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Home arrow newsitems arrow Merkel on Obama Web Spy scandal, after EU Summit's call: Real Change Needed on EU-USA Future's basis

Merkel on Obama Web Spy scandal, after EU Summit's call: Real Change Needed on EU-USA Future's basis

Written by ACM
Thursday, 24 October 2013

*Brussels/EU Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- "It's a Real Change that is needed now, and not just Nice Words", because "the most Important is to set a Basis for the Future", and "to re-build Trust anew" after the "Shocks" that have shaken it recently, strongly stressed on the Internet NSA Spying Obama Scandal, the most Popular EU Political Leader from the biggest EU Country,  German Chancellor Angie Merkel, who has recently Won an Historic Record-High Vote on the September 2013 Election, giving her almost an Absolute Majority (less just 4 MPs out of a Total of 360), and received Today a Solid, quasi-Unanimous Backing by the 27 other Heads of State/Government united together in Brussels' October 2013 EU Summit in their joint expression of "Deep Concern", as she observed ovenight, (See Infra).

    - Naturally, "we (EU-USA) have so many Common Tasks in the World; being f.ex. responsible for its Safety", etc., so that we are "actually going to look at the Future" of the Euro-American Partnership, which has already grown for long, and from times to times includes elements of Different Views, but has also shown that it can withstand such elements, because our overall approach is that Europe, including Germany, and America, are Allies", Merkel also added, immediately afterwards, in reply to questions at her 1st Press Conference in Brussel's EU Summits since last Summer.


    - "EU and USA are Partners, but Partnership needs Mutual Trust and Mutual Respect in order to work efficiently, and this includes also the Secret Services", she pointed out, speaking shortly after Press Reports revealed that Phones of many Political Leaders accross the World, including even the Personal and Governemental SmartPhone of the German Chancellor herself, had been taped by the North American National Security Service, in addition to many Thousands/Millions of EU and other Citizens accross all Europe and the rest of the World.


(Mainstream Newspaper "Die Welt"'s Frontpage during EU Brussels'October 2013 Summit)



-  SInce European Countries and USA, "We are Allies", and f.ex., "We are Together in Afghanistan", where our Soldiers Today face also Life-Threatening situations, and some are even killed, sometimes in the Same Battles, there,  (NDLR : Where Deadly Casualties reached Unprecedented Hights during  US President Obama's term of office, according to mainstream American and Global Media), We Share something in Common, as we also Share certain Common Values, so that, normally, noone among us shouldn't have to Worry about eventually being Subjected to Secret Surveillance, as others, who have Nothing to do with these Values" : "That's how I Feel about that, and, therefore, "we have to Change something in the Future !", Chancellor Angie Merkel emotively reiterated.  


- "Friendship and Partnership between the USA and EU Member States, including Germany, is  Not an One-Way Street : We (EU) depend on that, but there are good reasons for the USA to Need Friends in the World", she observed, unveiling her "impression" that US President Obama "will certainly see that this is necessary, too".

+ 1st Collective EU Reactions :

    + Such serious incidents could be expected only "in Dictatorships", not in Democracies sharing the same Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law Values, as EU and USA do. Because "Dictatorships are Spying", while we, as Democracies, need Transparency and Clear Rules, especially in the Digital World, where we are entering", and whose "Economy needs Trust", particularly "on Personal Data", denounced earlier the President of EU Parliament, Socialdemocrat MEP from Germany, Martin Schulz (See also previous "EuroFora"s NewsRport including Schulz"s Press Conference, earlier this Afternoon).

    ++ Later-on, EU Council's President, Herman Van Rompuy, speaking officially on behalf of all 28 EU Heads of State/Government, pointed at the "Deep Concerns" naturally felt "by EU Citizens", being obviously afraid of what risks to happen to them, their families, businesses, private, religious and/or socio-political life, if even their most powerful, Democratically Elected, Top Leaders, may fall Victims to Spying by US services, as it was just revealed during the 2009-2013 Obama era,  Warned that such incidents Risk to Undermine and Damage even the Necessary International Cooperation in the Fight against Terrorism, unless the Necessary Trust between Partners is re-established.


