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Home arrow newsitems arrow New CoE Chief, Buric (2019-2024) to Eurofora: For Dialogue between States and Citizens too

New CoE Chief, Buric (2019-2024) to Eurofora: For Dialogue between States and Citizens too

Written by ACM
Wednesday, 26 June 2019

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Even if the Surprizing, Crystal-clear Absolute Majority Win right from the 1st Round, 159 Votes against just 105, and 6 Abstentions/Blank, in COE's Parliamentary Assembly's Summer Plenary Session Today in Strasbourg, (after having Faced, successively, 3 Strong Competitors of Various Kinds : See Infra), apparently was due mainly to GeoPolitical and/or PanEuropean Policy reasons, (See also Infra), nevertheless, the New Secretary General of the CoE for the period of 2019-2024, vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Croatia, Ms Marija Pejcinovic - Buric, Replying to an "Eurofora"s Question, confirmed, with a bright Smile, that, indeed, among her Priorities will also be efforts to develop appropriate "Dialogue" between "States and Citizens" too, in the foreseable Future, in addition and in parallel to the Dialogue between the PanEuropean CoE's 47 Member States, (including Russia, etc.), that she stressed from the outset (See Infra).


- Indeed, in addition of having got a Relevant Experience also at the Direction of various Medias for "Civil Society" and "Public Administration", as well as in a Foundation "for Civil Society Development", in parallel with a Scientific Project on "Europeanisation" of the "Public Administration", (etc), Buric has Recently become also President of an "Initiative - Partnership" for "Open Government" since 2017, according to her CV, as published nowadays by the CoE.



In this regard, "Eurofora"s co-Founder has also, inter alia, Published an Legal Research of more than 1.000 Pages, focusing mainly on the Judicial Control of Public Administration's Decision-Making Process in relation to Citizens, which was presented for a Prize destinated to PhD Thesis by Strasbourg's Faculty of Law, on proposal by Paris II University Professor Paul Amselek, already as early as since the 1980ies ;  followed by the Coordination of a Collective Project (with Other journalists, Strasbourg's University, etc), on Innovative Use of Modern Telecommunication Technologies, accepted by EU Commission for examination in the framework of EU's "ESPRIT" Programme (1997) ; and the announcement/discussion at an EU Parliament's Press Conference, (together with its Vice-President and the EU Commissioner for Medias), of "EuroFora" Project (for Public Debates between Public Administrations and Citizens before Decisions affecting their Lives and/or Society at large : 2006); followed by the Creation of WebNews Site "Eurofora.net" since 2007/2008, (with more than +1.800 Original Publications and 32,5 Millions Readers nowadays); active participation to the landmark,  Days Colloque "Towards an Administrative Democracy ? From administrated subjects to Citizens", organized on 2010 by Strasbourg University and ENA; a 2016-2018 ReOrientation Plan for a State Doctoral Thesis on such Issues in France and Other Countries ; a Collection of Original Publications on Exchanges with Top EU/CoE+ Politicians/Senior Officers, Heads of State/Government, etc, during + 25 Years, around "Eurofora" Project (2017 + UpDated 2018); Registration of proposal for a Citizens' "Right to Dialogue" with Public Adminstrations before decisions, at the French "Grand Debat" Governemental Website, added also to Public Debate and Endorsement by the Collective Contribution of Strasbourg's Euro-Metropolitan City on "Participatory Democracy", to the National Great Debate organized by President Macron (2019) ; Registration of "4 D" Project (i.e. "Digital Debates in modern Democratic Decision-Making") for CoE's Annual "World Forum for Democracy"'s Labs, 2019, (Issue that we evoked with the current French Presidency and due to be re-visited anew also by the Next CoE's Presidency by Georgia (11/2019-5/2020, before Greece: 5-11/2020); relevant fresh University Research on Law due on 2020+ (etc).    



>>> Buric's wider, main Strategic Political Aim is to Help meet the current Europe's "Need of Unity", (i.e. not only in the Society, but also among PanEuropean CoE's 47 Member States), as she stressed from the outset, in her First Statements to Journalists, including "Eurofora", after her brillant Election, (Comp. Supra).            

=> European "Unity" must be supported particularly by "Dialogue", she went on to Add. Because Europeans need nowadays "Peace and Prosperity", concluded Buric, in a Snap and Coherent Overview of her main aims.


