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Accueil arrow newsitems arrow 1st PACE President from Cyprus Kyriakides among Czech President Zeman +CoESG Jagland moves on Russia

1st PACE President from Cyprus Kyriakides among Czech President Zeman +CoESG Jagland moves on Russia

Ecrit par ACM
Tuesday, 10 October 2017
pace_new_president_stella_kyriakides_1st_move_eurofora_400

*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- After stressing to Journalists her "Firm Belief to Human Rights" and her Intention to "treat All CoE's Member States Equally", the New CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly's (PACE) President, for the 1st Time in History from Cyprus, ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Stella Kyriakides' initial interventions emerged among CoE's Committee of Minister's President-in-office (for May - November 2017), Czech President Milos Zeman's, and CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland's Topical Statements on Russia :


Leading during 3 Rounds, Kyriakides finally Won a Competition vis a vis the Mainstream, Long-Time MEP Emanuelis Zingeris, from Lithuania, with a Majority of More than 130 against about 90 Votes. Zingeris was the Official Candidate of PACE's Biggest Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, endorsed also by several Liberals. While Kyriakides, who comes also from the Same Group (EPP), was endorsed even by Socialist, Leftist, Conservative and Liberal MEPs, (See: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeassemblynewpresidentvote.html )

pace__stella_kyriakides__emaniuelis_zingeris_with_axel_fischer_epp_chairman_eurofora 

(Stella Kyriakides + Emaniuelis Zingeris, with Axel Fischer, EPP Chairman - Photo Eurofora)

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


+ In her Brief, Inauguration Speech, this Afternoon, she Promised "Calmness, consensus, Credibility and Unity", Fight "against Corruption" and for "Ethics", with "the Support of All Political Groups, the Secretary General, and the Staff of the CoE", at this "ExtraOrdinary Time", full of "Chalenges and Responsiblities". as she said.


________________


Starting to Chair her 1st PACE Debate on MEPs' Questions to CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, President Kyriakides topically reminded the fact that, recently, "the Russian Federation – informed us that it was Suspending the payment of the remaining (2/3) parts of its 2017 Financial contribution to the Organisation’s Budget", and observed that CoE's "Committee of Ministers and the Parliamentary Assembly bear a Shared responsibility for preserving the Organisation’s Unity and effective Capacity", so that they "Need to Work Together".


pace_hall_with_stella_kyriakides_pub._as_new_pres_eurofora_400_01 


=> Therefore, (just 1 Day before an Exceptional CoE's Assembly - Committee of Ministers' meeting, due to take place Tomorrow, Wednesday Afternoon), she immediately Incited Jagland to present Today his "View on that Issue" to PACE's Public Debate.


------------------------------------------------
Czech President MILOS ZEMAN (CoE's Chair)
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But, Meanwhile, it's already the Chairman-in-office of COE's Highest Political body : that of its Committee of Ministers, currently the experienced President of the Czech Republic, Milos Zeman, who had Just had such an Opportunity, to present his own View on that Same Topical Matter to MEPs, by a Timely "Coincidence", only a Few Hours Earlier Today :


- Indeed, Replying from the outset to a Similar Question (on EU + COE's various "Sanctions" to Russia), Zeman went Right to the point :


- This is "probably (the) most Important question" nowadays at CoE's PanEuropean dimension, he observed.


 - "Political Old-Timers", like me, "have plenty of Experiences", and "mine is that it is very difficult to make friends, and very easy to invent enemies"...


- Still Today, "Europe is a continent Divided by many lines. One of those Lines is between Russia and the rest of Europe – the EU" Even if it might not be a mere "Repetition of the (former) <<Iron Curtain>>", nevertheless "there is still a Division Line".


- Concerning "Sanctions", President Zeman described a real anecdote, when, "Approximately 20 years ago, I visited Miami and met Cuban Exiles. I told them, “Your Strategy against the political system in Cuba is wonderful. All those Boycotts, Embargoes and Sanctions ! ....with 1 small Mistake: Fidel Castro has been the President of Cuba for 40 Years"...


 - "I am Not discussing the Justification for Sanctions; I am discussing the Efficiency of sanctions. Just today, the German newspaper, Die Welt, published an article saying that the EU Loses out from the sanctions, which do practically No Damage to Russia. We all speak about <<Win-Win>> strategies, but that is a <<Lose-Lose>> strategy !", he Denounced.


