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Αρχική arrow newsitems arrow New PACE President Kyriakides to "EF": Trust, Russia, New Summit + Fight v. Corruption = Priorities

New PACE President Kyriakides to "EF": Trust, Russia, New Summit + Fight v. Corruption = Priorities

Έχει γραφτεί από ACM
Παρασκευή, 13 Οκτώβριος 2017
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*Stasbourg/CoE/Angel Marcopolo/- Replying to "Eurofora"s Questions, CoE Parliamentary Assembly's New President, mainstream ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP from the Governing Party in Cyprus, Stella Kyriakides, until now Chair of the Social, Health and Sustainable Development (i.e. Environment), Highlighted the Main Priorities for the forthcoming Months (i.e. 11 October 2017 - 23 January 2018), stressing that regaining "Trust", inside and outside PACE, would be at the Forefront :


Of course the current issue of Russian MEPs Status (Comp., f.ex. : ...), and the Preparation for a New CoE's 47 Heads of State/Government's Summit, as well as the Transition from a Czech to a Danish CoE's Chairmanship, but, Most of all, for her, it's the Need to restore Trust, and Fight efficiently against Corruption, which would be the "1st Priority", as she told us.


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 - "Eurofora", pointing at the foreseeable "Timing", observed that Kyriakides' mandate, in principle, includes up to the Opening of the January 2018 PACE Plenary, and that, meanwhile, she had just co-organized an Exceptional Joint Meeting with CoE's Committee of Ministers and Top MEPs, Yesterday, Thursday, 12 October 2017, for the First Time after Many Years, (mainly on Russia, COE's Budget and new Summit, etc), due to be Followed by various PACE Committees' meetings elsewhere, as well as from the Hand-over of the Chairmanship of CoE's Committee of Ministers, on November 15, in Strasbourg, closely followed by an Important PACE's "Standing Committee" (with Similar Powers as the Plenary) at Copenhagen, etc.


=> And we asked PACE President Kyrakides how she Plans to Deal, in that Context, wth the Most Interesting Issues that the PanEuropean Assembly has to face nowadays.


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 - "There is a lot of things on the Agenda of the (CoE Assembly's) Standing Committee in Copenhagen", she acknowledged, (considering an Agenda whose precise contents are due to be Published "Next Week", as other PACE's Officials told "Eurofora").


 + As well as "the Follow-up to the Report of Mr. Nicoletti (Chairman of the Socialist Group), is comming up", (on a CoE's New Summit, but also Dialogue between CoE's Parliamentary Assembly and CoE's Committee of Ministers, including on Russia, etc : See ...), observed the new PACE's President, speaking shortly after an important relevant Debate and Vote at CoE's Assembly, earlier this week.


- And, such moves include  "Contacts of (CoE's) Committee of Ministers with the (Parliamentary) Assembly", but also with "the Congress" (of Local/Regional Authorities, which holds its Autumn 2017 Plenary Next Week in Strasbourg), "also of comming Importance is the Court" (ECHR), "the Czechh Republic" (out-going CoE's Chairmanship during May - mid-November 2017), "Denmark" (In-comming CoE's Presidency for mid-November 2017 - May 2018), etc.


 - In particular, "for me, it's Important to Establish Trust and Cooperation, through (PACE's) Political Groups, in order to Solve Problems", (considering also the fact that, even if she's Member of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group, nevertheless, she had been endorsed and voted also by Key Members of the Liberal, Conservative, Socialist and Leftist Groups : See ...), but also the Current Need for a Wider PACE Majority, f.ex. as far as it concerns the issues of Russia, a New CoE's Summit, etc).

+ Also in order to strengthen, in any way, "Support for Investigations and for setting up a (relevant) Independent Body (recently scheduled) for the Fight against Corruption" (inside and outside the PACE, f.ex.by various alleged External Lobbies' Attempts to influence it by inappropriate means), she added.


- "I think that this is for me a Great Challenge", because "we (CoE's Assembly) Need to get out the Clear Message that we are Totally Opposed and Immune to that !".


- "That's why this is going to be the 1st Thing ahead", and, "as long as I have the Honour of sitting at this Seat (PACE's Presidency), I want to be even More Clear: This, for us (PACE), is a First Priority", she stressed.


