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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow New EU Head, Austrian Chancellor Kurz: build Bridges in Challenging Times before 2019 EU Elections

New EU Head, Austrian Chancellor Kurz: build Bridges in Challenging Times before 2019 EU Elections

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Tuesday, 03 July 2018
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*Strasbourg/Angelo Marcopolo/- EU Parliament's MEPs debated for almost 2,5 Hours New EU Chairman-in-office, the Young Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz's vow to strive to "Build Bridges" among Europeans over the Troubled Waters of these "Challenging Times", just "Before the 2019 EU Elections", as he stressed here in Strasbourg, face to face with EU Commission's President Jean-Claude Juncker, but in the Middle of a Torrid Summer Heatwave flowing Northwards, just After kicking off Symbolically the Beginning of the Austrian EU Presidency for the period of July - December 2018, already since last Week-End, in the Fresh Oxygen up to the Top of Alpes Mountains, Together with EU Council's President Donald Tusk, out-going Bulgarian former EU Chair, Boyko Borisov, and a lot of simple People, carried there Free of Charge, in Reply to Earlier Public Appeals on the Web.

 

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- As a matter of General Principle,  "We (EU) Respect People's Votes verdict", and hold "Solid Relations" with Elected Leaders : That's the Duty of any EU Official, Sebastian Kurz significantly Replied, Later-on, to a Press Question on ...the New, notoriously Atypical "Italian Government", Smiling brightly...

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- "I Know that Kurz is Moved by European Spirit", stressed from the outset in EU Parliament's Plenary the Experienced EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, who also Dismissed a curiously provocative and oppressive Question by a "Socialist" Radio Correspondent from Portugal about why there were no current attempts to Isolate (sic !) the New, 2018 EU Austrian Presidency, Contrary to what some had already attempted, in the Past, towards 2000, during the era of controversial but popular Rightist former Political Leader Georg Haider, who faced Later an ill-elucidated Violent Death in a strange Car Incident at his Carinthian Region, (where he held a Coalition with ... "Socialists"!).

 

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- "The Difference is that this (2018) new Austrian Government has a Program which is Clearly Pro-European !", sharply Replied, at a short but dense Press Conference, Juncker. (For recent Kurz's statements to "Eurofora", during the March 2018 EU Summit in Brussels, See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/austrianchancellornexteuchairkurzonturkey.html, etc.). 

 

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+ Moreover, Kurz has just come back from the Latest EU Summit in Brussels, where he met also the Popular ...Norwegian Prime Minister Ema Solberg, as he had already told "Eurofora" as early as since 2017 (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/austriankurzmetalsowithnorwaypm.html), and showed Now, on 2018, in a Frontline Picture published by the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party there : Solberg is among the First to conclude a "Unity of the Right" Governemental Coalition, and German Chancellor Angie Merkel has notoriously revealed, at the Eve of the latest German Elections of 2017,  that she considers the Norwegian Top Politician as "the Best Prime Minister" in the World !

 

solberg__kurz_in_epp_summit_june_2018_brx_400 


- Inter Alia, "We (EU) must Create the Conditions for the Development of a High-Tech. Europe" also at the Internet, etc. Because, Otherwise, Nowadays, "Most of the Web Giants are in USA or China", warned Sebastien Kurz at his speech in EU Parliament's plenary, Earlier Today. This a Key-part of the in-coming Austrian EU Presidency, whose Program aims to "Protect" also the European Citizens' "Welfare", mainly by realistically Safeguarding and Developping further its "Competitivity" vis a vis the rest of the World, particularly in the Nowaday's Strategic Areas of "Automatisation and Digitalisation".


For those who have Forgotten the Fact that, f.ex., the 1st Mobile Phone (and later-on SmartPhone) was a European Invention, Industrial Fabrication and Commercialisation, as well as the Electronic "Chip", etc., respectively in Finland and in France, it's, therefore, Time to Note also that even the President of the Biggest Political Party in Europe, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP : former Strasbourg's MEP and Chairman of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group of MEPs in EU Parliament, Joseph Daul, had already warned that he Intended to Speak to the main EU Countries' Leaders from 2017-2018 about the Need to Create and Develop European Products particularly on Telecoms, including SmartPhones, etc., as "Eurofora" has heard him saying.


