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Haupt arrow newsitems arrow Russia - PACE row may be resolved on EF's ideas, reveals CoE Assembly CEO Sawicki's reply +Document

Russia - PACE row may be resolved on EF's ideas, reveals CoE Assembly CEO Sawicki's reply +Document

Geschrieben von ACM
Friday, 22 June 2018
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*Strasbourg/CoE/Angelo Marcopolo/- While Time Deadlines arrive at a Critical Threshold, it's near to 2 "Eurofora"'s key observations/suggestions that a Solution might, perhaps, be found Nowadays to the 4,5 Years Old row between Russia and CoE's Parliamentary Assembly (PACE), since all the Russian MEPs were pushed to Quit that Strasbour's body, by Harsher than expected Sanctions, imposed when the Ukranian Conflict was reaching a Pic in growing Deadly Clashes, including Civilian People, particularly at the Eastern pro-Autonomy Regions, and without any really important change since then, despite the 2015 Minsk Agreements, only Partly applied until now.


Meanwhile, after Many Years of exceptional Absence of Russian MEPs from PACE, (even if Russia continued to be part of CoE's Inter-Governemental bodies and activities), Moscow anounced, and recently started to apply in real practice, first a Partial, and afterwards a Total Suspension of its Financial Contribution to CoE's overall Budget, until it would be Guaranteed that its MEPs might Return without Risk to be again Deprived from their Voting and Participation Rights.


A situation which has Now Reached a Critical Point, as the End of June is traditionaly considered to be the Last moment for a CoE's Member Country to pay its Annual Contribution, or not, and UnPrecedented Financial Restrictions (recently Aggravated also by Turkey's UnExpected, Unilateral Decision to Cut almost the Half of its own Contribution, for undeclared motives) have Started to provoke Growing Tensions inside the CoE, including even Angry Protests by some Radio-TV Journalists upset from an anouncement that they will have, from now on, to Pay Cash any use of Camera and/or Studio Facilities at the CoE, which were traditionaly offered to them Free of Charge, (as "Eurofora" witnessed during a Press Meeting earlier this Morning)...

 

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At the Same Time, in parallel, from a Political point of view, that Problem has inevitably Curtailed CoE's own Role as a PanEuropean Organisation, since the ReUnification of Europe at the 1990ies, by putting in Trouble, inter alia, particularly its Cooperation and Joint Activities in the Fight against Deadly Islamist Terrorism Targetting innocent Civilian People throughout the EU and Russia (as well as USA, and elsewhere in the World), Reducing CoE's role in the Quest for Peace in Ukraine (where, on the Contrary, the Vienna-based OSCE took a quasi-Exclusivity), not to speak about Syria, etc, made UnBalanced the Choice of New ECHR's EuroJudges (since Russian MEPs haven't Voted in the Election by PACE of about 33% of New EuroJudges, as Moscow officially Protested these Days, in the run up to the forthcoming Election by PACE even of CoE's New Chief : its New Secretary General from 2019...), while Geo-Political Balance in all Parliamentary Contacts and/or Negotiations, and All Public MEPs' Debates in Any Topical Issue related to COE's Oganisation for Democracy, Human Rights and Rule of Law, (including even BioEthics, as back on 2013+), has been Lacking.


Such excessive and persisting ImBalances (and the Negative Climate that they inevitably provoked, at least partly, as if Half of CoE had been suddenly Forced to Return Back to a ... "Cold War" Era of the Past) were Criticized and Denounced recently by an Important Report, with Resolution and Recommendation to its Committee of Ministers, adopted by CoE's Assembly during the Autumn of 2017, particularly in view of the overall Mission of Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation, and, also, in the perspective of an evental New CoE's Summit probably on 2019, which raised in New Terms the Issue of Russia's Full Participation into the CoE : Not Only Inter-Governemental, but also Parliamentary.


