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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Secr.Gen. Jagland to EuroFora on PACE 1st Turkish Chair : Link EU to 3rd Countries. And Russia ?

CoE Secr.Gen. Jagland to EuroFora on PACE 1st Turkish Chair : Link EU to 3rd Countries. And Russia ?

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 26 January 2010

 

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Provide "a clear Connexion to Europe" for 3rd "Countries, out of the EU", (as Russia, but also Turkey, etc), and link them to "the same Rules", is a task of vital importance for the CoE, close to an idea recently proposed by French President Sarkozy in agreement with German Chancellor Merkel, Russian Prime Minister Putin, etc, observed in substance CoE's Secretary General, Thorbjorn Jagland, replying to an "EuroFora"''s question on this topical Geopolitical issue, afterTurkish MP Cavusoglou got, for the 1st time, the job of CoE Assembly's Chair.

    - "The fact that Russia, as well as Turkey and 18 other Countries OUT of the EU, have a clear, formal connexion to Europe, through this organization (CoE), underlines" its main role, because, "without CoE these countries would not have this formal Links (to the EU) and be under the same Standards and Rules, as all the others", Jagland stressed.

    - "So, I mean, If one, for instance, could say that CoE tomorrow could be abolished, then we would immediately have a new Dividing line in Europe, because of what I said. And 2 differend kinds of Case-Laws would develop (by Strasbourg's CoE and Luxembourg's EU Courts). Or to say, one case law in the EU, and, then, 20 others, throughout the other Countries. That's the Danger", he warned.

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    - "And that's why its so important to keep all these things together, under the same Rules and Standards, and under the same Court", new CoE's Head (2009-2014)  concluded.

    - "And this underlines the importance of the CoE, as you ("EuroFora") said",  CoE's Secretary General agreed with the main thrust of "EuroFora"'s Question :

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    - "When you were elected (on September 2009), Mr. Secretary General, you said (in reply to an earlier "EuroFora" question, See relevant Publication), that you found interesting the outline of an idea that had been proposed by the French President Sarkozy, in agreement with German Chancellor Merkel, (Russian Prime Minister Putin) and others, about ...the creation of a big, Paneuropean Space, where Countries out of the EU, as Norway, Switzerland, Russia, Turkey, and others, could find a way to be closer to the EU, independently of what might happen on other issues, f.ex. if they accede, or not", "EuroFora" reminded.     

- Thus, "today (on 25 Jan. 2010), we saw (for the 1st time) a very interesting Photograph : You (from Norway) were close, not only to (CoE President-in-office, Foreign Minister) Calmy-Rey, who comes from Switzerland, but also to (the new CoE Assembly's Chairman) Mr. Cavusoglou, who represents Turkey", (i.e. from 3 Non-EU countries), "EuroFora" observed.


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    - "Do you think that this (new development) might be a Step ..., or that it might help (to advance) in this direction (as cited above) ?" "But the only "Missing Link" (in that schema), for the moment, is Russia, (who didn't yet get any important CoE Top job), that you visited recently. If things go in this direction, then, what might be the role of Russia ?", "EuroFora" asked Jagland.
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    - Indeed, "the Russian Federation" should "not be regarded" "as a "Missing Link" (among CoE's leadership and main GeoPolitical tasks). On the contrary", the new CoE's Secretary General agreed with "EuroFora"s question.
    
    - "Russia is a full CoE Member, and, by ratifying (recently) Protocol 14 (on the Reform of the PanEuropean Court of Human Rights), Russia has also stated very clearly that it wants  also to strengthen ECHR, which we find very important", Jagland stressed.

    - "The Russian Federation has taken a very clear stand now, as I think, and ...Russia has ratified protocol 14"', showing its will for a paneuropean space witghout dividing lines, "throughout all the European Continent" and well beyond (See supra).

    - "And there is a clear political will from the EU to go in the same Direction", Jagland confirmed, speaking for the 1st time in Strasbourg after his recent Top meetings in Moscow, Berlin, London, Brussels, etc, in relation with the EU on how to firmly "connect" EU to neighbouring 3rd Countries "Out of the EU", as he said (See supra).