>>> Indeed, this was exactly the Finding also of Experienced OECD's Head, Angel Guria, when he Replied, already some Years Earlier, here in Strasbourg (that he was Visiting also Today, for the Traditional Annual PACE's Debate on OECD's Economic Outlook), to a relevant Question raised then by "Eurofora" on the Repercussions of EU/USA "Sanctions" against Russia, to the Detriment of EU's Economic Growth :  - Guria had clearly Acknowledged the Fact that such Controversial Moves Hindered EU's Growth Potential, and Lowered considerably its level down, Warning for Negative Consequences at the immediate Future, (See ....).


=> - "Instead of sanctions, I recommend Communication between People, at many levels", Zeman suggested, speaking as a matter of General Principle. F.ex.,,"We need the exchange of students, tourists, entrepreneurs, politicians and so on, because that alone may Change the politics of the countries we understand to be non-democratic or semi-democratic", he proposed Widely.


+ "I will give one more example against sanctions :  If you wish to increase the Popularity of Leaders – I am not speaking only about Mr Putin – then apply sanctions and blockades. Psychologically, there is the Myth of the <<Surrounded Fortress>>. That myth Needs a Strong Leader, and Mr Putin’s Popularity is growing all the time. He has an 81% Popularity rating, and I am sure that a substantial part of that has been provoked just by sanctions"...


=> - "To Conclude is very simple: I believe that the role of the CoE is to strengthen the Friendship between European Nations. To quote (Hostoric former French President) Charles de Gaulle : - Europe is a continent that stretches “from the Atlantic to the Urals”. It perhaps stretches to the Pacific Ocean", he reminded, GeoPolitically speaking.


+ In addition, "You canNot Divide European Culture from Russian Culture :" F.ex., "Tchaikovsky is as important as Beethoven. Dostoevsky is as important as Shakespeare. Solzhenitsyn is as important as Hemingway, and so on. Why (then) try to Divide the Political structure of Europe, if you would be Against the Division of European Culture ?", he critically wondered.

 

czech_president_milos_zeman_speech_at_pace_eurofora_screenshot_400 


>>> "That is why I believe that the CoE's endeavour towards Friendship, and Not Hostility and Hatred, among European Nations – including Russia – will be Successful in the Long term", President Zeman concluded optimistically.

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

 - Concerning Moscow's recent Refusal to Pay a part of its Contribution, as long as Russian MEPs' Rights are not Guaranteed in PACE, he wondered :

- "If you don't have Russian representatives in this Assembly, then, Why Pay the Money for an Organisation to which you do Not Participate ? It's a very Simple Question".


  - "It is, they told, me, approximatvely 10% of the (CoE's) Total Budget : an Enormous Amount of Money".


=> - "But, if you want to Change the Attitude of any Human Person, or every State, it Must be Present in a Dialogue", Zeman advised.


 >>>  - Because, "if it is Excluded from the Dialogue", as "Taylerand said : <<It is Worse than a Crime : It is a Mistake !...>>", he strongly Denounced, as a matter of General Principle.


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


+ However, he added, immediately afterwards, in Reply also to anOther Question, raised, on behalf of PACE's Biggest Political Group, that of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, by Lithuanian MEP Vareikis, about "Imposing Sanctions for Morality, or ... Lifting Sanctions for Business Interest", as he had said, President Zeman rectified more precisely :


- "If you compare Moral policy, with so-called <<Real-Politik>> – a German term – you are sometimes unhappy that moral policy has nearly no success. But still, deep in my heart, I believe, (even if I support the economic interest), that withOut protection of Human Rights, any Business is Only a Short-term one", he Warned, as a matter of General Principle.


+ This Key point (by Zeman) was furher Developed, shortly Afterwards Today, by Jagland (See Infra) :


------------------------------------------
CoE's S.G. JAGLAND
--------------------------------------------------

coe_sg_jagland_eurofora_screenshot_400


+ Concerning, now, various other MEPs' Questions on Russia to CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, around PACE New President Kyriakides', abpve mentioned querry (Comp. Supra), things became even More Concrete :


- "If you see this (Russia's Decision to "Freeze" 2/3 of its Annual Financial Contribution to CoE's Budget, until Russian MEPs' Rights are Guaranteed inside PACE : Comp. Supra),  as a Financial problem, you get it Wrong", Jagland warned.