This, and other parallel Developments, led also to the Creation,  led also to the Creation, from December 2017, of an Original, High-Level, "Ad Hoc" Committee "on the Mission and the Role" of CoE's PanEuropean Parliamentary Assembly, crafted Also in order to Include an exceptional instance of Dialogue with Top Russian MEPs, (and with the Participation even of Ambassadors/Permanent Representatives of CoE's Member States' National Governments, usually centered around its Committee of Ministers), which organized substantial Meetings on the Sidelines of PACE's Plenary Sessions in Strasbourg, (i.e., already on January and April 2018, See, f.ex. : "Eurofora"s NewsReports at http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coedialogueonrussiacontinuesmarch.html, + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/russiacoesyria.html, etc), as well as of its Standing Committee's Sessions in other Cities and/or Countries, (f.ex., in Paris, on March 2018, and in Zagreb, on May 2018, since Croatia took over from Denmark CoE's rotating semestrial Presidency, 5-11/2018).


=> As a Result also of this New Round, made out of Periodic, but Regular, High-Level Dialogue, Both on PanEuropean CoE's overall Role, and on Russia's part, it seems, Nowadays, Possible to eventually Seek and soon Find a Solution, at last, to that protracted Problem of Europe's recent, counter-productive, and dangerous Division.


The point became more Clear, after CoE has just decided, this June 2018, to "De-Classify" an Interesting "Memorantum" (Drafted by PACE's out-going President Nicoletti from Italy), which Resumes All relevant Proposals made by various CoE Member Countries and/or MEPs' Political Groups during that "Ad Hoc" High-Level Committee's Meetings.


>>> Astonishingly, but logically, such a possible Perspective Follows, in Fact, the PathWay of "Eurofora"'s 2 Key Observations and Suggestions, which we had, inter alia, Resumed and Reminded, at the Latest, during a mid-May 2018 Meeting in the CoE with the current President-in-office of its Committee of Ministers,
Croatian Ambassador/Permanent Representative Miroslav Papa (for May - November 2018 : See Infra).

 

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- Earlier Today, PACE's Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, Replying to an "Eurofora"'s Question, during the traditional Press Briefing with Strasbourg's European Journalists at the Eve of CoE Assembly's Plenary Session, Next Week in Strasbourg, (25-29 June 2018), made it clear that, if, in its Forthcoming Meeting, on Tuesday Afternoon (26/6/2018), that "Ad Hoc" Committee probably Adopts its Official "Report", then, this would Conclude and put an "End" at its Existence, since the Issues it used to Deal with, will Return, then, Back to CoE's Ordinary Top Bodies, i.e. PACE's Bureau and CoE's Inter-Governemental Committee of Ministers, for relevant Decisions, (normally Before January 2019, which is, as things stand Today, the Latest Occasion for an eventual Return of Russian MEPs back to the PACE, for Next Year).


- But, that "Report" is expected to look very much Alike, in its overall Structure, to this "Memorantum", which has just been "De-Classified", Sawicki warned us.


+ Concerning those Issues, Speaking Earlier, since mid-May 2018, with the New President-in-office of CoE's Highest Political Body, that of its Committee of Ministers, Croatian Ambassador Miroslav Papa, in Reply to his own Observation that the Issue of Relations with Russia, as well as CoE's Budget, would be among the most Topical Big "Challenges" Faced by the Croatian Presidency, (in Addition to the relevant Question of the preparation of an eventual New CoE's Heads of State/Government Summit for 2019 or later), "Eurofora" had made, during those Exchanges, mainly 2 Key Observations :


    * (A). From a purely "PRACTICAL" point of view, regarding the TIME still Available in order to Try to eventually Find a workable Compromise for an adequate Solution of the above-mentioned "Russian" Issue, Before it might become Too Late (Comp. Supra), "Eurofora" had reiterated, then, our Previous Suggestion, (that We had Already Made, Earlier, already since January 2018, to PACE's Secretary General, Wojciech Sawicki, who Replied Positively : see http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coereformtoeaserussiasolution.html , etc), to eventually make the necessary Changes in order to Enable PACE to Ratify all MEPs' Credentials, Not Only on its January Session, at the Beginning of Each Year, but, during All, Anyone among its Four (4) Plenary Sessions (i.e. on January, or April, June, September/October), so that Parliamentary Diplomacy would have, instead of Only 1, much Better : Four (4) Occasions, during each Year, to find a successful Compromise.


=> Now, such a Proposal has been Also Supported Explicitly, at least by "Romania", inside CoE's High-Level "Ad Hoc" Committee, which has just suggested to "allow each delegation (of MEPs) to fill its seats at any time during a year, and not exclusively before the January part-session", as the above-mentioned "Memorandum" reveals.


