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Home arrow newsitems arrow New CoE Chairman Kasulides (11/2016-5/2017) to Eurofora: RDV Spring 2017 for EU-CoE Cooperation+

New CoE Chairman Kasulides (11/2016-5/2017) to Eurofora: RDV Spring 2017 for EU-CoE Cooperation+

Written by ACM
Tuesday, 22 November 2016

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Luxembourg, from one side, Cyprus from another : Will those often interlinked, Small but Strategic European Countries, currently holding the Presidency of EU and CoE, respectively, succeed to Boost a much Needed, closer Cooperation between the 28 EU Member States and PanEuropean CoE's 47 Member States (including Russia, etc) ?


At any case, the New President of the CoE, Experienced Long-Time Foreign Minister of Cyprus and former Top MEP (in charge of Foreign Policy at EU Parliament's biggest Group : that of
ChristianDemocrats/EPP) Ioanis Kasulides, Replying to "Eurofora"s relevant Questions, cleary revealed the Importance that the Incoming Chairmanship of CoE's Committee of Ministers for the Period of November 2016 - May 2017 gives to the Enhancement of EU-CoE Cooperation, at a Crucial Moment for All Europe, while EU Commission's vice-President for the Digital Market, Andres Ansip, gave us, Later Today, a Concrete Example, (See : ...).
 - Replying to a relevant "Eurofora"s Question, (which reminded, inter alia, also the Fact that EU Commission's President, former Long-Time Prime Minister of Luxembourg, Jean-Claude Juncker, had been entrusted by CoE's Heads of State/Govenment, from the PanEuropean CoE's Summit at Varsaw, Poland, back on 2005, with the Task to Draft a landmark Report on EU - CoE Cooperation in the New Architecture of a ReUnified Europe, (Comp. "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReports from Both Events, in Warsaw + Strasbourg, at : ...+...), the incoming CoE's President gave Rendez-vous for Spring 2017 :

 - "On May 2017, (i.e. at the Next, Plenary CoE's 47-Countries strong, Committee of Ministers Summit, scheduled in Nicosia, Cyprus), one of our Priorities is, precisely, the EU - CoE Cooperation", he clearly stressed, regarding our above-mentioned Question.

+ Moreover, on this occasion, "we (CoE's 11/2016-5/2017 Presidency) are going to Celebrate the completion of a Decade since the Signature of EU - CoE's Memorandum of Understanding", Chairman Kasulides clearly anounced.

Meanwhile, CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, who Welcomed Earlier Today Chairman Kasulides in Strasbourg's Meeting of the PanEuropean Organization's Committee of Ministers, together with EU's High Representative for External Action, Federica Mogherini, are due to Launch, later-on, at EU Parliament, a Series of Initiatives, precisely for the Commemoration of that EU/CoE's M.O.U."


--------------------------------


+ Among various other Issues included in the November 2016 - May 2017 Program of the incoming CoE's Presidency by Cyprus, the New COE's President also told "Eurofora", that "Digital Technologies", and particularly the Web, could be tackled, mainly, "in relation with Freedom of Expression", in Addition to the Protection and Promotion of "Cultural Heritage", which appeared, Today, to be one among the Most Popular Issues in the Agenda of the Incoming Cypriot CoE Presidency, as several other Participants told us, (See Infra).

++ Moreover, in an Adjacent Field, there is also, currently, a Political Will to Develop "Citizens' Participation" to Public Decisions-Making, particularly "through Young People'"s involvement, he Added, Evoking a Topical COE matter, which was also Highlighted by COE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, Earlier Today, during his Official Speech at the Opening of a landmark Exhibition organized by Cyprus' chairmanship, at CoE's and ECHR's Headquarters, with Original Paintiings, (some Inspired by Neo-Classic Top Artists/Writers, such as Picasso, Garcia Marquez, etc.: See relevant Newsreport)


+++ But, the New CoE's President-in-office, also Agreed with "Eurofora", that EU/CoE Cooperation, f.ex. on Digital Technologies, could be usefuly addressed, as far as as is concerned one of the Most Popular Priorities of Cyprus' chairmanship, among the 47 COE Committee of Ministers' members, i.e. Cultural Heritage :


- Even if, "First of all, we (CoE) have to Work in order to "Create adequate (PanEuropean/International) Legal Norms which will make Life more Difficult for those (Smugglers) who (illegaly) Buy and Sell stolen Cultural Heritage, So, "we (CoE) have, at First, to Agree on the (exact) Content of a (New) Treaty", he stressed.


+ But, indeed, Cultural Heritage "Digitalisation matters (can) come in the Aftermath of that", Ioanis Kasulides acknowledged, in Reply to the above mentioned "Eurofora"s Question.


++ This Perspective was also Backed by the out-going CoE Chair-in-office, Estonian Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the PanEuropean Organisation, Mrs Wiki, who Remains at the Bureau of CoE's Committee of Ministers, as vice-President, and, speaking later-on to "Eurofora", reminded that the Estonian Presidency had already Launched a Project for "Digitalisation" of Culture (including on Heritage), and offered to Support Further Developments by the Incoming Cyprus' EU Presidency towards Cultural Heritage's Digitalisation.


+++ Speaking earlier to Journalists in Strasbourg, including "Eurofora", the New CoE's Committee of Ministers' Chairman in office, stressed the Fact that COE is currently in a period of Big Challenges: First of all, Migration, Terrorism, Intolerance, etc., together with the Problem of Turkey, the existing Differences on Ukraine, Georgia, etc.


