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Home arrow newsitems arrow Foreign Minister Hague: ECHR reform, Internet Freedom, Non-Discrimination top British CoE presidency

Foreign Minister Hague: ECHR reform, Internet Freedom, Non-Discrimination top British CoE presidency

Written by ACM
Понедельник, 07 Ноябрь 2011


Protection of "Freedom of Expression at the Internet", including against Cyber-Attacks and some Blocking Countries, a renewed push in ECHR's reform process, started since the landmark February 2010 Ministerial Conference at Interlaken (Switzerland : See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the spot), as well as fight against Discrimination, figure among the incoming British CoE Presidency (11/2011-5/2012) priorities, stressed Foreign Secretary William Hague, speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "EuroFora" :


 It's the 1st time that the UK heads CoE's Ministerial Committee, its highest political body, "since 1993", i.e. 18 Years earlier, observed Hague, who is well known also as a friend of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher.

    Concerning ECHR's reform, surprisingly, it was an .. enthousiast French Permanent Representative to the CoE, Ambassador Laurent Dominati, who observed earlier to "EuroFora, that "the (incoming) Brittish Presidency of the CoE would have interesting things for you among its priorities, particularly concerning the ECHR", where, UK's main aim would probably be to focus on serious Human Rights violations, as he told us smiling, on the sidelines of Diplomatic meetings at the Presidential Palace "Elysee" in Paris, leaving the impression of a possible Franco-British "entente cordiale" on this and other topical CoE issues...



Repeatedly questioned on this matter by more than... 5 Journalists, one after the other, Hague stressed, among others, that, he hopes to obtain an "Agreement" on ECHR changes, until May 2012, (i.e. shortly after a scheduled "Ministerial meeting on ECHR's Reform" on April 2012), even if "it's part of a Long Process" of overall reform, as he admitted, apparently referring to the landmark Interlaken 2/2010 Resolution which established a Plan for work up to 2019, (See "EuroFora"s NewsReports from the spot).

    Hague stressed, among others,  that "it's important for ECHR to focus on the maink, most important issues of serious, appaling Human Rights violations", "many of whom come from certain States", and face the overload of applications, so that it will become able to "become anew in Futrure as powerful and efficient as it had been in the Past".


(NDLR : "EuroFora" intends to return back to this issue soon, with a complete analysis).
    - But,  "We also place Importance in other issues, and I think that (Internet) is important too, not to lose sight of Human Rights issues which are gaining importance throughout the modern World", such as "the Free and Responsible use of the Internet", Hague added.


    - In this regard, f.ex. "I hosted in London, last week, an International Conference on  CyberSpace, whis is also part of our Security policy, f.ex. by reducing Cyber Attacks and Internet Criminal Networks", (as he said, at  the eve of a forthcoming, new CoE International Conference on CyberCrime, scheduled in Strasbourg on November 21).

    - "But we place all that Strongly in the context of Freedom, and the immense Benefit of Economic and Political and Social imortance of Freedom of Expression : The greater Freedom of Expression and Information that the Internat has brought about", Hague stressed.

    - "There are many Governments around the World who now use the Power of CyberSpace to try to Suppress Opposition, and also Block Freedom of Expression", the incoming CoE's Chairman in office denounced.

    - "So, this is becoming an increasingly important issue, and it's right to bring attention there", concluded the key Minister from the new British Government which was elected on 2010 on the basis of an Electoral Program which included also a cystal-clear promise to "Restore Freedoms" to British People, (something which has become a target of various "Socialist" a.o. provocations, recently, in an obvious attempt to  try to make the new government deviate from its officially anounced principles).
-  "Internet Governance, including Freedom of Expression on the Internet", is, indeed, officially included among the "Priorities and Objectives" of the "UK Chairmanship of the CoE", also accordin to an Official Programme, which stresses that "the UK strongly supports an Open internet, not only in terms of access and content but also Freedom of expression"

    Moreover, UK's CoE Chairmanship "will work towards the adoption of the CoE Internet Governance strategy by (CoE's) Committee of Ministers", according also to the Conclusions of the latest, May 2011,  "G-8" Summit of Heads of State/Government at Deauville symbolically located between France and the UK at the Manche, and chaired by French President Sarkozy (See "EuroFora"s relevant NewsReports from Strasbourg, Paris and from the "G20" at Deauville)

    "We will also give impetus to the Principles that the Council of Europe has developed to uphold Freedom of expression on the internet and provide support to other Initiatives, to ensure that all member States live up to their international Obligations in this area", the Official UK's CoE chairmanship Program adds.


