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Home arrow newsitems arrow +EU Commission President Juncker to EF on Russia as EU-COE-USA moves unfold: "Big Issues" ?

+EU Commission President Juncker to EF on Russia as EU-COE-USA moves unfold: "Big Issues" ?

Автор ACM
Friday, 29 June 2018
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*Brussels/EU Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- Replying to an "Eurofora" Question, EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, revealed that he Spoke about Russia with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, during an Exceptional Meeting, earlier this week in Strasbourg, just Before 2 Different but Synchronous Decisions on Russia were anounced Today, by EU's 28 Member States' European, and CoE's 47 Member States (including Russia, etc) PanEuropean, Organisations, on Various, but Both Topical and Important Issues, in Brussels and Strasbourg, respectively, concerning their Present and Future Relations to Moscow, (See Infra).

 

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- French President Emmanuel Macron, speaking afterwards to Journalists, including "Eurofora" (See Infra), Today in Brussels, pointed at his recent Visit to Saint Petersburg (Russia), - which might be followed even by another one, soon, ...if the French football Team wins in the Mundial for the 4rth Round, as he had already announced from the start,-  Highlighting a Complex, but Dynamic situation, Open to eventual Developments, (See Infra), while an EU - Ukraine Summit is scheduled, here in Brussels, for July 8, 2018, in the run up to the 2019 Presidential Elections at Kiev.

+Given also the Fact that, almost at the Same Time, a long-awaited, Exceptionally Important, Top Bilateral Meeting between Russian President, Vladimir Putin, and the new USA President, Don Trump, is reportedly prepared for July 16, at Helsinki, Finland, (which is the Next CoE's rotating President for 11/2018 - 5/2019 : See Infra), closely Followed by an exceptional Juncker Visit to the USA, Soon After that, it looks as if a Wider Overhaul of Key, International Relations to Russia, could not be excluded.


Relevant developments certainly interest at the Highest Degree, even China, since Russia's Siberian Bridge Naturally and GeoPolitically is Beijing's most Direct, Continuous and Safest Road link to/from Europe, Nowadays, (given also the current, notoriously "Bumpy" Situation more at the South, which is not exactly the same as it had been, during the Times of Venice's Marco Polo, Back in History)...


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Since the Ukranian Conflict suddenly exploded, it Tragically Mutated a Peaceful,Historic Bridge, into a Monstruous Separating Wall,  during the Former US President Barack Hussein Obama, (a Globalist "Socialist", as also Bill Clinton, during whose tenure, it's the former Yugoslavia Bloody Conflict which had also Exploded, since the 1990ies).


+ Shortly Before that, during this Same Day, PaEuropean CoE's Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE° Highest Body, (its "Bureau"), decided, in Strasbourg to Publish Officially an Important Report, which contains Key Elements for an eventual Return of the Russian Delegation, which had been notoriously Pushed to Quit, during More than 4 Years (2014-2018), after a Minority of Registered MEPs, had Suddenly Voted a Controversial Amendment which Blocked a Compromise Deal, by Imposing more Heavier Sanctions to Russian MEPs than initially agreed, (See : ...), but have, recently, even Started to "Freeze" their Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, just Before an eventual New PanEuropean Summit for 2019, due to re-Shape Strasbourg Organisation's main role, unless PACE guarantees the Immunity of All MEPs' elementary Voting and Participation Rights, (See: ..., and Infra).


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Juncker spoke to "Eurofora" at the Conclusion of EU Heads of State/Government's Summit in Brussels, (28-29 June 2018), just after the Official, General Press Conference, together with EU Council's President, Donald Tusk, and the rotating EU Chairman, Prime Minister of Bulgaria, Boyko Borisov, (Comp. f.ex. : ..., etc).