    -  "That is my Goal :  To help this Process move forward", new CoE's Secretary General concluded in reply to "EuroFora"'s question.
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    While an enlarging CoE seems, thus, to be moving towards that "big Space" due to include more and more links to "Neighbouring" Countries, that Sarkozy and Merkel have described in agreement with Putin, Medvedev and ohers., at the same moment, the ratification of ECHR's Protocol 14 by Russia opens the way for EU's accession to the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights, creating a "Gravity Center" with EU's 27 Member States' strong block inside Strasbourg's organizsation, as CoE's President-in-office, Swiss Foreign Minister Calmy Rey recently observed.

    Incoming EU Commissioner in charge of Justice, Human Rights and Citizenship, experienced Luxembourg'"s MEP Viviane Reding, speaking recently to "EuroFora", stressed he will to boost such moves : - "I know that there is a hard but also very important" mission for Europe to start in 2010, agreed EU Commissioner-designate Reding with "EuroFora" about her new portofolio and EU/CoE prospects. - "I intend to strart immediately negiotiations between EU and CoE for the accession to the ECHR, but I cannot say when they could conclude", Reding added speaking earlier to MEPs in the same issue.

    However, EU strongly supported a CoE Reform Plan presented recently in Strasbourg by Jagland, who stresses the "Political" will to "focus on CoE's main tasks", i.e. Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law", in a more "efficient" way, as he said here to Journalists, including "EuroFora", shorftly after receiving also an "unanimous" support by CoE's 47 Member States' strong Committee of Ministers.
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It's in this context that Turkish MEP Cavusoglou, after 7 years in the CoE, got the PÄCE's top job practically unopposed, without public debate nor vote in the Plenary, since there wasn't any competitor, according to an old agreement between Political Groups to rotate on PACE's revolving chair. He comes from the small EDG group, recently chaired by British conservative MEP Wilshire.

A previously scheduled prolongation for 1 more year of the mandate of the out-going PACE President, the experienced Spanish MEP Luis de Puig (2008-2011), was finally dropped (with only "2 votes difference") behind closed doors at PACE's Bureau last Autumn, as this was confirmed on November by PACE's Standing Committee when it met in Bern, Switzerland.

 In exchange, the rotating PACE Chair mandate was fixed at a shorter period than before : Only 2 Years.

However, back in 2005 this deal had been discontinued, when the scheduled EDG candidate was Russian MEP  Margelov, and it didn't re-start but only on 2010, when it was the turn of Turkey's Cavusoglou.Thus, PACE lost an opportuniyt to have a Russian Chair, (obviously more in line with its recent spectacular Enlargement Eastwards), finding itself, instead, with a Turkish one. (Something which had not been done before, not even during the exceptional "Cold War" period, when Turkey entered the CoE as a counter-point to the former "Socialist" block then). .

But, several MEPs questioned this unprecedented move for Strasbourg's Organization of Human Rigfhts, Democracy and Rule of Law, independently of his own personality (often smiling and friendly, as f.ex. several times during the recent years with "EuroFora" in Strasbourg), mainly because of Turkish State's notoriously unique bad record on numerous grave Violations of Human Rights, as ECHR reminded also this week by anew condemning Ankara's Authorities in various cases of Torture, violations of Freedom of Speech, Unfair Trials, Arbitrary/Excessive deprivations of liberty, etc.

Reacting, Cavusoglou, obviously emotionally touched by the honour entrusted to him personally, said that even his father who had worked in a farm at Antalya (a well-known mass tourism Holiday ressort in Southern Asia Minor) couldn't dream of, and promissed at his inaugural speech to the PACE to be fair and objective in defending CoE's values on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, (defined as CoE's main task by the latest, 2005 PanEuropean Heads of State and Government Summit in Warsau, Poland).
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At any case, the move concerning Cavusoglou of Turkey fits well out-going CoE Assembly President, Luis de Puig's anouncement, earlier this week in Strasbourg, that the PanEuropean organization is currently considering ways to extend its activities well "beyond Europe's borders" by involving also "South Mediterannean"; as well as Cenrtal "Asian" Countries, such as "Kazakhstan" and others.