    + Hague, (perhaps observing the astonishing behavior of an inexperienced CoE's agent who curiously interposed himself in systematically hintering any questions from certain long-time EU/CoE/UNO+ Journalists, despite the available time and British Foreign Minister's obvious willingness to reply), added, at his own initiative, also "another UK's priority (which) is the Fight against Discrimination", as he said.


All this, (i.e. added to the "Freedom at the Internet" issue : See Supra), apparently fits well also the fact that, right in front of CoE's Press Room (the "No 4"), is located the Statute of World famous former British Prime Minister Winston Churchil, whose idea was the creation of CoE itself, and who was already actively engaged in a previous, Historic Liberal- Conservative Coalition Government : that of young Winston Churchil and David Lloyd George, between 1916 and 1922, a Victorious Government over 1st World War, and to which many Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, etc. owe much for active Help for their Liberation  from Military Invasion and Occupation by the former Ottoman-Turc empire, notoriously stoped from dissolution and transformation into several Modern, Democratic National States, at the last minute by a cynical, real-politics manouver by Stalin at the Caucasus, obviously made in order to provoke headaches for many years to the detriment of Western Europe.. This also was probably one of the last Governments in Europe to be really Autonomous, including vis a vis overseas..  

++ UK's official Program also adds that "the UK Chairmanship will work towards a more effective and efficient role for the CoE in supporting Local and Regional Democracy". CLRAE's (Congres of Local and Regional Democracy's) current President is, indeed, the experienced Liberal representative Keith Whitmore, (See various Whitmore's Statements to "EuroFora", including during the most recent CLRAE Session in Strasbourg, on October 2011).


(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent earlier to "EuroFora"s Subscribers/Donors. A more accurate, complete, Final version is due asap).



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It's important to create a synergy between "mutually stimulating" EU Countries' moves in order to overcome an "Unjust" Crisis "imported from USA", stressed new French Minister for Economic Revival, Patrick Devedjian, in Strasbourg, warning also that, while hoping for a vigorous Obama US Plan, nevertheless, "Time" is of essence for Europe...

In fact, it's EU's own interest to act Fast, before June 2009 EU Election, since, with Lisbon Treaty not ratified yet, it cannot face again the risk of a Majority Abstention, as back in 1999 and 2004, nor another "anti-EU" mood among Citizens, as in the 2005 French and Dutch "No", followed by the 2008 Irish "No", without endangering rare Historic opportunities, currently open for the EU, whose future is at stake.

From Social issues up to High-Tech Scientific Research, concrete action for Economic revival started from Strasbourg and its European dimension, for the new super-Minister Patrick Devedjian, who visited a Popular Social Housing and Infrastructure project at nearby Hagenau village, before meeting new leaders of Strasbourg's unified mega-University in a Scientific Labo at the Campus, close to EU Parliament and CoE headquarters.

Devedjian, who met also with all the spectrum of Local Political  deciders of Alsace region, close to FrancoGerman borders, wants for deeds to meet the words, in real practice, whenever politicians speak about Strasbourg and Europe's development.

Devedjan to "EuroFora" : "European coordination can act as a multiplicator by mutual stimulations"
Devedjian was questioned by "Euro-Fora" on his expectations for reciprocal effects of coordinated European plans :

- "We are living in a (European and Global) system where borders are transparent : When we take measures in France, they produce effects also in Germany, in Belgium, Italy, Spain, or other EU countries, and vice-versa. "So, we can have mutually stimulating effects between national revival Plans, if they are somehow coordinated", ..."They can augment each other's effects, acting as multiplicators and levers". "As a State stimulates Local authorities and Private business, similarly, each EU country's economic revival plan may multiply the effects of other EU countries' actions", he told us.

- "F.ex., when I visited Strasbourg University's Scientific labos, they told me that part of the renovation, funded by France, is realized by German companies located only a few Kms away from the border. Thus, the French revival plan benefits also the German economy. And vice-versa : when Germany takes certain measures, they can have beneficial effects also for French companies"

In an era of Globalisation, "nobody can close and isolate himself inside a Fish-Bowl !", he concluded.
Economy's revival starts from Strasbourg and Europe, for new French Minister Devedjian


This could be one of the reasons for which the new French Minister for Economic Stimulus chose to make his 1st visit to Strasbourg, the headquarters of European and Paneuropean Institutions, in the Franco-German river borders at the heart of Europe.