 - "So, If that Moves Ahead, and Comes to an End, during my Term, I would be quite Satisfied", she concluded, in reply to "Eurofora"s Question.


+ The relevant "Time-Frame" for that purpose "was (initially) given up to the End of the Year. We will see. But I wouldn't be Surprized I they need some More Time, f.ex. another Month, or so", President Kyriakides added later-on.  


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Short but Crucial
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  Meanwhile, as far as it concerns the Russian Issue, speaking to Strasbourg's Journalists, including "Eurofora", PACE's New President did not deny its obvious Importance, even if she declined from considering it as a landmark for her Presidency, preferring, rather, the "message" that she stated above, in reply to "Eurofora"s question, (Comp. Supra).

Indeed, Kyriakides' PACE Presidency, notoriously taking place in the contect of "an Exceptional situation", as she reminded earlier, os paradoxically, Both Short (See : ...) and Crucial, particularly on PanEuropean CoE's relations with its Biggest Member Country, Russia.
Inter alia, also for Practical reasons of Timing :


As it's well known, Moscow's Government has recently declared its intention to "Freeze" sine die the 2/3 of its Annual Financial Contribution to the CoE, (about 22 Millions €),  as long as there is No Guarantee for the Russian MEP's Rights to Vote and Participate in CoE's Assembly, (after some controversial 2014 - 2015+ PACE Resolutions which had "Freezed" most of them, on pretext of the Problems provoked inside Ukraine also by various Foreign interferences, etc, which had resulted into Threatening a new and dangerous Division of Europe).


But, that UnPrecedented Crisis, Now Extended even on CoE's Finances, threatens also to Affect about 10% of CoE's Budget, not only for the Present Year of 2017, but Even ...(in Addition) for the Next Year of 2018, for which the Budget is, normally, Decided around the "End of November" 2017, as Experienced PACE's Secretary General Sawicki confirmed to "Eurofora". Sawicki, personally, believes that the CoE could Find a Way to Handle even an eventually prolonged such Financial Problem, and this seems not far away from what CoE's Secretary General, Thornbhorn Jagland, also claimed, speaking at the PACE, earlier this week. But, obviously, it such an eventually Accumulated Loss of More than 10% + 10% of regular Revenues for the CoE would, obviously, be Not Easy to absorb, in real practice...


+ And, at the Same Moment with that Practical Financial Problem, there is also anOther, Different but also Topical, new Political Problem nowadays :


- I.e., how could the PanEuropean CoE prepare efficiently a New Heads of State/Govenrment Summit, expected for 2019, if its Biggest and a Geo-Politically, as well as Culturally Important Member Country, as Russia, stay partially or totally, more or less Excluded from having a say on such a Top Political Event, (which, Contrary to the EU, occurs Only at certain Exceptionally Important, Historic Junctures in CoE's History) ?...


=> That's why, the Fact that a Solution on that Problem affecting Russian MEPs has, according to PACE's Rules of Procedure, to be Found, at the latest, ...Before the Opening of its Next Plenary, "Winter" Session in Strasbourg, (23-27 January 2018), simply Because the Credentials of All MEPs are normally Decided at that Time, for All the Year round, (as also a Russian Diplomat confirmed to "Eurofora".

>>> In other words, in real Practice, it's, de facto, during the New PACE President, Stella Kyriakides' term of office, (11 October 2017 - 23 January 2018) that a Deal has to be brokered between Strasbourg and Moscow, in one way or another, if there is a Political Will from Both Sides to reall Solve this Problem, without wasting more precious Ressources and Time, particularly at the present Period, full of Great New Challenges in Europe and Worldwide.


In consequence, well informed PACE's Officers did Not Deny at all, Today, a possibility for the New President of CoE's Parliamentary Assembly to, eventually, Visit Moscow asap, withOut officially confirming yet, neither disclosing this or that precise Date, but promising to do so beforehand, if and when it may become possible.