    +++  Finaly, in a Collective "Statement of Heads of State/Government" from 28 EU Member Countries, gathered Today in Brussels, that was distributed to Journalists, including "EuroFora", who were present at the over-Night Press Conferences of Germany and France, they denounce "the Deep Concern ... raised among European Citizens" by "recent developments concerning possible Intelligence Issues", and, stress that the "close Relationship" and "Partnership" "between Europe and the USA", "must be Based on Respect and Trust", including as concerns the ... Secret Services".

    - Because, "a Lack of Trust could Prejudice the Necessary Cooperation in the field of Intelligence gathering", which "is a Vital element in the Fight against Terrorism", both "in Relations between EU Countries, as well as .. with the USA", they Warned.

* EU Parliament's call to freeze "SWIFT" and Suspend EU-USA Free Trade Talks :

    + In addition, EU Parliament's MEPs have, meanwhile in Strasbourg, asked for "SWIFT" EU - USA Agreement (on AirFlight Passsengers' and other Personal Data Lists, etc) , to "Freeze", and for EU - USA Negotiations for a Free Trade Agreement to be Suspended, etc., among a series of possible measures. Making its President Schulz stress in his Press Conference, earlier in Brussels (Comp. previous "EuroFora"s NewsReport from the spot), finding preferable, in the present circumstances, to "Wait a little bit, Think, Discuss and Agree on certain adequate Decisions for our (EU - USA) Partnership's Future, particularly on the "Rules" of the game. 

    EU Heads of State/Government "didn't yet discuss" Tonight MEPs' demand to Interrupt the EU - USA Free Trade Agreement Talks, Merkel revealed, and her "Personal View" is rather reserved.

    But, in exchange , the EU Summit focused much more on re-activating the EU - USA Data Protection Working Group, which must become  much more Vigilent and Active, she added.    

    + Moreover, Chancellor Merkel expressed "some Understanding for the Resolution voted by EU Parliament on the SWIFT" (Comp. Supra), since it concerns "a Fundamental (Human) Right", advising to "Carefully Think again" about that.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

=> "Rules" ?!


    => In consequence, according to EU Brusssels Summit's "Goal-Oriented Discussion Today",  "we must place, bilaterally, the cooperation of Secret Services on anOther Basis in almost everything, or on a Clear Framework", on which "we have now to work at first", Chancellor Merkel outlined, pleased by a Franco-German "Common Position" in wider terms, resulting on this specific point in a "Joint Iniatiative", due to be joined by several other EU Countries. - "It has now become Obvious ...that we need Clear Rules for cooperation between the (security) services". Therefore, "the various Services must reach Agreements about the Standards of their work between them, with the respective Countries, and also with the respective Citizens", she stressed, (apparently pointing both at EU States, and at EU Parliament : Comp. Supra).

- "France and Germany are United in this move", which aims to associate also other European Countries which may will to obtain, Together with us, this Common Framework", which implies "not only a Clarification on the Past, but also the setting up of Rules for the Future". "Ther are Behaviors and Practices which are Unacceptable. When .. Surveillance is practiced, in this case by American services, and can affect all Citizens, including a numebr of European Leaders, full Stop must be put there, and Clarifications to be asked for. That's what Europeans did ToNight, Unanimously, considering that our American Ally had to give some Replies. Tonight, a Franco-German Initiative was launched, in order to provoke this necessary Debate, and to mark a Progress for Liberty. Naturally, I'm among the firsts to wish Security Services' full mobilisatio, in the Fight against Terrorism. But, I'm also convinvced, together with all Europeans, of the Necessity to Protect the Individual Freedoms and the (People's) Fundamental Rights",  confirmed, shortly afterwards, the French President Francois Hollande.