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EU Commission Presidents's UnUsual Visit to Strasbourg, to meet with Jagland at the Beginning of CoE Assembly's Plenary Session, earlier this Week on Monday Afternoon, (25 June 2018) had, curiously, not been clearly Anounced to Strasbourg's European Journalists, (Not even in the Official "Press Briefing" of Friday Morning, 22 of June 2018), and, even More Curiously, the Usual Official Document Warning about All CoE's "Press Events" in the forthcoming Week, had Not been (as normally) Distributed during that "Press Briefing", of June 22, Despite even the Fact that, Afterwards, it was found that it beared the Date of "June 21", i.e. a whole Day Earlier !... In Addition, it had been Scheduled Only as a mere "Photo" event, i.e. withOut any Possibilty to Raise a Question, and even withOut any Declaration, Contrary to almost All Other High-Level Political Meetings of this week...


- However, it's also true that the Incoming CoE's President-in-Office, the Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic, Replying, Meanwhile, to an "Eufofora"'s Question, precisely on EU-CoE Cooperation, during a subsequent "Press point" with Jagland, the Next Morning, (i.e. on Tuesday, 26 June 2018), even withOut explicitly mentioning the Word "Russia", nevertheless, Concluded by Stressing "Items InterConnecting our (EU-COE) Work", ("instead of Dividing", as he characteristically added). (See : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/primeministerplenkoviconeucoecoop.html).


CoE's President-in-office spoke to "Eurofora" at the eve of a Crucial CoE - Russia High Level Meeting, Later that Evening, (Comp: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/russiaandpacecrisismayberesolved.html, etc), and just 1 Day after EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker exceptionally visited Strasbourg, (on Monday, 25/6/2018), to meet with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland.  "Eurofora" also learned, later-on, from Prime Minister Plenkovic himself, that he intended to stay in Strasbourg also on Wednesday, before Leaving for the EU Summit in Brussels afterwards. Meanwhile, the outcome of that Exceptionaly Important CoE - Russia meeting scheduled for Tuesday Evening (26/6/2018), behind Closed Doors, had become more or less known. (See, f.ex., the Replies given to "Eurofora"s Questions by the President of Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee, Leonid Slutsky, as well as from Dutch Senator Tiny Cox, President of EuroLeft Group and Rapporteur of CoE Assembly's Political affairs Committee on relevant issues, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeassemblyreportandrussianmep.html).

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Juncker spoke with "Eurofora" Today in Brussels, just after the unique Official Press Conference of EU Council and EU Commission on this June 2018 Summit.

 

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- "Eurofora" asked EU Commission's President if he had "Spoken about Russia, with (CoE's Secretary General) Mr. Jagland", last Monday Afternoon in Strasbourg (Comp. Supra), and  What he Wished, in this regard.


- Jean-Claude Juncker, after Carefully asking "Eurofora" to repeat the Question, Replied Positively :


- Indeed, I Spoke with (CoE's Secretary General) Mr. Jagland", he confirmed.


- In fact, it was "about ALL the BIG Problems" Faced Recently in Strasbourg, Juncker underlined, Obviously including also Russia.


- And, particularly, those "which make Upset Strasbourg's small World Upset", he indicated, in Reply to "Eurofora"s above-mentioned Question on Russia, (which has, notoriously, Freezed, all its Annual Financial Contribution, as long as its MEPs are still Threatened.

                                        
- "This is a very Pleasant Endeavor...", Juncker pointed out, with his notorious Black Humour,  (apparently evoking the Anxiety recently felt by a great part of CoE's staff, for the possible Negative Consequences on the PanEuropean Organisation's Budget, but also on its Activities and overall Role : Something that, inter alia, also, f.ex. some Radio-TV Journalists had already Started to Feel in Strasbourg, if we judge by the Angry row with which they Reacted to recent Anouncements of the Fact that, as things stand, from Now on, they would have to Pay Cash, the Cameraman and Studio Facilities, which were Traditionally offered Free of charge : Comp., f.ex. ..., etc).


Juncker is generaly considered to be an Experienced Top Specialist of EU - CoE Relations, as the latter's 47 Heads of State/Government have already officially asked him, as early as since CoE's 2004 Summit in Warsaw Poland, (Comp. "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReports from the spot, Published then at "TCWeekly"), to Draft a landmark Report on the Future of EU-CoE Cooperation, (See : his Replies to "Eurofora"s Questions during his Press Conference just after the Publication of his Report, in Strasbourg, at : ..., etc).