During Yesterday's (Thursday, 12 November) Exceptional Joint Meeting between the CoE's Committee of Ministers and its Parliamentary Assembly's leaders, (the 1st after several Years of interruption !), well informed sources from the Inter-Governemental part, told "Eurofora" that, Despite the "Complex" Issues raised, there is a certain Mutual Wish for "Dialogue", both between Governments and MEPs, as well as between the CoE and Russia, on he Need to Try to Find an adequate Solution of the pending problems, in one way or another, for the Road Ahead.

May be even the New USA Presidency by Don Trump, could be, more or less Helpful, (particularly after also the recent, 1st Meeting between the American and Russian President, Trump and Putin, at July 2017's "G20" Summit in Hamburg, Welcomed by their Host, German Chancellor Angie Merkel : See ...). As well as Recent Developments in the Geo-Political views of New French President Emmanuel Macron, (particularly as far as it concerns the Need for a Joint Fight against Deadly Islamist Terrorism, cowardly Targetting innocent Civilian People, and to forge Peace in Syria, etc). Added, Soon, to a New German Government, headed by Experienced Chancellor Merkel, (who had practically Started her Top Diplomatic activities by a landmark Franco-Germano-Russian Summit, back on 2006, at the Historic Castle of Compiegne, near Paris, hosted by former long-time President Jacques Chirac, closely followed by a "G8" Summit with Putin and Sarkozy, etc, that she hosted in Germany on 2007 at Heiligendam, and anOther "G8" Summit, with the same, that Sarkozy hosted at Deauville on 2011 with then Russian President Medvedev, etc : Comp. "Eurofora" co-Founder's News Reports from those Compiegne, Heiligendam, and Deauville Summits, at : ... + ... + ...). Perhaps also, mutatis-mutandis, the Recent and/or Forthcoming Elections in Germany (9/2017) and Austria (10/2017), etc., as well as the Incoming Chairmanship of the EU by Bulgaria, from the 1st of January 2018, (See: ...), etc.

Meanwhile, among others, in a Different but Parallel move, informed sources from Cyprus, reportedly speculated that, by a (perhaps Helpful) coincidence, it's also the Country's President, Nicos Anastassiades, (an experienced ChristianDemocrat/EPP political leader), who might, eventually, Visit personally Russia, at some Date between Now and December 2017.

(../...)

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Recent developments proved that Europe can suceed to overcome challenges by aiming at great objectives, and this is needed also in 2009, said EU chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy.

    - "It's in the name of Great Ideas, Projects, Ambition and Ideals, that EU can overcome" challenges, stressed Sarkozy at EU Parliament in Strasbourg, in conclusion of a dense 7 months EU Chairmanship. "It's even easier for Europe to have Great projects, able to overcome national egoism, instead of limiting itself only to small projects" (unable to do alike), he observed.     

- "Europe must remain Ambitious and understand that the World needs her to take Decisions". "The World needs a Strong Europe", which "thinks on its own, has convictions, its own responses, its imagination" : "A Europe which does not limit itself into following" others, (as it did in the Past, when it followed USA, f.ex. on Bosnia). On the contrary, "Europe should undertake its own responsibilities", he said, after a series of succes in stopping the War between Russia and Georgia, and organizing the 1st EuroZone's Summit in Paris, which incited the Washington DC G-20 Summit to extend similar decisions World-wide.  


    - "When you sweep it all under the carpet, prepare yourself for hard tomorrows", he warned. "What hinders decisions is the lack of Courage and Will, the fading away of Ideals", he stressed before EU Parliament's 2008 debate on Human Rights and Sakharov prize on Freedom of thought attributed by MEPs to Chinese cyber-dissident Hu Jia, followed by an EU - Turkey meeting on Friday.

    - "I don't abandon my convictions" and "I will take initiatives" on EU level also in 2009, Sarkozy announced later. "France will not stop having convictions and taking initiatives" on Europe. + "It's an Error to wish to pass over the Heads of those who are elected in their Countries" : "It's an integrism I always fought against"', he warned.
---------------------
French EU Presidency faced 4 unexpected Crisis :

- An institutional crisis, with the Irish "No" to EU Lisbon Treaty, just before it started. A geopolitical crisis, wth the threat of War between Russia and Georgia risking to throw Europe back to Cold-war divisions, on August. A World-wide Financial and Economic crisis, arriving at a bad moment before crucial 2009 EU elections. And even a Strasbourg's mini-crisis, with EU Parliament's roof curiously falling down, from unknown reasons, in a brand new building on August, provoking an unprecedented transfert of the 2 September Plenary Sessions...