    + Meanwhile, the EU - USA Working Group on Privacy, which had been set up at the beginning of EU-USA Free Trade Talks, should now make "a really Fast Progress", and "develop Constructive Proposals", Merkel  added.

    - As for a Draft EU "Data Protection Act", iitially prepared at EU Parliament for adoption before the May 2014 European Elections, questioned, Merkel replied by revealing that there is a Difference mainly between the UK and Germany, the 1st thinking more about its Business, while the 2nd focuses much more on Citizens' Human Rights, as she said. - "The present situation" (with the NSA spying Scandal, etc) makes us "even less" accept to "Sacrifice large parts of the already existing (Personal) Data Protection", the German ChristianDemocrat Chancellor ensured the People in this very Topical and Sensitive matter.


    => Indeed, officially, the 28 EU Heads of State/Government "Called for Rapid and Constructive Progress" in respect of "the related Issue of Data Protection", on which, already exists a "Working Group between the EU and the USA", as they stressed in their Collective Statement by writting.

    + At the same time, in parallel, the Collective EU Leaders' Statement also noted the New Fact, that, "with the Aim of Finding ... an Undestanding on Mutual Relations in that field", "Before the End of the Year" 2013, "France and Germany" have the "intention ... to seek bilateral Talks with the USA", and more "Other EU Countries are Welcome to Join this Initiative", launched by EU's Franco-German motor.

+ Merkel to certain Media, including "EuroFora" :  on "Legal Basis" :


+ Speaking afterwards to certain Journalists, including "EuroFora", the German Chancellor Angie Merkel added, moreover, the fact that, in her view, concerning the way to overcome the Topical Scandal of Internet Spying by USA's NSA even on EU Leaders,

- "the Fundamental Issue is more or less a Legal matter", and it will have to be definitively settled, "according solid Basic Lines", (apparently makinhg a hint to mutualy accepted, elementary  Principles on Personal and other Data Protection, Human Rights and Rule of Law values, recognized by both the EU and the USA, etc).
In this regard, the experienced and Internationaly Recognized PanEuropean watchdog on Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law : the Strasbourg-based CoE, where the USA already have a permanent Special Status, might be certainly useful, particularly concerning its basic Legal Standards, which have been developed through extensive consultations, exchanges of views and Collective Decisions for Decades, and are still Continuing Today, particularly on UpDating its Historic Personal Data Protection's International Convention, thanks to a Special Commission Chaired by Switzerland, in parallel with EU Commission's own Data Protection work, more oriented towards the Single Market, and, therefore, possibly of Complementary value.

+ Moreover, USA is traditionaly very much involved particularly in CoE's "CyberCrime" International Convention, (known also as "Budapest Convention"), which includes at least certein Rules on How to Fight Trans-National Organized Crime via the Internet and how to Cooperarte on that, (even if a Highly Controversial issue existed, until rezcently, mainly between Ruissia, Austria and other Countries, vis a vis the position of the us Administration about the "Trans-Border Data" Investigations and Harvesting, where experienced CoE's Officials are currently engaged in efforts to try to settle among the main players).

Last but not least, CoE's competent Legal bodies have even drafted recently (since 9/11/2001+) General Principles and main Rules to guide Secret Services in accomplishing  their Mission to Fight against Organized Crime and Terrorism efficiently, while also Respecting Citizens' Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law, which are obviously of particular relevance to the Obama - NSA affair.

+ Wide Importance of what is really at stake :

    The Question raised by the American Presidentt Obama's NSA Spying even on Europe's most Popular Political Leader, as the German People recently confirmed in the September 22, 2013, Elections, boosting beyond any expectations Chancellor Angie Merkel's CDU/CSU parties to the point to reach even an Absolute Majority  minus just 4 out of 360 MPs, affects not only Europe's  Safety and Dignity, in Global Geo-Politics,

but also  a Fundamental Topical Issue concerning both EU Citizens' Liberties and Human Rights, as well as the Democratic Structure of the Society, and even the current Hopes to rapidly Develop the New, Digital Economy in order to help Boost Growth and widespread Good Jobs, instead of Oppression and Poverty with dangerous Inequality Gaps. In this last sense, it can even be addressed in a way which might include also a key part of another Topical issue, that of Lambedussa Deadly Drama concerning immigrants and/or refugees seeking to reach Europe from the Mediterranean; at least as far as it concerns hopes for a more Democratic, MultiPolar World, to be better enclined towards attaigning and overcoming UNO's "Millenium" goals, which focus on the need to Develop the Poorest Countries, and stop a growing Divide Gap.