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+ Earlier, concerning Don Trump's forthcoming Meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Juncker prefered to Decline from making any "Comment" on "other Contacts that the American President might have", and Stressed, instead, that "we should De-Dramatize these Relations", simply because "We (EU) Need those Relations", and "the US Needs these Relations". He is due to meet Trump, officially on Trade Issues mainly, soon after the USA - Russia Summit in Helsinki, expected on July 16.


 - At the same time, "in Washington", I will "present the European point of view", he added, Expressing his "Dislike" for "some ... who speak about Division". In Fact,, "when it comes to Europe, we have to show that we Exist, that we are United", Juncker stressed, (while Russia had just reportedly Filed a Legal Complaint at the WTO in Nearby Geneva, base on Similar Trade Issues as those which are also pointed out by the EU, mutatis-mutandis).     


- So that, even if it's "Not Sure", a priori, "that we'll Find an Agreement", nevertheless, "We will Try !", EU Commission's President vowed.


---------------------------------------                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                - Concerning specifically EU - Russia relations, Juncker has recently stressed that "Positive relations between the European Union and the Russian Federation are Crucial to the Security of our continent. Our common objective should be to re-establish a Cooperative Pan-European Security order", as he wrote when he Congratulated Vladimir Putin for his Re-Election, on Spring 2018.


+ PanEuropean "Democratic Security" is also due to be a Standard for a possible New CoE's 47 (including Russian) Heads of State/Government Summit on 2019, (See Infra).


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+ Meanwhile, in a Parallel Move on Russia Today, at the Same Time in Strasbourg, CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) Highest body : its Bureau has just Adopted a landmark Report on Crucial Reforms, after the Row which has notoriously resulted from Too Heavy "Sanctions" against the Russian MEPs (Comp. Supra).


- The Report asks to "strike a Right Balance" between PACE's role as a "Human Rights Watchdog" and a "PanEuropean Forum for Dialogue', noting that there is No clear Majority for one or another option.


- In particular, concerning the Key Issue of Challenging the Credentials of National Delegations, and subsequent "Sanctions", PACE's Report notes the Fact that "Views Vary very Substantially". In fact, even if "the Large Majority ... agree on Maintaining the Possibility of (some) Sanctions" against MEPs, nevertheless, Only "Some" wish "to Maintain the Current "Sanction System", while, on the Contrary, "a Larger Number of participants, Question" various "aspects" of it:


=> They propose to "Change", f.ex.  by "Excluding the Rights to Vote, and to Speak", from those of which MEP "can be Deprived". And/or to "introduce a Graduation of Sanctions", or to "Harmonise" Representation and Participation Rights "between the (Parliamentary) Assembly and the Committee of Ministers", so that some may be "Present or Absent on Both", but Not Only in One among them, (Contrary to what was the case until now, since, f.ex., Russian MEPs were Heavily Sanctioned in the Assembly, and pushed to Quit, while, in the Inter-Governemental Committee of Ministers, Russia kept its Full Rights).


Such and other (f.ex. for Requirements of a Special Quorum and/or Qualified Majority on Sanctions, etc), Proposals for "Changes" were Refered, Today by PACE's Bureau, to its Committee on Rules, for a specific Report and Decisions, while PACE's new President, Maury-Pasquier, reportedly stressed its identity, role and mission as a statutory organ of the COE and a pan-European Forum for interparliamentary Dialogue, which aims at having an impact in All CoE member States.


Russia's Official Position is that Depriving any MEPs from their Voting and Participation Rights is "Contrary to the essence of the Parliamentary system ...as No one has the right to Deprive Elected deputies of their powers, except for their Voters in regular Elections".

 

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But, according to a Recent Analysis by "Eurofora", the real Situation inside the COE, right from the Beginning of the Ukranian conflict, allows, in Substance, for Russian MEPs' Safety to be, in Fact, Guaranteed against Risks of Abuse, IF some adequate Reform Measures, among those Currently Proposed above, are Adopted by PACE asap :


- A Key Point that "Eurofora" Discussed, earlier this week in Strasbourg, also with Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee's President, Leonid Slutsky, who, apparently, did Not Exclude, a priori, an eventual Compromise Solution on this, (See : ..., etc).