A CoE Assembly's Resolution adopted earlier on 2009 asks for a special inter-Parliamentary "Status" to be given, under certain conditions on "Democracy" values, to Europe's "Neighbouring" Countries, from the Souhern shore of Mediterranean and/or among "CIS" Countries of the former USSR, such as Kazakhstan, Kirghistan, Turkmenistan, etc. (See relevant "EuroFora"'s publication);

"Morocco" (a previously unsuccesful candidate to EU accession), followed by "Cap Verde", has just succeeded to be welcomed by CoE into becoming a new Members of CoE's "North-South Center", based at Lisbon, Portugal, on 2009.

Meanwhile, Mexico, Canada, the US and Japan, previously got a Special Status at the CoE, in a process which started since Russia's Historic entry, after December 2005.     

The only UN Security Council Permanent Member who has not yet got a Status in Strasbourg's CoE is China, but it has recently established an active General Consulate in Strasbourg, and took steps for links to the CoE through Sports, Health or Environment, etc., (as the former "Eastern" European Countries of the former "Socialist" block had started to approach CoE initially through Culture).

In addition, several important CoE's Legally binding Treaties are, in fact, International, because they are open to signature and ratification by any Country in the World which shares common values, such as, f.ex. on Extradition, CyberCrime, protection against Natural or Man-made Hazards, or on BioEthics, etc.

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Such recent developments logically incited fex. the President of the International Socialist movement, Greek Prime Minister Giorgos Papandreou, to launch a call in Strasbourg for CoE's future contributiion to "Humanize" and set some Rules ("chosen by the Peoples through Democratic Political processes") on "Globalization", which can be a chance for progress, but also a danger, otherwise.

(See relevant "EuroFora"'s NewStories, already sent to subrscribers/donors).

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    + [ NDLR : Meanwhile, Jagland, who spoke also about "an Audit" on CoE's "Communication policy", carefully  took note of "EuroFora"s suggestion, during his Press Conference, that, it "might be useful for (the realization of (his) ideas", "to include also an overview of old (CoE) Reports ,...as fex. a CoE (Committee of Ministers) Report done in 1999, after a Hearing of all CoE's Permanent Journalists, which had concluded that Contacts (between Strasbourg's Journalists and CoE's leadership) on Topical issues could generate interesting News". ]

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(Opinion)

Paris - Bruxelles - Strasbourg, 2 septembre 2008

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Le spectaculaire succès du Président français, Nicolas Sarkozy, (en tête de l'UE jusqu'a décembre), à obtenir de suite un cessez le feu inattendu entre la Russie et la Georgie, immédiatement après sa visite aux Présidents Medvedev et Saakashvili, au pire moment de tensions et heurts violents meurtieurs, qui avaient tué plusieurs innocents et provoqué le deplacement forcé de réfugiés par milliers, lui donne incontestablement une stature vraiment européenne :

A ses liens personnels bien connus avec l'Hongrie, la Grece, l'Italie ou l'Espagne, en sus de son amitié avec la chancelière allemande Merkel, son souhait d'essayer d'attirer l'Angleterre au jeu européen, etc, s'y ajoute, maintenant, une réussite, fragile certes, mais importante, au combat pour la Paix dans la "grande" Europe du général De Gaulle, "jusqu'a l'Oural", qui inclut naturellement la Géorgie, l'Arménie et d'autres pays, et ne peut exister qu'avec rapports de confiance et partenartiat stratégique avec la Russie.

Apres avoir réussi à debloquer la situation au Liban, (pays avec liens culturels historiques en Europe), lors du Sommet pour la Méditerranée à Paris, juillet dernier, (comme atteste maintenant le prémier accord d'echange d'Ambassadeurs avec la Syrie), Sarkozy activa maintenant une présidence française de l'EU bien entreprenante, à l'autre bout de l'Europe, à Moscou, où, contrairement à Napoléon, il a été reçu avec soulagement par le nouveau président russe, ami de l'experimenté Vladimir Poutine.