- "It is of course a Challenge for us if a member State does not pay its fee. That is simply unacceptable; we cannot have member States that do not finance the budget. If a member State does not finance the budget, it cannot be a member. It causes a financial problem – but that can be overcome. If you are referring to the Russian Federation, that is 10% of the budget, and that means we have to restructure the Organisation and reduce staff by 10%. That is clear and it can be done", he found.


>>>  - "But we are looking into Why we have this Crisis, and we are trying to Solve it, because it has a Wider Political Implication : - We have to ask ourselves whether we want to have a CoE with, or withOut Russia !", Jagland resumed sharply...


=>  "For me, the Central Question goes to the Core mandate of the CoE– namely, to Protect Citizens in our member States. I want to see all our member States on board so that we can Use all our Instruments to Protect Human Rights in Russia, as well as in all other countries. That is what the whole Issue is about".


   - Indeed, "Our (CoE's)  Mission is to see how we can Use our Instruments in the best way. If a member State does not want to be a member, it is up to them, but we will do what we can to keep our member States under the European Convention on Human Rights, and the European Court of Human Rights, because we want to Protect the rights of their Citizens", Jagland stressed.

 
 coe_sg_jagland_speaking_in_pace_with_new_president_stella_kyriakides_eurofora_400


     -  So that, "If we look at this from a Financial point of view, we get it Wrong". But, "If we look at it from a Political point of view, and a Human Rights point of view, it should be possible to Solve the problem", he concluded.


  - In fact, "that is what I am trying to do as the highest elected official of the COE, who is responsible for the whole Organisation : F.ex., I will see to it that all elected (CoE's) Officials are Elected with the Votes of All member States. That is a Crucial matter", Jagland stressed.


     - Nevertheless, "having said all that, it is Not Easy when a member State says, “We do not want to pay if this or that does not happen.” Because, as a matter of General Principle, "Nobody should act under Economic Pressure – that is totally Out of the question. That is why we need to have a Wider perspective, on what we are dealing with here", he advised Cautiously.


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


    + Meanwhile, at least from the immediate Practical point of view, "on the CoE's) Budget, we are handling the fact that the Russian Federation has Not Paid for the last part of this year. We are doing that in a responsible way".   

 
     - But, "if it does not pay for Next Year (2018), we will be in a much More Serious situation, Politically as well as Financially", CoE's SG warned.


    => "We (CoE) are, of course, thinking about how to handle it. Ultimately, it will be in the hands of the Committee of Ministers, which is responsible for the Budget. But, right Now, I am Focusing on finding aSolution to the problem", he revealed.


    - And "We (COE's Secretariat) are acting in a very Responsible way. .. We have a very Competent Secretariat, that is Able to Work out Solutions", Jagland concluded Optimistically, But Enigmatically, withOut yet opening all his cards in public...


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


    + But he was Urged, Later-on, by pro-Kiev Government Ukranian MEP Sobolev, to respond to his Claims against Russia "Occupying Transnistrian Moldova" and "20% of Georgia's territory", pushing "Annexation of Crimea : Not Respecting ECHR's Judgements", etc. Moreover, "they do Not Pay money to this Organisation, or Adhere to its main Principles. They have Violated their Obligations". But, "What is your answer? To let them be a full member of this Organisation?", that MEP critically wondered.


 - "You asked me what the Answer was, and whether it was to offer the Russian Federation full Membership of the CoE", Jagland resumed. But, "Actually, the Russian Federation IS a full Member, takes part in all our integral activities and comes under the ECHR", he observed.


 - "It is true that several (ECHR) Judgments have Not yet been implemented, but the Russian Federation is Not First on the list for Non-Implementation of Court Judgments", CoE's SG put it mildly...