+ Moreover, PACE's Secretary General, Sawicki, went Today as far as to also Add, in this Same regard, even anOther such Possibility to Gain precious Time : - PACE could Decide, if it wishes, to Add also One More : i.e. a 5th Plenary Session, "Exceptionally", f.ex. "on December 2018", during which it could have one More Opportunity to Deal with the Issue of Russian MEPs' Credentials, and/or Change its own Rules, in this regard, (Comp. Supra and Infra), he told us during his Press Briefing, earlier this Morning.


- Such a Move is Legally Possible, since PACE's Rules of Procedure provide for "up to 30 Days" for PACE's Full Meetings during Each Year, while, until now, "we don't use but only 20 such Days, Yearly", (i.e. 4 regular Plenaries X 5 Days each = 20, leaving +10 More Days, theoretically Free to be used whenever PACE might like to do so).


 - "It all Depends on whether a Political Will exists, or not, since Technically, Everything is Possible !", the Experienced Sawicki underlined in this regard, smiling.


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


    *(B). Concerning the "SUBSTANCE" of the Issue, even if the "Guarantee" that Russia notoriously seeks, for Any MEPs (Russian and/or Other), Not to be Deprived from their Voting and/or Participation Rights (Comp. Supra), might, Eventually, Not be Explicitly Supported also by a Sufficient Number of Other CoE Member Countries, (as the above-mentioned "Memorantum" rather indicates), Nevertheless, there is Also anOther Workable, Alternative Possibility :


    - Indeed, as "Eurofora" had Denounced (and Proved with Crystal-clear Hard Facts), already as Early as since the very Day that Some, inside PACE, suddenly Broke an earlier Compromise (to put just a Few "Sanctions", for only 1 Year), and Pushed, with a Last-Minute Amendment, in order to Impose much More, and Heavier "Sanctions", so that they Pushed, the Exasperated Russian MEPs to Leave PACE. But the Interesting point, (which, Curiously, seems to pass still Unnoticed or, at least, "Silenced", by most Commentators in Establishment's Traditional Medias), is the Fact that, (by Exploiting the Abstention of Russians then, added also to Various Other Countries' MEPs Exceptional Absence), it was Only a ... MINORITY of MEPs who had Voted, Back on 2014, for such Excessive "Sanctions", which Broke a Compromise (Comp. Supra) and Pushed Russia Out of the PACE ! (See the Original "Eurofora"s NewsReport, as Published the very Day of that Event, at : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coeminorityamendmentpushesrussianmepsout.html , etc).     

    
    >>> And, NOW, the above-mentioned PACE's "MEMORANDUM", just Published this June 2018 (Comp. Supra), clearly Reveals that, in fact, there are MANY National Delegations, among CoE's Member Countries, and/or MEPs, who Ask to Maken ibn the Future, much More Difficult, than in the Past, to Refuse MEPs' Credentials, and/or to Impose very Heavy Sanctions, Depriving MEPs from their Rights to Vote and/or Participate in CoE's Parliamentary  Assembly's activities. (F.ex., by Requiring to Verify the Quorum, and/or Setting a Higher Quorum ; by Asking for an Absolute Majority or even a Special, Qualified Majority : f.ex. of the Two Thirds, 2/3, etc).   


    In other words, even if Russia might, eventually, not have fully Convinced, inside the CoE, a Wide-Enough circle of People, that Heavy Sanctions Depriving MEPs even from almost all their Vote and Participation Rights, would be abnatural, a Violation of Democratically Elected Parliamentarians' elementary Rights, i.e. something InCompatible with a really Democratic Parliament's Values and Principles,  as Moscow claims, as well as Against PACE's Mission as a PanEuropean Forum for Public Dialogue, Nevertheless, they seem to have pretty Convinced a Lot of CoE's Member States' representatives that this is something Wrong, or, at least, Too "Heavy" or Extreme, as measure, so that it shouldn't be allowed for anyone to eventually risk to abuse of such methods too easily...                 