Cet homme politique rélativement nouveau au plan politique européen, avec une vision souvent critique ou même critiquée, à tort ou a raison, mais ambitieuse et concrete a la fois, qui aime s'adresser aux "Européens", comme il dit, n'est-il pas bien placé pour stimuler le fameux débat sur l' "Identité de l' Europe", qu'il a proposé au Parlement Européen récemment à Strasbourg, moins d'un an avant les Elections européennes de 2009 ?

En 2007, il a réussi à faire monter spectaculairement la participation citoyenne aux élections présidentielles en France, obtenant des récords historiques :

N'est-ce pas, justement ce que l' Europe a bésoin, apres 2 abstentions majoritaires sans précedent aux Elections de 1999 et 2004, et 3 "Non" aux réferenda pour ses institutions en 2005 et 2008, pendant une décennie trouble 1999-2008, (marquée surtout par la demande controversée de la Turquie d'entrer dans l'UE eclipsant les avancées de la Monnaie unique et de la liberté de circulation à l'espace Shengen, avec consequences mal-ressenties par la majorité des citoyens, bien au-délà des clivages du passé), qui a failli stopper l'integration européenne ?

Et cela, au moment même ou une globalisation galopante met l'Europe devant un choix crucial entre saut qualitatif en avant, apte à valoriser une occasion historique exceptionelle à se développer résolument, après les vaines destructions, querelles et tensions des guerres "chaudes" ou "froides" qui lui ont couté son rang dans le Monde, ou réculer définitivement en décadence...

Alors, que certains de nos amis à la Commission en Bruxelles, lui laissent au moins un peu d'espace de mouvement, et qu'ils l'aident à tenter d'insufler de l' oxygène frais et vivifiant aux rapports entre les citoyens et une Europe qui a manifestement bésoin et mérite de retrouver d'urgence un nouveau dynamisme populaire, avec un souci de réalisme mais aussi une vision passionante pour son avenir !

Après tout, les Etats Unis d' Amérique ne se sont pas faits à coups de bureaucratie, nécessaire et utile, mais manifestement insuffisante : Sans l'impulsion d'hommes politiques originaux, d'intellectuels vraiment engagés, et, surtout, sans l'enorme énergie émanant de la conscience d'enjeux à la fois pratiques et grandioses, bien resentis par des millions de citoyens, stimulant leur adhésion active comme pioniers d'un nouveau avenir commun à construire, ils seraient encore une ex-colonie périphérique, affaiblie par stériles divisions, passif et impuissant spectateur des convulsions tragiques d'un Monde à la dérive...

Que les vrais "européens" ré-lisent au moins les fameux discours historiques sur l' Europe d'un Sarkozy bien inspiré à Strasbourg, aussi bien avant qu'après avoir gagné les élections françaises, le 21 février et le 2 juillet 2007, après son 1er sommet des Bruxelles, qui a adopté le nouveau Traité de l'UE en conclusion de la presidence allémande : Bonnes lectures pour cet été 2008, afin de préparer l' avenir qui s'ouvrira (ou fermera) à partir des élections européennes de 2009.

Peut-etre revelera-t-il plus, en ce sens, lors de ses 2 discours-debats prochains avec les eurodeputés, prévus lors des sessions plenières du Parlement Européen a Strasbourg en octobre et décembre 2008... 

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Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner had already unveiled President Sarkozy's intentions, during a particularly "hot" Press Conference in Paris, where he faced some's insistance for "sanctions", with a call for "a common EU stance". In the meanwhile, he was consulting "all these days" most of his EU, Russia and Georgia counterparts, (as Sarkozy's Spokesman, P-J. Henin confirmed to "EuroFora"). This allowed him to obtained the desired result, as EU Chairman, at a short, exceptional EU Summit in Brussels, afterwards.

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But, Sarkozy's No 1 official, Presidential palace's Secretary General Claude Gueant, active at Elysee during the 2008 Ambassadors' Conference, (together with his Top Diplomat, the experienced David Levitte), is well known for having an overall view : A link with 2009 EU Elections at the horizon ?

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