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Home arrow newsitems arrow New CoE SG Jagland to EuroFora on Sarkozy-Merkel idea: EU-Russia-Turkey+ Economy-Human Rights Area

New CoE SG Jagland to EuroFora on Sarkozy-Merkel idea: EU-Russia-Turkey+ Economy-Human Rights Area

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 29 September 2009

Replying to "EuroFora"s questions and later in an exclusive interview, new CoE's Secretary General, Thorbjorn Jagland, welcomed and associated himself with the idea, recently launched by French President Sarkozy with German Chancellor Merkel and the support of Russian Prime Minister Putin, to create a Common Space for Economy, Politics, Human Rights and Democracy standards, between EU and Russia, Turkey and other countries.

Speaking before a landmark debate on the "Future" of Council of Europe in Strasbourg, Jagland, a former Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Norway, currently President of Parliament and of the Nobel "Peace" Prize Committee, agreed with "EuroFora", concerning CoE's competences, that "Human Rights and Democracy are also Peace-building".

Even if they don't yet give "Hotlines at the Media", nevertheless, Human Rights are "very important in People's Minds !", he agreed, expressing his readiness to "consider" any "new project" that "EuroFora" might eventually present in order to "unite all efforts" to boost CoE's "visibility".


 - "Norway, your country, as well as Switzerland, which will chair soon CoE's Ministers, are among European countries which aren't yet EU Members, but part of an "European Economic Space", and have a Special Status. Now that CoE debates on its"Future", what's your opinion about a parallel vision, recently by French President Sarkozy in agreement with German Chancellor Merkel, supported also by Russian Prime Minister Putin and others", already presented by Sarkozy to new USA President Obama, "to create a kind of "Common Space" in Europe, where Russia, but also Turkey and other countries, independently of the EU (Enlargment) questions, might share not only Economic, but also Legal and (Human Rights) Values' and standards ?", "EuroFora" asked Jagland.

- "I very much associate myself with the ideal to have a Common Space for Economy and Politics and everything (you said) on the entire continent", Jagland replied to "EuroFora"'s question, (but without explicitly saying if he included, or not, also Turkey), at his 1st Press Conference after his election as new CoE's SG for the 2009-2014 five years period.

- "You referred to the EEA agreements that we have between Norway and other EFTA countries with the EU, which is a real (common) Economic space, because we have the same Rules and Laws also for Economy", he observed. 

- "If there is an idea to expand it to other parts of Europe, I would welcome it very much", CoE's new SG stressed.

- "Although I think that it's quite a big challenge to do it !", he carefully warned smiling..  

- "Because, as you know", "when it comes to Economy, it's not the same", as in CoE's competences which notoriously focus on Human Rights, Democracy and Law, particularly since the decisions taken by the 2005 Warsaw Summit of the PanEuropean organization's Heads of State and Government.

But, replying also to another "EuroFora" question on "core Human Rights issues", in this regard, Jagland appeared more upbeat :


- "Yesterday" (at the eve of SG's election), "I gave you a photograph with a Painting by a Norwegian who was at a Concentration Camp in the Past, at Struthof, close to Strasbourg, where, notoriously, "MISSING" People from all over Europe were held" until the 2nd WW. "By a coincidence, these same days there was an important ECHR judgement on "MISSING" peuple here : the "Varnavas" case", on 9 Cyprus' Missing persons and Turkey. On such "core Human Rights issues, do you think that you might contribute, ..so that the values and judgements of the European Court of Human Rights ..might be better respected in the Future, in a way which also helps Reconciliation, by giving People a Guarantee that, when they are reUnited together, these kind of things will never happen again ?", "EuroFora" asked Jagland.  

-  "Absolutely !", the new CoE's SG agreed strongly.

- "That is why we have the CoE !", his new chief stressed, showing that he considered that as an existential issue for Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organization.

- I.e. "in order to enhance Human Rights, spreading Democracy to the entire Continent". And this is something "which is (also) Peace-building, indeed", Jagland agreed.In this regard, he pointed at 2 things :   

- "We (CoE) do have : (1) these Common Standards and (Human Rights) Values under the Conventions which we have at the CoE ;  and (2) the Court, which is an instrument to implement them", he concluded, putting an accent on ECHR judgements' implementation.


- "But it doesn't always create the Headlines in the Media", Jagland regretted, rightfully critical. 

- "Because CoE is working with issues which are not giving immediate "Hotlines" in the Media", he observed later, in an exclusive interview with "EuroFora".

- However, Human Rights and Democracy, are an important, relevant issue, (at least) sometimes. Aren't they ?", "EuroFora" wondered.

- "It should be", CoE's new SG carefully replied. Nevertheless, "when it comes to being visible, it's not that easy".

 - "But it is very, very important in People's Minds", Jagland stressed.

(Photo of Painting by Norwegian deportee Rudolf Naess, of the Nazi Concentration Camp "Struthof" close to Strasbourg, where Historians found that "Missing" persons from all over Europe were gathered and submitted to atrocious "Tests" : Document of the "European Center of Resistants and deportees" given to "EuroFora" on the 20.09.2009 European Heritage Days)

- So, "I think that it's possible to make it (CoE) more visible".  "But it depends, very much, on how relevant we are : If we are relevant, if we can contribute to something, then, I think that it's possible to be "visible", Jagland agreed. - Even if "there has been recently an amelioration", recently, "about CoE's visibility, ... "several People hope on you to do something ", observed "EuroFora".