Significantly, she stressed that the Same Day that CoE's Parliamentary Assembly Voted to Ratify the Credentials of Russian MEPs, on certain Conditions of Monitoring, but withOut more severe Sanctions (from now on excluded for all MEPs, whose Basic Rights are now Saveguarded), as those which had Sharply Divided the PanEuropean Organisation of Strasbourg, since the 2014 Controversy on the Ukranian Conflict, provoking the Departure of the Russian Delegation, followed by a "Freezing" of its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, etc. (Despite the Fact that the Real Causes which provoked the First Bloody Clashes in Kiev, still remain Non-Elucidated, as a CoE's Top Experts' Report has found, particularly concerning those Mysterious Deadly "Snipers", who reportedly Targetted and Killed Both Demonstrators and Policemen, until Violence erupts, Droping a Peace Agreement which had just been signed by all sides !...).





This is, Probably, at least one of the Reasons for which Buric Won the race vis a vis 3 Other Strong Candidates to CoE's Top Job, such as f. Prime Minister of Lithuania, MP. Andrius Kubilius, f. Foreign Minister of Greece, Athens' Mayor and OSCE Head, Long-Time MEP Dora Bakogianni, including, Today, a Political "Heavyweight" such as Belgium's vice-Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Didier Reynders, (the other Finalist), currently "Informateur" of King Philip on preparing a New coalition Government in Brussels.

All of them were, more or less, linked to the ChristianDemocrat/EPP mainstream Right, (with a Difference, it seems, for Reynders, who was reportedly Backed also by "Socialists/Liberals", while Buric's "Political Family" was clearly "the Center-Right", as she reminded anew Today).

=> This Fact Opens a New Chapter, Nowadays, in CoE's recent History, since, Exceptionally, ...all its Latest Secretary Generals were "Socialists", (from British Terry Davis, to Norwegian Thornbjorn Jagland, twice).

    >>> In particular, any New ChristianDemocrat/EPP CoE's Leadership of the Center-Right, would have to Harry up in order to strive to Catch up with a Series of Fast-Track Developments on the Crucial Issues of "Bio-Ethics", with an Important Impact on Humanity's foreseable Future. (F.ex. "Explosion" of the Number of Artificial Births, under various Pretexts, at the same Time that Heritable Gene Editing Technologies, irreversibly affecting all Generations, are emerging, etc).

    + Moreover, in the MeanTime, CoE's Group of Experts for the Protection of Human Embryo has been Dissolved, (as his former Long-Time Head, Denounced to "Eurofora"), while some Controversial Moves seem to have already Started, Recently, to Evolve inside CoE which might, eventually, lead into Diminishing even the already Insufficient Legal Protection of Human Embryo by pre-existing Legal Rules, so that, any New CoE's Secretary General, might be Soon placed in front of a "Fait Accompli", Deprived of sufficient Time in order to Prevent Risks of some Irreversible, serious Changes Downgrading the level of BioEthics' protection, even Before he/she could Start Taking Efficient Action, (See, f.ex.: ..., etc)... So, it's Urgent to really Take Control in that Fast Evolving Area, (including on some Controversial Moves recently evolving inside CoE's own BioEthical sector). To the point that it's not even sure that there might be Sufficient Time, not even Before the End of this Year (2019)...


    But Support for Buric has apparently come also from a part of the "Left" side in CoE's Assembly, as she Acknowledged Today.

    So that the Main Reasons for her Succesfull Election seem to come, much more, from a Geo-Political point of view :

    - First of all, as a Croat Top Politician, she is the 1st CoE's Secretary General, during its 70th Years of History, who comes from a former "Eastern" European Country, thereby, having an obvious Potential to Strengthen its PanEuropean Dimension.

    Indeed, already, she Contributed Positively, during the Recent rotating Presidency of the CoE by Croatia, into Preparing the Compromise which facilitated Russia's return back into the CoE's Parliamentary Assembly, thanks to subsequent Moves during Finland's and France's Presidencies.  

Moreover, Experienced f. Croatian Ambassador/Permanent Representative to the CoE, Miroslav Papa, (who became a Key Member of Buric's succesful Electoral Team), had Earlier spoken to "Eurofora" about the "Challenge" of that Issue, during the recent Croat Presidency of the CoE, and at least a Part of the Final Compromise allowing the Ratification of Russian MEPs' Credentials, on "Condition" of a Strong "Monitoring" process, as Voted Earlier Today, (Comp. Supra), clearly Reminds Ambassador Papa's recently expressed Support for CoE's "Monitoring" mechanisms in general, (See, f.ex., his Concluding Intervention at a relevant Conference, in http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminoritiesprotection20yearsafter.html, etc).                                    