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    Today in Brussels, both French and German Leaders rejected an allegation that EU's Policy against Russia might be influenced by the UK :


    - Chancelor Merkel stressed, at first, that "We all contribute into Making the EU's Policy on Russia", where "every Country can bring something in".


    - But, on the substance, she only noted the Fact that "Yesterday, We (EU) Extended, Yesterday (June 28), the Sanctions, in relation with Ukraine and the MInsk (Agreements), as a Result of the later", she Simply added.


    Observers pointed out that, at any case, such a move would have to be, more precisely Finalized during July.


    - Russia reacted by Observing the Fact that there wasn't, apparently, any real Discussion, on that matter. And Warned that Kiev might, thus, find No Incitement to move at all...

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         However, Speaking Today in Brussels to Journalists, including "Eurofora", new French President Emmanuel Macron, Highlighted the Need to find a Right Balance between 2 Conflicting Trends:


    - "EU" is "Not for an Aggressive Policy vis a vis Russia", stressed Macron. "On the Contrary, we (EU) wish to Build a Sustainable Neighbourhood Strategy with her : I even supported that idea in my Recent Visit to Saint Petersburg, a Week Ago", he revealed.


     - "But we (EU) canNot, no more, Ignore what has Happened, particularly on Issues of Collective Security, including in Ukraine, where the Problem has not been yet Solved, and the Commitments undertaken with the Minsk Agreements, have not yet been met, even if they should be Respected, by All Sides", (i.e. Moscow and Kiev alike).


    - "Therefore, it would be Not Coherent, from our (EU's) Part, if by the Mere passing of Time, withOut any Developments in the Situation, we would Forget Both our Principles, and the Interests of our (EU's) Member States - f.ex. the Baltic States", etc             

    >>> However, "My Wish is to become able to Normalize this Issue, and, for that purpose, Both Russia and Ukraine should Find their Way towards Implementing the Minsk Agreements", the French President concluded.         


    Nevertheless, he didn't say what would happen if It might be the current Ukranian Regime which would, eventually, Block the Situation : Russia is supposed to be Motivated for a Solution, because of Heavy "Sanctions". But Kiev ?     


    All those who were closely Following the Developments about Ukraine, canNot Forget the undeniable Fact that, Back on February 2014, a written and signed Peace Deal,  had been agreed by an Elected Government and All the Opposition Leaders of Demonstrators, under the auspices and in the Presence of European Foreign Ministers from France, Germany and Poland.


    It promised General Amnesty, a National Unity Government, Presidential Elections before the end of the Year, etc.


    But, Suddenly, that EU-sponsored Peace Agreement, was trampled underfoot and broken into pieces, when some Deadly "Snipers" opened Fire, Curiously, against Both the Demonstrators and the Police, (as former Estonian Foreign Minister, and current MEP, Urmas Paet, notoriously Denounced : See, f.ex.: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2573923/Estonian-Foreign-Ministry-confirms-authenticity-leaked-phone-call-discussing-Kiev-snipers-shot-protesters-possibly-hired-Ukraines-new-leaders.html ), provoking Violent Clashes which Brutaly toppled the pro-Russian Government and Seized Power by Force.


    Such a Last-Minute Violent Move droped that Peace Deal, which had just been Agreed by the Government and all the Opposition, under the auspices of the EU, (that Barack Hussein Obama's former US Assistant State Secretary Nuland had just notoriously slandered by her infamous : -"Fuck the EU !", a few Days Earlier), and Marked the Beginning of a Violent, Brutal and Deadly Ukranian Conflict, which persists until Today.


    A CoE's High-Level Independent Committee of Enquiry, Chaired by former ECHR President Sir Nicolas Bratza, (UK), found, in a Report published later-on, that those Deadly "Snipers"' Mystery, had Not yet been properly Investigated at all by the New Ukranian Authorities, (See : ...).