- "I don't know, I don't have any particular idea now", Jagland replied, while recognizing the importance oif the issue. And, when "EuroFora" asked him if, " in order to be succesful, and unite all efforts", he " would be ready to consider also New Projects, based on experience of more than 15 years, if they are proposed ?", CoE's new SG replied positively ; - "Well, yes, if they are", he accepted.


(Jagland explaining later his views to the French Press, after his reply to "EuroFora" question on the Sarkozy-Merkel-Putin idea, under the careful and beautiful ear of CoE's Director of Communications, Seda Pumpyanskaya from Russia). 


("EuroFora", in addition to other relevant news -some already send earlier to donors/subscribers- is due to publish on the new CoE's SG soon a more comprehensive approach, including an Exclusive Interview).


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Sarkozy and Merkel want deals with Obama on European Security at Strasbourg's NATO 2009 Summit

In parallel but concording moves, EU Chair, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel both invited this week US-President elect, Barack Obama, to discuss important deals breaking new ground on European Security during the NATO's 60 Years Anniversary Summit of Heads of State in Strasbourg, where Obama is expected to make his 1st visit to Europe as a President on April 2009.

Merkel focused mainly on smoother NATO - EU Defence and Security policy cooperation, while Sarkozy spoke about PanEuropean Security, associating both Russia and the USA, proposing to freeze missile and shields' deployement until an agreement is reached.

But both tackled some hard nuts to crack : Turkey's VETO against the participation of EU Member Cyprus to EU-NATO cooperation, and Russia's anouncement on deployment of missiles up to Kaliningrad, at EU's belly, in reply to USA's wish to set up missile shields in EU States such as Poland or Czech Republic, etc.

- "Certainly...one of the points that we'll dicuss with the New US President", Barak OBAMA, "who will come f'or the 1st time in Europe as president, at the NATO Summit", co-hosted by France and Germany in Strasbourg, ""concerns, above all, the European Security and Defence Policy" (ESDP), and "the relations between NATO and its partners", with whom it should "work together", anounced earlier this week Merkel.

We must find "a reasonable and adequate concept to articulate NATO and European Security and Defense policy", because of a "series of practical issues, sometimes difficult to understand", but that "we must discuss".


- "An example" of that is "the issue of Cyprus and Turkey", said Merkel, where Ankara raises problems "from Kosovo up to Afghanistan", as also CoE's chair, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt recently observed in Strasbourg replying to EuroFora's questions.

- "We must do something to smoothen this problem for good, and not only on a case-by-case basis, laboriously negotiated each time". Here, we must find "a reasonable and adequate concept to articulate NATO and European Security and Defense policy", Merkel stressed.

- "With good will from all sides, it could and should be posible. Germany wants also to help on that". Otherwise, "the coming generations will not understand why it took Decades to do so". But, if we "don't even achieve that for Decades, this would be an Historic Failure !", the German Chancellor warned

- "I think that our American partners are increasingly realizing that", Merkel said, pleading for "a stronger European Security and Defence policy, with which, I believe, the Atlantic Security Partnership can also strengthen and solidify".

Meanwhile, USA is also due to take in 2009 a special status inside EU-led EUROCORPS, the European Army HeadQuarters, based in Strasbourg.

Merkel said that after meeting in Berlin with NATO's Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, earlier this week, precisely in order to "prepare NATO's Summit", scheduled for the beginning of April 2009 in Strasbourg.

Scheffe, knows well Strasbourg, since he chaired the CoE, as Holland's Foreign Minister, when he brokered a controversial deal precisely on Turkey and Cyprus about the implementation of ECHR judgements on Greek Cypriot displaced persons' houses and properties in 2003. He returned later at least once, for a WEO meeting at the CoE, where he precisely had highlighted such EU - NATO issues.

EU Commission's 2008 Report on Turkey has just observed that, on European Defense - Security policy, "Turkey continues to object to EU-NATO Cooperation which would involve all EU Member States". "This created Problems for EU-NATO co-operation in the context of Civilian ESDP missions, in particular in Kosovo and Afghanistan".


 French EU Chair, President Sarkozy and Merkel are visiting Washington on Friday and Saturday for a Global G-20 Summit with current US President George Bush, on the sidelines of which are expected preparatory contacts with US President-elect Obama's entourage, even if himself might stay in Chicago until he takes over on January 21.

Before going to Washington, Sarkozy concluded today an UE - Russia Summit with Dmitry Medvedev, where they "spoke in length on PanEuropean Security" :

- As EU President, I proposed that we meet on mid-2009 in a framework such as OSCE's in order to set the foundations of a Future Pan-European Security, which would associate Russia and USA, and that, meanwhile, nobody speaks about deploying missiles or shields, which complicate the situation".

- NATO's Summit in Strasbourg-Kehl, on April 2009 is a perfect occasion to discuss with our American friends and to prepare a possible OSCE Summit for these issues f.ex. for June or July", Sarkozy concluded.

- We must all abstain from Unilateral measures" dangerous for Europe's security. "Russia only reacted to decisions taken by some other countries. But if they are ready to cooperate, we are ready to discuss. EU could be an intermediary", added Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, before going himself too at the Washington G-20 Economic Summit.


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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