But it wasn't enough to stop Sarkozy ! On the contrary, it stimulated him...
---------------------------------------

- "The better way to deal with the recent problems of EU institutions (as the "3 NO" by France, the Netherlands and Ireland) is to take them as a "Test" in order to find solutions closer to Citizens' concerns", said later in Strasbourg Sarkozy's new choice as Ministe for EU affairs, Bruno Le Maire.

- On the Institutional front, Sarkozy gave Time to the Irish to think about it, and stroke on December a deal including a New Referendum after the June 2009 EU Elections, in exchange of a promise to keep the rule of "one EU Commissioner for each EU Member Country", and some opt-outs on Defence and Fiscal EU policies, Abortion, etc. If the Irish get a "Yes" Majority, then the institutional package could be completed in 2010 or 2011 on the occasion of Croatia's probable EU accession.

He was accused in Strasbourg to upgrade EU Council and downgrade EU Commision, but he replied that "strong Political initiatives by EU Council reinforce also the more technical role of EU Commission, under the political-technical leadership of its President", all 3 "working together with EU Parliament".


- But, meanwhile, Sarkozy energetically spearheaded an Historic 1st Summit of EuroZone's 15 Heads of State and Government at EU's core, exceptionally enlarged to a partial participation of British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, on October 12 in Paris' Elysee palace, which started to tackle succesfully the growing world Financial crisis.

    It also paved the way for its endorsement by a subsequent Brussels' 27 EU Member States' gathering, before it all come to Washington's G-20 Summit. And "Europe was united, it asked for the 1st G-20 Summit, and it will also organise the next G-20 Summit on April in London", he observed.   

 But a Conference with EU, Russia, African and other Developing Countries, hosted in Strasbourg shortly after Washington G-20 Summit by the French EU Presidency, took a Resolution asking to enlarge participation to Global Economic Governance. Many found, indeed, illogic and unacceptable that f.ex. states as Turkey were given a seat at G-20 level, while all African Countries, and even the African Union itself, representing the greatest Continent on Earth, were excluded...


    Meanwhile, even USA''s "Paulson No 3" Plan, was, in fact, inspired by Europe's No 1 Plan", Sarkozy observed, largelly applauded by MEPs.

    And "Europe showed Solidarity" by mobilizing some 22 Billion credit for Hungary, 1,7 billion for Ukraine, as we do nowadays for Baltic States, etc., he added.

    The move on Economy was extended on December by an EU stimulus' plan totalling some 200 billion Euros, including 5 Billions released by EU Commission for big Projects, as well as various parallel National plans for Economic revival, (fex. 26 billions in France alone). They might appear limited, compared to USA President-elect Obama's reported plan to boost the American economy with 800 billion $, but at least succeded to overcome Europe's divisions for the first time on Economic governance, opening new horizons.

- The French President stressed even harder the unique role of an active EU Council's chairmanship, when he moved swiftly and efficiently, at the beginning of August, to succesfully stop War between Russia and Georgia, at the last minute, which threatened to bring Europe back to Cold War division.

"We (EU) also wanted to avoid a situation like in Bosnia, in the Past, when EU was absent, so that our American friends took their responsibilitues, and EU only followed", despite the fact that the conflict took place in Europe. Now, it was the EU who took its responsibilities".

A roadmap towards a new PanEuropean Security policy, before which all unilateral moves to place new Missiles (from USA or Russia) would be freezed, was proposed by Sarkozy after a meeting with Russian president Medvedev, at the eve of Washington DC's G-20 Summit.

Ukraine's "European" character was stressed at a Sarkozy - Jushenko Summit, September in Paris, while EU adopted on December an "Eastern policy", in which, "I'm convinced that our (EU's) future is to find with our Neighbours the conditions for Economic Development. Peace and Security, by explaining them that.. they must respect (Human Rights') Values, and adopt behaviors different from the Past", explained Sarkozy in Strasbourg.