+ Obviously, if EU Citizens see that even the most Popular EU Leader of the biggest European Country, as Germany's Chancellor Merkel, recently plebiscitated by a Strong Support from its Citizens approaching Absolute Majority (less only 4 out of a Total of 360 MPs), can be Spied upon by Foreigners, for so many Years and  in total Impunity, then, they cannot avoid to have Legitimate Fears on what might happen to them, their Famiies, Businesses, Work, Socio-Political Activities and Life....     

+  EU's Economy going also "DIGITAL":

    + Meanwhile, the current state of EU's Economy allows to speak also of such "Other Issues" of Topical Importance, which are Now even a Necessary "Complement" into building  a performant Digital Economy, at the Focus of EU Summit's Agenda, particularly at a time when EU's Economic Governance coordination has to mark "a qualitative Leap Forward", mainly  inside €uroArea, where it's not normal that only 9% to 10% of EU Commission's Recommendations were fully implemented in the Past, instead of fostering a more Integrated Economic Policy, open also to other EU States,  German Chancellor Angie Merkel stressed in substance.

In order to realize the Potential of the Digital Economy, EU has to catch up and fill Fast the existing Gaps, including by completing a real Single Market there by 2015, thanks also to the appropriate Monitoring in order to ensure that it will generate true Digital Innovation Policies, she added.

In this regard, EU Citizens' "Trust" to Internet's Safety, Privacy and Transparency, is obviously a "must", (Comp. Supra).

Another one would naturally be the idea to launch a European (possibly starting by a Franco-German initiative, open to other willing €uroArea or EU Member Countries) Industrial Reply to USA's currently excessive domination over Big Internet Players, f.ex. by creating and/or facilitating the emergence of at least one or more EU "Giant" Global Player(s) in the Digital Economy.

 Few know; f.ex., that even several among the most succesful ICT Innovations, initially were European  : As "SKYPE", a Scandinavian invention, before being bought by a US Company ; the Alternative Computer Operating Sustem "LINUX" ;  a widespread Software able to "read" almost all VIDEO's codecs (a French creation) ; the very idea of Electronic Puces in Mobile Phones GSM ; the very powerful Search Machine "All the Web", which was finally bought and "killed" by "Yahoo !" ; the still existing Web Browser "Opera" (from Finland), etc....




(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already sent, earlier, to "EuroFora"s Subscrbers/Donors. A more accurate, full Final Version might be published asap).




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ECHR's President to "EuroFora" on Journalists Gongadze and Adali murders : Principles must apply to all States, without discrimination.

+ ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression (See below).

 European Court of Human Rights' President, Jean-Paul Costa, questioned by "EuroFora" on Journalists' murders, as in Gongadze and Adali's cases etc., strongly stressed all CoE Member States' obligation to make efficient Investigations to find and punish those responsible, and underlined that ECHR's case-law's principles must apply to all without any discrimination.

His call was clearly supported by various Top MEPs who denounced a risk of "Double Standards" if some Journalists' murders are investigated, while others don't.

To avoid such risks, CoE's Parliamentary Assembly adopted a Resolution, on the occasion of Ukranian Journalist Gongadze's murder, "stressing", as a matter of general Principle, "the importance it attaches to the safety of Journalists and political activists, especially those linked to opposition groups, in ALL member states of the CoE". All "crimes against journalists and political activists must be investigated ... as a matter of priority, without political interference".