    A similar Failure to Investigate, mutatis-mutandis, was Found, by that CoE's Top Independent Experts' Panel, in a 2nd Report Published on May 2015, also in the Dramatic case of Odessa's Brutal Attacks by Violent Mobsters (arriving by Trains/Buses from Elsewhere) armed with Clubs, Pistols, Fire-Bombs, etc., who Killed Dozens of Peaceful Demonstrators, mainly by Burning them Alive, (See, f.ex., Authentic Photos, Released during the Events overNight, including of the Famous, Young "Odessa Couple", published by "Eurofora" then, on May 2014 : ...), at Another Scandalously UnPunished yet Massacre of Dissident Civilian People.


=> Meanwhile, even Europe's Economic Growth inevitably Suffered a supplementary Loss of Potential, since that thorny Ukranian problem, provoked on 2014, as the Experienced OECD's CEO, Angel Guria, had told to "Eurofora" (See: ...).


    Recently, on March 2018, even the former "National Heroe" of Kiev's regime, Nadiya Savchenko, (who had notoriously been Jailed and Judged in Russia, before being Liberated after a World-wide Campaign, and becoming even MEP at CoE's Assembly in Strasbourg), just 1 Week After Denouncing that Kiev's Deadly "Snipers" (Comp. Supra) would have been orchestrated by some "Law-Makers" now inside the Ukranian Parliament, was suddenly Striped of her Parliamentary Immunity, Accused for a Plot to ..."Bomb" (sic !) the Parliament, and immediately Arrested and Jailed by Kiev's regime...

 

    Curiously, (but characteristically), Nadiya Savchenko's Downfall, among the current Kiev's regime, reportedly Started at ... Minsk (sic !), when she dared commit the "Crime" to merely ... Speak, in direct Dialogue, with her Compatriot Ukranians representatives from the Eastern, pro-Autonomy Regions of Donetsk - Luhansk !


Instead of being Congratulated, the Young Ukranian Woman MP, (who had been Elected at the 1st place, Heading the List of famous, former Prime Minister, Julia Timoshenko's Political Party : Comp. Timoshenko's Statements to "Eurofora", both Before, and After her own Imprisonment, by the Janukovich Regime of the Past, at: ..., + ..., etc), on the Contrary, she was Slandered and Accused of "Betraying" her Country, Excluded from her Party, Striped of her Accreditation to the CoE in Strasbourg, Harassed, (and Later Excluded even from the Parliament), etc.


In the MeanTime, Savchenko had Created a New Political Party, and had even Anounced her intention to take part in the Forthcoming, New Ukranian Presidential Elections of 2019.


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Precisely, when French President Macron, saluting Journalists at the end of his Press Conference at the Conclusion of the June 2018 EU Summit in Brussels, suddenly turned towards "Eurofora" and Greeted with a Smile, kindly asking - "Hi there ! How are things ?",


We Felt obliged to Reply by immediately Pointing at the Topical Substance of the matter :


- "Mr. President, Next Year, on 2019, when You shall become Chairman-in-office of the Widest European Organisation : that of the 47-Member Countries strong CoE, you shall have as Member State also Russia !", "Eurofora" Timely warned President Macron. The new French President apparently did not expect that, right at this moment, and, Surpized, given also the Big potential Importance of such topical matters, he appeared seriously Falling into ...Deep Thought !..


+ It's also on 2019 that PanEuropean COE is due to celebrate its 70th Anniversary, since its Creation, and even Elect a New Secretary General, (as the ...Russian semi-Official Press Agency "Tass" observed nowadays), as well as, the Series of Big Reforms of the ECHR arrive at its Culminating point, according to a prevision, already made since its Beginning, Back on 2010, at Schwitzerland's  InterLaken area, (Comp. "Eurofora"s NewsReports, then, from that superbe spot, at : ..., etc), even, perhaps, organize a New PanEuropean, 47 Heads of State/Governments' Summit, (etc), ... almost at the Same Time that EU Parliament's Elections of May 2019 may also Hide some more Surprises, with a more or less wide EU overhaul...


- "Hey, the President seems to Know you quite well !", Joked a collegue with a Friendly Smile., who had observed the moves.