                    
    => In Consequence, if such kind of Proposals are Adopted by PACE's, High Level, "Ad Hoc" Committee (Comp. Supra), Next Week in Strasbourg, (Comp. Supra), then, Russia would have, in real Practice, (given also the Fact that its Adversaries Never had any Majority inside the PACE, not even back on 2014, as we found : Comp. Supra), an Important Guarantee for its MEPs, almost as it wished, (Comp. Supra).

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+ In Fact, what happened back on 2014 is Not just as Question of DisProportional or Excessive "Sanctions" on Russian MEPs, but much More a "Double Standards" matter, Compared, at least, to way that Turkey was treated by PACE : Indeed, initially, on 1994, PACE had adopted a Resolution warning the Turkish MEPs that their Credentials would be Rejected if Ankara did Not Stop, in 6 Months, to grossly Violate CoE's Principles and Disrespect its own Commitments, concerning, f.ex., widespread Torture+Inhuman/Degrading Treatments, Killings of Dissidents, Scorched Earth Practices, Refusal to Recognize the Armenian Genocide, Military Invasion and Occupaton of Cyprus' Northern Territories, (an over-Millenary European Civilisation Country, from Ancient Greece and Byzantine Empire, up to 4 Centuries French Kingdom, +2 Italy's Venise, almost 1 Century British, and 58 Years Intependent State), Refusal to Apply ECHRs' Judgements, War Threats against Greece at the Aegean Sea, bloody Kurdish Conflict, (etc).


But, Suddenly, on 1995-1996, Despite Turkey's Refusal to obtemperate, PACE Backed Down, made a Spectacular U-Turn, and Changed all that into a mere ..."Monitoring" Process !  Meanwhile, inter alia, French Prime Minister Eduard Balladur (whose Family was of Armenian Origin) had been ousted, and Helmut Kohl's ChristianDamocrats/EPP had been radicaly Weakened, on the brink or loosing their Parliamentary Majority in Germany, while, in Italy, Prime Minister Ciampi, who had studied Ancient Greek, and whose Government Coalition included 2 Parties of the Right, with a ChristianDemocrat Foreign Minister close to Kohl then, had left, (etc)...


    However, Russia wasn't yet a CoE's Member State then, so that, perhaps, most of its Diplomats simply Ignore that Historic PACE's 1994 U-Turn on Turkey, and/or UnderEstimate the Exclusion of Greece during the Colonels' regime (1967-1974), while, once again, even when Turkish Colonels Hung alive an elected Prime Minister and Imposed a "Coup d'Etat" in the 1960ies, despite a CoE's Human Rights' Director reportedly Angry and crying at the European Organision's corridors that Turkey should have Never been CoE Member (since the Cold War), nevertheless, Nothing happened...    


    So that the Russian MEPs' Ousting from PACE, added to several previous Threats against former Ukranian Governments' MEPs accused to be Too Friendly towards Russia in the Past, but also to the Exclusion, out of the CoE, for the Greek "Colonels" regime (etc), while Nothing Similar ever happened for Turkey, with that 1994 CoE's "U-Turn" (Comp. Supra), not even during the 1960 Coup d'Etat which Hang a Prime Minister (and 2 of his Ministers), Neither later at the 1980 Coup d'Etat, despite a Massive Oppression of various Ankara regime's Dissidents, (etc), all that, obviously, looks to be Too Much of "Double Standards".


    => Added to the above-mentioned, "too Heavy", if not even Incompatible with Elected Paliamentarians' Rights, character of so Harsh Measures (as Suspension of Vote + Participation Rights, etc), that they would, at least, Need a Quorum, Special Majority and/or Other Safeguards against Risks of Abuse, as Many proposed Recently in PACE's High Level "Ad Hoc" Committee (Comp. Supra), all that, naturally Pleads towards Finding, at least Now, a well Balanced and Workable Solution on this Russia - PACE row asap.


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    According to that recently DeClassified "Memorandum", and as PACE's Secretary General Sawicki confirmed Today in his Press Briefing, if the High-Level "Ad Hoc" Committee adopts a similar Report, it will, most probably, Result in a Double Transmission to Both PACE's Committees on Political affairs and on Rules and Procedures, for relevant Changes in CoE Assembly's official Rules, as well as to the Inter-Governemental CoE's Committee of Ministers, for Coordinated Moves, and eventual even Changes in CoE's overall Statute, if necessary.