Meanwhile, the "Union for the Mediterranean" was created, since July's Summit if 45 Heads of State and Government in Paris, as "an organisation for a permanent Dialogue, that we need", mainly in order to tackle the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, by bringing together, for the 1st time, Israelis and Arabs, where "Europe must be present, in order to avoid a frontal clash".

- "If Europe doesn't take its part for Peace in the Middle-East, nobody else will do that in our place", Sarkozy stressed.
-----------------------
    Meanwhile, other EU Agreements were brokered during the French EU Presidency on Immigration, (fex. common Asylum rules, etc), and Climat- Energy :

    - On Climat-Energy, the 2007 German EU Presidency had fixed a triple 20% aim for 2020 (20% renewable Energies, 20% reduction of CO2 emmission, 20% energy efficience/economies), and the 2008 French EU Presidecny realized that, making the necessary compromises in order to modernize EU's industry, but without throwing some former Central-Eastern European Countries into abrupt Economic break down risking "social explosion".

    - Defence-Security EU policy was mainly postponed for April 2009, since both German chancellor Merkel and French president Sarkozy want to strike a deal with the new American president Obama in Strasbourg's NATO Summit.

    However, with all these 4 unexpected Crisis diverting attention to other urgencies, People wil wonder now, what happened to the famous deal proposed by freshly-elected French President Sarkozy on Turkey's controversial EU bid, back on August 2007, to continue EU - Turkey negotiations, but on the double condition that core chapters, intrinsequally linked with EU Membership, will be excluded, and that a collective Reflexion and Debate on Europe's future would start before the end of 2008.

    It was meant to reply to the crucial question : What kind of Europe do we want in 10 or 20 Years from now : A large Market, or a Political Europe, with a popular identity ? In Sarkozy's thinking, presented in his 2 landmark speeches on Europe in Strasbourg, shortly before and after the 2007 Elections, (on February and July 2007), Turkey's controversial EU bid would be incompatible with the second choice.

    It's true that EU Commision's Chairman, Jose Barroso, (who had notoriously declared, as former Portuguese Prime Minister, that he found "nonsense" the idea that Europe might become equal to the US), had repeatedly tried to avoid that Sarkozy's criticism on Turkey might start winning a larger audience in Europe, preferring a discrete "wismens' committee" work. And that most of the personalities later chosen in order to participate in a Committee on Europe's Future, are too much linked with Socialist parties and/or American policies, to be really critical of USA's notorious wish to impose Turkey to the EU, as Sarkozy had noted himself since March 2007..

     - "It's on EU Council's presidency to take political initiatives. EU Commission has other competences", stressed Sarkozy. The "European Ideal" is to "build Europe with the States, not against them". "Ask Europeans to chose between their countries and Europe won't work. You don't choose between your two parents : We must add them together".

    "France and Germany have an Historic Duty to work together, precisely because of what happened to the Past. We have to work hand by hand. We cannot be separated.It goes beyond me and Mrs Merkel today, Mr Schroeder and Mr. Chirac yesterday. It's not a choice, it's a duty to Europe and to the World".  "We need Germany, as Germany needs Europe". Compromise is inevitable, here as everywhere, and each one made some steps towards eachother's positions.

    But "it's true that Mrs Merkel didn't chose her Socialist partners, while I chose mine", Sarkozy said, in an indirect hint that the Socialist Minister of Finance in Germany might be a cause of minor past disagreements in Economy, which were overcome in recent negotiations.

    "We (France and Germany) have particular duties in Europe", but "in a Europe of 27 Member States, it's not enough for France and Germany to agree between them.

    "I always thought that Great Britain has a special role to play in Europe. ... Now, everybody "saw what it cost payed the UK for having been too exclusively open towards the US (and) Financial services. Europe needs the UK, but also the UK needs Europe" :- "We were able to face the hardest moment of the Financial crisis because the UK clearly chose Europe", stressed Sarkozy, reminding Gordon Brown's exceptional participation to the Historic 1st Heads of State/Government Summit of EuroZone, October 12 in Paris (See EuroFora's Reportage from Elysee Palace then).

     - "Some look at Europe with old glasses aged 30 years ago. While we must look at her in relation to what it will be in 30 years" in the Future, Sarkozy concluded.

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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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