- "Yeah, But....", we reacted, even more thoughtful :

 

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A Piece of Paper, with the Name of our Famous Brittish collegue, "Adam Boulton, Sky TV" Journalist, usually plenty of Brittish Humour, was now the sole reminder of the fact that he used to sit at the Same Table, in EU Summit's main PressRoom, aside "Eurofora", ...until this Morning, 2nd Day of the June 2018 EU Summit, when BREXIT was Discussed between 27 EU Leaders...

=> But, Will the Franco-German couple, who, in 2019, will have got (After the BREXIT) the Main Responsibility for the EU, (Together with Italy and various Others), Succeed to ReUnite a Dangerously Divided European Continent ?, we inevitably wondered.

 

(../..)


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***
 
(NDLR: Under Exceptional Circumstances, "Eurofora"s SmartPhone was, curiously, Sabotaged by a Strange Incident, during the Trip from Strasbourg to Brussels, and afterwards, Hindering EMAILS and Original PHOTOS in 99% of cases. Thus, f.ex., Lacks the Photo of French President MACRON, etc)

 
***

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Benedict's "Source" to revitalize Europe : - "The World needs Hope", Pope says, calling to relaunch E.U. via Human Rights !

Paris - Lourdes - Strasbourg : 12 - 17 September 2008.

The vital need to re-launch Europe can be succesfully met by defending fundamental Human Rights of the People, said Pope Benedict XVI in his 1st speech in France, at his meeting with President Nicolas Sarkozy, who currently chairs the EU.

Sarkozy replied by welcoming Christian and other religions' contribution to indispensable Public Debates on crucial issues which affect Human Dignity, Europe, even Humankind, as BioGenetics.

- "When Europeans will see and personally experience that the inalienable Rights of the Human Person .., those of their free Education, their Family life, their Work, ..their Religious Rights, ..are respected and promoted, then, these Europeans will fully understand the greatness of the European construction and will be actively involved in it", Benedict XVI stressed.

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- "It's important that during France's EU Presidency, there is, indeed, a desire for the Church to contribute to protect Human Person's integrity, and I think that there is also a growing Conscience, beyond any polemics, to defend Human Rights, and, thus, contribute to ensure respect for Human Dignity", added to "EuroFora" the Pope's Spokesman, Vatican's Press Director Federico Lombardi.

- "Nobody really told us here that Lisbon Treaty was good for this or that reason to the People. They only told us that we "had" to ratify it, and tried to scare us, but failed", said 2 Irish pilgrims to "EuroFora", after 2 Majority Abstentions in 1999 and 2004 EU Elections and 3 "NO" to Referenda in France and the Netherlands in 2005, followed by the Irish "No" in 2008, during a Decade of EU Crisis since the controversial Turkey EU- bid (1999-2008).

More than .."224 cases of Murders, Torture, "Disappearancies" or Destructions" by "agents of Turkish Security forces", where all those responsible for so heavy Crimes still remain scandalously unpunished, despite regular condemnations of Ankara by Strasbourg''s European Court of Human Rights from 1996 to 2008, were examined the same week by CoE's Ministers, who decided to launch a fresh call "urging" the Turkish Authorities to end this dangerous "virtual Impunity" of criminals, without comparison to European countries.

- "Why not Ukraine, instead of Turkey ?", asked EuroFora a Journalist from "Kiev : the city where it's enough to cross the streets in order to realize that it's a European town", as Sarkozy recently said, before solemnly declaring this week, together with Ukranian President Jushenko and EU Commission's chair Baroso, EU's "recognition that Ukraine is a fully European Country, linked to Europe by culture and History".

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Europe's "Christian roots" and Values, with "openess and mutual respect" to other cultures and beliefs, were highlighted by Sarkozy in harmony with Benedict XVI.

The Human person should be protected "from his inception until his natural death", added the Pope, faithful to BioEthic principles defended by his predecessor and collaborator, John Paul II, of topical importance in France, Europe and the World today, as Sarkozy announced :

- "Fast and important progres in Genetic Science and procreation raise delicate BioEthical Questions to our Democracies", which "involve our view of Humans and Life, and can lead to Social Mutations. That's why they cannot remain only a business of experts", hestressed.