+ But CoE's clear Choice for a Croat Secretary General, obviously, can also be interpreted as a kind of Positive "Message" of Optimism for the Western Balkans' wider area, as Member of the European Family.

Added to Buric's intensive Experience in Working for Issues such as preparations of EU's Enlargement, Good Neighbourhood Policies, wider European Integration in general, etc., all this points towards a similar Direction.

++ To this was also Recently Added a very Interesting Buric's Reply to anOther "Eurofora"s relevant Question, during the Presidency of the CoE by Croatia, when she expressed her Belief in the "Positive Potential of Minorities" (from which the Western Balkans are Plenty, particularly in Croatia, etc), able to serve also as "Links" between Countries, useful for Regional Cooperation, working as Regional "Bridges", (f.ex. in Trade, Industry, Transports, Tourism, Environment, Culture, Science, etc : See http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminoritiesprotection20yearsafter.html , etc). Matters at least partially Familiar also to Buric's Top Expert, Ambassador Miroslav Papa, who has Studied Comparative Minorities' Legal Status throughout all the PanEuropean area.


+ But, Croatia naturally has also a "Central European" Identity, that "Eurofora" had, f.ex. strived to regularly Support, for the General European Interest, during Zagreb's EU Accession process, often in cooperation with the Country's Longest serving f. Prime Minister, Ivo Sanader, (Comp. f.ex., at: ..., + ..., etc).

Marija Buric had already Published, in the Past, various relevant Texts, including, f.ex., in order to plead that its National "Identity" is not Incompatible at all with the European one, and/or that "Going West" should Not necessarily oblige to go "far away from God", (etc), as certain Headings of her Earlier Publications suggest.

+ By the way, even Croatia's Strategic Geographic Position, offering a Unique Link for PanEuropean Transports, between the Mediterranean Sea's Coasts and Danube/Rhine Rivers, (obvious in any MAP), underlines the PanEuropean Centrality of that Key Country.

No Need to Remind the Good Picture of European People engaged in Sport that gave us all the sympathetic National Football Team of Croatia during Last Year's (2018) FIFA's Championship in Moscow...

- What is more Important to observe Nowadays, is that even Buric's Mentor, the Prime Minister of the Country, former MEP Andrej Plenković, (Comp. Plenkovic's Reply to "Eurofora"s Question, earlier in the CoE, at: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/primeministerplenkoviconeucoecoop.html , etc), plays an Important Role as one of EU Council's "Negotiators", for the EPP Political Group, in the currently intense Collective Efforts to Find an Agreement on EU's Top Jobs, between Heads of State/Government and EU Parliament's MEPs, this Week in Brussels, in order to be Ready on Time for the forthcoming MEPs' Public Debates and Votes on July in Strasbourg.

+ Last, but not least : After Today's brillant Election of Marija Buric as CoE's new Secretary General for the period of 2019-2024, it becomes obvious that an eventual Confirmation of anOther ChristianDemocrat/EPP, as the Winner Spitzen-Kandidate Manfred Weber, would naturally Facilitate EU Commission - CoE Cooperation in the foreseable Future.



Many observed that Marija Pejcinovic-Buric (who will take over from Jagland on September 2019) is just the 2nd Lady elected at CoE's Top Job during the 70 Years-long History of Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation.

The 1st was France's Catherine Lalumiere, with whom "Eurofora" had started to work in the European Press.

Historic periods and Persons are Different.

>>> But they Both have Light in their eyes !









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Swedish Foreign Minister, Carl Bildt, speaking  to "EuroFora", denied rumors on Turkey's attempts to avoid an EU check of its obligations on Cyprus on December 2009 by blackmailing Nicosia to either accept any deal with intransigeant Turkish claims contrary to EU values on the island's political issue, or face threats against the territorial integriy of the EU island, semi-occupied by Ankara's army.

On the contrary, the incoming EU President-in-office, speaking exclusively to "EuroFora", promissed that he will act for EU Council's decisions on December 2009 assessment of Turkey's commitments on Cyprus to be kept.

    Bildt was asked to react to Cyprus' President Christofias' denunciation, earlier this week, that some want to exert "pressure" on Cyprus in order for Turkey to escape from its obligations.

    Avoiding to mention any precise Deadline, Bildt, however, warned about "Consequences" in case of "failure" to reunite Cyprus, but without saying whose responsibility an eventual deadlock might be.  

