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Home arrow newsitems arrow CoE Assembly EPP+Socialist+Left Groups Chiefs Fischer+Nicoletti+Cox to EF on Chairman Agramunt row+

CoE Assembly EPP+Socialist+Left Groups Chiefs Fischer+Nicoletti+Cox to EF on Chairman Agramunt row+

Written by ACM
Friday, 28 April 2017

*Strasbourg/CoE/+Brussels/EPP Summit/Angelo Marcopolo/- The sudden Big Row about CoE Assembly's President, Pedro Agramunt, (a ChristianDemocrat/EPP from Spain), Hotly Denounced by several Critics for a Hasty Trip to Syria, where he met President Assad, with the Help of Russian MEPs, accused to have Ommitted to previously Warn PACE's Bureau, etc., while, possibly, rushing to seize any opportunity to help Peace through Dialogue, (See also Infra, on Agramunt's initial Explanations), has now Reached Proportions withOut Any Precedent in History, on which the Presidents of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP, Socialist and Left Group of MEPs, Axel Fischer, Michele Nicoletti, and Tiny Cox, respectively, briefly but Topically spoke with "Eurofora":


To put it in a nutshell :


    President Agramunt, (after Initially providing a first Explanation to Critics, Earlier this week in Strasbourg), he did Not Participate, this Time, to an Exceptional Meeting of PACE's Bureau, due to Focus on againg Criticizing him, and, apparently, Left from CoE's Building, probably even from Strasbourg. According to PACE's Rules, there isn't any Legal means to Oblige him to do otherwise, Neither to eventually Resign.

    A PACE's Bureau Majority published a Critical Note against its President, Agramunt, calling to Strip him from many of his prerogatives, (f.ex. to Speak on Behalf of the Assembly, etc), and Elected its Senior Member, British Conservative MEP Sir Roger Gale in order to represent them, according to a Press Statement that he has just Read to Strasbourg's Journalists, including "Eurofora".




   Lithuanian ChristianDemocrat/EPP MEP Egidijus Vareikis, observed that there were several Absents, as well as Critical MEPs who didn't understand why Agramunt would have, necessarily, to Resign, and noted the Fact that, according to PACE's Rules, a simple Majority inside the Bureau could Not Destitute an Elected PACE President.

   Center-Right French MEP Ponzo di Bongo expressed his Anger for, curiously, Not being Informed at all, about what really happened, by the out-going Chair of his National Delegation, MEP ... from the Socialist Party, (who appeared in a Hurry to immediately Phone somewhere).

   After an apparently Unconclusive meeting (with Many Absentees, as "Eurofora" witnessed on the spot) of PACE's Biggest Political Group : That of ChristianDemocrats/EPP, (Agramunt's Political Family), its President, German CDU MEP Axel Fischer, anounced to "Eurofora" and other Journalists present in Strasbourg, his intention to Travel to Brussels in order to Speak about that Agramunt issue with the President of the European ChristianDemocrat/EPP Party (which Federates together All National Center-Right ChristianDemocrats/EPP parties in all European Countries), the Experienced Joseph Daul.


   Daul, speaking to "Eurofora", Afterwards in Brussels, at the Conclusion of an EPP Summit of Heads of State/Government, while locacious on various Other Topical Issues, on the Contrary, prefered Not to make yet Any Public Statement on Agramunt's case, but Told us that he, indeed, just Met with Fischer and they spoke about that matter. His momentaneous Silence might, perhaps, be due also to the Fact that, Exceptionally, the Spanish Prime Minister Rajoy wasn't present at that EPP Summit, while Daul himself, even if he was an Experienced former Chairman of EPP Group in EU Parliament, and Long-Time MEP of Strasbourg (CoE's Headquarters' City), nevertheless, had not a frequent opportunity to deal with CoE Assembly's Internal Affairs as such, (two Points obviously pleading for a Careful Approach of such a Delicate and UnPrecedented Issue).  

  Meanwhile, while already in Strasbourg, "Eurofora" had also a brief but Topical encounter with the President of the Socialist Group in CoE's Assembly, Italian MEP Michele Nicoletti, (who had just met also with Other Strasbourg's Journalists earlier, but obliged to decline for several others, from various CoE Member Countries, for exceptional reasons Independent of his free will).