- "It's Politician's responsibility to set a proper framework for such Public Debates", as "France will do on BioEthics in 2009". "Religious and Philosophic traditions must take part, with their ideas and centuries' long experience : A positive Laicity is an open invitation to Dialogue", he said.

- "France engaged in Europe at another Debate on how to make Financial Capitalism more moral", and the "Social doctrine of the Church fits well what is at stake in modern Globalized Economy"

- "But, a "Real Dialogue is not for an elite of a Globalized world : It penetrates deep into the People : That's why Churches should actively participate : .. It's bringing New Oxygen to Public Debates", stressed Sarkozy.

- "Democracy must not be cut off Reason", which is "compatible with Faith", thanks to "the meeting between Christianism and Greek philosophy ", he added, referring to Pope's views. "It means to advance with logic arguments, search what's best and respect common principles of thinking :... It's an everyday need for Public Administration and the Political Debate", he added.
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Pope Benedict's 1st visit to France looked like the start of a brillant, manifold demonstration that this was well-founded and could become true in the lives of the People : After its Theoretical foundations unfolded at a "speech to the world of Culture", inaugurating Bernadins' cultural centre, and its dogmatic instrument shaped at an address to the Clergy in the Historic Notre Dame' Cathedral, he started to resolutely reach out to the People :

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The move went upwards like Bach's music : Begining with a call to more than fifteen thousand enthousiastic Youngsters gathered at Notre Dame's parvis with overnight celebrations, it gained strength in an impressive open-air Mass at Paris'central Invalides'area facing Alexander III's bridge, attended by more than 150.000 people, French Prime Minister Fillon, many Ministers, Foreign Ambassadors, etc, and culminated in a series of pan-European Mega-meetings at Lourdes 150th anniversary, together with all French Bishops, EU Commission's vice-Chairman Barrot, and some 200.000 enthousiastic People from all over Europe and beyond : After a Sea of Lights astonishingly braved Saturday Night's rain, an open-air mass at riverside fields among Pyrenees' Mountains Sunday Morning, was followed on Monday by a Sea of "Compassion" to those facing Health or Life threats, surrounded by an endless gathering of People, whose gigantic dimensions obviously surprised the organisers..

Meanwhile, Benedict had the occasion to speak to the French Priests at Notre Dame of Paris, and with the Bishops at Lourdes, where they prepare a crucial November plenary meeting, due to take important decisions on imminent EU debates and choices about Europe's identity, BioEthics, etc.
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- "A new way of thinking about Laicity has become necessary", agreed the Pope with President Sarkozy at Elysee. While keeping the "distinction between Politics and Religion, to guarantee Citizens' Liberty", "religion is important for shaping Consciousness and contributing, together with others, to create a basic Ethical Consensus in society".

- "Searching Essential realities", (as "God" for christians), needs "Speech : "Logos" in greek, i.e. Reason", "able to shape a Community","with creative work transforming Human History". But "Dialogue" is instrumental for "Reason", because it's the way to "search" for Truth", in "Liberty", according to Greek Platonic Philosophy, with Socrates' dialectics. "Reason" implies "Spirit and Liberty", hence the polyphonic "Music" of "Dialogue", in a responsible, "well balanced" way, to avoid "destruction".

Starting with a "Dialogue between christians and intellectual or artistic movements" highlighted at Bernardins' Cultural Center. with former Presidents Chirac and Giscard d'Estain, UNESCO's chair Anastassopoulos, etc., as well as representatives of Muslim Communities, (including a separate Turkish), after contacts with Jews at Vatican's Embassy, the Pope turned towards the People :

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To French Priests : "Church built on the rock" !
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- Speaking to thousands of French Priests at Notre Dame's Cathedral, Benedict highlighted a solid "Church built on the Rock" of conscious and active persons, transmitting "a lively, energetic and sharp" "God's Speech, actively working on Human History".

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"Praying together" with "representatives of Christian Churches and ecclesiastic communities", (as Orthodoxes, Armenians, Protestants, etc), he called "to reinforce the Unity of the church", against "any form of Division", around Holy Spirit', "the Word","Christ's Justice", and "Love" to fellow- humans : Essentials which "resume all holy scripts", as he said.

