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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow CoE Chair, Croatia Prime Minister Plenkovic to EF: Inter-Connected EU-CoE actions

CoE Chair, Croatia Prime Minister Plenkovic to EF: Inter-Connected EU-CoE actions

Geschrieben von ACM
Tuesday, 26 June 2018

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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- Mass "Migration", "Western Balkans", and "Human Rights", are among the Issues of current EU - CoE Cooperation, said in Reply to an "Eurofora"'s Question, the President-in-office (for the period of  5 - 11/2018) of Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation (with 47 Member States, including Russia, etc), Prime Minister of Croatia, Andrej Plenkovic.

 
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- Significantly, he was Speaking just before he discusses with MEPs in CoE Assembly's Plenary this Noon, at the eve of a Crucial CoE - Russia High Level Meeting, Later this Evening in Strasbourg, (Comp: http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/russiaandpacecrisismayberesolved.html, etc), and just 1 Day after EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker exceptionally visited Strasbourg, (Yesterday, Monday, 25/6/2018), to meet with CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland.        

  --------------------


⦁    - Raising a Question at a "Press-Point" during Plenkovic's Meeting with CoE's Secetary General, Thornbjorn Jagland, earlier Today Morning,"Eurofora" observed the Fact that Juncker had come to visit Jangland in Strasbourg, and that, meanwhile, others had evoked here a possibility of an eventual Croatian - Austrian Cooperation on Western Balkans (Comp. : ..., etc), and asked whether there was anything interesting going on about an apparently Closer EU - CoE Cooperation now and/or in the foreseable Future.


  ------------------------------

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⦁    - “The Secretary General of the EU Commission (Juncker) was Yesterday here", underlined, indeed, from the outset, Prime Minister Plenkovic.


⦁    - "And CoE’s Secretry General (Jagland) spoke about Complementarities, including for the Western Balkans and Other Countries", (perhaps, including Russia ?).


⦁    - “I am invited by CoE’s Parliamentary Assembly to speak just before (PACE) Debates on (Mass) Migration" (Tomorrow, Wednesday, in Strasbourg), he also observed,


⦁    - "which is, precisely, one of the Few Important Issues that will be High on the Agenda in the EU Summit, from Thursday afternoon, in Brussels”.


⦁    - "And was also at the heart of the Informal Summit organized Last Sunday by (EU Commission's) President Juncker."


⦁    Indeed, COE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly's Plenary Session, this week in Strasbourg (25-29/6/2018), has scheduled 3 Joint Debates related to Mass Asylum Seekers/Irregular Migration, all for Tomorrow, Wednesday Afternoon, 27/6/2018 : (1) "Extra-Territorial processing of Asylum claims, and the creation of Safe Refugee Shelters abroad, (2) Human Rights impact of the "External Dimension" of Europea Union Asylum and Migration policy : Out of Sight, out of Rights ?", and (3) Urgent Debate on : International Obligations of CoE Member States: to Protect Life at Sea".


⦁    - + "There is, also, Always, the entire Question of EU Commission and various Human Rights issues, including where the EU is considering to Accede in this (ECHR's, PanEuropean) Convention", Plenkovic added.


⦁    => So that, "I think that there are More Items InterConnecting our (EU-COE) Work, instead of Dividing", new CoE's Chairman stressed in Conclusion.


⦁    Indeed, EU Commission's President, Jean-Claude Juncker, who was in my Office Yesterday (Monday), told me that they will make efforts to accede to the PanEuropean Convention on Human Rights (EConHR), revealed spontaneously Jagland.


⦁    However, the real Reason for which Juncker, suddenly, decided to make that Exeptional Fast-Track Trip to Strasbourg, even withOut any EU Parliament's Session, curiously, was Not clearly expiicitated, neither yesterday, nor today.


⦁    "Eurofora" also learned, later-on Today, from Prime Minister Plenkovic, that he intends to stay in Strasbourg also Tomorrow, Wednesday, when, inter alia, his collegue, new Prime Minister of Slovakia (a "VISEGRAD" Group Member Country), Peter Pellegrini, visits the CoE, before Leaving for the EU Summit in Brussels afterwards.


⦁    Meanwhile, the outcome of that Exceptionaly Important CoE - Russia meeting scheduled for This Evening (26/6/2018), behind Closed Doors, would have been more or less known.

 

    (../..)

 

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 slovenian__croatian_presidents_at_coe_400

    The recent paradox of freezing EU Talks with front-runner Croatia, while continuing controversial EU - Turkey talks, despite Zagreb's acceptance of Refugees' Human Rights to return, that Ankara refuses fex. in Cyprus, while both have "Good Neighborhood" problems vis a vis Slovenia, or Greece, Cyprus and Armenia respectively, can it be justified by the non-fullfilment of EU criteria, as Slovenia says, or, is it "Double Standards" ?    

The question became unavoidable after statements by Presidents of Slovenia and Croatia, Tuerk and Mesic, respectively, to "EuroFora", exclusively or among Strasbourg's journalists this week at the CoE, on the sidelines of its 2009 Summer University for Political Schools, which topically brought them together as successive key-note speakers.


    Comming only a few Months before EU checks Turkey's compliance to its commitments on Cyprus, etc., scheduled for December 2009, this obviously has a special importance for the coherence of EU Enlargement's principles.

     Suspension of EU Negotiations is a normal consequence in case of a Candidate Country's failure to fullfil EU Conditions, such as "Good Neighborhood relations", stressed at first Slovenian President Danilo Tuerk, current CoE's chair.