- But, meanwhile, notoriously, the Number 1 Need, recently badly Felt among a large Majority of EU Citizens, certainly is for Europe to "Protect" them from Insecurity (including, naturally, from Deadly Islamist Terrorism, as that of ISIL's Coward Killings Targetting innocent Civilians), and from Manifold Negative aspects of the recent Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migrants' Giant "Tsunami", which suddenly intruded in Europe since 2015/2016 from Turkey, without any sign that they might Return Back Home, at least until now, provoking, in the meantime, a lot of various Incidents, including Brutal Mob Attacks, Bullying, etc, but also Altering Europe's Cultural landscape, particularly with a much More Abrupt massive and systematic "Islamization", even at the Public Sphere, etc., to the point that it became a "Political Issue", as various Recent Elections, in several Countries, have notoriously shown. To the point that the Popular, 4 Times re-Elected, Prime Minister of Hungary, Victor Orban, has just reportedly stressed, during the latest EU Summit in Brussels, that "the People Request 2 things : ... No More Migrants coming in... (and) that those (Mass Irregular Migrants) who are in (Europe), Should Go Back".


=> That's why Kurz, even More than Other EU Politicians nowadays, gives a Key Importance to a "Decent" "Protection of EU's External Borders", also as a Guarantee for a Satisfactory Free Movement inside the EU, without undue obstacles accross National Borders, that he vowed to struggle to fully realize at least "in the middle/long term".


Considering the Latest EU Summit in Brussels' results, at the End of June 2018, as "a 1st Step in the Right Direction", revealing "a New Trend", (f.ex. with its Decisions for "Desembarcation Platforms" at the Outer, and "Controlled Centers" at the inner Suroundings of Europe), Kurz has also explored the idea even for EU - Protected, Safe Areas for Asylum Seekers in Neighbouring Countries, including by a European Force.


Since the progressive Integration of the Western Balkans inside the EU, "Will Complete the European Dream", as the Austrian Chancellor said,
a Parallel Quest for "Stability at the Neighbourhood" of the EU nowadays, takes a Special Character as far as it concerns "Cooperation with 3rd Countries", i.e. mainly vis a vis Africa, Turkey, and Other, such Neighbours that EU should Fund also in order to keep External Asylum Demands' processing areas, whose Safety might be protected even with the Help of EU's Military, as he has reportedly just pointed out in recent Press statements.


In this Direction, both EU Parliament's President, Antonio Tajani, and EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, pointed at the Need to Advance well Beyond the Recent Addition of +400 Millions € in EU Funds for Africa, while a 2nd package of 3 Billions € in full Grants was, in parallel, Decided for Turkey.

Juncker vowed to "Speed up" an "EU External Borders Force", able to Add + "10.000 Agents by 2020", to Help the 100.000 National Forces in those areas, and claimed that the 400.000 Millions € added by the Latest EU Summit for Africa would bring the Total EU - African Fund up to 4,1 Billion €, which would be able to Raise about 44 Billions €, (and eventualy Double its overall Financial Impact even to more than 88 Billions €, if EU Member States added their own Contributions, as he speculated. Without, however, clarifying if this would consist just in Loans, or in full Grants, as Turkey has notoriously obtained from the EU by Blackmailing when Ankara send more than 1,5 Million of Irregular Migrants/Mass Asylum Seekers suddenly flow inside the EU via Smugglers, since Back on 2015-2016+s).

 

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- Meanwhile, Sebastian Kurz, speaking After a Long and "Lively Debate" with various MEPs, noted that there are "Differences of Views", and expressed his support for "Discussions", on the condition of mutual "Respect", but stressed his Belief, that, in fact, "much More Binds us Together, than Separates us", as he concluded.


  - "It's not necessary to agree on everything. We can have Different Views. But we Must Focus on what Unites us, and need to Build Bridges, in order to Move the EU Forward !", Kurz urged MEPs.


  - Particularly Nowadays, when "we can't take the EU for Granted, but have to Work Hard in order to Preserve it, and Make it Better", the Young Austrian Chancellor Warned.


  - Indeed, in addition f.ex. to the imminent BREXIT's outcome, and to the need to Decide soon on EU's Multi-Annual Financial Perspectives", where "Negotiations are Tough", as he observed,

 

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    - Nowadays, we are living in the Context of  "an Age of Upheavals", where even "International Order is Changing", while "Tensions are Rising". "Before, Countries were Quewing in order to Enter in the EU", while, "Now the UK goes Out", with "BREXIT", and even "Rule of Law, Democracy and Human Rights, canNot be Taken for Granted", he warned.


    - Expressing his "Hope to Build Bridges in Difficult Areas", the incoming, Austrian EU President in office, stressed in Conclusion that, In fact, still, "We are Fortunate to be Europeans !"

 

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(../..)


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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 ?

adali_gongadze


- "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.

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      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.
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    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.    
    

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