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To Young People : "New Horizons"
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To some 15.000 enthousiastic Young People at Notre Dame's parvis, along Seine's river, Benedict spoke about "the Energy of the Holy Spirit" and "the Mystery of the Cross" : - "The Holy Spirit opens New Horizons to Human Intelligence .. and makes it conscious of the real greatness of Christ's sacrifice, dying and resurecting for World's life".

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Some "may slander you as crazy, laugh at you, or even persecute you. But, "the Holy Cross is a symbol of God's love", and "givesmoral strength" : "Witness of People's pains, it's at the same time, a precious, unique expression of their Hopes", he told them at Paris' dawn.

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Invalides' plateau : "People chosen to become God's friends"
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At the 1st open-air Mass in Paris' center area of Invalides, facing the Grand Palais, along the river Seine, during an impressive gathering of more than 150.000, French Prime Minister Fillon, Ministers Alliot-Marie, Bachelot, Dati, Jouyet, Assembly's President Accoyer, Senate's Chair Poncelet, former 1st Lady Bernadette Chirac, former Prime Minister Raffarin, many foreign Ambassadors, and other political personalities were present. (While earlier, from the Socialist opposition, Paris' Mayor Delanoye, artist Robert Hussein a.o. assisted at the Elysee meeting).

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But the "Entry Song" focused on the "People chosen to become God's Friends". The September 11 mass was Dedicated to "Saint Chrysostomus, that great priest of Constantinople", with his "wonderful eloquence and great courage to face challenges", who "made out of despaired and godless people, a people of brothers", opening a possibility to "become all one complete entity", as Pope Benedict reminded.

- "Reason never enters in real contradiction with Faith", stressed Pope Benedict, who prepared his speeches for France during a short Summer rest at Brixen/Bressanone's Seminar, whose Library honors both "Faith and Science".. - "We must use not only our Reason, but also our Faith" : "Get away from Idolatry", "cupidity", "avidity for money, power or even knowledge deviating from essential aims", and other "falses appearances". and "build your Home on the Rock", "with the force that Holy Spirit gives to those who let it act in them", he said to the People of Paris.

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Benedict at Lourdes : - "Become Light (even) in the Dark !"
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- "Our World needs Hope", stressed Pope Benedict, addressing an impressive TorchLight procession at Lourdes' sanctuaries, where a Sea of Lights held by Hundreds of Thousands of People gathered at Pyrenee's Mountains from all over Europe astonishingly kept their flames despite a heavy Rain at a windy Dark Night...

- "150 years earlier (1858 - 2008), ..here, in the cave, ... a simple young girl, Bernadette .. saw a Light". "The everyday life of her Family was, however, made of Misery, Sadness, Sickness, Misunderstandings, Rejection and Poverty... It was hard to live in Jail". Today, "we think to all Human Beings who suffer : The innocent Victims who face Violence, War, Terrorism, Hunger, Injustices, Catastrophes, Hate and Oppression, Violations of Human Dignity and of their fundamental Rights, of their Liberty to act and think. We also think to those who face Familial problems, sufferings from Unemployment, Sickness, Infirmity, Isolation, or their situation as Immigrants, without forgetting those who suffer and die for the name of Christ", he said.

- "But the Shadows of the Earth, did not hinder Sky's Light to shine : <<The Light shines in the Dark>>" ..."A Way full of Light opens in Human History even in its Darkest moments" : ..."As Night falls, Christ tels us : <<- Keep your Lamps alight !>>."Hold a Light while walking in the Night .. sums up our condition as Christians on their way : "We need light, and we are called to become Light !", Benedict stressed to People setting in motion Lights, Flags and Songs with enthousiasm.

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"<<- She looked at me as a Person, who speaks to another Person>>, the poor girl had noted."Light emerges from such a Dialogue", stressed the Pope : "A small Flame called Hope, Compassion and Tenderness dwells inside those who return after being moved by Lourdes' experience". "Christ .. entrusts us with the Mission to let the Light of Charity shine : To make of our Prayers an Act of Love to our brothers and to Fraternal Charity", he concluded.

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(../..)

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