    + Already, an Indication that, indeed, something like this might be currently prepared, and almost already on the pipeline, is also the relevant Fact that CoE has just Decided to "Revive" its "Joint Committee", (Composed by Representatives of Both its Parliamentary Assembly, and its InterGovernemental Committee of Ministers), from Next Week, as Sawicki Anounced Today.


    The Russian Parliamentary side is due to be Represented, from Tuesday, already in the probably Last Meeting of CoE's "Ad Hoc" High Level Committee (Comp. Supra), by its Duma's Foreign Affairs Committee's President, Leonid Slutsky, one of the 2 most Experienced Top Russian MEPs who know well PACE, since a Long Time ago, as well as his collegue from the Federal Council, Konstantin Kosachev, (the President of that Council's Foreign Affairs Committee, who reportedly was not only in Strasbourg Back on January, but also in Zagreb on May 2018).


    ++ Meanwhile, in anOther Exceptional Move Recently, CoE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jaglant, suddenly Visited Moscow just two Days ago, on 19 to 20 June 2018, where he met, inter alia, also with the Russian Foreign Minister Serguei Lavrov, (Comp., inter alia, also Lavrov's Statements to "Eurofora", already as Early as since the May 2011 "G 8" Summit of Heads of State/Government in Deauville, France, at: ..., etc), but even with President Vladimir Putin himself, at the Kremlin : Something which had not occured for Years, (since 2016).

 

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Jagland, a former Prime Minister and President of Parliament at Neighbouring Norway, and Top Member of the Oslo Committe for NOBEL Peace Prize, had clearly expressed his Interest for the PanEuropean Dimension of the CoE, in repeated Statements replying to relevant "Eurofora"s Questions, already as early as since his 1st Press Conference, immediately after his initial Election in Strasbourg, back on 2009, but also more Recently, during a Press Point on his Re-Election on 2014, even after some had provoked the Ukranian conflict, (See, f.ex. : http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/jaglandagg1.html + http://www.eurofora.net/newsflashes/news/coesgonpaneuropeanspacefuture.html , etc).


>>> But the Most Substantial Issue on which Jagland is Consistently building upon for CoE's relations with Russia, as a matter of General Principle, related also to Strasbourg's PanEuropean Organisation for Human Rights, Democracy and Rule of Law main Mission, proved to be, once again, his concern to Safeguard a fully-fledged functioning of ECHR's Jurisdiction, for the Protection of Citizens' Rights and a Democratic Functioning of the State, throughout all CoE's 47 Member Countries, naturally including the Biggest of all, Russia with about 150 Millions of Population, as he reiterated on this occasion also just 2 Days ago in Moscow, on 20 June 2018.


- Shortly Afterwards, a Statement attributed to Foreign Minister Lavrov, after his meeting with COE's Secretary General Jagland, expressed Russia's "Concern" for "the Fact that, because of the PACE Crisis, more than 1/3 of the Judges at the ECHR have been Elected withOut the Participation of a delegation of Russian" MEPs, (who, normally, should Vote, Together with All other MEPs from CoE's 47 Member Countries, every time that there is an Election of a New EuroJudge to the ECHR by PACE, among 3 Candidates, during PACE's Plenary Sessions in Strasbourg, (as, f.ex., for the Choice of a New EuroJudge from San Marinio, Next Week, while Turkey's, as well as Other EuroJudges' Election was reportedly Postponed for October 2018 or even Later).                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             
- But, in a subsequent meeting and Press Conference with UNO's Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, Yesterday (21 June 2018) in Moscow, Lavrov expressed also Russia's belief in what he called : - the "Vital Sphere of Human Rights", as he said, speaking of USA's WIthdrawal from UNO's World Council of Human Rights (WCHR), at nearby Geneva. (On UNO's Historic 2005 Summit's decision to create WCHR, on 9/2005 in New York, Comp. also "Eurofora" co-Founder's NewsReport from NYC, Published then at "TCWeekly).


- Even Acknowledging that "No one ... is Perfect", as he said, the Russian MFA observed, on this occasion that "the Number of complaints against Russia sent to the ECHR has Dropped more than Three times (-300%) over the past 5 Years", compared to the Past.