 Asked by "EuroFora" if there is a risk for "Turkey's commitments to "be forgotten or downgraded", "despite crystal-clear EU Council decisions and EU Parliament's latest Resolution on the assessment to make at the end of this year on Turkey's obligations", according to rumours that, instead of pressing Turkey, on the contrary, there might be "pressure on Cyprus", even "blackmail", as Media reported and President Christofias denounced this week, Bildt denied :

- "No ! ", he clearly replied.

- On the contrary, invited by "EuroFora", to "reassure that the Swedish EU Presidency (7-12/2009) will keep a fair stance, based on principles",  Bildt promised that "we (Swedish EU Presidency) will be very clear on all of the decisions taken by the (EU) Council".

He added, however, that "we have very numerous decisions that have been taken" by EU Council, as if he warned, also, on something else.

- "'I am not aware of any sort of statements coming out today''", Bildt started to say, on our reference to Cyprus' President Christofias" denunciation of Turkish lobby's manoeuvers this week, replying earlier to 'another"EuroFora"'s question during a Press Conference at EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

 - '"I know the issues that you' are concerned with'", he added, remembering  the statements he gave us when Sweden was chairing the PanEuropean CoE on 2008.

- "But, obviously, .. I think that Cyprus' Peace negotiations are extremenly important".

- And "'I think that we are at a unique moment in History, in the sens that both (Cyprus') President Christofias and Mr. Talat (the Turkish Cypriot leader), are personally convinced of the need to overcome the division".

 - "It's 20 Years since the fall of Berlin Wal, but we still have a Capital in Europe (Nicosia) that's divided". ,

- 'I don't that we should loose any time in overcoming that"..

 - ''We should be aware of the fact that success will bring great benefits, but failure, will also have major consequences. There will not be Status Quo' " It's a question of seeking a solution, or entering another situation, which is somewhat difficult to see exactly how that could evolve", he warned.

- "That being said, this is a negotiation for Cyprus itself", Bildt admitted.

 - ''We (EU) can support, the (EU) Commission primarily, be technically helpful, and then, of course, there is a specific role for the UN, when it comes to the Cyprus' situation".  

- "At least so far. It might not be for ever'. Certainly not for ever, but for this period of time", Bildt added, skiping now any reference to concrete threats on UNO's Peace keeping force in face of more than 40.000 Ankara's soldiers, contrary to some Press claims, (See previous NewsReports).

     Replying to another "EuroFora"'s Question,  if anyone might attempt to "impose a Deadline for the conclusion" of Cyprus' Talks on December 2009, Bildt avoided to speak of any precise Time-frame, and indirectly evoked the fact that  35 Years of Turkish Invasion/Occupation obviously durated too long :

'- "If I was from Cyprus, I would say that the Deadline was Yesterday ! '",
Bildt concluded.

Cyprus' Government Spokesman, Stephanou, reportedly pointed out that "a settlement is possible on December if Turkey changes its stance", accepting a solution for the reunification of the island based on UNO resolutiona and EU principles.


Earlier, EU Chair, Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld, highlighted an "historic opportunity" to "re-Unite" Cyprus according to EU's "basic Values"' (i.e. Human Rights) and 'Rules'", in a last-minute change of his draft speech to EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

    The initial Draft spoke only about "healing" the island.

    Significantly, Reinfeldt linked Cyprus' reunification with Turkey's obligations to respect EU's "Values" and "follow" EU's "common Rules" :

    - What is "called Membership Negotiations" should lead, "at- the end of the day", into "sharing a set of common Basic Values (i.e. Human Rights, Democracy, etc), and following common Rules", stressed Reinfeld from the outset.
    - "This is something that those on the Outside (of the EU), are now  contemplating", up "to Ankara", for "a solution" on "Cyprus", observed the EU Chairman, immediately afterwards..  

    - "Both sides of Cyprus have been granted a historic opportunity to together reach an agreement on a solution to re-Unite the island, that has been divided for far too long", said Reinfeldt, modifying his draft text.

-  "The Swedish Presidency will act ...in accordance with Commitments EU has made, on the basis of Criteria that apply", "as a Honest Broker", he promised.    

- "To those on the inside (of the EU), allowing the membership process to become an opportunity to solve protracted disputes, can be tempting", he added.

    "In such cases, we must find solutions that can benefit both sides, and open up a way forward. Otherwise, it would jeopardize the progress we have made towards EU integration", Reinfeldt said.



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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