 Nicoletti told us, in substance, that his Group was among those who believed that Agramunt should Resign, but claimed that, in fact, this would be UnRelated to the existence or absence of a Political Will for Good Relations with Russia and for a Peace Deal in Syria, that his National Government in Italy, (including EU's High Representative for External Action, Federica Mongerini : originating from the Same Political Family as his own), reportedly supported. Indeed, Nicoletti prefered to Focus on matters of General Principle, particulalry as far as CoE Assembly's working methods are concerned, Criticizein mainly an alleged Lack of previous Warning of PACE's Bureau by Agramunt about his imminent Meeting with the Syrian President Assad, escorted by a Russian Delegation.

    Agramunt, (who had been, in fact, Accompagnied also by some Other PACE's Top MEPs, including, f.ex., the President of the Liberal Group, etc), had already presented his Excuses, for not being able to meet, Previously, with PACE's Bureau, and stressed, earlier this week in Strasbourg, that he visited Syria as part of a National Team from Spain, (where he is Senator), and had informed his Foreign Ministry. He did not felt personally responsible for any eventual exploitation that others might have done of his participation to that trip, while he was deeply Committed to the Need to Help Find a Peaceful Solution to the Syrian Conflict, through Political Dialogue, as a matter of General Principle. But, despite having briefly met him Earlier this week in Strasbourg, at a entirely Different occasion, "Eurofora" (and several Other Strasbourg's Journalists) had Not any opportunity to Timely and clearly know what, in fact, was PACE President Agramunt's real and full Version for what happened nowadays, the Criticism and Measures take by a Majority in PACE's Bureau.

    President Nicoletti, (who is also Expected, according to a usual Agreement between the Biggest PACE's Political Parties, to eventually take over PACE's Presidency since Next Year, from January 2018 : A Possibility the he did Not Deny, while also Avoiding to Confirm Now Explicitly, with a kind Smile), however told "Eurofora" that he "Understood" the personal Sorrow of Pedro Agramunt, (who due to Conclude his Mandate as PACE's President, normally, towards the End of this Year), and, at any case, would not have any objection for that Job to be, eventually, entrusted, in the MeanTime, to anOther Member of the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group. But he Firmly Excluded any eventual Compromise that might imply for Agramunt to Stay Longer in PACE's Presidency now, as things stand.



    + A priori, even more Surprizing appeared the Strong Criticism of Left Group's President, Tiny Cox from the Netherlands, who is, however, a frequent Ally to Russia's attempts to Explain its Position during PACE's various Debates, as well as traditionally against Militarist Interventions and Wars, but favorable, in Principle, to any attempts to find Peaceful Solutions to Conflicts : Indeed, speaking to "Eurofora", Cox Strongly Denounced mainly the (uncontested) Fact that Agramunt should Not have given any Impression (even Involuntary) to eventually Represent Officially CoE's Assembly in such a Controversial Top Political Meeting withOut Previously Informing PACE's Bureau, and Lacking its Previous Agreement.  

    [NDLR : UPDATE = New French President Emmanuel Macron's subsequent Statements in Brussels, about Accepting Syrian President Assad's role in a Desirable Peace Deal for the Future, were Not yet Known neither to Nicoletti, nor to Fischer or to Cox, when we spoke with them at the CoE in Strasbourg]

    In the MeanTime, "Eurofora" confirmed, in parallel, that an Exceptionally Important PACE's Draft Report on the most "Explosive" BioEthical Issue Nowadays, about Interventions on the Genome of Human Beings, (which, notoriously, can have Crucial Consequencies on all Humanity's Future), is Still on the Pipeline for a possible Public Debate and Vote of a Resolution by a PACE's Plenary, apparently Before the End of this Year (2017).

    Curiously, that "Hot" Report's preparation has been entrusted to a Socialist MEP from Belgium, whose Previous Drafts, on Various Other BioEthical Issues, had notoriously provoked Exceptional UpHeavals and Strong Reactions by Critics in the Recent Past, (Resulting, f.ex., in Referrals Back to Committee, and/or Votes of many Amendments radically Changing her Initial Draft, etc). And, usually, it was mainly (even if Not Only) the ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group of MEPs (i.e. Agramunt's Political Family) which freqently intervened in order to Rectify various eventually Dangerous Shortcomings, by such Controversial Drafts, inside CoE's Assembly.

