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Home 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

Автор ACM
Пятница, 13 Октябрь 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.


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


 - "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.  


---------------------------
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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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.
--------------------
    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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