Building of Modern Nations often took "several Centuries" before they become really Developed, also "Europe needs a Long Process of Building up", as he said.


I.e., apparently joining EU Commision President, Jean-Claude Juncker's surprizing Conclusion, at his Recent Speech, by a Symbolic Coincidence, ...exactly at this Same Place, i.e. at Strasbourg University's Istitute of Political Sciences (IEP), just a Few Months Ago, that, from the point of view of History,  "contrary to what some think, Europe has just ...Started to be built !" (See: ...). Not far away from what even the 1st EU Parliament's President, former Minister Simone Veil, had already said to "Eurofora", in Reply to a Question raised on the sidelines of her landmark Speech at Sorbonne University, previously in Paris, on 2009, (See : ... + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/simoneveileuropeintransition.html, etc), i.e. that, in fact, "Europe is in a Transition stage".


- But, at the Same Time, "Human Rigts" and Democracy have "become a Key part of the Foundations of Europe's Identity", observed German History Professor Birte Wassenberg, who also Warned on their Importance, particularly "Now that  EU's Foundations seem to be at a Crisis", as she noted.


-+ Joking, in an attempt to Stir up spirits, if not really believing it, she, However, suggested, with a Bright Smile : - "Sometimes, I Feel that, at least, our "Euro-District" (i.e. Strasbourg City, at the French side of Rhine's internal EU Borders, and Ortenau District, at the German side of that River), "might Become something like USA's .... <<Washingrton D.C.>> at Europe's Core", "leaving for Later-on the task to Bring Together also Paris' and Berlin's National Capitals of France and Germany"...


This, at least, Lighted up some Faces in the Audience : It was, precisely the Moment for a "European DREAM" section, as scheduled in the Program of Today's event... And, after all, why Not ?


(../..)


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(NDLR : "DraftNews", already send to "Eurofora" Subsrcibers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be published asap).


***


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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
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CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

tomllinson

Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

hancock

"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

curtis

PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

vries

Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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