- "It was President Sarkozy's idea", he revealed, adding also fresh "support to Strasbourg's European vocation, not only with words, but also with deeds" :F.ex., the completion of a High-Speed Train network, due to stimulate fast links with Germany, Austria, Italy, Hungary and other central EU Countries.

- "This Crisis is Unjust for Europe, because it wasn't its fault". The greatest part of the "Crisis was imported from the USA, where problems are deeper than here'', in the EU. The Crisis "wasn't due to a bad managment by Europe", who was affected by problems which emerged elsewhere. That's why Europe must be united and active enough to face this challenge. said Devedjian, who has just won +5% in popularity...

- "I hope that there will be an "Obama-effect" also on Economy, and that the Plan of the New American President will be substantial enough to face this crisis, which is worse in the USA than in our area", Europe, he added.

"Economic Revival overcomes political divisions : F.ex. Strasbourg's Socialist Mayor "Ries agreed that State actions funded by Public Debt are justified during such exceptional circumstances", noted the Center-Right republican Minister.


"Zeitnot" for 2009 EU Elections ?



"My problem is Time", stressed Devedjian from the outset, at Strasbourg's University. "I have to engage 75% of funds in 2009, out of a total of 29 Billion euros", he explained later. "Monitoring will be of essence", because we must "avoid bureaucracy or delays. No project should get lost or neglected in complex meanders of adminstrative offices' moving sands", he warned.

- "I must create activities in the middle of the Crisis", he added. Questioned by EuroFora whether he aims to start creating some "hopes before the June 2009 EU Elections", Devedjian, a former leader of the Governing Political Party in France: UMP, did not immediately reply, but revealed, later, that he "hoped to start at least some Projects on May 2009, even if the bulk of Revival Plan's effects are "expected from Autumn 2009".

However, with only 30% of EU Citizens currently aiming to cast a vote at the forthcoming EU Elections on June, (See other NewStory), the  coordinated moves' results are expected to be crucial for Citizens' participation and votes at the forthcoming June 2009 EU Elections throughout all 27 EU Member Countries...Thus, it's vital for all Europe's own Future that coordinated national Economic revival plans start to have concrete results and create hopes for new dynamics before the June 2009 EU Election...

A real challenge, since careful choices are needed : Our aim is to fund projects which "create activities", even "in the middle of the crisis", and have a "lever effect, attracting other investments", Devedjian said. Because the "Stimulus' Plan has 2 aims : A Tactical one : to create New Activities. And a Strategic one : Choose what can become efficient and useful also in the Long-term". 

- "Are you ready ?", he asked Strasbourg University's new President, professor Alain Beretz, with some 700 million euros in his pockets for Education-Research in France. - "We are !", he replied.

- "The Minister's initiative can accelerate funds, and Time is important for us. This concerns the entire renovation of all our buildings", said to "EuroFora" President, Beretz. "I showed some Scientific Research Labos to Mr. Devedjian. But, If we had more time, I could show him also some Education Amphis, whose condition needs to meet Strasbourg's new Mega-University's ambition" to reach the 10 best in the World, as Prime Minister Fillon earlier anounced here.


(Devedjian kicks off his Economic Revival tour from Strasbourg University, meeting with its new chairman Beretz, at Scientific Institute Le Bel) 


Regional Prefectures should gather and select projects to be presented for decision before the end of January 2009.

A well-known close friend of President Sarkozy, who succeeded as EU Chairman to launch, in agreement with German chancelor Merkel and even British prime minister Brown, vigorous EU actions against the Financial/Economic Crisis, (starting from the 1st Historic Summit of EuroZone's Heads of State/Government, October 12 at Elysee Palace, followed by Washington G20 Global Summit), Devedjan will have a key role in the realisation of National and EU plans recently agreed in Brussels.

President Sarkozy is expected to arrive himself in Strasbourg, on the occasion of the official inauguration of its brand New Mega-Hospital, on the 9th of January 2009, at the eve of EU Parliament's session here, Elysee confirmed shortly after Devedjian's visit.

EU is due to review its economic revival plans at March 2009 EU Council in Prague, before the April 2 London Global Summit.





Multi-facet concrete activities at focus : Stimulus Minister Devedjian at the Political, Social and High-Tech fronts in Strasbourg...


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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