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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow CoE Political Director Laurens to EuroFora:Key Tunisian Minister in Democracy Forum, Morocco Partner

CoE Political Director Laurens to EuroFora:Key Tunisian Minister in Democracy Forum, Morocco Partner

Geschrieben von ACM
Wednesday, 22 June 2011

 

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A key representative of the currently evolving process from which depends the Success or failure of the famous "Jasmin" Democratic Revolution in Tunisia, the Historic frontruner Country in the Movements going on in 3rd Mediterranean States, the new Minister in charge of preparing a New Constitution, Mr. Ben Achour, will practically open, Next Week in Strasbourg,  the transition to the creation of Strasbourg's "World Democracy Forum in 2012, due to emerge from a kind of "Sythesis" between the preexisting CoE's Political Schools, and new, parallel events topically debating "Ethics" in Politics and "Citizens' Trust", said in substance the experienced CoE's Director General for Political and Democracy affairs, Jean-Louis Laurens, replying to "EuroFora"s questions :

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- "EuroFora" observed, from the outset, that, among various interesting and important Personalities, (such as CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland from Norway, CoE's President-in-office, Ukranian Foreign Minister Kostyantyn Gryschenko, experienced professor Catherine Lalumiere, former CoE's Head and current Chairwoman of Political Schools' PanEuropean Network, from France, experimented Russian Human Rights Mediator, Vladimir Lukin, former Head of the Russian Delegation to CoE's Assembly and to EU Parliament,) etc), figured also the Tunisian Minister Rafaa Ben Achour, delegated to the Prime Minister, who is due to give an "Inaugural Lesson" to CoE's Schools of Political Studies, spreading from EU Members Hungary, Poland or Cyprus, etc., up to Turkey, Ukraine and Russia, etc.

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- "Minister Ben Achour is both in charge mainly of Tunisia's Constitutional process, and s. Member of CoE's "Venice" Commission", i.e. the unique PanEuropean body of Top Legal Experts on Constitutional Law, Elections and Human Rights,  (See yesterday's "EuroFora"s Draft NewsReport), sharply and accurately replied Laurens, revealing the particular importance of CoE's selection for its Key-note Speaker.


- "Thank you .. for the question : Mr. Ben Achour is also Member of (CoE's) Venice Committee, and this already gives a clear indication on his main area of responsibilities, which obviously focus mainly on (New) Institution-building issues, and on the elaboration of a New Constitution in Tunisia", (after the "Jasmin" Popular, Democratic and Social Revolution), "That's his main domain of action", revealed CoE's Director General for Political and Democracy affairs, in reply to "EuroFora"s query.

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The move was topically made the same Day that, for the 1st time, CoE's PanEuropean Assembly gave a special Status as "Partner for Democracy", to Morocco, while also launching an appeal to Tunisia to be the 2nd to join the Historic process, due to enlarge, progressively, to all other 3rd Mediterranean and Asian Countries at EU's Neighborhood.


Thus, in an emotional and Symbolic ceremony at CoE's Headquarters, Morocco's Presidents of Parliament and Senate, Mr. Mr. Radi and Biadilach, joined together with Turkish Politician Mr. Cavusoglou, both from the 2 Bordering States around EU's Western and Eastern External borders, which have both asked, at one moment or another, even to become EU Members, (starting with Morroco, which had asked 1st, afterwards, followed by Turkey with a similar request, but only later-on, when time was more ripe)....  

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Since then, Mediterranean Arab Countries found difficult to understand why EU spend more than 90 € per inhabitant each year for so-called "Candidates" as Turkey, while it didn't invest not even ..9 € per inhabitant in all other 3rd Mediterranean Countries, as Morocco's Foreign Minister had recently denounced at an International G20 Conference organized by the 2011 French Presidency in Paris. While, in fact, we all face similar Challenges which affect also EU, such as, fex., Climate Change, Global Crisis, Illegal Emigration, Terrorism, Drug Trafficking, etc., but also an interesting Economic,  Energy, a.o. Natural Resources' GeoPolitical potential, as pointed out Morocco Senate's President, Seich Biadilach, and, therefore, now speaking to Strasbourg's Journalists, including "EuroFora", after meeting with CoE's Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland.

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+ "EuroFora", also asked Laurens whether CoE's project to create a  "Democracy Forum in the future", was already "examined by the Committee of Ministers" of the PanEuropean Organization, or not, and "if the common Inspirations behind Next Week's 2-3 successive/parallel Events (i.e. CoE's Political Schools, Conference on "Ethics in Politics", and the meeting of EU Mayors of "Strasbourg's Club" focused on "Citizens' Trust") were due to merge, afterwards, inside a joint Synthesis, that will emerge with the 1st "Strasbourg's World Democracy Forum" on 2012.