Even if not any Official Statemenrt was Published on the well known Political Issues AFTER those Top Meetings, neither in Moscow, nor in Strasbourg, (Comp. also Infra), nevertheless, at least the Photos Published by Kremlin's website, look quite positive...

 

coe_sg_jagland__russia_president_putin_meeting_kremlin__eurofora_400 


Meanwhile, Moscow curiously is, these Same Days, at the Epicenter of an Exceptionally Dense and Busy Diplomatic "Whirlpool", the above-mentioned Exceptional Visit of CoE's Secretary General Thornbjorn Jagland, 2 Days ago, (not just for the ...Football Mundial, as he pointed out, in his meetng with President Putin, who had taken the initiative to point there), was Followed by a Phone Call from Urkanian President Pedro Poroshenko, that Putin extended also into a Briefing to UN Security Council Members the same day, before another Official Visit by UNO's Secretary General, Antonio Guterres, who met with Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Yesterday, (Comp. Supra), preceded by Exceptional Phone-Conversations, Earlier, between Lavrov and Mike Pompeo, the New USA's Secretary of State, since June 18, also about a forthcoming possible USA - Russia Summit with Presidents Vladimir Putin and Don Trump, perhaps in Vienna, "for the Near Future",  as it was said, in the current preparations for the July 11, 2018, Summit of NATO, (whose Secretary General, Jens Stoltenberg, who was recenty reported as Favorable to USA - Russia Top Meetings, (and even NATO - Russia)..., which should better take place "as Quickly as possible", as Kosachev reportedly advised.

 

In the Middle of all that, "Eurofora" was Surprized to realize (unfortunately too Late) that we had an unexpected Chance to Cross COE's Secretary General, Thornbjorn Jagland himself, who had Silently Walked along our Left Side, all the way from CoE's Main Hall (Exceptionally full of Music, then, because of a Special "Music Day" here in France), up to the PanEuropean Organisation Headquarters' Main Entrance's exterior "Parvis", slowly Strolling even Turning Around us until he entered in his Car, by a Coincidence, Parked Right in Front of our Eyes, where he stayed for several Long Moments, with an Open Window, looking at a Piece of Paper, while his Driver was already sitting inside, Ready to Go, but, apparently, withOout receiving a "Green Light" Message before a Longer than expected Period of Time elapsed, Later-on...

Any Other Journalist (and, a fortiori, Particularly "Eurofora", who had Notoriously being Practicing with EU/COE+ Political Personalities, Heads of State/Govrnment, Foreign and Other Ministers, Top EU/CoE Officials or Experts, etc., Many Short but Topical, Original Interviews "on the Fly", many times and at Various Occasions, here and elsewhere), would, Naturally, had Tried to immediately Valorize such a Timely Chance, by Simply Raising at least 1 Short and Clear Question to Jagland, while he was still Remaining so Near to us, Shortly after his above-mentioned, Exceptional Visit to Moscow, and at the Eve of Crucial relevant Decisions in the Next Few Days...


But, UnExpectedly, (and withOut having fully Realized the Reasons for such a Unusual for us Behavior, Nevetheless, "Eurofora", Exceptionaly, ...Abstained from Raising Any Question at all !


Was it, merely, due to the Fact that, inter-alia, Because of an Exceptional Lack of Time, during some very Busy Days (and Nights), added to a series of various Harassments, even Aggressions (f.ex. against "Eurofora" WebNews Media Site, even Brutal Bloody Road "Accidents" hitting and seriously Wounding our Wife, with her Brake put Out of Order, and her Handlebars Sabotaged, etc), so that we were again Obliged to Work OverNight, and Sacrifice even Health in order to Catch up with Time, on too Many Occasions in a Row, so that we were Physically Exhausted ?


However, it wasn't the First Time, (and such Obstacles had Never Stopped us before, when something Really Important as News was at Stake, f.ex. concerning such Key Issues of Human Rights, BioEthics, Peace, etc)...


