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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
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*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).


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    - 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.

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    - "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.

 

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

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-  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.  

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- "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".


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+ 1st Collective EU Reactions :
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    + 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).
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    ++ 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.
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    +++  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.


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* EU Parliament's call to freeze "SWIFT" and Suspend EU-USA Free Trade Talks :
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    + 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.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          
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=> "Rules" ?!
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    => 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.

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    + 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.


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    => 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.


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


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+ Wide Importance of what is really at stake :
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    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....     


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+  EU's Economy going also "DIGITAL":
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    + 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....

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                (../..)

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(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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  Ten Years of ECHR : 1998 - 2008 show need of Revival in 2009-2010 coinciding with 2009 EU Election
   

A threefold, coordinated move by new Top French Political actors in the 2009 EU Parliament Elections, expressed in Strasbourg a will to boost Europe's Political dimension close to Citizens' concerns, going from protection of Economy to defence of Human Rights.    

The move met an exceptional ECHR's call for a "revival" of Human Rights' protection mechanism', in a Mega-Conference, early 2010.   

Obviously focusing on June 2009 Elections to EU Parliament, it involved from the outset the recently nominated "dual" Head of French Governing Party (UMP)  Michel BARNIER and Rachida DATI :

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     - "As President Sarkozy has clearly said, we (France) are in favor of a Strong, Sovereign and Independent, Political Europe, which protects its Citizens, and not for a large Super-Market, nor for a Europe under influence",

    "This goes for everything, including Energy", added to "EuroFora" the experienced former EU Commissioner, Minister of Foreign affairs, currently of Agriculture and Sarkozy's new pick as Leader of the Governing party UMP to EU 2009 Election, Michel BARNIER                                              .                             

  - Human Rights are important because they are at the Heart of the Political Europe that we aspire for : I.e. a Europe able to act and protect its Citizens, stressed also the New French Minister for European affairs, Bruno LE MAIRE, while meeting Strasbourg's Journalists at his first visit to the CoE.   

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This is one of the main interests for CoE, which is also a natural place for cooperation between EU countries and Russia or Turkey, which was recently helpful at the Middle East crisis, he added.

The move gained momentum with French Minister of Justice, Rachida Dati's main observations at ECHR's 5Oth Anniversary :   

- "While we are seeking Europe's Borders and Identity, you (ECHR) remind us also of its Values", Human Rights, Dati noted.   

Citizens seek more and more often ECHR's help, and the tempo accelerates, Europa awaits a symbol, while national legal orders are not freezed   

And she expressed "support" to ECHR President Jean-Paul Costa's call to satisfy the vital need to revigorate the PanEuropean Court by deciding big changes at a High-Level Conference open to a large audience, a kind of "Etats Generaux" of Human Rights, at the beginning of 2010.       

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It's not so much the recently growing number of applications for Russia or Ukraine etc, which seems to be Costa's main concern : In fact, the cases declared "admissible" are much fewer...    

But rather the persistent violations of Human Rights, sometimes very grave (ie. murders, torture, abritrary deprivation of liberty, oppression of freedom of speech, destructions of homes/properties, etc), despite numerous, repeated condemnations by ECHR. So that CoE's Ministers, due to "supervise execution" of ECHR's judgements, are overloaded.   

F.ex. most Media noted that Turkey still remains, even in 2008, the 1st among 47 CoE member States in the number of condemnations by ECHR :  257, compared to 233 for Russia, with a population more than the double..    

The problem is that it's not the 1st time at all : During all the last Decade 1998-2008, Turkey was condemned by ECHR much more than any other State, and for particularly grave violations :   

- 1.652 condemnations, compared to 605 for Russia, 548 for Poland, 494 for France, 476 for Ukraine, etc.   

Italy's second place with 1.394 condemnations is a misleading false appearance : In fact, most of them (999) concern mere "procedural delays" in national courts. Same for France.   

On the contrary, Turkey was condemned 180 times for Killings, 192 times for Torture or Inhuman/Degrading treatments, 340 times for arbitrary deprivation of Liberty, 528 times for "Unfair trial", and 169 times for oppression of Freedom of speech, (etc). And the latest, 2008 numbers, indicate no change in this trend, (See supra).   

The current Spanish CoE Presidency (November 2008 - May 2009) has made of the implementation of ECHR's judgements its 1st Priority.   

ECHR's President, Jean-Paul Costa, stressed in its 2009 Annual Press Conference, CoE Member States' obligation to implement the judgements, according to Article 46 of the European Convention on Human Rights.   

Moreover, if CoE's Committee of Ministers delays to ensure implementation, then, the repetition of violations in similar cases provokes a multiplication of complaints tabled to the Court, which overload the mecanism for the protection of Human Rights, denounced Costa.          

A series of Debates on "the situation of Human Rights in Europe", focusing on the "need to fight against Impunity" of perpetrators of grave crimes, is  currently prepared by CoE's Parliamentary Assembly for the session of June 2009.  

The final Timing comes shortly AFTER the EU Elections, but the main Reports should have been adopted before.

Meanwhile, French President Sarkozy and German Chancelor Merkel's recent call "for a Political Europe" in 2009 EU Elections (See earlier "correspondence from Paris, Elysee Palace), seems more and more endorsed also by other EU Countries' Top MEPs :

Thus, f.ex., EU Parliament's 1st vice-President, Greek MEP Mrs Rodi KRATSA, speaking to "EuroFora", agreed that 2009 EU Election would be a "naturally good" opportunity to debate what really interests EU Citizens : "The Future of a Political Europe, able to face the Economic Crisis, with a Culture and identity which attracts the People"

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(Photo taken earlier during Sarkozy's 1st visit at EU Parliament, in 2007 : Sarkozy and Merkel's Ideas for a Political Europe inspire also other EU politicians accross the continent)..
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