 >>> Indeed, "Eurofora"'s co-Founder will Never Forget an Exceptionally Important Press Conference by CoE's Director of Human Rights and, then, PanEuropean Commission on Human Rights' Secretary General, who had Strongly Denounced, for the 1st Time in Public, that a Serious Problem of Non-Implementation of ECHR's Judgements, Not even in Cases of Blatant and Brutal, Massive Violations of Human Rights, including Killings, Torture, Arbitrary Deprivations of Liberty and/or UnFair Trials, Massive Violations of Freedom of Speech, Destructions of Family Homes, Violent Massive Displacement of Populations, etc.

>>> It all was about Turkey ! And it was, then, as Early as ...1995 : I.e. Russia had Not eve Adhered, yet, into the CoE, (while Turkey, on the Contrary, had been Full Member -and Still is, withOut any Interruption- since the "Cold War" era of 1949-195O's Past)...


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


 + Moreover, as a matter of General Principle, "while there are severe Problems in Many of our member Countries, it is (also) important not to overlook what Participation and presence in the CoE, and being under the Convention (on Human Rights) have Contributed to their Citizens", Jagland pointed out.


 - "F.ex., the European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment has Improved prison Conditions in Russia, as well as many other countries. With our (CoE's) Help, the Russian Federation got a New Civil Court, and a New Penal court. Many Shortcomings remain ... : the Conflict with Georgia, the Problems in Transnistria and in Ukraine and the illegal annexation of Crimea", etc. However, reSolving those Conflicts is Not - first and foremost - in the hands of the CoE, but in processes that the UNO Security Council has mandated", he criticized.  


=> "Our (CoE's) Mandate is to Protect Human Rights in All the (47) Member States, and we should Not Give up on that, Despite the Conflicts !", CoE's Secretary General stressed, as a matter of General Principle.

    +  "We Should also bear it in mind that, although we do Not take a Direct part in reSolving Conflicts, our protection of Human Rights Contributes to it :"


 - "F.Ex.:, the <<Good Friday>> Agreement in Northern Ireland was Based on the fact that the (HR) Convention applies in Northern Ireland. That also applies to the <<Dayton>> Agreement. The more we can apply our Standards in Areas of Conflict, the Better it will be (also) for reSolving them. I see no other way: the CoE has to work on that basis.
- "Otherwise, we could say, “Yes, these conflicts exist” and Give Up... But I do Not recommend that", CoE's SG pointed out.


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


    - Finaly, Austrian MEP Koh observed the Fact that "Article 1 of the Statute of the COE  states that its task and Duty is to create “greater Unity” between Member States". => How would you interpret that in terms of our relationship with Russia ... ?", he asked.


    – For Jagland, "it's true that the Purpose of the CoE is to create greater Unity between member States and on the continent as a whole. We (CoE do that first by getting all member States to Comply with the standards in the legal space of the ECHR. By Harmonising Laws, we get Nations to come Closer to each other. That is why I always stress the need to Abide by the Rulings of the ECHR. Usually the Court issues Compensation to the person Affected by the Violation, and, then, General Measures Change the Laws or Practices that led to that Violation. By implementing the Court’s judgments, all member States Change their legislation in the direction of the ECHR. We are coming Closer to each other because of that process. That is Unity".


      + "We (CoE) also foster Unity through many Other means, including Culture, Sport, and this (Parliamentary) Assembly, in which people can Speak to each other", CoE's SG added.


    => "First and foremost, however, the Aim of the CoE is to strengthen the Legal space constituted by the ECHR", Jagland stressed in Conclusion, (precisely when some reportedly, just went as far as to Urge Russia to Refuse to abide with ECHR, as long as Russian MEPs' participation and voting Rights are Not Guaranteed inside PACE)...


(../..)

 

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***

 

("DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora" Subscribers/Donors, earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version might be published asap). 

 

*** 


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    EU Rapporteur on Enlargment Strategy, maistream German MEP Elmar Brok, speaking to "EuroFora", welcomed the proposal made earlier this week by French President Nicolas Sarkozy for the EU to"start Now Talks with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", instead of full Accession, at a period when Ankara looks more and more unfit and/or unwilling to respect EU conditions.

    - "For Europe to have strong Political will, it must stop dilutiing itself in an endless Enlargement. It must have borders...Diversities enrich, on the condition that they don't undermine European Cohesion, and don't weaken EU Unity", Sarkozy stressed.
    