Costa was replying to "EuroFora"s question on the fact that, after CoE's Committee of Ministers, also CoE's Assembly had just adopted a Resolution on Gongadze murder case, based on an ECHR's judgement of 2005, asking a full Investigation from Ukraine, who has found and condemned  in 10 years of jail 2 executants, but not yet the instigators.

While nothing similar was yet done for dissident Turkish Cypriot Kutlu Adali's murder, with 5 bullets shot at his head out of his Family's home in the territories of Cyprus occupied by Ankara's army, despite another ECHR's judgement of the same year 2005, and despite Turkey's claim that nobody was found among those responsible for the murder, and that there was nothing more to do..

In order to be credible and efficient, CoE's mechanisms shouldn't find a way to at least ask for full investigations of all Journalists' murders anywhere they might be committed, without exceptions ?


- "On the larger question that you raised, I'd like to say, since we are in a period of stock-taking on ECHR's 50 Years, that the Court's case-law developed certain concepts ....such as the Positive obligations of States, part of which are also the procedural obligations", started to reply ECHR's President.

 - "Whenever Journalists, Lawyers, Defenders of Human Rights, or even simple Citizens are murdered, the States are held responsible, not only if its their own security forces' agents who committed these murders, but also if they didn't make sufficiently substantial and efficient Investigations", he stressed.

- "I want to strongly underline that we (ECHR) have found in many cases numerous violations of Articles 2 and 3 against States, ....(about) murders or torture, ...because they didn't make enough Investigations in order to try to find and punish those responsible".

- "We (ECHR) do that vis-a-vis all 47 (CoE) Member States, without any discrimination".

"Naturally, the circumstances in each particular case may be differend, and we can't ommit to apply the rules of proof, or the rules of criminal procedure".

"But we try, by all means, to apply these principles of our case-law, to all States", he concluded.


      Costa's call was strongly supported by several Top CoE MEPs, from various Political areas

- "To investigate the murder of one Journalist, and not of another, looks like Double Standards", denounced the President of EuroLeft Group in CoE's Assembly, Dutch MEP Tiny Cox.  

- "What is the reason ? Politics or specificity of a case ? Of course, if Cyprus and Turkey are involved, it's always a Political case"..

- "Murders of Journalists should always be fully investigated, because killing Journalists is not only killing persons, but also killing Free Press".  "We (CoE's Assembly) should do our outmost to help People who are working on Free Press and they are under threat or murdered".

Because for Free Politics, Free Press is a pre-requisitive : Parliamentarians  cannot  function without a Free Press. Not investigating, is not protecting ourselves".

So we should investigate all Journalists' murders : We are talking about Gongadze, about the Cypriot man (Adali), about the Journalist murdered in Moscow one week ago, etc", Cox concluded

- "CoE can' look at these cases differently. CoE can't wear Blinckers  !".
- "If the one is investigated, so has to be also the other. Why there wasn't full investigation ? Why's that ?", wondered British  Socialist MEP, Alan Meale.

- "A good idea" would be to "make a Motion for Resolution", and "join all Journalists' murders. Adali and Gongadze etc", said to "EuroFora" EU Parliament Political affairs Committee's President, Goran Lindbland, ChristianDemocrat MEP from Sweden.

(See also earlier News at "EuroFora" on similar issues).

ECHR's Statistics on Freedom of Expression :

    Almost Half of condemnations by ECHR for violations of Freedom of Expression in 2008, concern Turkey : 20 out of a total of 48 for all CoE's Member States.

    Russia, Poland, France and Moldova were condemned only 3 times. Romania, Greece, Portugal, 2 times, and the other CoE Member States only 1 time, or none.
    During the last Decade : 1998 - 2008, Turkey was condemned for violating Freedom of Expression in ..169 cases, while Austria only in 24.

    France and Moldova in 14 and 13, respectively, closely followed by Russia and Poland with 11 and 10, respectively. The rest of CoE Member States had less than ten condemnations.    


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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