Or, was it, perhaps, Because of a Strange, UnPrecedented piece of "Draft" Paper, written by an Anonymous Author, (but reportedly "endorsed" by PACE's "Bureau" behind Closed Doors a Few Days Earlier, withOut any Warning, and due to be ...Silently "Endorsed" also by PACE's Plenary on Monday Morning, practically Hidden among a Lot of Various Other Papers and Reports, etc), which had Just been Distributed Silently to Strasbourg's European Journalists, during the Regular "Press Briefing" of the COE at the Eve of the forthcoming COE Assembly's Plenary Session, Next Week, and contained a Stern Prohibition (Never Seen Before in More than 24 Years of permanently Covering and Publishing European/PanEuropean/International News: +9/1993-2018 !) adressed to all COE's Accredited Journalists, among others, also to: ..."Interfere with ...the Proper (sic !) Conduct of (UnDetermined) Activities (by Anyone ?), or the Free Movement (sic !) of individuals", etc... To that was Added also the ... Crime of any Journalist to "Interfere with the.. Privacy" (sic !) of anyone, to take any (even Short) "Interview" i

 

=> In Other Words, IF a Journalist had Simply Tried (as it Used to be Regularly done, Many Times in the Past, here and elsewhere, with a Great Efficiency, particularly vis a vis "Busy" Top Politicians, who had No Time for Long Interviews, Intermediary Bureaucracy, etc., But were usually Willing and Able to give Short but Topical Replies, particularly to "Hot" News and/or General Policy Issues for the Press/Medias to Publish), also Now, to Simply Ask now Jagland how he Felt after his Recent Top Contacts on the Russia - PACE Issue, (Comp. Supra), even if he had Kindly Replied, with his usual Concise and Smiling way to Speak even on the most Thorny Issues, when he really Wanted to do so, with People that he Knew Well for Many Years, Nevertheless, whoever among Strasbourg's Press Workers would have Received such an Interview, Risked, from now on, to be Accused to ... "Interfere" (or "Attempt to Interfere") "with the Free Movement of Individuals", and/or to "Interfere with ... the Proper Conduct of Activities", (whatever this might mean...), or, at least, to "conduct an Interview" in a Place Other than those which were Exclusively Listed by that Strange Draft Paper (Comp. Supra) !...


In consequence, one among the relatively New but Mainstream Strasbourg's European Journalists, Samantha Agro, from the Italian Press Agency "ANSA", had just Strongly Criticized that Strange "Draft" Paper, full of UnPrecedented, obviously Excessive, and often Too Vague Prohibitions, often unnecessarily and excessively Restricting an elementary and traditionaly established, during Decades, Press Freedom inside the CoE , when she Spoke out Loudly, Against several among the  Obstacles it attempted to Oppose to normal Journalistic activities and established Press practices, during this Morning's PACE Press Briefing (Comp. Supra).


But, despite PACE CEO Sawicki's and Press Officers' kind Promises that such and other Criticism from Samantha and several more European Medias, would be "Transmitted" to those responsible for taking Final Decisions, since Nothing hasN't yet been Rectified or Changed for the Better, on this matter, spontaneously preferring to be Careful, "Eurofora" ...Auto-Censored itself, and totally Abstained from Raising Any Question to CoE's SG Jagland, on this Good and Timely Occasion...


=> So that, we shall Never Know what CoE's Head, the Experienced Thornbjorn Jagland,  might, eventually, have had to Say, and What Message he might wish to send to all involved, just Before this Crucial Week-End, at the Eve of an Exceptionaly Important CoE Assembly's Plenary Session, Next Week in Strasbourg, (Comp. Supra), in order to be Published in WideSpread English Language PanEuropean Media Timely,


i.e. exactly when all those involved are notoriously Preparing their Last-Minute Compromises, Ideas, and/or Concrete Proposals, in order to Find a Solution able to Help the PanEuropean CoE's Organisation to Overcome that Crisis and Advance Ahead in the foreseable Future, (Comp. Supra).

 

 

(../..)


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(NDLR : "DraftNews", as already send to "Eurofora"s Subscribers/Donors, Earlier. A more accurate, full Final Version, might be Published asap).

 

***

 

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Sarkozy and Merkel want deals with Obama on European Security at Strasbourg's NATO 2009 Summit

oscenato
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In parallel but concording moves, EU Chair, French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angie Merkel both invited this week US-President elect, Barack Obama, to discuss important deals breaking new ground on European Security during the NATO's 60 Years Anniversary Summit of Heads of State in Strasbourg, where Obama is expected to make his 1st visit to Europe as a President on April 2009.