- Indeed, "Next Week's events are a kind of a Pre-figuration of the (2012 Strasbourg's World) Forum", (on Democracy), it has been already decided, since it is part of CoE's Secretary General's (Thornbjorn Jagland's) Priorities for the period of 2012-2013, and these Priorities were accepted by (CoE's) Committee of Ministers", replied Laurens to "EuroFora"s 2nd Question.


=> "Our task, now, is to ensure its Funding, since it (i.e. Strasbourg's Democracy Forum) will be an Activity going well beyond the current (CoE's) Political Schools and their (Annual) Summer Democracy University, including an important Financial Partnership out of the CoE, where we work together with Strasbourg City, for External Fund-Raising, in order to become able to give to this (future) event the Real Dimension of what we wish, i.e. what we callled, earler, "Davos of Democracy", CoE's Director General of Political and Democracy affairs' replies to "EuroFora" concluded.
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Obviously, such planned events are expected to follow any relevant topical development, including, f.ex., currently the "Citizens" gatherings which start to spread also in EU Member States like Spain and Portugal but also in Greece, etc., particularly (but not only) among Young People, as a NGO Representative, precisely  from ...Tunisia had earlier warned "EuroFora", on the sidelines of the recent G8 Heads of State/Government Summit organized by the French 2011 Presidency at Deauville, (See relevant "EuroFora"s NewsReport from the spot).


Curiously, however, despite their apparent potential, such Popular Movements were qualified by another Journalist as often raising good "Questions", but whose "Replies are given by Extremists" (sic !), as he said, echoed by Local Strasbourg City's vice-Mayor, Robert Hermann, (Socialist party), who also criticized such Citizens' Movements, nonobstant their current trend to spead accross several EU Countries, as having "Difficulties to formulate Proposals", as he claimed.


However, as another, Spanish collegue recently wrote also for similar Popular Movements in Spain, and as it can be witnessed now, even more clearly, in the serious situation of Greece, these Citizens' Groupings clearly ask  for a "Real (i.e. Direct) Democracy", "without" (bureaucratic Intermediaries in Political) Parties", nor in Mass Medias, etc., as well as a decisive action "against (the recent Decades of) Corruption" in the Public Sector, mainly the State.


It's also at an "Ethical Deficit" that future co-organiser, in charge of Strasbourg City's International relations, Nawel Rafik Elmrini, attributed at least a part of the precursos phenomenon of the "huge Abstentions which appeared in EU Elections", as she said in reference to the well known "No" to the French and Dutch 2005 EuroReferenda, notioriously provoked since 1999-2004 by EU Citizens' refusal to accept Turkey's controversial and unpopular EU bid. - "We don't intend to avoid any topical Debate" of interest to EU Citizens in future, she added later-on.


The 2012+ World Strasbourg's Forum is not intended to be limited only in Europe, but, with participants also from Africa, Asia and other Countries, it aims to become really International, as it was confirmed in this last preparatory 2011 Press Conference.

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(NDLR : DraftNews, as already send earlier to "EuroFora"'s Subscribers/Donors. A complete and more accurate Final Public Version is due asap).

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Former "Green-Red" German government's Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's job at the controversial Turkish pipeline "Nabucco" was denounced as "not proper", "very bad", and "incompatible with Democracy", by the new President of EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group, German Lothar Bisky, replying to an "EuroFora" question.

For once, criticism of Joschka Fischer's doings with Turkey affecting Europe, didn't come only from the Center-Right of the political spectrum, but even from his Left side : The experienced Bisky, who has been chairing all over 1993-2009 the PDS - Die Linke party :  

- "Former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer got involved in dealings with oil-gaz business in a foreign country, Turkey, and its controversial Nabucco pipeline. This raises questions about Democracy, also because of the well known problems of Human Rights violations in that country. Do you thing that this might be abused in order to cover up and close EU's eyes on Human Rights violations ?", "EuroFora" asked Bisky.

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- "Nabucco pipeline is (only) at the planning stage". And "there are some difficulties",  he observed from the start. But "'I don't want to get into the details of Nabucco pipeline, because I don't think that there is any point for it at the moment".
 
At any case,  "we  (EU Parliament's EuroLeft Group) strongly believe that Politicians should not get involved in the Energy Business, and all these commercial transactions", President Bisky declared on the Joschka Fiischer's affair.

- "We feel that it's something that shouldn't be done. It's not proper !"           