    But, regarding EU's Criteria,  there shouldn't be any "Double Standards",  reacted Croatian President Stjepan Mesic, commenting the fact that Turkey's controversial EU negotiations continue, while they were recently "freezed" in the case of Croatia, an "unquestionably European Country", which oficially accepts to respect Refugees Human Rights, contrary to Ankara's notorious refusals or reluctance.                                       

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                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           - "EU itself has set as a Criterium (for EU Enlargement) the "Good Neighborhood relations",  and their absence justifies the "Suspension" EU Negotiations, (f.ex. with Croatia), because of a Border dispute affecting the territorial integrity of an EU Member Country, stressed Slovenian President, Danilo Tuerk, CoE's Chairman in office (May - November 2009), speaking to Journalists in Strasbourg including "EuroFora".    

Questioned earlier what "consequences on EU's Enlargement policy" can have the "Ban on EU Membership Negotiations", imposed to Croatia, Tuerk replied that "this question comes down to the fulfillement of (EU) Criteria for membership. One has to look at each Candidate Country ., from the point of view whether it fullfils the Criteria that EU has set. One of them are Good Neighborhood Relations, I'd like to remind. And also, there are other factors, such as Justice, Home affairs, Rule of Law, and others".


    - "Now, ..Candidate Countries are at Different Levels of fulfillement of Criteria", he observed.

    - " Croatia is obviously the closest to that. I'm rather optimistic : I think that in the coming Months we'll have an opportunity to look at all these issues constructively and hopefully we'll be able to make progress". "My main concern, at this point, is the situation in Bosnia : We haven't seen enough progres domesticaly. We haven't seen enough during ..political parties within their country.We need a New Energy, a new energetic move towards the Candidature for EU membership. "Other (Western Balkan) Countries (Serbia, Montenegro, FYROM, Albania) have been making soaring Progress, and I think that they should be ready, in a few Years, for the Candidate status".

    - "As far as the Western Balkans are concerned, .. nobody should be left outside" the EU, Slovenian's President concluded, ommitting to mention Turkey's controversial EU bid.

    - "This process may be seen as Slow, but..  Slovenia has also has also been exposed to various "Booms of Slowness" in our accession period. But now we can say that the process was relatively quick, because changes which occur after becoming EU member, are quite large, and they require proper Preparations before the (EU) membership becomes a new factor, an impacting line for a new (EU) member country".
----------------------------

EU "Solidarity" ?
------------------------------   

Slovenian statements made some participants from certain 3rd Countries as FYROM, etc. claim that "the Principle of EU Solidarity" would "produce a.. rising European Union Nationalism (sic !), against Non-EU Countries", as they said, asking unhappy foreign countries to form a "bloc" to exert pressure on the EU...    

But Croatian President Stjepan Mesic dismissed that, supporting "EU Integration", "after the Economy also in Political" issues, as "the achievement" of our times. In EU there is "diversity, but it's United", he stressed, "EU has to be United so that it can become a central factor of Peace" also at the surrounding areas, he replied.

croatian_president_mesic_ 

Speaking later exclusively to "EuroFora", the experienced twice President of Croatia, former President of the International "Non-Aligned" movement, denounced "Double Standards" in the way EU treats recently Croatia compared to Turkey :   

 - "I think that there shouldn't be Double Standards", stressed the Croatian President, in reply to a Question comparing the freeze of EU - Croatia talks, with the continuation of EU - Turkey talks, despite the fact that Croatia is an "unquestionably European country", while Turkey's EU bid is notoriously controversial.


    Mesic was reacting to the observation that, even if he confirmed his "respect of Refugees' Human Rights to return, etc. (See infra), nevertheless, EU talks are suspended with Croatia.. While for oher, controversial candidates, who refuse to respect Refugees' Rights to return, etc., as fex. Turkey does in occupied Cyprus and elsewhere, EU negotiations continue".

    - "I believe that Croatia's accession will confirm that all European Countries who fulfill all of the Conditions and achieve European Standards, have to join the EU. There shouldn't be any Double Standards", went on to add in reply President Mesic.

    In this relation, Croatia's President found "of paramount importance", CoE's "mechanisms enforcing ECHR's judgements"
    
    - "On Refugees and Displaced persons, the process will be completed only after the last person demanding to return will be allowed to do so !", President Mesic Croatia stressed earlier, setting a general standard of obvious importance also for otherr candidates, as f.ex. Turkey, often accused to exclude or heavily restrict Greek Cypriot Displaced persons' return to their Family Homes and ancestral land, provoke difficulties to Turkish-Kurd IDPs return to their home regions at the South-East, etc.

    Some "2.000 People are still reported Missing" in former Yugoslavia, for some Years, (as in Cyprus, modern Europe's oldest case, for 3 Decades. Nagorno-Karabach, Tcecnya in Russia, etc, more recently), and Investigations "will only be completed after establishing the fate of the last one of them", he added.
    
    Speaking earlier on "War Crimes", President Mesic stressed that "Leaders are responsible for (the) Wars (of the Past), not the People", and called against Impunity :  "Individuals have to be held Responsible for Crimes. International Penal Tribunals have to persecute those individuals", perpetrators of War Crimes, he underlined.

    Such statements naturally made Mesic rather popular at ECHR, whose President, French EuroJudge, Professor Jean-Paul Costa, looked particularly smiling when he welcomed him later on Wednesday afternoon, after Slovenian President Daniko Tuerk earlier this week.
           

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