    In such Contexts, normally, the successive Presidents of PACE's ChristianDemocrat/EPP Groups in CoE's History, (f.ex., among others, also Luc Van Der Brande, Lucca Volonté, Pedro Agramunt, etc), used to play an Important (even  if Discreet) Role in the Way that such "Hot" BioEthical Issues were Dealt with, already several Times in the Past, until recently.

    But, now, one among the Various Consequences of that UnPrecedented Row against Agramunt, (current PACE's President, and former ChristianDemocrat/EPP Group's President previously), is that it obviously may put such a Mechanism in Jeopardy : Only the forthcoming Future will tell...








(NDLR : Partly UPDATED on 29 April 2017)





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    - "Europe must be liberated from this undermining "wooden talk" of a "unique thought" which hampers democratic debates", stressed incoming EU Chairman, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, speaking to Journalists after his official meeting with EU Commission's President, Jose Barroso, at Elysee Palace in Paris

    - "It's precisely because there are not enough Debates, that EU hasn't managed yet to make it clear to European citizens what is really at stake", he added, in an obvious reference to the latest Irish "No" in 2008, after a long series of similar, unprecedented events, from the 1st Majority Abstention to EU Parliament's Elections in 1999, repeated in 2004, to the Dutch and French "No" in 2005, etc.

          In fact, "there is no time to lose for Europe, and that's why we decided to start the French EU Presidency right away, from the first day", he explained, on France's exceptional choice to schedule the usual meeting with EU Commission from the 1st day of the 1st month, instead of the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th, 9th or even 10th or 11th, as it had been done by others in the Past..    

    - "This is not an easy period, but we shall act with determination, while also listening to Citizens' views", he promised.

    Sarkozy's move came shortly before his opening Speech, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, for the first Public Debate on the Priorities of the French EU Presidency (July - December 2008), and that's one of the reasons for which he significantly opened his EU Council's Chairmanship by welcoming at Elysee palace EU Parliament's President, German MEP Hans Gert Poettering at first..

    The incoming EU Chairman was replying to Press Questions about rumours that controversial British EU Commissioner on Trade, Mandelson, was alone to drop an invitation to have a working Diner at Elysee palace, together with all other EU Commissioners and the French Government, only because he would have been upset for some critical points made earlier by President Sarkozy in defense of European Agriculture vis-a-vis its Foreign competitors.

    But, as smiling Sarkozy played down Mandelson's reported refusal to debate, saying that he had to visit Marseille for a Ministerial meeting on Trade the next morning, and that "all our British friends are always welcome to taste a nice diner" in France, perhaps at another occasion..

    - "It's urgent to win anew the trust of the People" : Lately, "the European ideal lost its momentum. Since several years, whenever Citizens are questioned on Europe, they react with reserves : They even have .. a tendency to reply "NO".. After this 3rd "No" of a People in some years, there is an Urgency to convince", added French Prime Minister Francois Fillon, after a meeting earlier the same day of all Ministers with EU Commissioners, followed by an interview with Barroso

    "According to recent Polls, only 30% of French people believe that the European construction is a source of hope. It's only a poll, but we all now quite well, that, since 2005, it's dangerous to neglect these alarming signals, as it would be dangerous to treat with contempt the Irish "No", Fillon warned.

    "We all have a common duty to prove to the European Citizens who have doubts, that EU is more useful, more necessary, than ever" : And "that EU can take decisions needed in order to respond to European or Global challenges", the Prime Minister concluded.

    - "We believe, together with President Sarkozy, that EU should open debates on all issues of direct, concrete interest to Citizens", confirmed later to EuroFora the Head of France's governing party (UMP), Patrick Devedjan, after his speech to the European People's party (EPP) Study Days in Paris (2 - 4 July 2008).

    He didn't deny that one of them is Turkey : - "Public Opinion in France is very much unfavorable to Turkey's EU bid, and President Sarkozy has said that several times", he told EuroFora.

    From European Central Bank's controversial policies on Euro's value, to EU Enlargement Strategy, etc., issues of obvious importance to EU Citizens will be plenty, next week in EU Parliament in Strasbourg, before President Sarkozy launches the debates on EU 2008 French chairmanship's priorities on Thursday.


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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