- "We don't think that it's compatible with Democracy either, and it gets politics into a very Bad track", Bisky went on to denounce.
                                                                                                                                                                        
- "EuroLeft  and "Die Linke" always spoke against that, saying that politicians should not get directly into the arms of private enterprises"

- "It is pretty bad if a former Minister takes a job f.ex. in a major Energy producer. So, it's an issue if a Minister who may have seen excellent opportunities, subsequently gets personally grasp of them, in very serious parts of the economy, once he has given up his (Government) job."

- "It doesn't really make politics in general look any better'", Bisky concluded.

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Earlier, this week in Strasbourg, other Journalists had also raised critical questions on former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer's involvement in the conroversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline to the President of his own EuroParty : Kohn-Bendit of the "Greens", who, contrary to Bisky, tried to find excuses for Fischer, while criticizing his long-time partner, Schroeder for having done a similar move :

- "Shroeder was chancellor", and he "negociated" with "Russians", who gave him a job only "3 Months" after he resigned from the Government. While "Joschka Fischer", on the contrary, got a job with the controversial Turkish Nabucco pipeline only "4 Years after" he left the Government. "He didn't negociate Nabucco", so I have "no objection", Kohn Bendit claimed.

But, many Facts indicate the contrary :

Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister in Germany from 1999 up to 2005 : I.e. from the year that EU took the controversial decision to give Turkey a "Candidate" status, until he year it started controversial "accession negotiations, (later declared "open-ended" after Sarkozy-Merkel's arrival from 2005-2007).

During that period was prepared the controversial so-called "Annan" Plan (in fact, drafted by others and attributed afterwards to the former UN SG) on Cyprus, which failed after a Popular Referendum said "No" on 2004 with a large Majoriy of 3/4 : 75%. Mainly because it was criticized for making too much concessions to the Turkish side :  Particularly by restricting Greek Cypriot Refugees' Human Right to return to their ancestral Land and/or get restitution of their Familiy Homes and private properties, usurpated by Ankara's Army since the 1974 militay invasion and continuing occupation of the northern part of Cyprus. And by weakening the Central Government, leaving to 2 "constituent States" so much powers and separate interests that more conflicts appeared inevitable, provoking the danger of a break-down in the foreseable future, with more crisis, troubles, perhaps bloodshed, etc., instead of creating an harmoniously integrated, really one federal State.

The controversial Plan was finalized on March-April 2004 at Burgenstock (Switzerland), curiously in the presence of an Envoy by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Germany, then governed by Joschka Fischer, but in the absence of a French and not even an European Union's Envoy, contrary to what was usually practiced on similar occasions in Switzerland (fex. in 1997 at Montreux, in 2000 at Geneva, etc).

Turkey notoriously exploited the failure of the "Annan" Plan in order to convince the EU to decide to start accession Negotiations on December 2004. This provoked an unprecedented series of Institutional Crisis inside the EU, shortly afterwards, when French and Dutch People rejected, 2 popular EuroReferenda by a majority "'No" vote to the EU Constitutional Treaty on 2005, aggraveted in 2004 a Majority Abstention to EU Elections, etc., followed by the recent Irish "No", etc.

"Nabucco" Gas pipeline was notoriously planned since ..2002. It follows an even earlier idea, for an Oil pipeline Baku-Ceyhun, which started to be prepared on 1999-2001 and was meanwhile recently completed.  

So, facts indicate that what is now at stake is based on decisions made during Joschka Fischer's term as former Foreign Minister, closely interested in Turkey's controversial EU-bid.

To the point that he now practically ...switched jobs with a poliician from Turkey, (the State which pays today openly Joschka Fischer), Mr. Ozdemir, who came earlier in Germany, got fast the nationality, and became EiuroMP in a few years, continuing now as head of the "Greens" in Germany, i.e. in Joschka's former job !...

Such astonishing facts risk, unfotunately, to give to German politician Lothar Bisky's criticism of  representative Democracy a topical meaning :

 - "We (EuroLeft Group) think that what is really at stake is Democracy. It's not only about Gas Pipelines or Energy sources", President Lothar Bisky went on to add in his reply to "EuroFora"'s question on Joscka Fischer's personal interests in the controversial Turkish "Nabuco" pipeline.

Such facts, "make People get more distance from Politics. ...People had had enough, and they are fed up !".

- "That's why we (EuroParliament's "EuroLeft" Group) want to strengthen Direct Democracy in Europe. Citizens should be involved in the (EU) Decision-making. In the end of the day, it's not going to help anyone if Politicians are always taking decisions, without involving Citizens. We want to give a voice to the People of Europe. They've got to have their say in the decisions that are taken. That's one of our absolutely fixed and steadfast views. We want more Direct Democracy in Europe. That's how it can become more effective and stronger", he concluded.

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