    - "Countries like Turkey share a part of common destiny with Europe, with which they have a vocation to build a Privileged Relation, to be closely associated, but not to become Member of the EU"  : "Noone respects his friends by telling them lies. Noone respects his friends by making them promises that will be never kept", he added.

    That's why "we'd better start, from now, negotiating with Turkey to create a common Economic and Security area", Sarkozy proposed.

Significantly, the French President was repeatedly and largely applauded by EU citizens, 3 times, when he made the Turkey point, (strategically placed between Europe's "Political Will" and its cultural heritage, historically open to mutually enriching dialogue with all the World, but never diluted).

    - "We could propose such a great ambition also to Russia, which must not be percieved as an Adversary of Europe, but as a Partner. Thus, we'd create a wide area, of more than 800 Million inhabitants, sharing the same Security, the same Prosperity", he concluded.

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    Sarkozy's move was anounced at the eve of a Franco-German Top meeting with Chancellor Angie Merkel in Berlin on Sunday, to jointly launch the EU Elections campain, after an EU Summit at nearby Prague, to launch a new kind of relations, called "Eastern Partnership", with neighboring countries such as Urkaine, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, Azerbaidjan, etc, (to which Russia, reportedly, is not - and does not want to be - included).

    As for Ukraine, which has already expressed her wish to join the EU in future, "Kiev will have a special place, and a very important role to play", replied earlier this week in Strasbourg, to an "EuroFora" question EU Chairman in office , Czech vice-Prime Minister Alexander Vodra.

    - "This direction is more Realistic for Turkey than Accession negotiations", reacted immediately EU Parliament's Rapporteur for Enlargment Strategy, mainstream German MEP Elmar Brok, commenting Sarkozy's idea for "EuroFora"

     Particularly "as far as it concerns the respect of EU Rules by both sides", he added, hinting at Turkey's now obvious inability and/or unwillingness to abide with EU Acquis, EU Commitments (fex. on Cyprus, etc), and European Democracy/Human Rights rules. (Comp. infra).

    Brok added that, in his view, a similar proposal might be made also to Ukraine and other neighbouring Countries, regardless if they have, or not, a "European vocation". This would not necessarily mean that there couldn't be any accession prospects at all." for all the countries that might be included in this area, according to Brok.  But it's preferable, particularly for Turkey, "because it's a more Realistic approach than full Membership".

    On this point, Sarkozy's proposal, (which he'll share with German Chancellor Merkel), seems more crystal-clear.

daul_in_press_file_400

    - "Turkey does not fullfil EU Criteria, and will never fullfil EU Criteria" on Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law. "Some have been lying to Ankara, but we must tell the Truth, and have honest and close relations with her", said meanwhile to "EuroFora" on the same issue also the President of EU Parliament's largest Group of MEPs (ChristianDemocrats/EPP), Joseph Daul.
------------------------------
"Hot" Debate at EU Parliament reveals CHANGE of mood towards "Suspension" of EU - Tukey talks.
------------------------------
    Earlier this week, many MEPs, and even some of those who were previously in favor of Turkey's controversial EU bid, strongly criticized the persistance and even aggravation of serious Human Rights violations in the country, that ECHR continues to "unanimously" condemn ":

      - "After winning a big victory in the latest Local Elections, the pro-Kurdish party DTP almost doubled its Elected Mayors from 52 to 98", but afterwards "more than 400 politicians were thrown to Prison and prosecuted" by the Turkish Authorities, denounced on behalf of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, Belgian MEP Frieda Brepoels.

     At the same time, "more than 1.500 Children are closed in Turkish Prisons", she added. "What will the EU Commission do" against these facts ?

- "Turkey appears to be at greater Distance away from Copenhagen Criteria after 4 Years of accession Negotiations, than when they started !", denounced on behalf of the Liberal Group, German MEP Alexander Lambsdorf.    

"On the central issue of Press Freedom, Critical Journalists face obstacles for their accreditation, others are prosecuted, condemned, fined and/or jailed, Media blocked or closed", he denounced.   

 - "EU Made 2 grave Mistakes with Turkey : To start accession negotiations, and to continue them", despite everything, criticized Dutch MEP Bastian Belder, on behalf of the Ind/Dem group.

(../..)

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