In this regard, Cyprus intends to Work with Objectivity and Professionalism, but also Efficiently, in order to prove that even a Small CoE Member Country can usefuly Contribute to Face collectively also some Big PanEUropean Challenges", he concluded.



(../..)

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They voted to "freeze" UK Government's draft to put People in jail for 42 Days on "anti-terrorist" suspicion without charge, or they abstained. Don't they look suspect ?
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CoE's debate on UK controversy stirs PanEuropean check of anti-terror suspects' imprisonment

Former Leftists of the Sixties would boil in hot water if they heard PACE's debate on the controversial 42 days detention without charge, currently drafted by the British Government :

A "Socialist" Government, a Socialist PACE Rapporteur and a Socialist Chair of PACE's Legal Committee, opposed a .. "Conservative" amendment (supported by .. Liberals, Democrats, etc), to freeze the measure, in order to protect Citizens' Freedom, by "waiting" until CoE's Venice Committee checks its conformity with Human Rights' principles.

"Left"'s support to Conservative-Lib.Dem's criticism, wasn't enough to obtain a majority, nor to make things as they were back in the good old days, when "Left" and "Right" had a clear meaning, as "liberty" and "restrictions"...

Conservatives and most Democrats were joined by the Left in voting for the "freeze", as well as Liberal Paul Rowen, while Socialist MEP Ivan Popescu, an experienced MEP from Ukraine (PACE Member since 1996-2008) abstained. But most Socialists, added to a few Liberals and EPP's Right, voted against.

Fortunately, someone inside PACE had the wise idea to shorten the Debate for less than 1 Hour, and put it on the Agenda only at the end of an exceptionally busy day, towards the end of the Evening, when most MEPs had already gone to taste wins and foods at various Receptions all around Strasbourg's "European" area : As a result, not even 42 MEPs weren't present..

Socialist Lord Tomlinson accused the leaders of the PanEuropean Assembly, in its highest body : the "Bureau", to "lack wisdom" by deciding to hold a Debate on an issue that neither the Socialist Chair of the Legal Committee, nor its Socialist "reluctant Rapporteur", did "not want to do", ...

tomllinson

Finally, everybody (critics and supporters alike) was happy to agree, in substance, that the controversial measure "may" gravely violate Human Rights, and therefore, PACE asked Legal Experts of Venice Commission to check UK Government''s plans.

But this might take more than .. 42 Days to do, since PACE's Rapporteur asked the Experts to enlarge their study in a PanEuropean comparison of all that is happening on "anti-terrorism" legislation in 47 CoE Member Countries, including Russia, Turkey and Azerbaidjan..

Bad lack : "The existing 28 days’ detention without charge in the UK is, in comparison with other CoE member countries, one of the most extreme : In Turkey, the period is 7,5 days, in France 6 days, in Russia 5 days, and in .. the U.S. and Canada just 2 and 1 days respectively", denounced Democrat MEP Ms WOLDSETH from Norway..

woldsteth

"Numerous respected human rights organisations, including Liberty and Human Rights Watch, have expressed serious concern" "The proposed legislation ...could easily lead to extensive abuses. ...Detention for 42 days means six weeks in which one is taken away from one’s family, friends, home and livelihood only to be let off without being charged. That will destroy lives and isolate communities", she added.

- "3 years ago, the UK Government sought to increase the period of pre-charge detention from 14 days to 90 days. Not long before that, it had been only 7 days. There was a vigorous debate ...and a ...compromise was reached of 28 days. We have to ask whether there are proper safeguards in place to extend the period to 42 days. I suggest that there are fatal flaws", reminded British Conservative Clappison.

- "What sort of society holds someone in detention for 42 days and does not have to tell the person who is in prison why they are there, or explain the suspicions that arose and led to their detention? What sort of society believes that that is the way to treat its citizens? That is an appalling injustice, ...A 42-day detention period will not make the UK safer. Instead, it will be the first step to giving in to terrorists; it is saying that we are prepared to sacrifice our democratic rights and the principles for which we have stood for centuries", criticized British Liberal Michael Hanckock

hancock

"Comments made ...by Norwegian delegates are unfortunate", replied British Socialist MEP Ms.Curtis-Thomas, accusing them to "besmirch the reputation of our police force, which is one of the Best in the World", as she said, believing that "there are significant safeguards ...to ensure that individuals are not subjected to unlawful detention"

curtis

PACE "has serious doubts whether ...the draft legislation are in conformity with the ...case-law of the European Court of Human Rights. A lack of ..safeguards may lead to arbitrariness, resulting in breaches of ... liberty and ...right to a fair trial". PACE "is particularly concerned that: ..the judge ..may not be in a position to examine whether there exist reasonable grounds for suspecting that the arrested person has committed an offence;"; that "... representation by a lawyer may be inappropriately restricted or delayed;" that "information on the grounds for suspicion of a person ...may be unduly withheld.. ;" that this "may give rise to arrests without the intention to charge;", and; in general, that "prolonged detention without proper information on the grounds for arrest may constitute inhuman treatment", says Klaus De Vries' Report, adopted with 29 votes against zero.

vries

Records don't say if it took him 42 Days to draft his Report, but, at least, he knew why...

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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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