Merkel focused mainly on smoother NATO - EU Defence and Security policy cooperation, while Sarkozy spoke about PanEuropean Security, associating both Russia and the USA, proposing to freeze missile and shields' deployement until an agreement is reached.

But both tackled some hard nuts to crack : Turkey's VETO against the participation of EU Member Cyprus to EU-NATO cooperation, and Russia's anouncement on deployment of missiles up to Kaliningrad, at EU's belly, in reply to USA's wish to set up missile shields in EU States such as Poland or Czech Republic, etc.


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- "Certainly...one of the points that we'll dicuss with the New US President", Barak OBAMA, "who will come f'or the 1st time in Europe as president, at the NATO Summit", co-hosted by France and Germany in Strasbourg, ""concerns, above all, the European Security and Defence Policy" (ESDP), and "the relations between NATO and its partners", with whom it should "work together", anounced earlier this week Merkel.

We must find "a reasonable and adequate concept to articulate NATO and European Security and Defense policy", because of a "series of practical issues, sometimes difficult to understand", but that "we must discuss".

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- "An example" of that is "the issue of Cyprus and Turkey", said Merkel, where Ankara raises problems "from Kosovo up to Afghanistan", as also CoE's chair, Swedish Foreign Minister Carl Bildt recently observed in Strasbourg replying to EuroFora's questions.

- "We must do something to smoothen this problem for good, and not only on a case-by-case basis, laboriously negotiated each time". Here, we must find "a reasonable and adequate concept to articulate NATO and European Security and Defense policy", Merkel stressed.

- "With good will from all sides, it could and should be posible. Germany wants also to help on that". Otherwise, "the coming generations will not understand why it took Decades to do so". But, if we "don't even achieve that for Decades, this would be an Historic Failure !", the German Chancellor warned

- "I think that our American partners are increasingly realizing that", Merkel said, pleading for "a stronger European Security and Defence policy, with which, I believe, the Atlantic Security Partnership can also strengthen and solidify".

Meanwhile, USA is also due to take in 2009 a special status inside EU-led EUROCORPS, the European Army HeadQuarters, based in Strasbourg.

Merkel said that after meeting in Berlin with NATO's Secretary General, Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, earlier this week, precisely in order to "prepare NATO's Summit", scheduled for the beginning of April 2009 in Strasbourg.

Scheffe, knows well Strasbourg, since he chaired the CoE, as Holland's Foreign Minister, when he brokered a controversial deal precisely on Turkey and Cyprus about the implementation of ECHR judgements on Greek Cypriot displaced persons' houses and properties in 2003. He returned later at least once, for a WEO meeting at the CoE, where he precisely had highlighted such EU - NATO issues.

EU Commission's 2008 Report on Turkey has just observed that, on European Defense - Security policy, "Turkey continues to object to EU-NATO Cooperation which would involve all EU Member States". "This created Problems for EU-NATO co-operation in the context of Civilian ESDP missions, in particular in Kosovo and Afghanistan".
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 French EU Chair, President Sarkozy and Merkel are visiting Washington on Friday and Saturday for a Global G-20 Summit with current US President George Bush, on the sidelines of which are expected preparatory contacts with US President-elect Obama's entourage, even if himself might stay in Chicago until he takes over on January 21.

Before going to Washington, Sarkozy concluded today an UE - Russia Summit with Dmitry Medvedev, where they "spoke in length on PanEuropean Security" :

- As EU President, I proposed that we meet on mid-2009 in a framework such as OSCE's in order to set the foundations of a Future Pan-European Security, which would associate Russia and USA, and that, meanwhile, nobody speaks about deploying missiles or shields, which complicate the situation".

- NATO's Summit in Strasbourg-Kehl, on April 2009 is a perfect occasion to discuss with our American friends and to prepare a possible OSCE Summit for these issues f.ex. for June or July", Sarkozy concluded.

- We must all abstain from Unilateral measures" dangerous for Europe's security. "Russia only reacted to decisions taken by some other countries. But if they are ready to cooperate, we are ready to discuss. EU could be an intermediary", added Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, before going himself too at the Washington G-20 Economic Summit.

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